Before you travel anywhere, prepare, prepare, prepare!
Take a tube of antiseptic wipes. Use them to wipe off door handles, drawer knobs, closet handles, light switches, the TV remote and the room safe, and do not forget to wipe the telephone and receiver buttons.
In short, wipe down anything you think someone else has handled or touched in your room before you arrived at your hotel or cabin.
Wherever you go, carry a small bottle of disinfecting soap that does not need water. We use this after handling menus, railings, carts and rental wheelchairs. Again, use this after handling objects that are not yours.
Use this in place of washing hands with soap and water, but try to wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible.
We have found these two tips to be a great preventative measure.
Spraying a disinfectant into air conditioning vents helps to prevent germs from spreading. We also use this liberally in the bathroom. We wear thong sandals in the shower. This can help prevent nasty foot problems.
Before leaving home, make sure you have all your prescription medicines, including a little extra, just in case. Take a list of all your medications with you. For extended stays away from the United States, carry pre-written prescriptions in case you need them later.
Over-the-counter medications, such as headache pills, cold and allergy pills, antacids, anti-diarrhea tablets, etc., should also be in your luggage. These are some items we suggest you consider taking along since they can be costly or difficult to get depending on where you are traveling.
Before leaving, ask your county health department if inoculations are required and if they're aware of any disease outbreaks.
Also, it is advisable not to drink unbottled water in most foreign countries. Iced drinks should also be avoided. For instance, in China, we were told to use bottled water, even for brushing our teeth. Not all places in which we stayed provided bottled water, so we had to purchase this on our own.
Making sure you are prepared for any health problems, while traveling, can make a difficult situation easier to handle.
This brings us to the question of medical insurance for travel. Be advised that most personal insurance you have in the States does not cover you abroad, even on a three-day cruise to the Bahamas. Check with your medical insurance company. If you are not covered abroad, medical insurance for travel is a must. Your travel agent is well-prepared to handle your needs in this regard.
Rose Mascarenhas is a travel consultant with Gadabout Travel in Sebastian. Call (772) 589-0633.
Gadabout Travel also has an office in Melbourne. Call (321) 253-3674.