Ten Health & Safety Travel Tips
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 travelers 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, don not pack them. Lock medicines in the hotel safe. If you use a diaphram, do not wash it in iffy water, but 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 head 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 prone 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. If you are married, bring an inexpensive substitute. 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 the PMate, a nifty invention that is light-weight (fits into an envelope), made of a sturdy disposable coated cardboard and is very discreet. http://www.pmateusa.com
10.Clean water and avoiding buying water: Consider purchasing a simple water filtration system. SteriPEN, for example, has many options available at www.steripen.com.
A complete list of medicines and more technical information will be given by an experienced physician. Always remember to visit an infectious disease physician before leaving the country. In-depth travel consultations and vaccinations from travel experts can be life-saving. If you live in New Jersey, make an appointment with the experts at Travel Care by calling 888-830-5970 or speak with a primary care physician in your area for a referral.
By: Jennifer Sussman, of Travel Care, a subsidiary of ID Care. For more information on travel medicine with ID Care: 1-888-830-5970
By Phyllis Stoller, of The Women’s Travel Group For more information on travel for women with www.thewomenstravelgroup.com: 1 800-480-4448