Health on the Road

Travel healthiness hang on your pre leaving preparations, your day-to-day health care while traveling and how you handle any medical problem or emergency that does develop. While the list of potential dangers can seem quite frightening, with a little luck, some basic precautions and adequate information few travelers experience more than upset stomachs.

Our children have traveled with us in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, numerous places in Asia and in North and South America and never had any health problems.

TRAVEL HEALTH GUIDES

There are a number of books on travel health:

Staying Healthy in Asia, Africa & Latin America, and Moon Publications. Probably the best all-around guide to carry, as it’s compact but very detailed and well-organized.

Travelers’ Health, Dr. Richard Dawood, Oxford University Press. Comprehensive, easy to read, authoritative and also highly recommended, although it’s rather large to lug around.

Where there is No Doctor, David Werner, and Hesperian Foundation. A very detailed guide intended for someone, like a Peace Corps worker, going to work in an underdeveloped country, rather than for the average traveler.

PRE-DEPARTURE PREPARATIONS:

HEALTH INSURANCE:

A travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss and medical problems is a wise idea. There are wide varieties of policies and your travel agent will have recommendations. The international student travel policies handled by STA Travel or student travel organizations are usually good value. Some policies offer lower and higher medical expenses options but the higher one is chiefly for countries like the USA which have extremely high medical costs.

Check the small print:

  1. Some policies specifically exclude “dangerous activities” which can include scuba diving, motorcycling, even trekking. If such activities are on your agenda you will need another sort of policy. A locally acquired motorcycle license may not be valid under your policy.
  2. You may prefer a policy which pays doctors or hospitals directly rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later. If you have to claim later make sure you keep all documentation. Some policies ask you to call back (collect) to a center in your home country where an immediate assessment of your problem is made.
  3. Check if the policy covers ambulances or an emergency flight home. You may also need to cover the expanse of an additional person to accompany you in the case of certain illnesses. If you have to stretch out you will need two seats and somebody has to pay for them!

MEDICAL KIT

A little, straight medical kit put together with special thought for children’s ailments is a wise thing to lug.

Make sure that you know the appropriate children’s dose of any medicines you are carrying, and that they are in fact suitable for children.

Preferably, antibiotics must be directed only under medical command and should never be taken indiscriminately. Take only the recommended dose at the prescribed intervals and continue using the antibiotic for the prescribed period, even if the illness seems to be cured earlier. Antibiotics are quite specific to the infections they can treat. Stop immediately if there are any serious reactions and don’t use the antibiotic at all if you are unsure that you have the correct one for the infection.

In many countries, if a medicine is available at all it will generally be available over the counter and the price will be much cheaper than in the West. However, be careful when buying drugs in developing countries, particularly where the expiration date may have passed or correct storage conditions may not have been followed. Bogus drugs are common and it’s possible that drugs which are no longer recommended, or have even been banned in the West are still being dispensed in many developing countries.

In many countries it may be a good idea to leave unwanted medicines, syringes, etc. with a local clinic, rather than carry them home.

HEALTH PREPARATIONS:

Make sure you and your children are healthy before you start traveling. If you are embarking on a long trip make sure your teeth are OK; there are lots of places where a visit to the dentist would be the last thing you’d want to do.

If children wear glasses take a spare pair and the prescription. Losing glasses can be a real problem, although in many places you can get new spectacles made up quickly, cheaply and competently.

If your kids require a particular medication take an adequate supply, as it may not be available locally. Take the prescription or, better still, part of the packaging showing the generic rather than the brand name (which may not be locally available), as it will make getting replacements easier. It’s a wise idea to show you legally use the medication – it’s surprising how often over-the-counter drugs from one place are illegal or even banned in another country without a prescription.

MEDICAL KIT:

Infant analgesic – with measuring cup or dropper

Antihistamine (such as Benadryl) – valuable as a decongestant for colds, allergies, to ease the itch from insect bites or stings or to help prevent motion sickness. Antihistamines may have a sedative effect and interact with alcohol so care should be taken when using them.

Antibiotics – useful if you’re traveling well off the compressed track, but it must be prearranged and you should carry the prescription with you. Some people are allergic to commonly prescribed antibiotics such as penicillin or sulfa drugs.

Kaolin preparation (Pepto-Bismol, Imodium) – for stomach upsets.

Rehydration mixture – for treatment of severe diarrhea. This is particularly important if traveling with children who dehydrate easily. An electrolyte mixture is available in sachets.

Antiseptic (like Dettol or Beta dines), mercurochrome and antibiotic powder or similar “dry” spray – for cuts and grazes.

Calamine lotion – to ease irritation from sunburn, bites or stings.

Bandages, Band-Aids, gauze and cotton wool – for minor injuries.

Scissors, tweezers and a thermometer/fever strips – mercury thermometers are prohibited by airlines.

Insect repellent, sun block, suntan lotion, Chap Stick – check that it is suitable for children’s skin.

Water Purification Tablets:

Diaper rash cream, teething gel – for predictable ailments.

Worm treatment, lice shampoo, and anti-fungal powder – for treatment of minor but irritating health problems.

A couple of syringes – in case you need injections in a country with medical hygiene problems. Ask your doctor for a note explaining why you are carrying them.

IMMUNIZATIONS:

Vaccinations provide protection against diseases you might meet along the way. Some nations no vaccinations are necessary, but the further off the beaten track you go the more necessary it is to take precautions.

It is important to understand the distinction between vaccines recommended for travel in certain areas and those required by law. Essentially the number of vaccines subject to international health regulations has been dramatically reduced over the last 10 years. Currently yellow fever is the only vaccine subject to international health regulations. Vaccination as an entry requirement is usually only enforced when coming from an infected area.

Occasionally travelers face bureaucratic problems regarding the cholera vaccine, even though all countries have dropped it as a health requirement for travel. Visiting some countries it may be wise to have the vaccine despite its poor protection, such as when traveling to Africa.

On the other hand a number of vaccines are recommended for different areas of travel. These may not be required by law but are recommended for your own personal protection.

All vaccinations should be recorded on an International Health Certificate, which is available from your physician or government health department.

Plan ahead for getting your vaccinations: some of them require an initial shot followed by a booster, while some vaccinations should not be given together. It is recommended you seek medical advice at least six weeks prior to travel.

Most children from Western countries will have been immunized against various diseases during childhood but your doctor may still recommend booster shots against measles or polio, diseases still prevalent in many developing countries. Apart from these, special vaccinations are not normally given to children under 12 months of age. Talk to your doctor.

Regardless of how you feel about inoculations, if you plan to take your children traveling you are placing them at some risk. In some parts of the world the infant mortality rate is horrendous and diseases which are no longer a problem in the West, due to widespread vaccination programs, are still very serious health risks.

In some countries immunizations are available from airport or government health centers. Travel agents or airline offices will tell you where.

The possible list of vaccinations includes:

Smallpox: Smallpox has now been wiped out worldwide, so immunization is no longer necessary.

Cholera: Not required by law but occasionally travelers face bureaucratic problems on some border crossings. Protection is poor and it lasts only six months. It is contra-indicated in pregnancy.

Tetanus & Diphtheria: Boosters are necessary every 10 years and protection is highly recommended.

Typhoid:

 Available either as an injection or oral capsules. Protection lasts from one to three years and is useful if you are traveling for long periods in rural, tropical area. You may get some side effects such as pain at the injection site, fever, headache and a general feeling of being unwell. A new single-dose injectable vaccine, which appears to have few side effects, is now available but is more expensive. Side effects are unusual with the oral form but stomach cramps may be one of these.

Infectious Hepatitis:

 The most common travel-acquired illness which can be prevented by vaccination. Protection can be provided in two ways – either with the antibody gamma globulin or with a new vaccine called Havrix (currently unavailable in the U.S.). Havrix provides long-term immunity (possibly more than 10 years) after an initial course of two injections and a booster at one year. It may be more expensive than gamma globulin but certainly has many advantages, including length of protection and ease of administration. It takes about three weeks to provide satisfactory protection – hence the need for careful planning prior to travel. Gamma globulin is not a vaccination but a ready-made antibody which has proven very successful in reducing the chances of hepatitis infection. Because it may interfere with the development of immunity, it shouldn’t be given until at least 10 days after administration of the last vaccine needed; it should also be given as close as possible to departure because it is at its most effective in the first few weeks after administration and the effectiveness tapers off gradually between three and six months.

Yellow Fever: Protection lasts 10 years and is recommended where the disease is endemic, chiefly in Africa and South America. You usually have to go to a special yellow fever vaccination center. Vaccination is contra-indicated during pregnancy but if you must travel to a high-risk area it is probably advisable. Check with your doctor.

Meningitis: This vaccination is recommended for visitors to Nepal and for visitors to some areas of Africa and Brazil. It is given as a single injection and gives immunity for up to three years duration.

Tuberculosis: TB is widespread throughout the developing world. Most Westerners will have been vaccinated at some time during their school years. For children vaccination is not deemed necessary unless they will be spending prolonged periods (say up to a year) in an area of risk.

BASIC RULES

Care in what you eat and drink is the most important health rule. Stomach upsets are the most likely travel health problem (between 30% and 50% of travelers in a two-week stay experience this) but the majority of these upsets will be relatively minor. Don’t become paranoid; trying the local foods is part of the experience of travel, after all.

WATER, JUICE & DAIRY PRODUCTS

The number-one rule is doing drink the water, and that includes ice. If you don’t know for certain that the water is safe always assume the worst. Reputable brands of bottled water or soft drinks are generally fine, although in some places bottles refilled with tap water are not unknown. Only use water from containers with a serrated seal – not tops or corks. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if water may have been added. Milk should be treated with suspicion, as it is often unpasteurized. Boiled milk is fine if it is kept hygienically and yogurt is always good. Tea or coffee should also be OK, since the water should have been boiled.

WATER PURIFICATION

The simplest way of purifying water is to boil it thoroughly. Vigorously boiling for five minutes should be satisfactory; however, at high altitude water boils at lower temperatures, so germs are less likely to be killed.

Simple filtering will not remove all dangerous organisms, so if you cannot boil water it should be treated chemically. Chlorine tablets (Puritabs, Steritabs or other brand names) will kill many but not all pathogens, including giardia and ameobic cysts. Iodine is very effective in purifying water and is available in tablet form (such as Potable Aqua), but follow the directions carefully and remember that too much iodine can be harmful.

If you can’t find tablets, tincture of iodine (2%) or iodine crystals can be used. Four drops of tincture of iodine per liter or quart of clear water is the recommended dosage. The treated water should be left to stand for 20 to 30 minutes before drinking.

Iodine crystals can also be used to purify water but this is a more complicated process, as you have to first prepare a saturated iodine solution. Iodine loses its effectiveness if exposed to air or damp so keep it in a tightly sealed container. Flavored powder will disguise the taste of treated water and is a good idea when traveling with children.

FOOD

There is an old colonial adage which says: “If you can cook it, boil it or peel it you can eat it…otherwise forget it”. Salads and fruit should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Ice cream is usually OK if it is a reputable brand name, but beware of buying it from street vendors in developing countries in case the ice cream has melted and been refrozen. Thoroughly cooked food is safest but not if it has been left to cool or if it has been reheated. Shellfish such as mussels, oysters and clams should be avoided as well as undercooked meat, particularly in the form of mince. Steaming does not make shellfish safe for eating.

If a place looks clean and well-run and if the vendor also looks clean and healthy, then the food is probably safe. In general, places that are packed with travelers or locals will be fine, while empty restaurants are questionable. Busy restaurants mean the food is being cooked and eaten quickly with little standing around and is probably not being reheated.

NUTRITION

If your food is poor or limited in availability, if you’re traveling hard and fast and missing meals, or if your children simply lose their appetite, they can soon start to lose weight and place their health at risk.

Make sure you have a well-balanced diet. Eggs, tofu, beans, lentils (dal in India) and nuts are all safe ways to get protein. Fruit you can peel (bananas, oranges or mandarins for example) is always safe and a good source of vitamins. Try to eat plenty of grains in the form of rice and bread. Remember that although food is generally safer if it is cooked well, overcooked food loses much of its nutritional value. If your diet isn’t well balanced or if food intake is insufficient, it’s a good idea to take vitamin and iron pills.

In hot climates make sure your children drink enough – don’t rely on them feeling thirsty to indicate when they should drink. If you are breast feeding be prepared to feed much more frequently, or remember to give frequent additional drinks from a bottle. Always carry a water bottle with you on long trips. Not needing to urinate or very dark yellow urine is a danger sign.

Excessive sweating can lead to loss of salt and therefore muscle cramping. Salt tablets are not a good idea as a preventative, but in places where salt is not used much, adding salt to food can help.

EVERYDAY HEALTH

A normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37 degrees Celsius; more than 2 degrees higher is a “high” fever. A normal adult pulse rate is 60 to 80 per minute (children 80 to 100, babies 100 to 140). You should know how to take a temperature and a pulse rate. As a general rule the pulse increases about 20 beats per minute for each Celsius degree rise in fever.

Respiration (breathing) rate is also an indicator of illness. Count the number of breaths per minute: between 12 and 20 is normal for adults and older children (up to 30 for younger children, 40 for babies). People with a high fever or serious respiratory illness (like pneumonia) breathe more quickly than normal. More than 40 shallow breaths a minute usually means pneumonia.

In Western countries with safe water and excellent human waste disposal systems we often take good health for granted. In years gone by, when public health facilities were not as good as they are today, certain rules attached to eating and drinking were automatically observed, such as washing your hands before a meal. It is important for people traveling in areas of poor sanitation to be aware of this and adjust their own personal hygiene habits.

Clean your kids’ teeth with purified water rather than straight from the tap. Avoid climatic extremes: keep them out of the sun when it’s hot, dress them warmly when it’s cold. Avoid potential diseases by making sure they are dressed sensibly. They can get worm infections through walking barefoot or dangerous coral cuts by walking over coral without shoes. Avoid insect bites by covering bare skin when insects are around, by screening windows or beds or by using insect repellents. Seek local advice: if you’re told the water is unsafe due to jellyfish, crocodiles or bilharzia, don’t go in. In situations where there is no information, discretion is the better part of valor.

10 Money-Saving Travel & Vacation Tips

  • Rent a car. What sounds luxurious can essentially habitually save you money. Think through renting a car instead of using the airport space shuttle. Many times the cost of the shuttle is more than that of a diffident car rental ¨C and you have the flexibility of having available transportation. If you are driving to your journey’s end, renting a car instead of using your own vehicle is often economy than the extra wear and tear on your own car. Take advantage of coupons to improvement to a larger, and more relaxed, vehicle.
  • Eat breakfast where kids eat free and split meals. This means that a huge saving for a family of four or larger. Children are many times too excited or tired to eat much at a time. Restaurants that are kid friendly are more than happy to accommodate special requests for extra plates.
  • Eat lunch in your room. You’ll be amazed how better a peanut butter sandwich, chips, and fresh fruit tastes away from home, and everyone gets a needed break from the heat and crowds of tourist destinations.
  • Take advantage of coupons. Whether it is for lodging, food, or attractions ¨C coupons SAVE money! Find them everywhere… online, in local newspapers, at convenience stores, motels, etc. All the time read the fine print cautiously for conditions of the coupon.
  • Bring your own stroller. This can save $7 to $10 a day at some of the fascinations.
  • Bring along individual refillable water bottles. These can be restocked at the hotel and at attraction water fountains. A family of four could easily spend $20 or more a day buying water.
  • Take advantage of multi-day passes at the attractions. This is especially a good deal when they can be used anytime.
  • Make your own reservations. Many hotels and airlines offer additional discounts and specials for booking online.
  • Give each child a set amount to spend. You can domestic the “gimmes”, and your notecase at the that time, by giving children a pre-set spending limit for souvenirs. Also, invest in an autograph book (about $6 at most attractions) and watch the fun as the children collect the “autographs” of their favorite characters.
  • Spend the day away from the attractions. You’re paying for those hotel swimming pools… use it! Spend the day at the beach or a nearby museum. The shopping areas near the major attractions (like Downtown Disney) have children’s play areas, providing an inexpensive day of fun for the little ones.

All Inclusive Vacations – The Most Cost Effective Way to Travel

All-inclusive vacations have become more popular than ever for the budget conscious traveler. With many people travel budget slashed in recent years people are looking for great, affordable vacations. All-inclusive vacations are perfect for travelers seeking to go to some of the most exciting destinations around the world and still maintain a strict budget.
Work out of determining,
All-inclusive vacations take the guess work out of determining just how much a vacation is going to cost once everything is factored in. All-inclusive vacations include air fare and all required transportation, accommodations and some meals. These vacation packages are perfect for singles, couples, families and groups. Many of the finest resorts and most sought after vacation destinations across the globe are offering all-inclusive vacations and vacationers are rejoicing.
Hottest vacation places,
Whether you are looking to go to the hottest vacation places that have the best night life and most sought after hotels or whether you are looking for a serene, relaxing environment there are many opportunities for you to plan terrific all-inclusive vacations.
Destinations in Europe,
Destinations in Europe as exciting as the Amalfi Coast, or Florence and Rome, or Venice in Italy, or Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, or the French Riviera, or ever popular Paris are all available for terrific all-inclusive vacations packages to meet almost any budget.
Terrific vacation packages,
For those people seeking more exotic and unique destinations there are terrific vacation packages in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia to name a few. Imagine all-inclusive vacations in such unique destinations as these? Making them as affordable as they are exciting.
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Virgin Vacations is proud to offer some of the most unique all-inclusive vacations in the world. Top quality travel, accommodations and meals punctuate an amazing trip to an exciting destination. These outstanding packages are as diverse as the people who take advantage of them. Whether traveling for the first time or the 101st time, all-inclusive vacations are an excellent way to see the world and save money.
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All-inclusive vacations include some of the finest accommodations around the world? Vacation packages by Virgin Vacations are at the top hotels in the most highly sought after vacation destinations. Buying a vacation package never means settling for second-best when you purchase all-inclusive vacations from Virgin Vacations. The flexibility and diversity of Virgin Vacations is what makes them some of the most popular vacation packages anywhere.
Air transportation,
Virgin Vacations all-inclusive vacations start with air transportation on Virgin Atlantic Airways or partner airline. You are assured top quality service and safety onboard your flight to one of the many incredible destinations available to you.
Ground transportation,
Ground transportation from the airport to your accommodations is provided so you do not have to worry about finding a cab or other means of transportation? It has been taken care of for you. In fact, many all-inclusive vacations sold by Virgin Vacations include full ground transportation to the wonderful tours and sites in the destination you chose.
Finest tours,
Virgin Vacations went the extra mile and assembled some of the finest tours and most popular itineraries in every destination offered. Walking tours, bicycle tours, bus tours, boat tours and virtually any other possible type of tour you can imagine is offered on one or more of the vacation packages offered by Virgin Vacations.
Desired destination,
No matter what you’re desired destination is, no matter what your budget is and no matter how short or long your vacation can last, Virgin Vacations has terrific all-inclusive vacations that will be perfect for you. If you do not see a package that interests you on the web site you can contact Virgin Vacations and speak to a travel expert who can help put together the perfect trip for you. Virgin Vacations and all-inclusive vacations packages combine to make vacation dreams come true.

Traveling with Kids

GO BABY GO Let’s begin this discussion with a basic truth. Traveling with your infant is a bit of a hassle and requires more gear and planning than traveling with your older kids. Still, traveling with babies is one of my favorite ways to go, since we both get right-in-the-now, undivided time together. Moreover, infants’ charm is negotiable worldwide, making all your travel plans easier and more fun. And, of course, because I can never get enough of my little ones.

BEDDING DOWN No one sleeps likes a baby, and babies generally sleep very well on the road. The rocking, lurching, chugging motions usually knock them right out. Still, having a familiar bed or bed gear reassures infants and small children. For infants, we travel with a small portable crib that can fit under our legs on public transportation, or on our laps. We’ve also used (and like) little zip-up buntings that keep baby in a cozy, manageable bundle.

By the time baby is six months, it’s time to graduate to a portable crib. Our favorites are the Evenflow (easiest to set up and take down) and the Graco, which umbrellas up and fits into a canvas traveling case. The Graco is heavier and takes a bit longer to set up (it’s still easy, though) but it’s quite a bit larger, making it suitable to do double duty for those outings to grandma’s house or as an extra playpen at home. Portable cribs are also very handy for taking to the beach or pool.

An aware blanket and toy can make all the change for traveling children. As they get older, they can continue to gem their favorite total. (Our 15-year-old’s pet blanket now exist in on a chair in his boudoir where he often uses it as a lap heater while working on his computer!)

GETTING AROUND We like child-carrying backpacks for traveling with kids up to 3 years old. The Gerry has an inner sling for younger ones that can be dispensed with as they grow. We’ve even used the Gerry for very small babies, fitting a receiving blanket around baby for stability. We also travel with the lightest umbrella stroller we can find, which we push right onto the plane and store in the overhead compartment. Moving the baby or preschool aboard can really save your back on a half-mile long mall.

We find it much more suitable and cost-real to take our own car chairs with us on vacation. They are also near for keeping children’s in one place in the hotel rooms during feedings and quiet time.

DIAPERS I have a hard time mitigating disposable diapers at home on environmental grounds, but though on the road, they’re just too suitable to resist. We also travel with at least a dozen cloth diapers for when we settle down in a spot. Disposable diapers can be very expensive in developing countries, so we recommend starting out with a good supply from home. Don’t forget the rubber pants, and carry a packet of wipes and rash cream in your day bag to make diaper changes easier. We like creams containing Vitamins A and D because they’re good for sunburn and other skin irritations as well.

CLOTHING Keep it simple and keep it to the minimum, for both you and baby. You can expect to be doing some laundry every few days anyway, so why burden yourself with too many changes of clothes? We usually figure on four changes of clothes, two sets of pajamas, one dress-up outfit and an all purpose jacket, suited to the climate you’re traveling in. Add socks, underwear, one pair of shoes and a swimsuit, and you’re ready to go. For maximum convenience, take mix-and-match separates in dark and bright colors. In hot climates, all cotton is definitely more comfortable. Be sure to bring a hat that protects baby from the sun. Pack the bags, and then don’t worry about it. If you find you’re missing some crucial item, you can always pick it up along the way, for a more intimate souvenir. (I treasure my Irish underwear!)

TOYS Take a few small favorites and maybe a favorite book. When those toys have lost their appeal, stop in at a local toy store and buy new playthings along the way. Check them out closely, however, as safety standards vary.

Packing Creative Extras

Packing light is important, but everybody has some little extra they like to bring along. On our Graffiti Wall, we asked our Road Scholars to tell us what their favorite “creative extra” is to bring along. Here are some of our favorites:

Language Notes

I am never without a miniature spiral-bound notebook and a pen when traveling in non-English-speaking countries. If I don’t understand a conversation, I’ll ask the ticket seller to write the price, the reservationist to write the time of the next train, the taxi driver to write the fare, etc. I can always draw a picture of what I’m looking for, which helped me to purchase a beautiful Spanish shawl in Madrid last week.
Lee from Detroit, Michigan

Photographic Memory

I use a spiral notebook to write down specifics about pictures I have taken. Nothing frustrates me more than looking at a picture and not remembering where it was taken.
Joel from Arizona

Portable Music

My little extravagance is a tiny MP3 player. The 128 Mb memory cards allow me to have 30+ songs per tiny card, and the player is about the size of a deck of cards. There are no moving parts, so no skip or bounce when I move. I have also downloaded several books from www.audiobooksforfree.com.
Kate T. from Eureka, California

Un-Locks

An alternative to small padlocks for luggage is split rings (key rings that you slide your keys onto). They are inexpensive and easy to find. They make a great deterrent against theft without having to worry about re-setting a padlock.
Kathy from Anaheim, California

Enlightenment

I read that a votive candle could come in handy. So I thought, “Why not?” and packed a couple. On our very first night in Rome, the lights went out. Flashlights are fine for some situations, but the candles proved to be a much better source of light as I had not had time to unpack and I also wanted to take a shower. The are also nice for those relaxing moments with some wine, crackers, and cheese at the end of a tiring day.
Carolyn Johnston from Edina, Minnesota

Clarity

For you photographers out there, bring along a tiny bottle of window cleaner. It was so frustrating trying to take pictures of lovely scenery through train windows smudged with fingerprints! Buy an empty spray bottle and fill it up.
Anonymous from California

Traveler’s Tea

My favorite creative extra to pack is an immersion heater. Plug into an outlet, place the working end in a cup of water, and soon you’re ready for tea. The heater and an assortment of tea bags fit neatly into a lightweight plastic cup. It’s nice to relax in the evenings with a cup of tea, maybe some cookies, and a book. Peppermint tea soothes an upset stomach and chamomile is good for frazzled nerves. When I travel alone, I pack two cups. It’s a wonderful ice breaker at hostels.
Lori from Washington State

Pedometer

A fun extra to bring is a pedometer that you clip on your belt. I wore mine every day and was amazed how much walking I actually did! I logged over 160 miles in less than four weeks without even trying! They are inexpensive and comfortable.
Renee from Colorado

Wrinkle Remover

Instead of buying spray-on wrinkle removers for your travel-creased clothing, carry a small spray bottle that creates a fine mist. Mist your clothing lightly (don’t soak it) and smooth out wrinkles with your hand. This method works so well, I also use it when I’m not traveling. In hot climates you can use it to spray your face and body for instant air conditioning.
Jennifer S. from San Francisco, California

Talk Radio

We like to carry a small radio with us. It’s fun to listen to local music and even talk shows, whether in English or the local language. On a train, it’s fun to ask someone to help you find a good station ¡ª a conversation starter of the simplest sort.
Amelia from Tallahassee, Florida

Airport Tips

We all know that airports can be a hassle these days but a little planning and preparation can make a big difference. Try these tips to help you breeze right through.

Airport tips
Airport tips

Before Your Trip

  • Check your itineraries for seat assignments and make any ticket changes you need.
  • Handle any special needs you might have before you get to the airport.
  • Check to make sure the contact information we have for you is right.
  • Take care of passports, visas, and any important papers you might need way ahead of time.
  • Use our online Check-in tool and self-service kiosk to avoid long lines at the airport.
  • Know the check-in requirements for your airport.

Preparing for Security

  • Leave your pocket-knives, files, scissors, and any sharp objects at home or put them in your checked baggage.
  • Check security checkpoint wait-times to make sure you arrive at the airport in plenty of time.
  • Be ready to take off your shoes and put belts, mobile phones, and metal objects in your carry-on.
  • Have your ID and boarding pass out and ready to show.
  • Take your laptop out of its case and place it in the container provided for you.

During Your Trip

  • Check the display screens and monitors in the airport to find your gate.
  • Arrive at the gate early with your boarding pass and e>ticket receipt.
  • Keep an eye on the gate display screens that we have in most airports.
  • Listen closely for announcements at the gate. It might be important stuff.

 

Walt Disney Vacations

Walt Disney world is really a standard destination especially for relatives who want to have fun and who want to experience the world of fantasy, wonders and magic. Because this theme park is vast, a Disney World vacations planning is important before getting too excited for your adventures.

Here are some significant points that you should contain in your Disney World vacations planning.

Walt Disney Vacations  Walt Disney world is really a standard destination especially for relatives who want to have fun and who want to experience the world of fantasy, wonders and magic. Because this theme park is vast, a Disney World vacations planning is important before getting too excited for your adventures. Here are some significant points that you should contain in your Disney World vacations planning. Vacations Time:	 Choosing the best time to go In any vacations, it is important to check out the best time to go to your destination. The considerations you have to make are the weather, the crowd, closing time of the park, the rates and the events especially if you are going to a place like the Walt Disney World. Summer months may be great time to go to the park but you have to consider also the peak periods where most kids are having their vacations from school. With larger crowds, of course, you have to expect longer wait for the rides and fully booked restaurants and dining places. If you are going on off-peak seasons, you may also find some rides closed for maintenance. Indeed, careful planning is important. But, of course, off-peak season usually have lower rates and lesser crowds, so that would be your advantage. Disney Vacations: Disney world has four theme parks and many other attractions. From the rides in the Magic Kingdom to live shows at Disney's Hollywood Studios to shops, restaurants to nightlife spots... it is indeed important to plan your itinerary carefully to make the most out of your vacations. If you don't want to end up disappointed of not getting the most out of your Disney vacations, you have to do your research on what rides you want to get tickets, where you want to go, what attractions you would want to prioritize seeing. It is also important to research and find tips on how to go around the park as well. If you are bringing the kids, you may want to research as well on the rides that are suitable for their age and height so that you won't end up disappointing them when you arrive at the park. You may want to idea where you want to dine as well or use advance reservations to escape long hours of waiting. Of course, you would not want to spend most of your time waiting for your turn in rides or to be seated in restaurants. Make your budget ahead Disney World Vacations: One more important thing you need to organize for your Disney World vacations planning is the preparation of your budget. Without proper budgeting, your vacations can be costly, thus you must have to consider your budget well. You can research online for the rates and the best deals but it is always wise to call Walt Disney World directly if you plan to stay at their property. This will also help you avail of any other upgrades or promos. Find out where you can dine at relatively low prices or find out where you can buy merchandise at lower prices around the park. You may want to ask about from friends who common the place and know where to buy what in lower prices. To be sure, careful planning is a significant part of your vacations and before getting too motivated, take time to check your plans and economical to make sure you'll have a great and fun Disney vacations.

Vacations Time:  

Choosing the best time to go In any vacations, it is important to check out the best time to go to your destination. The considerations you have to make are the weather, the crowd, closing time of the park, the rates and the events especially if you are going to a place like the Walt Disney World.

Summer months may be great time to go to the park but you have to consider also the peak periods where most kids are having their vacations from school. With larger crowds, of course, you have to expect longer wait for the rides and fully booked restaurants and dining places. If you are going on off-peak seasons, you may also find some rides closed for maintenance. Indeed, careful planning is important. But, of course, off-peak season usually have lower rates and lesser crowds, so that would be your advantage.

Disney Vacations:

Disney world has four theme parks and many other attractions. From the rides in the Magic Kingdom to live shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to shops, restaurants to nightlife spots… it is indeed important to plan your itinerary carefully to make the most out of your vacations. If you don’t want to end up disappointed of not getting the most out of your Disney vacations, you have to do your research on what rides you want to get tickets, where you want to go, what attractions you would want to prioritize seeing. It is also important to research and find tips on how to go around the park as well.

If you are bringing the kids, you may want to research as well on the rides that are suitable for their age and height so that you won’t end up disappointing them when you arrive at the park. You may want to idea where you want to dine as well or use advance reservations to escape long hours of waiting. Of course, you would not want to spend most of your time waiting for your turn in rides or to be seated in restaurants.

Make your budget ahead

Disney World Vacations:

One more important thing you need to organize for your Disney World vacations planning is the preparation of your budget. Without proper budgeting, your vacations can be costly, thus you must have to consider your budget well. You can research online for the rates and the best deals but it is always wise to call Walt Disney World directly if you plan to stay at their property. This will also help you avail of any other upgrades or promos.

Find out where you can dine at relatively low prices or find out where you can buy merchandise at lower prices around the park. You may want to ask about from friends who common the place and know where to buy what in lower prices.

To be sure, careful planning is a significant part of your vacations and before getting too motivated, take time to check your plans and economical to make sure you’ll have a great and fun Disney vacations.

Vacations Planning with Family

You are ready to spend some quality down time with your family but you are unsure where to start. You would like to know that when you reach your desired destination no time will be wasted. Preparation is the key to the perfect family vacations. Planning is important in creating remarkable and exciting experiences that your family will treasure for years to come.

When planning vacations you must consider what your family likes to do to have fun. First, decide the ideal location your family would like to spend a week or two. To make this decision make a list of different activities you would like to experience while you are on vacations. Take into account all of the outdoor sports that may be of interest to your family. Vacations to Montana will fill your day with canoeing, horseback riding and fishing, while a day at the beach may be filled with snorkeling, swimming or diving. Consider white water rafting in Vermont for those with an adventurous spirit. All skill levels are represented in this courageous quest. Planning is the best way to confirm that your family has fun and that you get your money’s worth out of your many journeys. Your family will thank you for finding a vacations that suits them as well as introduces them to new sports and activities.

Vacations Planning with Family
Vacations Planning with Family

Family Vacations:

Family vacations design will allow you to see all of the decisions for a successful. You will learn about hotels, car rentals, and local attractions of the area. You can also check out some of the area’s entertainment and dining before making final decisions on your itinerary. Shopping for the perfect souvenir is more convenient when you know where to go. Your family will enjoy the best your vacations destination has to offer.

Travel abroad and immerse your family in the cultures of different countries. Trek to Manchu Picchu along the Incan trail and learn about ancient civilizations that lived long ago. Or perhaps your family would enjoy a patriotic look at the lives and times of our forefathers. A trip to Colonial Williamsburg will educate those interested in American history and memorabilia. Family vacations planning give you the chance to organize your trip to create a enjoyable and charming.

Vacations Planning:

Many of us are on tight schedules and budgets. Family vacations planning can help keep your charges within a specified price limit. We tend to overspend on our without even knowing it. With family vacations planning you know all of your charges upfront and nothing is a wonder. Your time is precious and it is important to fill your time with quality and waste no time scheduling, organizing and decision making after you have arrived. All of these choices are made before you leave, leaving more time for you to spend with your family.

Disney Vacations:

If you are used to the kind of holidays where you drive to the beach and take what life throws at you for a week then you will find a Disney vacations a bit of a shock. To really get the most out of your vacations you need to plan. Some people go to the great and treat Disney vacations planning like a martial exercise; you don’t have to go that far, just make sure you do a little research before you check in to your hotel.

Protecting Your Home & Safety While Traveling

It’s fact that almost all types of personal and household crime are highest in the warm months when people spend more time away from home on vacations or are involved in outdoor activities. Avoid becoming part of this statistic by following these suggestions to protect your home, property, and family while you’re relaxing and having fun!

Protecting Your Home & Safety While Traveling

BEFORE YOU LEAVE use this checklist to secure your home.

  • Make sure your home looks lived in, not empty: stop mail and cancel all deliveries or ask a friend to make daily collections. Hide empty garbage cans. Leave shades and blinds in normal positions. Put an automatic timer on several lights and the radio. Have a neighbor keep your property maintained.
  • Leave a key with a trusted neighbor.
  • Store valuables in a safe deposit box.
  • Tell a neighbor you trust your departure and return dates. Supply an itinerary with the phone numbers where you can be reached in an emergency.
  • Ask police if they have a “vacation home check” program.
  • Lock all windows and doors. Double check basement and garage doors before you leave.

AND AWAAAY WE GO….

  • Carry a minimum amount of cash. Use traveler’s checks and credit cards, but keep a record of their numbers in a separate and safe place.
  • Keep careful tabs on your travel tickets — they’re as good as cash. Carry them in an inside pocket, not protruding from a jacket or bag.
  • If driving, plan your route carefully, travel on main roads, and use road maps. Have your car serviced and tires checked before leaving.
  • Don’t advertise your plans to strangers.
  • Always lock your car when it’s parked, even if the stop is brief. Keep valuables out of sight, preferably locked in the trunk. don’t leave wallets, checkbooks, or purses in the car.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • If you stop overnight, remove bags and other valuables from the car and take them inside.
  • If your car breaks down, turn on your flashers and raise the hood or tie a white cloth to the antenna
  • Avoid traveling during the night hours if you can.
  • If you are in a foreign country, learn the words for police officer and doctor. Know location of the nearest U. S. consulate.

MOTELS AND HOTELS

  • Use all auxiliary locking devices when occupying or leaving your room.
  • Know who’s knocking before you open the door.
  • Keep extra cash and valuables locked in the hotel deposit box, not in the room. Always take cash, credit cards, and keys with you.
  • Inventory your belongings daily.
  • Be observant. Report any suspicious movements in the corridors or rooms to the management.

SIGHTSEEING

  • Learn about your surroundings. Ask local residents about problem areas and avoid them.
  • Select sightseeing companies and guides carefully.
  • If older children go off separately, be sure they have watches and check in with you at prearranged times.

TAKE ACTION — TODAY!

  1. Call your police or sheriff’s department to arrange for a home security survey. Correct any problems before you go away.
  2. List all credit card numbers, their expiration dates, and numbers to call if lost.
  3. Have your car checked
  4. Offer your help to neighbors when they go away!

Tips for Healthy Travel

Tips for Healthy TravelBefore Your Trip

Here are just a few precautions you can take ahead of time:

  • Make sure your immunizations are current.
  • If possible, delay your trip if you’re not feeling well.
  • You’re prone to air sickness, ask for a window seat over the wing.
  • If you have any health questions, or if you suffer from a chronic ailment, motion sickness, or fear of flying, ask for advice from your physician.
  • Stress is bad for you. Reduce stress by allowing plenty of time to check in and reach your departure gate.
  • Always carry your medication with you¡ªnever pack it in baggage you’re planning to check.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes for your flight.

During Your Trip

Here are a few things you can do to feel good while you’re flying:

  • Eat lightly during your flight.
  • Stay hydrated while you fly.
  • Leave room under the seat in front of you so you can stretch out your legs.
  • If conditions permit, try to stand up and walk around the cabin every once in a while.

At Your Destination

Here are a couple of things to remember once you arrive:

  • You are not purchasing local medications.
  • Sun block and sunglasses wearing in the tropics and at high altitudes.
  • Drink a lot of water to minimize altitude sickness.