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Seeing new places and experiencing different cultures and life-styles is always exciting.

Traveling out of the Country

Vacation times are always exciting; However, your body is used to your life-style, sleeping habits, and your normal diet; any variation from that can cause your body to respond in a not so positive way.  This is especially true if one is traveling to another country where food preparation and drinking water is very different than what you and your body is used to.  

If you are planning a trip to another country, you should plan well in advance and research what types of vaccinations you might need before entering that country.  The people living in that country are generally immune to the diseases or ailments that visitors from other countries are not.  Talking with a travel agent or researching online should be done months in advance prior to your trip. 

Things you need to research are:

  • Types of foods that are common to that country
  • Drinking water purification techniques
  • Types of known diseases that non-locals can easily be infected with

You will also want to get acquainted with the language if it is a non-English speaking country.  A basic knowledge of important words will be extremely important; especially if you get lost and can’t find your way back to your hotel. 

Suggestions for Long Road Trips

These suggestions don’t only apply to traveling outside the country you live in; there are many different types of cultures within your own country that you should be aware of.  You should plan your trip and have a good itinerary of where you are going and which route you will be taking to get there.  If you are driving, utilize the online maps that give you step by step directions to help you from getting lost.  Knowing where you are going and feeling secure will make your trip more enjoyable.

If you are driving to your destination, try not to blend in and not be easily noticed as a tourist; a great many thieves prey on tourists and will take every opportunity to ruin your vacation by breaking into your car while you are sight-seeing. 

When traveling long distances there are many things you need to consider before packing up and heading out for your destination. 

The following are just a few examples of what you should always have on hand and things you should do before you begin your trip:

  • Have your car tuned up, oil changed, tires checked, and make sure you have an adequate spare tire and jack.
  • Check with your car insurance company about road-side assistance; if it isn’t included on your plan, you should consider adding it; it can save you a great deal of money should your car break down along the way.
  • Plot your destinations and know how long it will take you to get from one place to another.  If you are taking a long road trip and wish to visit landmarks along the way, be sure to include amble time to enjoy those places.
  • Make hotel reservations in advance; don’t just assume you will be able to find a room once you reach a certain destination. 
  • Research online for special rates on hotels and sight-seeing packages.  Many hotels offer shuttles to specific landmarks; this will save you time, stress, and gas.
  • Pack according to the climate you are visiting; it may be hot where you are but the region you are visiting might not be as warm.
  • Always leave an itinerary with your friends or family so they know where you should be on certain days.
  • Keep a list of medications you take regularly along with a list of names and phone numbers of family and friends to contact in your wallet, glove compartment, or purse in case of an unfortunate accident while you are traveling.
  • Have a cellular phone available to you in case of emergencies. 
  • Use traveler’s checks instead of cash; they can be replaced if stolen.

You want your trip to be enjoyable but you also want to be safe and conscious of the fact that anything can happen and you should be prepared for such events.    All too many times people take off on vacation and don’t consider many of these things that are listed and end up having a miserable vacation because they weren’t prepared. 

Traveling With Children

If you are taking a long road trip with young children you should be well prepared for their needs.  Some things to consider are:

  • Snacks and drinks that is accessible without having to stop too often.
  • Pack a first-aid kit for the inevitable cuts and scrapes your child will most likely get.
  • Toys or games to keep your child occupied during a long road trip will make the ride more enjoyable for everybody.
  • Plan to make stops more often as children need to expend energy or else they get restless and fussy. 

You shouldn’t dread a long road trip; you should look forward to it and all the new things you will experience along the way.  No road trip is complete without having some type of problem, be it traffic jams, a bad hotel, rainy days, etc, but if you plan ahead and prepare for such events, you can lessen the frustration of these events dramatically.

To enjoy your traveling experience be aware of the foods you eat, the water you drink, and the environment around you.  It is probably best to only drink bottled water as water purification plants vary from state to state or even town to town.  One drink of bad water can cause your body a world of hurt and make for an unpleasant experience.  When it comes to experiencing different types of foods, do so gradually to see how well your body reacts to different foods you are not accustomed to eating.  I suggest that if you are traveling with children; try to keep their meals as close to what they are used to eating as their little bodies are not as well designed to adjust to new types of foods.  One of the most important things to always have on hand when on a long road trip is Pepto-Bismol and motion sickness bags; I never travel without them and I am sure you will thank me, repeatedly, for making that suggestion. 

  • kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/family_travel.html
  • familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/travel/311.html

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