Staying Healthy on the Road
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?
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
Today, I heard Rick mention that in Tangier the natives bury themselves in the sand as a cure for arthritis. The theory behind this practice (called "earthing") is discussed at earthinginstitute.net. Also, instructions for a DIY earthing device can be found at http://www.naturesplatform.com/earthing.html. It's extremely effective, whether you're travelling or not.
Boone, NC USA 10/06/2012
This morning's NYTimes has a column with several solutions to common travel ills. Here is the link.
SF Bay Area, CA USA 08/22/2012
I have a problem with recurring UTI's so when traveling always make sure to carry a supply of the antibiotic that works for me.
Sidney, BC Canada 08/21/2012
Emercency room in Haarlem
I landed in Amsterdam with a face rash - itchy, swollen, red & bumpy. I figured it would go away as I had slept all night on airline pillows. But it was worse next a.m. I went to a Haarlem hospital emergency room on Easter Monday - a national holiday there. I got great care (in English), no charge for the visit, and paid a small fee for oral and topical steroids. I love the Dutch!
Denver, CO USA 04/29/2012
Echinacea for prevention
I have a routine of taking echinacea year-round. Two weeks on, ten days off. I also take a variety of vitamins and minerals, get plenty of rest, and clean my hands with soap or sanitizer regularly. I haven't been sick while traveling for 7-8 years. Yea!
Napa, CA USA 03/21/2012
This fall and winter at home, I've gargled with a mix of hydrogen peroxide and water whenever my throat begins to feel sore or ticklish and have thus far been able to avoid any winter colds. So I was surprised when I could not find hydrogen peroxide at Boots in the UK. (I figured I'd buy it there and not worry about transporting liquids.) They don't sell it. So next time, I'll bring my own. I heartily recommend this trick for staving off colds.
Atlanta, GA USA 03/10/2012
There are several homeopathic anti-jet lag products that really do help with the fatigue ,confusion, anxiety and headaches. One is called No More Jet Lag.
KIrkland Lake, On. Canada 01/22/2012
During my first visit to Paris I came down with a nasty cold. The only thing that helped was a homeopathic product called Coryzalia. By law, in France, homeopathics must be sold.After my return, I soon learned that it is common to get a bad cold from flying. My prevention protocol: take probiotic tablets starting a week before, on any days of travel, whether by plain, train, boat, or donkey, take echinacea,cold fx, and oil of oregano. During my trip to Portugal, last summer, I got lazy. Guess who got a cold. Moi! I hope this helps.
Kirkland Lake, On. USA 01/22/2012
Health Issues + Travel
I have multiple health issues, and am on a lot of prescription and OTC medications. I have made up a "patient Profile" which I keep on my hard drive & print out for any new health care practitioner I see. I also have made up a 4-card (business card blank) which lists my Medical History, Surgical history, prescription medications and OTC medications and supplements. I carry this 4-part card in my wallet.
In addition, as I learned after being trapped in Quintana Roo by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, the cost for prescription meds is very high in other countries. I now travel with an extra 2 weeks supply of all of my medications.
Edmonton, AB Canada 12/08/2011
OTC meds in Italy
Some "drugstore" tips: If you use a pseudophedrine product, an anti-inflammatory that you can't do without, or even a special deodorant that is the only one that works for you, plan to take a sufficient amount with you. These are things I couldn't find in Italy.
Auburn, WA USA 11/27/2011
Watch out for chicken liver pate!
Our city tour ended with a final group dinner on 10/15 at Restaurant Nabuchodonosor in the 7th Arre. Those of us who ate the Chicken liver pate as an appetizer spent our flights home with food poisoning! Research I've now done now shows that as one of the top reasons for food poisoning in France - livers are braised and not always cooked thoroughly.
Chicago, IL USA 10/19/2011
Fainting in the sistine chapel
I was in the sistine chapel in Rome when I suddlenly felt limp and passed out. Just remember if you are going to there to bring water otherwise you can faint.
Avon, CT USA 09/26/2011
We just got back from a wonderful 3 weeks in Germany. We took the overnight train 3 times (Berlin to Munich, and Munich to Amsterdam to Munich) and unfortunately there were bed bugs in one of the couchettes we were assigned, which was suppose to be a T3 cabin. Two days later my wife (who always checks the beds) had over 50 bites on her. Luckily I had none and our daughter just had a couple because she laid on my wife's bed for a short time after we woke up. I would recommend that anyone taking a night train take a flashlight to inspect the beds. The material was very dark on the couchette beds with no mattress to lift up as in the 1st class cabins. Anyone traveling should read up on bed bugs and be prepared and informed. You never know where they'll turn up. Our 1st encounter was in a KOA cabin in N.M. 4 years ago. Nasty bugs! Keep on traveling.
Gloucester Co., NJ USA 08/09/2011
Traveling in Europe with kids with food allergies
Hi, just a quick note to share our experiences in traveling to Paris and Monaco with kids with severe food allergies. We recently spent 10 days in Paris and Monaco with our whole family. We have 2 daughters with severe food allergies. They both have life threatening allergies to peanuts, and severe allergies to eggs and shellfish. We had a friend who was fluid in french translate a detailed statement (Much more effective than the free on line translator) that I printed out and cut in to strips. Each restaurant we went into we would hand the strip to the waiter and would converse in English if we could. All but one place went out of their way to ensure that my daughter's food allergies were well addressed and gave us comfort in eating safely in their establishments. We did learn that most french fries and many other things are cooked in peanut oil in France. So we avoided fries that were not prepared at McDonalds. I also alerted several restaurants in advance on line regarding the allergies. We also went to the markets several times and picked things we knew were safe for picnics. The bottom line is through a little preparation and diligence to the matter, we had a great safe adventure.
Danville, CA USA 07/28/2011
Hospital trip in Rome
My son got a piece of metal stuck in his foot while we where in Rome. Fortunalty we where only about 200 meters from the hospital. At fifteen he is too big for me to carry so we got a cab. The guy was great and when my son fainted stepped on it like a pro ambulance driver! He got us to the Er and never even asked forthe money. I just threw cash at him, hoping it would also cover the mess in his cab when my son threw up. The hospital was great and after a little confusion about why he had fainted they got the rod out of his foot and sent us on our way with no charge. Even the meds were cheap. Infact it may have been our cheapest day in Rome!
Los Angeles, CA USA 07/26/2011
I ate from a salad bar in Seville and got horrible food poisoning. Only eat cooked food!!
la canada, Ca USA 07/15/2011
Hospital in Galway ireland
galway, Ireland. My mother broke her arm falling on a bad cobblestone and she needed surgery to put a plate and screws in. They treated us very kindly and the university hospital was very good . A note to carry your meds list with your insurance card because we needed the list and it was back in the b& b. FYI
Fountain Hills, AZ USA 06/15/2011
Excellent experience in France
I cut my hand badly at our hotel in Paris attempting to use a bike pump to inflate a rugby ball for my boys. I told my wife I would see her later in the day knowing I would miss much of the days activities. It clearly required stitches. The hotel sent me by taxi to the American Hospital in Paris where I was received treatment. The amazing thing is that the entire experience, including the taxi ride, admission, seeing the doctor, getting stitched up, paying for service and my trip back to the hotel took just one hour!
Louisville, KY USA 05/13/2011
Small is best Again
small servings may stop you from digestive problems. I am a Safserve instructor and have asked several mds in the field --Eat small - yes you still might get sick but it helps
Bellevue, WA USA 04/23/2011
Airplane emergency slides
Here's a couple of items about air crew safety training that might interest frequent air travelers. A bit about jumping out of airlines and down the emergency slides, and a couple other training tidbits that could help you if you are ever in an air accident. If you are a bit squeamish about flying, this might help you see how well trained your flight crew is.
Seattle, Wa USA 03/24/2011
Common ailments among travelers are often food/water related. If you eat out at restaurants for every meal, the chances of getting food poisoning or even just eating too many rich foods go up. Cut back on this by going to a grocery store and buying more simple foods - you can almost always find simple breakfast and lunch items this way. This will also give you the opportunity to buy bottled water, even if you're traveling in a "clean water" country, and this can be really helpful. Pay attention to your body on this front - if you drink the water and it makes you sick, buy bottled water! My husband and I always make sure to have a large bottle of water with us in the car or in our room, where ever we travel. So, even if we overindulge at the beerhall, we can still drink a lot of water and feel semi-normal at whichever German castle we hike to next day. Also, bring Immodium and Zantac - just in case. And, if you get really sick, GO TO A DOCTOR! It's ok. A smart thing to do though is research what kind of deal you have to work out with your insurance company regarding the bill for hospital care. Also, if you have a particular medical condition and/or take perscription medicine, have a piece of paper with you that lists your doctor's contact info, describes your condition, and lists your medications/dosages. That way, if you get really sick, the medical providers have what they need to make you feel better. Stay healthy and happy travels!
Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK 02/28/2011
John, even if you eat a small serving you'll get food poisoning if it has it in it. I got severe food poisoning once from 1 raw shrimp. It's not the amount you eat, it's what you eat
Eat small !!
eat small servings to avoid food poisoning . this advice is world wide
Bellevue, Wa USA 11/08/2010
Biking in Austria/ Germany
Watch out for fast moving bikers!! They ride like they are on the autobahn. I have noticed the last couple of years the radweg etiquette is on the decline. You use to get a bell or a warning when you were passed but not any more. I am careful on the trail and have a mirror, but like the autobahn they are on you quickly. I travel about 25-30 km/hr but I still nearly get run off the trail by a herd of fast moving bicyclist. It is most scary when a train is going by and you cannot hear anything. Anyway I always have a great time over there on my bike, just be careful.
seattle, WA USA 08/24/2010
Acupuncture in the Alps
While staying near Bischofhofen in Austria my rotary cuff injury was acting up. I had been planning a hike that day, but learned that there was a harvest festival happening that day and I was very strongly encouraged to attend it. So I did, and it was delightful, but I mentioned to a couple of guys I was drinking beer with that I had a pain in my shoulder and would go back to my room to relax. With great oncern and urgency, they called a local doctor, who was there apparently to see to the health concerns of the fest-goers, with his bag. This kind little gentleman took me into the lobby of an adjacent guesthouse and had me take off my shirt (!!!) and proceeded to apply acupuncture needles to my arm and shoulder, and told me to just sit and stay put for a while. I covered up the best I could with my shirt, and my beer-drinking buddies brought me a beer. I was more than alittle tipsy, by then, I'd been drinking beer in sun all day, so I just sort of dozed off and waited for the doctor to return. When he did, he removed the acupuncture needles and insisted that I go to his office the next day if I still had pain. But wen I woke up the next morning - I was cured!!!! I had a little residual stiffness in the shoulder but it was much, much improved. I never knew that doctors name, it's like he came out of nowhere, didn't charge me a pfennig for his treatment, and my trip was saved!!! They called him der Berg-Arzst, and I never saw him again. I was sort of embarrassed about sitting there in my bra, but after a couple of beers, i forgot about it!!
chicago, IL USA 07/07/2010
Massage therapist in Rome
This is more of a decadence than a medical issue, but getting a massage can make the difference between an enjoyable trip or just pushing through the tension and tired muscles: When in Rome... I recommend Jenifer at the Beehive Hostel near Termini. She is a New York certified MT, an american living in Italy. It was the best, most professional massage I'd ever received. O.M.G. Well worth the mere 35 euro!!
Skagway, Alaska USA 04/28/2010
While traveling in Paris several years ago I had a heart attack. When leaving the hospital, I asked for a copy of my medical record. Imagine my surprise when they simply handed over the record. No copying, no charges! Perfect!
NYC, USA 04/28/2010
Italian Raw Calimari
I ordered calimari in Italy. They gave us raw with no seasoning. I don't think squid is supposed to be served raw even in Italy or any country.
Texas USA 04/04/2010