Staying Healthy on the Road: 2008
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?
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wash hands frequently
I pack a first aid kit with antibiotic ointment, nasal decongestant, saline eye drops, ibuprofen, and bandaids and melatonin. I carry a small bag with few of these items in my purse so I always had access to them. Ginger is good for upset stomach and indigestion. I would take a Ginger Chew and dissolve it in my hot tea - very tasty. I also packed a LOT of hand sanitizer wipes, and used them frequently. I avoid touching my face with my hands. If you don't carry sanitizer, wash your hands with soap and rub for at least thirty seconds ( sing Happy B-day silently to your self while scrubbing). If you do not have a spleen, I would see your doctor before your trip and make sure you have received a pneumovax for protection from certain bacteria that spleen-less people are more susceptible to.
Springfield, IL USA Wed 11/05/2008
Rick's guidebook a lifesaver
While on a cycling tour in France my traveling companion had a diabetic crisis (DKA) in the middle of the night. Thanks to Rick's guidebook, I found the number to dial for emergency medical care (15) and an ambulance came right away. She was in intensive care for 5 days. Very thankful we bought trip insurance (AIG) which covers medical expenses not paid by her regular insurance company.
Oklahoma City, OK USA Wed 10/15/2008
Drinking in Flight
I didn't bother buying alcohol when United first started charging for it on their flights across the Atlantic. I felt better when I arrived and surmised that what I previously thought was jet lag may well have been more of a "hang-over" from too much free booze.
Sacramento, CA USA Sun 09/07/2008
RE: Sleeping pills
Advil PM works great because it is a mild sedative/sleeping agent, but does not make you groggy like a narcotic sleeping pill would. You can still be woken up if necessary when you take Advil PM.
Boulder, CO USA Mon 08/18/2008
Sleeping pills during the flight
About taking sleeping pills during your overnight flight—I've been told that you shouldn't take sleeping pills in-flight, because if there's an emergency, you might be too groggy to respond well.
Maybe a flight attend could respond and let us know what to do or not do.
Berkeley, CA USA Thu 08/14/2008
Overcoming the stress of time zone change
I find getting at least 8hrs a night and getting up 1 hour earlier each day 3-4 days before the trip helps the transition. I drink a lot of water on the flight over and after I arrive. I sometimes use a tylenol PM on the flight to help me sleep. Upon arrival I rent a bike for an hour or 2 then if needed take a short nap in the afternoon. Historically my flights have arrived in the early morning Europe time. So it does make for a long first day and the nap can help. The most important thing is listen to your body. Dont start off exausted. When I follow this routine I have always felt great and not gotten sick during the trip. I am now leaving for my 6th adventure to Europe.
Bakersville, nc USA Fri 07/11/2008
Doctors in Florence
While traveling in June 2008 with my mother, she developed bronchitis. Using Rick's information on "How to Get Medical Care in Florence", we were able to call a doctor who came to our hotel on a Sunday evening at 10 pm. Well worth the 150 Euros! He was excellent and we were able to purchase the needed medicine at the Farmacia near the Duomo. Medical care is different abroad, but this one section in Rick's book made it worth the purchase price! Thanks to Rick for including such important information!
Annapolis, MD USA Sat 06/28/2008
While there are no specific immunizations required for travel to Europe it is advisable to have your immunizations up-to-date. It is recommended that you have your TD vaccination every ten years. It's good to have just incase you are injured while on the road. Also, dual protection against Hep A&B is a good idea. Contracting it could be as simple as a contaminated ice cube in your drink or first aid with infected tools.
Canada Wed 05/07/2008
Waterbottles Containing BPA
Beware Bisphenol A. It can be found in many plastic containers and waterbottles. Health Canada has recently issued alerts. Major Retailers in Canada are pulling BPA Waterbottles from the shelves. It is reported that PC and code 7 in the recycling triangle could mean that BPA is found in the product. Many cities are not equipped to recycle "Code 7" plastics. Many will end up in landfill. Well known brands are now marketing non-BPA waterbottles as alternatives for those who do not want waterbottles containing BPA. BPA is linked to Cancer and other serious health issues.
Canada Mon 04/21/2008
Asprin for Cardiac Emergencies
It is proven that early administer of Asprin is beneficial in Cardiac Emergencies. There is a new product out by Asprin called "Asprin Express Pack". It is flavoured Asprin in powder form. It must be taken dry, without water. The express pack is ideal. Or you can chew one regular Asprin dry. Or two daily 81mg low dose, dry. Chewable or Powdered format is easiet to take. Regular is difficult to chew dry. Must be taken dry as to enter bloodstream fastest. Carry some at all times. It could save your life, a loved one or even a stranger. Speak to your Health Care Provider for details. Learn First Aid. Don't leave home without it!
Canada Fri 04/11/2008
Sleep and a good drugstore
Getting enough sleep is really important. I took Tylenol PM on the plane ride over to London as well as each night to help settle down. It wasn't frivolous as my feet ached and needed the extra help. Also, wear earplugs )and a sleep mask, if need be) and enjoy sleeping in your own "cone of silence."
Also, London has tons of Boots drugstores if you need anything health-related.
Cary, NC USA Tue 02/12/2008
Trash in Naples
Not sure if people are really aware of the trash situtation in Naples. It is an ongoing problem & no fix for it in sight. Be aware that in the summertime it could smell bad. Don't know when the problem will be resolved.
Ghedi, Italy Sat 02/09/2008
We get travel insurance via Travel Guard. We have Blue Cross here at home and it will pay for overseas medical expenses after the fact (be sure to go on your insurance's web-page - Blue Cross has a form you must submit after being admitted to a hospital OVERSEAS for best coverage results). Travel Guard is a cheap insurance safeguard for really really serious problems - like med-evac flights. My friend's father had a heart attack in Ireland and the med-evac etc. was $28K (private plane and so on) - all covered by Travel Guard. And no, they couldn't get him on a regular commerical flight - regular airlines wouldn't accept him even with 4 first class seats to include a nurse and physician. You'll hopefully never have to use it but it's a cheap "if awful happens" safeguard. A $100 on a 2 or 3K vacation is cheap. And pay God you never need it. Like home owners insurance - spoken from one who lived through (with house intact if somewhat smoke damaged) in San Diego.
USA Sun 01/06/2008