Category Archives: When on the road

My Travel Tips to staying fabulous from the inside

So, while we covered the necessities of basic travel bag content in the previous articles, there is another critical step in avoiding a holiday abroad unforgettable for the wrong reasons: a visit to the doctor to find out what vaccines you may need depending on your desired destination.iStock-000017522773Small

Even more important is to do this with sufficient time in advance rather than right before hopping on the plane, because most vaccines take up to 2 weeks to start working. Also, some may require repeat shots, such as the anti-rabies or the anti-hepatitis A ones.

Keep your urge of going wild for the adrenaline inducing activities you can join while on the road rather than for the hospital induced experiences you may have to live through if you chose to live life on the edge by not vaccinating before traveling.

Also, it is very good to keep in mind that only a part of the possible diseases which you could end up with can be prevented by vaccination. Should you have any long term or chronic illnesses you better discuss it with your doctor and prepare any needed medication you may need to carry with you.

When traveling overseas, the more exotic the place, the higher the probability that the water quality and food hygiene standards are very different than back home. Add to that a variety of local ingredients your body hasn’t been exposed to previously. So no matter how careful you are with your personal hygiene and how often you wash your hands, you will most probably end up enjoying episodes of the unpleasant gastroenterological troubles, some mild but others pretty aggressive.

In order to stay on top of it, many seasoned tourists will carry upon them some sort of preventive medication at all time – something along the lines of Smecta or Loperamids. Sometimes even some type of antibiotics or medicine against bacterial infections, too.

However, while this may be helping as a quick fix, there are several drawbacks from where I stand:

It is a medicine and this may not get along well with the alcohol you may be consuming while on vacation, testing unnecessarily the patience and strength of your liver.

They may have limited effect: during our trip to Indonesia couple of months back, my significant other insisted on not using the natural remedies I had in my bag. Which meant that few days into our trip he ended up taking his tablets 3 times a day. And had to know his surroundings at all times – meaning where the nearest toilet was for him to make a quick escape in case the medicine would cease to have effect unexpectedly. Basically, his derriere was either on fire or totally glued down for few hours after each tablet.

Indonesia04Me, meanwhile, I chose a different content for my well being: drinking pure Aloe Vera gel every morning on an empty stomach, followed by garlic supplements. Without the less aromatic consequences of consuming loads of fresh garlic, I made sure I could still benefit from the boost to my immune system by this powerful antioxidant; while allowing the Aloe to do its bit in fighting inflammations, help boosting the immune system and improve the function of and the general condition of the gut. Which meant no desperate need to make a run for it unexpectedly, too.

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And no matter how crazy you may be about the local variety of fruits and fresh vegetables, some days you may just not feel you could take one more bite of the dragon fruit. And the weather is so damn hot that while you know you need nutrition, you cannot make yourself eat anything heavy. Or, you may have wandered so far off the beaten path that any half-decent feeding establishment may not be within your reach and having a welcoming dish from a warm smiling local is not an option. Either ways, in such cases a major savior is the protein cocktail: it can be mixed with anything, from simple water to coconut water or milk or soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, etc. I am carrying one package of this powder with me in my small backpack when traveling and it have come handy more than once.

Indonesia croppedHowever, regardless of how well prepared you are and how careful you are, at some point during your trip you are bound to relax and go with the flow. Which may bring also less pleasant consequences, like a nasty sunburn. So, a quick remedy as I also found out from all the massage and beauty salons that are populating the touristic side of Bali coasts, is the same magical Aloe Vera: this time in its topical format. IMG_1949

 

Besides it anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, the Aloe topical gel soothes and calms irritation. It should be part of your first-aid kit and you should apply it generously both on bruised skin due to more rough activities or on sunburns as nasty as mine. Pack some and you won’t regret it!

Have a fantastic trip and make loads of memories!

 

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My travel tips to staying fabulous from the outside

There will be a time and a place that will ask for something more of a fabulous from the outside.

Either a romantic dining experience with your significant other, or maybe a night out with the handsome stranger you met on the water rafting group. Or the gorgeous brunette you are so dying to impress. Or just one beautiful evening or more formal afternoon cocktails event you agreed to attend. Either ways, you better be prepared.

dressWhich means for the gals to always pack along for the trip a nice dress – basic and versatile one, from a fabric that doesn’t require ironing. And that can be easily accessorized with the necklace you just bought the other day from the local crafts & art market. Your own version of the famous little black dress. When choosing the right dress, be mindful not only of how good you look in it, but also of the local customs & social norms of the place you will be wearing it – e.g. you may want to stick to a less revealing model if you plan to travel to the less touristic parts of a Muslim or Hindu territory or state.

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And, for the men, you’d be surprised to discover that many of the more respectable restaurants and clubs do not do shorts & sandals, no matter how good scruffy looks may be on you. Pack along for the trip a pair of light espadrilles and you will thank me later.

Have a fantastic trip and make loads of memories!

 

Pack your bags – vacation started!

Finally, vacation season is starting!!!

Destinations more or less exotic are waiting and alluring us from TV and computer screens or from the windows of the traveling agencies.

However, picking the right destination and securing your lucky ticket to temporary paradise is only the first step.

Your entire trip experience is very much dependent on your smart packing skills.

Whether this is your first trip or your hundredth trip, it’s always helpful to have a rundown of what items you may want to pack so you have a travel checklist.

And, to save you the trouble of going through tens and hundreds of such lists, we reviewed many of them and wiped together the mother of all lists for you.

Step 1: Collect Important Travel Documents, Cash, and Credit Cards

Think about including the following documents:

  • Passport/visa(s)
  • Personal ID, including a student ID card if you have one
  • Frequent flyer card(s) and other loyalty program cards such as a hotel or hostel
  • Cash (multicurrency also) and credit card(s)
  • Health insurance cards/document(s)
  • Travel insurance info
  • Reservations and itineraries
  • Hotel and/or tour contact information
  • Transportation tickets (plane, train, bus, car, etc.)
  • Emergency contacts and important addresses

It’s always a good idea to double-check your passports and IDs aren’t expired. You’ll also might want to inform your bank if you’re traveling abroad so they don’t assume fraudulent activity and freeze your card.

Useful tip: email yourself a copy of your passport, driver’s license, medical cards and itinerary, so if anything happens to them you’ll be able to access them online.

Trust me: it is all worth the bother. And while are at the safety tips, make sure the place you’ll be staying at has a safety deposit in the room or at the reception and place your valuables in there, including your travel documents and carry with you copies of it plus your driving license. It was THE one thing that saved my otherwise fabulous vacation in Vietnam from ending in a total disaster after my purse was snatched from me by a skilled rider on a motorcycle during a leisurely tour around Ho Chi Min city on the motorbikes with my friends.

Step 2: Prepare Carry-On Bag

The next thing you’ll want to do is prepare your personal item carry-on bag with anything you’ll want with you on the flight. It’s always a good idea to make sure you have an outfit (or two) and a few essential toiletries in your personal item just in case your luggage is lost. If you’ll be travelling with kids remember to take something that will keep them entertained, otherwise the never ending story of “Are we there yet?” will not only keep you entertained, but also all co-passengers.

Step 3: Organize Your Stuff

When you have many different types of activities making sure that you have all you need and at the same time don’t book a shipment container to have enough space for your stuff can be a challenge. Having options doesn’t necessarily mean you need to over-pack. Just pack smart. Include clothing that can be worn on your adventures and then dressed up slightly with a different pair of shoes and a scarf.

Here are items you don’t want to forget:

  • Lightweight clothing that can be layered
  • Shirts
  • Pants and/or shorts
  • Socks
  • Sweaters
  • Jacket
  • T-shirts
  • Belt
  • Sleepwear
  • Underwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • A swimsuit or swim trunks

Step 4: Pack Your Toiletry Bag

If you’re carrying on, keep your toiletry bag light and TSA-compliant. The TSA’s rule is easy to remember: liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be 100ml or less per container and they must be in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. Having checked luggage gives you more packing freedom, of course

The Toiletry Bag Basics

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
  • Hair brush or comb, hair ties, bobby pins
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Sunscreen
  • Make up
  • Face wash and/or makeup remover wipes Moisturizer
  • Lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Extra contacts, solution, and case

Most of wives believes that they are responsible for her husband’s packing  by default. If you are one of them then probably this part of the list will also have the mandatory 2 in 1 shower gel, “his” tooth paste & toothbrush and the deodorant. And, sometimes, a shaving kit.

Step 5: Pack Your Day Bag

A lightweight, versatile day bag can be used in a variety of ways and help you stay comfortable and prepared.

Hallelujah! You are done with your packing! If you want to take it to the next level and pack like a pro, here are some packing hacks you can use.

Last, but not least:

Step 6: Prepare Your Home

  • Arrange care of pets and plants
  • Arrange regular mailbox emptying
  • Pre-pay bills
  • Prearrange school absences for children
  • Empty refrigerator
  • Unplug appliances
  • Turn down water heater
  • Turn off washing machine taps
  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Set up timed light system if possible
  • Store valuables in a safe place
  • Leave house key and trip itinerary with a trusted friend or relative
  • Reconfirm/check-in online with airline

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Use our Travel Checklist.

Have a fantastic trip and make loads of memories!