Archive for the 'Safety' Category

Ten Tips for Women’s Travel Health

(photo credit: onlymyhealth.com)

Women, if you’re like me, when planning to travel, you’ve got your agenda planned, your wardrobe to match the adventure you are about to embark upon and a child-like smile plastered to your face thinking about the sites you are about to see. Health issues while traveling could put a serious damper on your anticipated plans.  We asked Founder of Women’s Travel Club, Phyllis Stroller, to share a few health tips for women travelers:

1.     Menstruating Overseas:    Tampons are not sold in many countries. Pads, which come in a long roll and are cut by a pharmacist, are NOT sanitary. Bring your own supplies.
2.     Yeast infections and UTI’s:   Women get urinary infections due to skimping on drinking water.  Yeast infections also occur after one has taken or is taking an antibiotic. Carry Monistat, Canestan cream, or a single dose tablet, Diflucan. Eat yogurt if available.
3.     Safe sex, even with your husband:    Carry birth control pills, do not pack them. Lock medicines in the hotel safe.  If you use a diaphram, do not wash it in iffy water. Bring trustworthy condoms; local products may be harmful.
4.     Medical records:   Always visit a travel doctor before taking a trip, especially to an exotic locale.  List all vaccinations + medicines  (the latter in the generic).  Bring your eyeglass prescription.
5.     Dress modestly:   Notice and adhere to local customs.  Scarves, that cover shoulders and heads, are invaluable and light. Pack socks for walking shoe-less in temples and mosques.
6.     Protect your skin:  Carry a foldable hat. Sun-proof clothes with RIT Sunguard Laundry Treatment. In insect  areas, slather on high SPF lotion, spray yourself and clothes with DEET.  Remember the higher the DEET, the longer the protection-make sure to read the labels!
7.     Proof of parentage:   If you plan to cross borders with children, be prepared with proof of parentage or guardianship. Single parents need a letter from the absent parent with permission for children to leave the country. If separated or divorced, have copies of legal documents regarding custody rights for minors traveling with you. These are important if children need medical treatment abroad.
8.     Wedding rings and jewelry:   Ward off unwanted male attention by wearing a wedding band.  Make sure it is not tight; many women find feet and hands swell on long flights.
9.     The bathroom:    We’ve all hovered over filthy toilets. Welcome PMate, a nifty light invention (fits into an envelope), made of a sturdy disposable coated cardboard- very discreet.
10.  Clean water and avoiding buying water:   Consider purchasing a simple water filtration system. SteriPEN  has many options at www.steripen.com.

Useful Health Tips for Women Travelers provided by Phyllis Stroller. For more women travel tips please visit: www.womentravelclub.com  
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What apps are best for overseas travel?

With the help of modern technology – i.e. smartphones – traveling to a new country or city has never been easier. Here is a great list of travel apps to check out.

1.  Viber
There’s a wide range of apps out there that offer travelers and expats an opportunity to keep in touch with their friends and families back home. One such example is Viber, an application that allows iPhone users to make free phone calls to fellow iPhone users no matter where in the world they are. Providing you and the call recipient both have iPhones, then international calls using Viber or Wi-Fi are completely free of charge.

2.  iMetro
iMetro is a handy app that provides metro/underground transport maps for 28 cities throughout the world. Each map is scalable and you can manipulate the screen to zoom in and find your way.

3.  HiConverter
Can’t quite get used to the measurement systems in place abroad? HiConverter is a very handy app that quickly converts measurements from one system to another. Temperature, shoe sizes, distance, currency; you name it, it can convert it. The app also has the added advantage of being integrated with Tiptulator, an app that allows you to calculate the tip on a restaurant or bar bill.

4.  iLingual
ILingual is a fun app that steals your lips and transforms them into multilingual speakers. You simply take a photograph of your lips (or someone elses’ for a more comedic effect), choose the phrase you would like to say in the foreign language and then hold your iPhone over your face where you lips are to create the effect that you are speaking the words. At the very least it will get a few laughs! The app is currently only available in French, German and Arabic.

5. XE Currency
XE Currency is a very popular app because it allows for very quick currency conversions and is capable of performing multiple conversions at the same time. The currency rates can refresh every 60 seconds meaning that you have the most up to date rate available at your fingertips. You can also program the app so that it automatically tracks the performance of a number of different currencies over time, great for expats who are investments in a variety of locations.

6. Word Lens
Word Lens is one of the newest apps on the scene and it has caused quite a stir. The app offers a new approach to translation that is based on images and goes significantly further than many other translation apps have been able to go. At present it only offers Spanish to English translations but more languages are planned in the future.

7. Weatherbug
Weatherbug is a great app to save, and track, the weather conditions in up to 20 locations throughout the world and offers live webcam views of the weather in action.

8. Tourcaster Walking Tours
For travelers or newly arrived expats who are interested in exploring on foot without being armed with an attention-grabbing tourist book, the Tourcaster audio walking tours app offers walking tours in popular destinations throughout the world. Load your virtual map and follow the onscreen instructions to explore the city and learn more of its history. Each tour is categorized according to difficulty, length and distance so you can fit your tours in around your schedule and explore at your own pace.

Thanks for the information, George Eves, serial expat and founder of Expat Info Desk, a comprehensive online information resource for expats worldwide.

Stop-over in Lima, Peru Is it Safe? What do do?

Historic Distric in Lima

Lots of trips to Machu Picchu and the other South American destinations stop in Lima for 8-18 hours.  When my husband and trekked in Peru many years ago — Machu Picchu, the Cordillera Blanca — we too had a long lay-over in Lima.  Recently I returned to Lima en route to Easter Island and discovered how much we’d missed on the first visit.

The photos tell a story of what there is to do. Enjoy but beware.

TRAVEL TIPS

There are pick-pockets, so leave your jewelery at home. Our guide told us that gold items; earrings, watches, are of particular interest to thieves who will grab and run.

Leave valuables in the hotel safe, and wear your ID and credit cards, and cash in a money belt or interior pocket under your clothing.

Remember the hour of sunset. A neighborhood that was bustling with activity during the day may quickly be deserted after dark and not be safe. Ask locals what and where is safe. Spend the extra money for a cab.

For more safety tips go to my website, Gutsy Traveler and click on the Travel Tips / Safety:

http://www.gutsytraveler.com/traveltips/tips/safety.html

Larco Museo, Marvelous Collection of Moche Pots

What to do during a lay-over in Lima?

Mira Flores area of Lima. See all the surfers?

Again, friends asked me if Lima is safe for tourists. That depends upon where you go and how savvy you are. I recommend you hire a guide for the day.  Mountain Lodges of Peru has day guides, and Roberto, our charming, well-educated guide  was excellent.  He showed us all the highlights — Plaza San Martin, San Isidro, Miraflores, Museo Larco — and he saved us time, and ensured our safety. (By the way, Mountain Lodges of Peru’s website is awesome. You’ll want to spend more time in Peru after perusing the site).

Larco Museum, Inca Gold


About Marybeth Bond

Marybeth Bond is the nation’s preeminent expert on women travel. She is the award-winning
author-editor of 11 books.

Marybeth has hiked, cycled, climbed, dived and kayaked her way through more than seventy countries around the world.

She was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Marybeth has appeared on CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, National Public Radio and National Geographic Weekend.