Tag Archives: #cruise

What Every Savvy Traveler Should Pack in Their Pharmacy

 

In the middle of cold and flu season, it is a struggle to stay healthy, especially when you are far from home.  Time is so precious when you are on the road.  You may be on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Antarctica, but you won’t fully enjoy your trip if you are sick.  When illness strikes, having a medication “pharmacy” bag can make all the difference.

This is a true story.  I was on a beautiful Mediterranean cruise.  The ports were amazing.  The ship was magical (actually, the Disney Magic).

One day, I was on a ‘beach day’ excursion.  Walking along the sand in only knee-high water, an excruciating pain shot through my foot.  Something venomous had stung me.  I never saw what it was, but it caused extreme pain and swelling.

I saw the ship’s doctor.  He gave me crutches and recommended applying heat to break down the toxin.  With severe pain and swelling, I could not walk on the foot.

The next day’s port was Rome.  My tour was not wheelchair accessible, but I wasn’t about to miss my first visit to Rome!  I hobbled along on crutches.

While it was not ideal (I can’t remember most of what I saw that day in the Vatican Museum), I was glad for good friends, and the medications I had brought along with me…my personal “pharmacy.”

There’s a lot to be said for packing light, but I come prepared with my medications bag.  I tell people that I travel with a pharmacy.  It is compact, but effective.  And it is much easier than finding medications while on the road. (Believe me, I’ve been there!)

Your medication ‘pharmacy’ bag should be with you, in your carry-on bag, at all times when traveling.

Your medications should never be in your checked luggage.  You never know when you might need a medication, and meds may be very difficult to replace if lost.

On what I call ‘moving days’ — days of flying, train rides, switching hotels — have this bag with you, and not checked in.

Gather your prescription medications.

All your essential prescription medications are your first priority.  Whether you’re going away for a weekend, or a month-long adventure — bring your medications!

It is a good idea to bring a written copy of your prescriptions, or at least a medication list.  This is helpful in case meds need to be replaced, or in case of an emergency.

Savvy Traveler’s Tip:  How to pack your medication pharmacy 

I have found that packing medications into individual Snack-size zip-top bags really saves space!

Continue reading What Every Savvy Traveler Should Pack in Their Pharmacy

Surprising Ups and Downs We Encountered During our River Cruise — an Avalon Impression Review

 

The Avalon Impression (2014) is a beautiful new ship in the Avalon fleet.  I am reviewing this as a ‘hotel’ because it is your floating hotel along the rivers of Europe.  Our cruise sailed from Budapest, Hungary to Amsterdam (14 days) in August 2015, and was filled with many surprising ups and downs.

Avalon Impression
Avalon Impression
The Small Ship Difference

This was our first river cruise.  We had been on many ocean cruises, ranging from 3600 passengers to ‘small ships’ of about 650 passengers.  This was much smaller.

The Avalon Impression holds about 166 passengers — there were 150 passengers on our sailing.  The Impression has 67 Suites, and 16 outside staterooms with windows (lower, Indigo deck)

The front desk reception (also your Security team), knows each passenger by name and stateroom number.  There is a lost and found, where things that are lost might actually get found!

You get to know your fellow passengers with only 150 people on board.  River cruise passengers tend to be friendly, social people who want to get to know you.  If you don’t enjoy meeting new people, then river cruising will be more challenging for you than ocean cruising.

Avalon Impression Panorama Suite
Avalon Impression Panorama Suite, photo from the Avalon Waterways Website
Suites and Bathrooms

The Panorama Suite cabins are large with beds that face French balconies that open up almost wall-to-wall.  This French balcony design maximizes your personal cabin space, Continue reading Surprising Ups and Downs We Encountered During our River Cruise — an Avalon Impression Review

10 Must-Have Smartphone Apps for the Savvy Traveler

 

Smartphones are indispensable in our daily lives.  While in our country, I can check the weather, plan a route home that avoids traffic, research restaurant reviews, and update my Facebook account (not while driving of course) without thinking twice about how to connect to a network.

Having the right smartphone apps can enhance your travel experiences.  As I have shared in previous blogs (7 Tips to Save Your Cell Phone During International Travel and 8 Must-Have Smartphone Communication Apps for Travel), it is wise to leave your smartphone in ‘Airplane’ mode while out of the country.

Therefore, it is very important that phone apps used while overseas work offline, or with Wi-Fi.  Here, I share some more apps I have found particularly useful while traveling.

Currency App Pic

Currency – (Free) or XE Currency (Free).

Having a foreign exchange app is important to understand how much you’re actually getting for your dollar.  Before traveling, check the exchange rate of the countries that you will be visiting.  Updated currency exchange rates can be updated with a Wi-Fi connection while abroad.  Right now, the euro is incredibly low against the US dollar.  Time to go to Europe!! Continue reading 10 Must-Have Smartphone Apps for the Savvy Traveler