Staying Healthy on the Road: 2006
Staying or getting healthy on the road is a key to a happy European trip. Any tips on health and finding good/affordable medical care in Europe?
Oddly enough, my tip was removed? Why? Anyway, it's true, Zicam is the single best product on the market bar none to prevent colds and flu or at least reduce the symptoms.
Laguna Beach, CA USA Sat 12/30/2006
another vote for Emergen-C
I second Donna's recommendation of Emergen-C packets in your carry-on. I pack enough packets to take 1-2 per day. Also, start taking Emergen-C (1-2 per day) at least a week before you leave so you are uber-healthy. As always, try to wash your hands frequently (and/or use anti-bacterial gel) and keep your hands away from your nose and eyes.
Northfield, MN USA Fri 12/29/2006
My husband and I swear by Emergen-C packets. They can be found at drugstores, natural food stores, etc. for around $10.00 a box or 40 cents a packet. Hint--the lemon-lime flavor is the best. We always take a dozen or so when we travel. They're great for helping you acclimate to changes in time zones, climate, diet, etc.,take up barely any room, and can be packed in carry-ons. Just drop one in a glass of water and you're good to go! One word of caution, though--they should be avoided by folks with shellfish allergies as their calcium is derived from oyster shells, I think.
Frankfort, KY USA Mon 10/16/2006
Flu: In my case I am very sensitive, my "flu" tends to get really complicated and I get bronquitis fairly easilly, About 3 weeks before my trip I get a flu vaccine, I take Airborne before during and after my trip, I pack cold/allergy medication and a nose lubricant becouse I tend to dry out during flights (the breathing strips help me rest as well), and of course purell gel and hand towels,
Edema: lots of water on the plane and I use medium compresion socks that help with lower leg inflamation, there are some expensive ones out there but Walmart carriers some cheaper ones and they are just as good, I always travel with some hibiscus tea bags, it is a natural diuretic.
Tijuana, BC MX Thu 10/12/2006
Avoid University of Rome Medical center!
Avoid University of Rome Medical center! My Friend who is dying of lung cancer was taken there on our trip. No hot water, no toilet paper(even the employees had to bring their own), no seats on the toilets, was told by the charge nurse that it was an Italian hospital and Americans were not welcome there! You would think I was describing Bagdad and not Rome Italy!He lost 12 pounds in one week from being given very little food there. He was lucky to make it back to the states alive!
Thomasboro, IL USA Tue 09/26/2006
More Preventative Measures...
I just returned from New York but I've done Europe with Rick's help and forgot all my own advice! Definitely take not only your Claritin and Vitamin C with you, but also some Benadryl and eardrops! I went from the desert to the mountains and had a major pollen attack. Also, schedule some 'down' time so that you can catch up on your rest. I find that most people need at least one day of 'doing nothing' per two weeks of travel.
Palm Springs, CA USA Fri 09/22/2006
I have just returned from the RS Venice, Florence and Rome tour. After an initial bout of jet-lag-itis (nausea, headache) in Venice, I made sure to have yogurt every morning. I usually get some tummy upset on any trip due to different food, water and drinking, and found that I was much better this time.
I also brought a Kataydin water bottle that has a carbon filter, bought at Mountain Equipment Co-op here in Canada. It filters 99.9 percent of the "nasties" and I used it for tap water available from the main public fountains in Italy. I had no stomach upset on this trip, which I attribute to the water bottle, as well as the hand sanitizer I used often and frequent hand-washing.
ON Canada Sun 09/10/2006
Easy way to stay healthy
After reading a load of your comments about staying healthy while travelling, I thought it typically "North American" that no one ever mentions the simplest and most effective way to stay healthy, WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY. If you use soap, friction for 15 seconds and rinse well and dry with dry heat from a blower, you will lower your chances of contracting any nasty bugs.
Peterborough, ON Canada Sat 08/12/2006
Staying Healthy at the Beach
Unlike the beach in my hometown, the one that I went to nearly every day in Spain had a lifeguard/first-aid center. These lifeguards keep an eye on swimmers and watch for dangerous currents, but they also offer first-aid. I was unaware of this free service, but when I cut my foot on a rock a local friend suggested I get it bandaged by the lifeguards. I don't know if this is common throughout Europe, but it's worth asking in order to avoid an infection.
USA Thu 08/03/2006
Regarding the comments on ear protection - I suffered from severe ear pain when landing by plane, and the pain would often last a day or so after landing. On a recent trip, a friend of mine bought me a pair of 'de-planers'. You can buy them at a drug store and they look like ear plugs. You basically 'screw' them into your ears right before the plane starts its decent. I've used the de-planers on 4 flights since and they are the most amazing things I have ever found - I'm now pain free!
Calgary, AB Canada Wed 07/26/2006
Shape up before shipping off
Not only do I agree with Lincoln Spencer's 6/14 insightful comment about the 'over 50 crowd first getting in shape before traveling Northern Italy', but I'll expand on that to say I think ANYONE of ANY age traveling to Europe at all should make a serious point to first get in the best shape possible to get the most out of their trip.
Those who are contemplating their first trip to Europe should keep in mind that getting around there is vastly different than travel here in the U.S. where its 'take the rental car to Applebee's'. Think about it, most of the developed U.S. was born AFTER the advent of the automobile making it very car convenient. Once in Europe, you'll find getting around to be much more physically demanding - even if you rent a car (something Rick widely discourages and I personally agree with). You'll be hauling your bags around, standing in lines everywhere, walking long distances, jumping on & off trains, walking up & down hilly streets, scaling the stairs of many big attractions like - Eiffel Tower, The Roman Coliseum, Spanish Steps, 'Mount Nueschwanstein' - I could go on & on here, beleieve me. That doesn't even include walking some very large parks that are a must like Englischer Park or the Tiergarten.
On top of all that, you'll often have to hike some distance for things we take for granted here, like simple sundries or a clean restroom.
Point is? EVERY minute of your time in Europe is precious and you'll be best prepared for it if you are in your best possible shape. I am a very young 37. I still play competitive amateur baseball and train religiously and even I have felt wiped-out after some of my more strenuos days in Europe (especially the Vernazza - Corniglia hike!).
Here are some habits I'd like to recommend you start some time before departing:
#1 - If you're a bit overweight and not very active - get busy! Get your heart used to working. I'm not a fan of running (it does more harm than good) but, make a habit of walking to do stuff you now drive to do - like nearby grocery runs, mailing a letter, etc. Doing progressively heavier amounts of swimming, walking, and biking will serve you well.
# 2 - Right now, cut-out destructive sweets from your diet - like Pepsi & candy. These things serve to sap your energy and keep usless weight on you.
# 3 - Up your take of energy foods - bananas are excellent (fact: there's enough energy in two bananas for a strenuos 90 minute work-out!). Nuts of almost any kind are excellent too. Those are great foods to have with you while traveling - bring some Power Bars too!
# 4 - Start replacing your soda habit with water. one of the leading causes of fatigue is dehydration. Once in Europe, you'll want to really always be packing water. I sip on it constantly while strolling parks & museums.
You don't have to be an olympic athlete to successfully travel Europe but you should be ready for the physical challenge it presents (if you do it right). Don't let your sizeable investment and potential for life-long memories be hindered by being in poor shape for your trip. Besides, being in the best possible shape has other benefits . . . I, for one, have always enjoyed the appreciative glances of the European fairer sex while enjoying many of Europe's beaches & spas dressed in appropriately 'little to no' attire!
Chicago, IL USA Wed 07/19/2006
Six Days in a British Hospital
It wasn't the hotel accomodations I'd planned on! The day after I keynoted on wellness in London I began to get ill. At first it seemed like a really bad chest cold so, on our tourist travels we stopped at a clinic in Wales. "Yes, you seem to have an upper respiratory infection, and by the way, have you ever been told you have a heart mumur?" Three days later, after increasing fatigue and weakness, I couldn't inhale without effort and headed to a hospital emergency room in Wolverhampton.
The seriousness of my symptoms bumped me up the "queue" and I was taken to see a 23 year old woman who was soon to graduate wiht her M.D., who had been studying medicine since she was 15, and who couldn't find a vein in a person's arm any better than a rugby player.
I was soon in for an overnight in a windowless holding tank type of room with 11 others, all of us wating on beds. Finally late the next day I was moved up to the "penthouse" where I was to share my next five days as one of the six lads in the same room on the men's ward of a treatment unit. My wife was wonderful, helping me in many ways. She got to spend the week in a hotel in this very boring industrial town, instead of the two of us traveling on to France and Italy! Man! Do I need to make it up to her!
The staff was wonderful..."I have some medicine for you my love!" "Here's your breakfast my darling." The medical care was good...though I think I got moved up the order for waiting on tests due to my serious symptoms. The beds didn't even crank up or down, and I think I used to dust the floor of my grandmother's bedroom better when I was a child.
I was fortunate to be one of only two men in the room who could walk away from their bed under their own power, and while wating for the medical minds to figure out my condition, I enjoyed engaging the staff in conversation.
They couldn't believe it when I told them how much surgery is done on an out-patient basis in the U.S. In the UK, it seems one can spend a lot of time as a hospital resident, for many conditions we would treat in perhaps too speedy a way.
The most interesting conversation was around local accents. I shared how, in the states, we have regional accents, which they found very entertaining. They, however showed me what their accents sounded like as they varried from town to town! Towns five miles apart had not only different accents, but completely different ways of saying things: "How are you?", "How am ya?" "How beast ya?"
They finally got the diagnosis right, the mitral valve in my heart had sprung loose and required complete open-heart surgery. I asked them to get me ready to travel so I could have the surgery in my home town in Colorado.
The plane ride home was no fun, and that weekend I went into congestive heart failure, but made it into surgery the next week, and am happy to say that, four months later, I'm doing very well.
I'll give the Brits a good grade on my care, and am very thankful to many. A good bed, however, is not to be underestimated!
Fort Collins, CO USA Sun 07/09/2006
My husband and I used Euphorbium nasal spray by Heel (a German company) on our most recent trip to Europe. This is a homeopathic product. It has antiviral properties. Made sure we used it a lot on the planes and then daily. Also good for sinusitis/rhinitis and has no rebound effects! You can find it on line and in health food stores. We stayed healthy, unlike on other trips. If you are low energy, like I can sometimes be, get a B12 shot before you go. And don't forget your vitamins.
FL USA Fri 07/07/2006
Face mask for flying
Overseas flights used to be a round-trip ticket to flu-ville for me. My doctor suggested wearing a face-mask. At first you feel a little silly but after your first trip to the bathroom, you realize you're not the only one. I also try to talk to the stewardess at least once with the mask off but they are incredibly understanding, so I'm not sure it's necessary.
Bonus: I've found that a VERY light application of aromatherapy to the mask calms my nerves and makes the flight more enjoyable. Don't apply directly to the mask, put a small amount on a tissue and then use that to apply. Gagging on fumes is no fun. Practice at home before you go. Peppermint works well to clear the sinuses, lavender relaxes during the flight and citrus wakes you up a bit when you're getting close to landing. Also stay away from pre-mixed scents that are too perfumey and might annoy your seat mates. Simple ones are best, they dissipate quickly and smell refreshing to others.
Los Angeles, CA USA Wed 06/28/2006
Buy Claritin (or generic) to take with you - whether or not you have allergies. I have never had allergies but if I feel a cold coming on I take a 24 hour Claritin and it will be gone the next day. Now I never travel with out it. I also always bring Tylenol PM on overnight flights. I am a light sleeper and it helps me rest on the plane.
Seattle, WA USA Fri 06/23/2006
cold-fX --- so faaaaar, so good
When travelling to Europe, I've generally found a wide range of products for the common travel maladies -- either exactly the same brands as we have in US or Canada, or very similar in the way they work. I've never been so sick as to require hospital care, so I can't comment on that.
I will say that the one thing I'm doing now right before travelling, that I didn't used to do, is to take Cold-fX, a Canadian product, and I haven't gotten sick while travelling since using it. I continue to take it for about 5 days after my arrival (until I feel my body may have been exposed enough to bugs there.) I understand there another product called Airbourne in US, but never used it. (I'll also take the cold-fx before big presentations, or if I am feeling I'm entering a busy work schedule). The results so far so good. I don't know about Airbourne, but I know Cold-fX has been scientifically tested for no side-effects and its effectiveness (as it's a natural product anyway). I think it's now available in the US. I was not aware of it on my first trip to China, and I got sick. On my last two trips there, I've been fine.
If you have access to that, I'd recommend it to anyone travelling (or entering a situation where you may get rundown). ...aside of course from as much rest and liquids as possible.
Ottawa, ON Canada Wed 06/21/2006
Get in shape for Nothern Italy
We just returned from 2 weeks in northern Italy and Tuscany and have a word of advice to the over 50 crowd who may also be visiting these areas. Try to get in decent physical shape before you go. There are no elevators in most areas but there are millions of steps, literally. Everywhere you go is either up or down dozens of steps. By the end of a long day of sightseeing you have climbed hundreds if not a couple of thousand steps. You will enjoy your vacation much more if you get your legs and cardiovascular system up off the couch and take them around the block a few times each night for a couple of weeks before you leave on your trip. I was in, what I thought, was fairly decent shape for a 52 year old before we left, but the first 3 or 4 days when we were at Lake Como were rough. By the time we left Italy I had lost 7 or 8 pounds, a good inch in my waistline, and was in the best shape I'd been in in many years. A quick word about smoking. I see lots of mention of smoking on these pages. I too am from California where smoking is banned from all public places. If second hand smoke bothers you, try Italy. I think they may have the toughest smoking laws Europe. Smoking here too is banned in most public places. No smoking in trains, restaurants, boats etc. Many people smoke when they are outside, but to tell you the truth I was surprised by how FEW people we saw smoking. Really not many more than you'd see smoking outside in California.
Carmichael, CA USA Wed 06/14/2006
Cold and Flu
I have been reading many of the comments posted on this site and thought I would share my experiences with anyone interested. I travel quite a bit for business and find myself getting sick on airplanes mostly, and have tried this new product in March of this year and in the last 7 flights, I have not gotten sick which is very rare. I researched this product very carefully since I am extremely sceptical of many products. However, this one in particular, which I could say with confidence, does work. It's called Nozin Nasal Sanitizer. An 8 hour anitseptic that kills bacteria and virus that could make you sick. Their website is www.nozin.com and they do seem to have am impressive science team and found out that they have been working on this product for over 4 years. Long time to work on something. I would be out of business by then. Anyway, just thought it might help someone else as it did me. Peter.
London, UK Fri 06/09/2006
I have heard from several sources that suggest purchasing your toiletries in Europe instead of bringing them with you. I'm not knocking this, or implying that European toiletries are inferior-but I do want to caution folks to be careful and know the ingredients in the products you are buying. I was in Venice and I decided to buy some insect repellent at a convienience store. The clerk pointed them out to me and I chose one that said family and tested and safe for children (in Italian). It was like a solid deoderant stick. I am not overly allergic to things and so I didn't think it could be anything too different than what I have used in the states. Fortunately I was back at our hotel when I decided to use it because seconds after I applied it, my skin looked like I had put red paint on the areas where the repellent was. I immediately jumped in the shower and soaped up four or five times, took a second shower, and applied a ton of anti-itch medicine before I was back to normal. so the lesson is this: if you can't read the label, don't buy it. another option is to buy at a pharmacy and asked the pharmacist. They are very helpful and knowlegeable.
Austin, TX USA Wed 06/07/2006
Know your emergency numbers
This is going to sound like a soap opera. This past spring, April and May 2006, my husband, a friend and myself traveled for twenty days through Ireland. During that time my husband passed out on the street in Ennis, due to a food allergy and was taken to the emergency room at the local public hospital, later got a virus that kept him in bed for three days. Three days after he passed out I fell and broke my leg and then got the virus. My first recommendation is that if you are carrying a international cell phone know the country's emergency numbers. In Ireland, they are 999 for a land based phone and 112 for a cell. Second, carry your own over the counter drugs with you from home. Yes, you can buy them in Europe, but when you are in a small, remote cottage and are both sick having your own Imodium with you really helps. Third, in Ireland always ask to go to a private hospital it cost about twice as much. 60 euro in a public hospital emergency room compared to 120 euro in a private hospital emergency room. Also, have a local doctor refer you to the hospital. Irish health care is a real mess. In the public hospitals, the staff is over worked, the patients wait 10 to 12 hours for emergency care and by American standards the hospitals are dirty. If you give up your gurney you sit in a chair for hours. There are no rubber gloves, they still use glass syringes, there were blood sponges on the floor and gurneys had dirty sheets on them. My husband, a medical professional, signed himself out against medical orders as it would take three to four days to get the one halter monitor the hospital had. My experience in the private hospital was total different, it was large and clean and up to date on almost everything. The exception being they didn't have any of the removable braces for my leg that we see in the USA. Fourth, if you can afford it get travel insurance, we use CSA, they charge based on age, and everything went very smoothly. Their basic job is to get you home (they sent my husband and I home business class because of my leg) and then you submit your bill to them. As far as I know BC/BS it the only health insurance in the USA that covers you in overseas. Read you booklet carefully because to get reimbursed for the care you have to follow strict procedures. Fifth, make sure you have one credit card, preferrable VISA or Master Card, to cover any heath expenses because no matter what type of insurance you have it comes out of your pocket first. Now I know this sounds like the trip from hell but overall we a good time. The best thing about Ireland is the people. From the landlord at the cottage we rented extending our visit until we could move on, to the doctor who actually made a house call (the best thing about Irish health care) to our taxi cab driver who took the time to show us how to get our of the airport when we picked up our rental car. Every one was wonderful We are seasoned travelers, spending a least a two weeks every year in Europe, sooner or later something was going to go wrong. We look forward to our next trip to the other side of the pond.
Toms River, NJ USA Mon 06/05/2006
Wal Mart and many drug stores have Ear Plane for adults. Another brand that I prefer because they are more comfortable is Flent Flite Mate. I usually chew gum during takeoff and landing, also. Pseudoephedrine will help some, but you will need to drink plenty of water to combat "dry-mouth".
USA Wed 05/31/2006
http://www.sunguardsunprotection.com/ Great product to use if traveling in intense sunshine area
USA Tue 05/30/2006
I've seen children use EarPlanes (thingies that you stick in your ear) to relieve the pressure, but not sure if they have them available for adults. Check them out at TravelSmith.com. Might find adult-sized ones elsewhere.
Philadelphia, PA USA Tue 05/30/2006
Pressure in ears on planes
I too have had problems with my ears on landing--once I actually got a punctured eardrum which bothered me for weeks after the flight. I discovered that taking decongestants like Sudafed is very helpful in avoiding this problem. Warning, though--these medicines appear to be unavailable in most of Western Europe, so bring a stash from the US before you go.
USA Sat 05/27/2006
Bird flu, food poisoning and all that jazz
Bird flu would have to mutate TWICE before being passable from human to human, and it is caught from handling sick birds. Cooking destroys it even IF a sick bird got to market. If you were sick ON a flight, you did not get food poisoning on the flight-it takes longer than that(not that airplane food isn't by nature sickening). For sinus pressure, take Sudafed(pseudoephedrine) before flying and drink tons of water to thin nasal secretions(and for many other reasons).
USA Fri 05/26/2006
i just need advice against the "pressure` plan", my last trip by plan was horrible, so much pain in my nose, behind my eyes,also in my sinus, really bad pain, so what i have to do ..??? do i have to take some pills.?? if yes, which one !????
greenwich , ct USA Thu 05/25/2006
Not sick, for once!
After being miserably sick the first two trips to Europe, I found the solution on my third trip: Before leaving, get a prescription for cipro/some sort of antibiotics. I felt GREAT my entire trip! Guess those little white pills in my suitcase scared away any illness! :) Seriously, I don't know why I stayed so healthy. I think after living at 7K feet in Colorado for six months, my body loved traveling at sea level. Plus I took tons of B vitamins.
CO USA Sun 05/07/2006
Stay away from the plane food and water!
Good point! Even on domestic flights I never eat plane food or drink the water(unless it's bottled or in those little sealed cup things). Don't trust the water the ice is made out of, either...I bring my own bottle of water and sip Airborne and snack on bananas, granola, etc- then you are not dependent on the flight staff to serve you, can doze when you want AND not get food poisoning!
USA Sun 05/07/2006
Plane food often causes light-severe diarrea. On my flight to London, I spent the worst two hours in the bathroom. To avoid this, eating rice is the best remedy. Cheers!
Orlando, FL USA Sun 05/07/2006
The best advice for jetlag is what Rick Steves said, try getting exercise on your first day there, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and stay up until bedtime the first night. When I arrived In London, I got there at 8pm, too late for sightseeing but too early to go to bed, so I took a walk, checked out the local pubs, unpacked, had supper and a shower. By morning I was ready to go without any jetlag at all.
CANADA Tue 05/02/2006
Getting Rx filled in Paris
Since I have recent experience with filling a prescription in Paris, I thought I'd share! The pharmacies will not accept your pill bottle to fill your meds. They will accept a written prescription on a doctor's pad. (Don't worry about it being in English -- the drugs have the same name and the chicken-scratching doctor code works here, too!) As long as you have that, you can walk into any pharmacy in France and get it filled immediately. The cost is cheap (I think I paid around 30 euros for a month's supply of a medication that would normally cost well over $100 in the US).
Alternatively, I know at least one Paris pharmacy that will accept a fax from your doctor. They speak English, too, which is comforting. The pharmacy is on Rue Castiglione (just off the Rue de Rivoli, by the Tuileries), and the fax number is 1-42-60-44-12.
Paris, France Mon 05/01/2006
Bird flu and eating
Cooking poultry KILLS all bird flu viruses. The only people who have contracted the flu are those who raised and handled the birds extensively. Eat chicken, duck, etc. ENJOY!
USA Fri 04/21/2006
bird flu in Europe
Not to scare anyone here, but on our recent trip to Austria, I was surprised that my husband didn't eat any chicken or other poultry--he's been all over the world and had eaten things that I wouldn't touch even if I was starving. At this point, I think it's safer to eat something else, and with all the wonderful beef, pork, cheese, and vegetable dishes in Europe, it's not too hard. I'm not eating poultry here at home either, by the way...
USA Fri 04/21/2006
Bird flu risks in Europe
I don't think bird flu has mutated into human to human passable yet. The people who have gotten bird flu have been intimately involved with the birds, either butchering them or living with them or something similar. The risks are probably not zero, but aren't very much higher, so far. Don't be intimate with birds and you should be OK. If the flu mutates to be capable of being transmitted from human to human that's another story. What do the "Road's Scholars" think?
USA Thu 04/20/2006
In Need Of A Doctor
I just want to say that we read about it and we had to use it...that is my wife had to find a doctor and we were in Istanbul at the time. We went to one of the largest hotels in town and ask them to recommend a doctor. They sent us to the "American" hospital (which had nothing to do with America !!!) and the result was absolutely fantastic. The fact is, when and if you need help, as they say "go to a large International Hotel and ask" about facilities or doctors.
Joel and Louise
Seattle, WA USA Wed 04/19/2006
Get some moleskin to prevent blisters. There are other similar products to be found in pharmacies or sports stores. Slap a piece on any hot spot before it becomes a blister, or use it where you expect to get a blister.
USA Sat 04/15/2006
Band-Aids have CAUSED blisters for me
In my experience as a hiker who has made poor choices in footwear when serendipity struck (rather than common sense), using Band-Aids to avoid blisters has actually caused them instead. The blasted things roll and twist with movement of your feet in socks and shoes. The gauze pad in a Band-Aid can be more irritating than going without, in my experience.
Best advice? Break in a pair of well-fitting shoes WELL before you go. Know that they aren't going to cause you foot problems. (I just bought a pair of Birkies today that I hope to walk in on a trip in the fall.)
And, if blisters are a problem, use moleskin to ease those spots, not Band-Aids.
If blisters continue to be a problem after you've made best efforts to break in those shoes, bite the bullet and get another pair. Foot pain, for whatever reason, is no fun.
North Attleboro, MA USA Fri 04/14/2006
Water water water
It seems anti-intutitve, but drinking LOTS of water just before and during your flight helps to fight swelling and water retention. Try to drink 2 liters of water a day for at least a week before your trip. On the plane drink AT LEAST 20 oz. (1 bottle)every 5-8 hours, or more often if you can. This is healthy anytime, but especially when you fly!
Charlotte, NC USA Wed 04/12/2006
I think asparagus works well as a natural diuretic, without any nasty side effects. I would like to avoid swollen feet during a long flight to London, other than walking around, keeping feet propped up and avoiding salty foods I can't think of anything else to reduce fluid retention other than something like a water pill, which can leave you dehydrated and prone to fainting. ALso, pad feet with bandaids before you start walking, then blisters won't have the chance to form.
CANADA Wed 04/12/2006
If you cook with out salt, or have high blood pressure it isn't a bad idea to take a diuretic with you on your trip. Almost all restaurant food is salted. And local favorites may really cause problems, we are just back from Spain, where Ham is king, and even those of us without problems experienced swollen fingers.
indpls, in USA Sun 04/09/2006
Cool pill/vitamin contraption
For years I've tried all different lightweight solutions for a prescription and also a vitamin regimen that involves twice daily tablets of several kinds/sizes. I finally found (and just successfully traveled with) a really good one- I got it from REI for about $10.00. Rather than the plastic compartment types that never hold enough, this has 10- days' worth of mini zip-lock bags that are numbered and each slides into a very flat, lightweight folder type arrangement about 4 X 10 inches. I loved being able to just take the day's little bag with me, to take the pills/vitamins with food at a restaurant later in the day. It kept them clean and was moisture- proof, too. Then you can reuse them. There is a place inside the front where you can slide prescription information if you ever were questioned- you could stick the label to the card, etc. I haven't tried this on a longer trip (I was only gone one week). Another advantage was that it fit easily in my purse since I don't like to risk the RX in even my carry- on suitcase. You might check it out!
USA Wed 04/05/2006
Ask your pharmacy- new way to pack pills
Some pharmacies now do a "day by day" blister pack with a blister for each time you take meds during the day and all the pills to be taken at that time in that blister. The "print out" is on the back of the card. You might want to ask your pharmacist about this. Easy to pack!
USA Wed 04/05/2006
Would you recommend carrying medications in their original bottles or set up day to day pills in a weekly pill holder.
Trenton, Ontario Canada Wed 04/05/2006
Having gotten a cold on the RS Italy tour last Sept., I am determined not to get sick when I do the RS trip to Turkey in April. Magellan offers a kit that has Throat Rescue which kills strep A and other harmful bacteria and viruses; Sinus Rescue, a patented spray that kills the bacteria that cause sinus infections; Cold Rescue, a nasal antiseptic spray that kills viruses and bacteria while they're still in your nose and Stomach Rescue for lasting relief from food poinsoning, including staph A, salmonella and E coli. The kit costs $19.85. Also ordered a Hand Clens spray that kills 99% of disease-causing germs inclluding the human corona-virus related to SARS, and Hepatitis A and B all without using water. On the plane I use a saline nose spray to keep my nose lubricated. Happy travels y'all!
Wimberley, TX USA Sat 03/18/2006
Because of being diabetic I always carry a very large supply of two antibiotics with me - IN THEIR PRESCRIPTION BOTTLES! The first is Keflex and is for general purposes. The second is Erythromicin and is for respiratory ailments. They are both very cheap in generic form and your doctor will not object to your request. Best of all, your insurance company will pay for these prescriptions less your co-pay for generic.
Fremont, CA USA Mon 03/13/2006
Cold Medicine in Germany
Dayquil or Nyquil is called "Wick MediNait" or "Wick DayMed" in Germany and is available at all majore drug stores, supermarkets... just like in the US. Pharmacies (Apotheken) follow the European trend to treat colds or the flu homeopathicly - which really does help, too! One of the best homeopathic anti-cold medicines in Germany is called "Meditonsin" and since it's all herbal it doesn't come with side effects.
Frankfurt, Germany Mon 03/06/2006
Bucharest Metro - watch your step deboarding trains!
Greetings, The majority of the Bucharest Metro is safe to use, if you do not mind going up and down stairs to enter, exit or change lines. There is one place you must be very careful of, especially on line 2 which use newer trains than lines 1, 3 and 4, is the southbound platform at Piata Victoriei since it is slightly curved. Note by comparison the lower platform for lines 1 and 3 is a central platform and is fairly straight. There is a slight gap between the train floor and the station platform. The phrase "mind the gap" should be taken very seriously at this station.
Frisco, TX USA Sun 03/05/2006
Travel med insurance
ny USA Mon 02/27/2006
Travel med insurance
My husband and I will be traveling around the world this year. does anyone know of good travel med insurance that includes med evacuation? also is there anything else we should look into before going?
Bass Lake, Ca USA Sun 02/26/2006
I really rely on a self- made first aid kit- after using up most of the bandaids and blister repair supplies on a relative at a family reunion in Italy, I discovered that to buy bandaids required going to a pharmacy, where they were an alarming number of euro and without much "stick"!! The pre- made little kits you can get, even in sporting goods stores, have a lot of stuff you don't really need and not enough of what you do. I always also take a digital thermometer and for longer trips also take a 10- day supply of antibiotic in the RX vial. Especially when traveling with kids...not that in ideal circumstances you would want to play doctor, but when a topical first aid cream isn't healing a cut that is starting to get infected it is nice insurance to have along. Everything can fit in a zip- lock baggie if you take things out of the boxed packaging.
USA Sun 02/26/2006
PACK YOUR COLD MEDICINE
Last May we took a wonderful trip through the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria. When we got to Fussen I came down with a cold and flu. I went to a pharmacy in Munich, hoping to find some Sudafed or cold medication. While the staff was friendly and caring, all they would give me was vitamin C and some herbal medication. RECOMMENDATION: always pack your favorite cold or flu medication as you may have trouble finding a similar product in the local pharmacies.
Tigard , OR USA Sat 02/25/2006
I recently heard on the news that Austria and Hungary recently were approved positive for avian influenza (bird flu). Am I at risk for getting it if I go to Southern Germany, Western Austria, Northern Italy, and Switzerland in July? Or will I not get it? Please respond!!!
USA Wed 02/22/2006
I'm not sure about the vomiting, unless the plane is really turbulent. As a sinus sufferer, though, I do get dizzy, and the dry pressurized cabin, especially on a long flight is difficult. I hit on the solution of taking one sinus headache tablet (it might depend on your constitution and size, the dose- they make me jittery)before the flight (and again towards the end if it's over six hours). That helps a lot, as does drinking water. There are archived opinions and suggestions about jet lag (symptoms, remedies)on this Website. But both dizziness and vomiting can be caused by inner ear "unbalance", which certainly happens on take- off and landings.
USA Mon 02/20/2006
nausea and or vomitting, fainting
Does anyone have any advice on how to avoid that dizzy/nauseated feeling one gets with jet lag? How can I avoid vomitting during my trip? I don't normally suffer form motion sickness or vomitting. Is it the same as jet lag?
B.C. CANADA Sun 02/19/2006
Before boarding any flight, I rub some Neosporin (or some other antibiotic cream) inside each nostril. Got this from a flight attendant friend. It works. No, you can't see or smell it.
Laguna Niguel, ca USA Sat 02/11/2006
I'd like to share a much less expensive alternative to some other filter water bottles on the market. http://giardiaclub.com/water-filter-bottle/index.php
Englewood, CO USA Fri 02/03/2006
Good article on water treatment here:
Slanted towards camping, but explains the enemies and how to prevent water borne illness.
Buffalo, NY USA Wed 02/01/2006
If you are concerned about the water and the various viruses, etc. it can carry, consider a portable UV water sterilizer. They aren't cheap. They are rather compact. Better than getting sick. The Steri-Pen is available at REI
Seattle, WA USA Wed 02/01/2006
Just in case...
Since you've purchased from TravelSmith and Magellans, I thought I'd suggest their heavy- duty mask. Granted it looks paranoid, but I bought a set and just keep one for each family member in a sealed baggie in the bottom of the suitcase- they take up no room or weight. Whether it would actually help or not I really don't know, but...it might give you some peace of mind. In fact, on a horrible domestic flight that was the most crowded I have ever been, the man beside me had some kind of horrible cough. I figured, what the h- and slapped on my mask, since I'd never see him again anyway and it was so gross! It was kind of hard to breathe! But, maybe it worked.
USA Fri 01/13/2006
Water and Flu
If you are concerned about the water, you can get an individual water bottle with built-in filter, effective for viruses, at REI (online). It's light and unobtrusive. My kids used them in India with excellent results (no illness). You really needn't worry about avian flu in Turkey----but for peace of mind, you could ask yor physician for a prescription for Tamiflu to carry "just in case."
USA Fri 01/13/2006