Travel Tip Tuesday – Lost on Vacation

Traveling can be disorienting- new environment, different language, changing hotels frequently, along with fatigue and jet lag. If you are traveling with a group, you may not be paying as close attention to where you are or where you are staying.  You need to know how to reconnect if you get separated from your group.

Got a cell phone? Take a picture of your hotel.  You can show this to someone to help you find your way back, even if you don’t speak the language. If they have a business card or match book, take one and keep it with you.

Make a plan.  Decide where you will meet, if you get separated each day. Know where your group is headed next.   Wear a watch to keep track of the time. Ask your tour guide the best way to contact them if you get separated from the gang. Your bus may not pick you up where you got dropped off.

Travel Tip Tuesday- These shoes were made for walking

Shoes take up a lot of valuable packing space. Choose which shoes you will bring on your trip wisely. Think function rather than fashion.

  • A must- comfortable walking shoes that are already broken in for walking, exercising and during travel.
  • A cheap pair of flip flops to wear in a pool area, in the bathroom or shower. Best not to go barefoot anywhere. You never know what you might step on.
  • A pair you can wear comfortably that will be appropriate if you have to dress up. Make sure you can also walk good distances in these without pain.  If you know you won’t have to dress up, omit these.

While we all want to look good, find shoes that are practical, light weight and pack well and ok, look good, too.

Heat Exhaustion – Travel Tip Tuesday

You dont have to travel  far to  feel too hot this summer. Know what to do when you get too hot and how to get cooled off. Early action can prevent heat exhaution from progressing to heat stroke. And drink, drink, drink (non-alchololic beverages, that is).

Hurricane Season

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the hurricane and typhoon seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Check out what’s happening to see how your travel plans may be impacted by weather.

Bugs and Bowels

No one likes having diarrhea or vomiting but it can be really miserable when you are far from home. Despite following food and water precautions, you might still get sick when you travel especially to Mexico and under developed countries.

If you are having significant diarrhea without vomiting and you have a prescription for an antibiotic such as ciprofloxin or azithromycin, start it. You may feel much better after one dose.  Prescriptions such as these are given at your pre travel consultation.  (Didn’t go to a travel clinic before your trip? Don’t make that mistake again.)

If you are vomiting, start with about a tablespoon of bottled water, tea, soda, or juice every 10 -15 minutes.  If that doesn’t stay down, try a teaspoon every 10 minutes. If you have access to ice made with bottled water, suck on some ice chips. Some fluid can get absorbed through your mouth and feels good. If you have oral rehydration solution, mix that with bottled water to replace electrolytes. Avoid sports drinks as they are designed to replace fluids lost from perspiration not the stomach tract. Gradually add fluids and food as you feel better. If you just have water, add some foods with  salt such as potato chips or pretzels.

The blue areas indicate countries with high risk of traveler’s diarrhea.

Staying hydrated is very important , especially in a hot humid climate. If you have severe abdominal pain, a fever, or can’t hold anything down, develop blood in your stools, get very thirsty and continue to feel worse, seek health care.

Be sure to plan ahead for treating vomiting and diarrhea when away by bringing a prescription for an antibiotic, a thermometer, and oral rehydration salt packets.

Heading South Soon?

Dreaming about a warm, sunny beach in a tropical paradise? If you are heading south this winter, I bet you are not dreaming of traveler’s diarrhea, dengue fever , or malaria , which can be found in Paradise, too.

To prevent diarrhea, don’t drink the water, brush your teeth in it, have drinks with ice cubes or frozen blended drinks. Don’t eat food unless it is piping hot and thoroughly cooked. No fresh fruit or vegetables unless they are peeled. Mangoes, papaya, pineapple and banana can all be peeled. It’s a very good idea to get vaccinated for hepatitis A, a viral infection of the liver, transmitted from contaminate foods and water. Staying at a resort that tells you their water is filtered? Still don’t drink the water and follow all the precautions because you don’t know what kind of filtration system is used and how well it is maintained. It is a good idea to bring a prescription antibiotic to self treat diarrhea just in case.

Avoid mosquito bites day and night. One bite from one mosquito can result in a case of dengue fever or malaria. Dengue fever, nicknamed broke bone fever, is increasing in the tropics. There is no treatment or vaccinations, so the only protection is by covering up and using 30% DEET insect spray all day and night. Find out whether you need to also take malaria pills before you go.
To get information, consult a travel clinic and the CDC web site on travel health. A visit to a travel clinic will be sure your immunizations are current and will provide you with prescriptions for traveler’s diarrhea or malaria. Don’t want to worry about malaria or dengue fever? Consider talking to a travel clinic before you book your trip for advice.

So, when you are laying on that beach , the only thing you’ll need to worry about is getting sunburned. Then the only things you’ll bring home will be great photos, good memories and a few souvenirs.