Thursday, July 28, 2005

Vacation Pre-Planning

It won't be long now and we'll be on our "cruise". It will be our first. We are going with some "seasoned travelers" and I'm sure their advice will be well taken. What to take; what not to take etc. Will I get sea sick? (I used to take my classes on the Whale-Watching Cruises and I took a pill then. That was just around the harbor out of Newport. It was in a very small boat though). Of course we checked the internet for reports from previous "cruisers". We're still a bit anxious and cautious.

I happened across an article in a recent issue of the Press Enterprise by Michael Precker from the Dallas Morning News. He makes some sensible suggestions that I'd like to share here: He quotes a doctor who counsels globe-trotting students from Cal Tech. She suggests that you try to stay healthy, not only during, but before the trip by consulting a doctor for vaccinations that might be required. Make sure yours are up-to-date and whether your destinations requires any others. Check your health insurance to see if you'll be covered away from home and for the evacuation flight. You might want to look into extra coverage. (We have done this with a cruise we've booked for next year in the Mediterranean, Greek Isles to Istanbul. It cover preexisting conditions too). Go on the net and check for conditions and requirements medical at Learn the acronym TD...that stands for traveler's diarrhea and millions of people get it. (In Italy, I had just the opposite condition and it was "murder"). Be wary of the local tap water and ice. Look through a local phone book, once you are there for medical facilities, drug stores etc. (I'll never forget having to find a drug/drugstore, a hotel doctor prescribed in Baja when our guys got stung by jelly fish. Good thing I spoke some Spanish at the time.)

The International Society of Travel Medicine and the International Assoc. for Medical Assistance to Travellers have lists of doctors and cllinics around the world. Keep hydrated. Dry air on the plane can bring headaches and dry out mucous membranes, which might leave you more susceptible to germs.

Keep your blood flowing. Hours of sitting in a cramped position (like me on a plane) can lead to swollen feet, leg cramps and even dangerous clots. Avoid alcohol. Not only will it dehydrate you , its effects are intensified in the air. Too much coffee and tea can also dehydrate. Wash your hands every chance you get or use sanitizer gel. Avoid touching everything. Share meals at restaurants so you don't over eat...yeah right, on a cruise? Think of ways to build in physical activities of all kinds...that you can handle.

Here are some suggested items not to forget:
*sunscreen and a hat *anti-diarrhea medicine *extra pair of glasses *eye drops *medical insurance card *insect repellent *anti-itch cream for bites *anti-allergy kit *prescription medications *a separate list of your prescriptions *aspirin *antihistamine *decongestant *tweezers (for splinters or ticks) *band-aids

We won't be gone that long this time. It won't be too challenging. Of course,I won't probably get to blog...and that is an exercise I need. Oh well, I might have to engage in the "art of conversation" Bob


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