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Turkey questions - visa, airports, vaccines

Our flight from Miami to Sophia bulgaria next august 2023 takes us first to IST where we have a four hr layover before our connecting flight to sophia. After our best of bulgaria tour is over we will immediately fly to istanbul for our best of turkey tour. When we apply for our Turkey visa, we dont include the earlier date into turkey IST do we since its just a layover at the airport? We wont leave the airport.

In flying back to Miami, we could fly Izmir to Miami (which usually go first to IST) or buy a separate ticket for a flight from izmir to Istanbul and then fly on to Miami on separate ticket but do you have any advice as to which airport to fly out of, IST or SAW, after Best of Turkey tour ends? The bus will take us after breakfast to the Izmir airport (ADB). I think SAW is a lot smaller and probably easier to get around in to connect to our flight to Miami but there are a lot fewer flights from SAW to MIA than from IST to MIA. My concern is what if we miss our flight at SAW and theres just not that many flights from SAW to MIA? how easy and quickly can you get from SAW to IST if you missed your flight but need to run to IST to catch one to MIA? What are the advantages of SAW v IST airports?

Vaccines - what vaccines do you recommend (not covid, we’ve had five shots of that).? We are 70 and 77 yrs old, ive seen the list on the CDC website and it doesnt seem like anything is required but several are recommended . we are of such an age that we doubt we ever had MMR vaccine and perhaps not the DPT. Definitely have never had a malaria, typhoid, hepatitis A AND B shot and we have traveled all over Europe, in SE Asia, Mexico, and Caribbean and Hondurus and never gotten sick. We will be on the RS Best of Bulgaria and Turkey tours. We know we have had smallpox, flu, tetanus and shingle shots. I did not have a chicken pox shot and yet i never had chickenpox as a child. I had measles and mumps. Thoughts???

Besides e-visa for Turkey, do we fill out an entry form of some sort for either country we are visiting? I was particularly confused about Turkey.


Posted by
1536 posts

There are 5 vaccinations recommended for Americans over the age of 65

You should get the Shingles vaccine whether or not you have had chicken pox as it will also protect you against chicken pox, which could be deadly in an adult.
From your post, it does not seem that you have any risk factors for Hepatitis B, but ask your doctor.

I am a vaccine advocate and I chose to take the 4 dose oral typhoid vaccine prior to traveling to Turkey. I ate street food and raw veg and fruit. I also took bismuth tablets and consumed them prior to eating which reduces food borne illnesses. Many people have traveled to Turkey and eaten street food without these precautions and did not become ill. These were my personal choices.

Find the CDC recommendation here. It includes Polio and MMR vaccinations.

I recommend scheduling an appointment with a travel health clinic in your area. They are experts on vaccinations and will be able to discuss the risks and benefits of all these vaccinations with you.