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A checklist for the traveller

Summertime means vacations. Whatever type of vacation you are planning and wherever you are planning to head this summer, it just wouldn't go waste to provide you a last minute checklist. We know you know it all but one needs a reminder, what do you say? So here they are some valuable travel tips and a general travel guide to making sure you have a pleasant time on your holiday. Enjoy!

Before You Go...
The Proper Documents:

Make two copies of your passport, driver's license, tickets, itinerary, visas and other important documents. Leave one set at home with a relative or friend and keep the other with you in a separate place from the real documents.

If staying abroad in one country for several weeks or more, register with your Country's embassy or consulate.

Get your shots: be sure you have the required vaccinations for the countries you are visiting. Your doctor, travel agent or the embassy can help you determine what you need. Also, contact the Center for Disease Control at 404/639-3311 for updates on current epidemics.

Keep a card with your doctor's name and contact information and a list of your medications and allergies with you at all times. Take 2 prescription bottles with you: one for carry on and the other in your checked luggage.

Leave the valuables at home. The less you worry about something being stolen or lost, the more enjoyable the trip. Travel with fake jewelry and have more fun.

Invest in a fanny pack or money belt. You'll feel safer and be safer if your money, passport and other valuables are strapped to your body and not in a purse or bag, especially when in a crowd.

While travelling:

  • Carry your passport, other travel documents and your money separately. You don't want to lose them all together.
  • Place a photocopy of your passport in each and every checked-in bag that you give at the airport. Helps in case you lose your luggage.
  • Never travel without mosquito repellents and other essential medicines.
  • It is a good idea to carry locks for your bags and suitcases. Try to keep your clothes flat and avoid carrying too many fragile goods that will be left at the mercy of careless luggage handlers.
  • Carry an extra set of lock and keys, just in case.
  • Use wheeled luggage. Or, take one of those compact luggage dollies.
  • Pack light: use trial size toiletries or ones provided by hotels.
  • Always carry valuable jewelry and medicines with you, not in your checked baggage.
  • If you can't carry all your bags by yourself, you've got too many. Porters are not always available in all countries, nor are carts, so you be may left holding all the bags yourself.

    Use luggage tags on every piece, including carry-ons. A bright yarn ribbon or sticker will help you (and others) distinguish your bags from similar ones. This can also be helpful in foreign countries where English translations are difficult -- as soon as one bag arrives with your orange tie, the porter will be able to look for all the others.

  • It's not a good idea to travel with too much cash. Travellers' cheques are best.
  • Don't use new shoes, however comfortable they may seem.
  • Try not to store liquids in a bottle in any of your bags. If you must, seal the mouth with white hospital tape.
  • Pack empty plastic ziplock bags to separate soiled clothes from the rest, especially if you're travelling to a rainy destination.
  • Ensure that your luggage is waterproof.
  • Confirm, reconfirm, confirm once again. (Your plane tickets, that is)
  • If travelling in the monsoon, carry a raincoat and umbrella.
  • Make a list of all your personal medicines that you are carrying with you. Carry the list with you wherever you go.
  • Carry your own water bottle. This should be within arm's length at all times. It'll save you the problem of drinking unsafe water whenever you are thirsty.
  • Women who are travelling alone should not admit they are travelling alone. When asking for directions, ask shopkeepers, not pedestrians. Check with at least two persons or more.
  • Make a list of all the things you forgot while travelling and use the list before your next trip.
  • Save time in Customs by packing all the new purchases in one bag and keeping all receipts together.

If you are travelling with your kids, take whatever you can to keep your little ones entertained -- colouring books, cards, and toys. Don't forget to bring special supplies too, like diapers, wipes, lotion, etc. A favourite snack for youngsters can help keep them occupied. Request seats at a bulkhead where there's more room to roam.

Avoiding Jet Lag
How can you help your body adjust to a new time zone?

Before You Depart...

  • Go to bed earlier than usual for a few nights before departure. Take naps on the plane.
  • Eat lightly the night before.

After You Land...

  • It bears repeating: Drink water -- and lots of it to combat the dehydrating effects of air travel. If your body does not get enough water, the kidneys recycle the water in your own urine, making you more dehydrated but also creating fluid retention and upsetting your entire physiological balance.
  • Get wet. Take a bath, a swim, anything to rehydrate through your pores.
  • In dry climates, leave the water in the sink or tub to help increase the surrounding humidity.
  • Stay in natural light. Your body adapts best to diurnal rhythms if exposed to natural light. Even artificial light will help keep you perky and combat the daytime slumps due to jet lag.
  • Follow our eating and drinking tips: Avoid alcoholic, carbonated and caffeine beverages during the flight.
  • Let your body use its energy to adapt to the new environment. Eat lightly and avoid bogging it down with rich foods. After you land, eat dinner early rather than later so you can enjoy the full effects of a good night's sleep.
  • Stretch before, during and after the trip. Walk the aisles in the plane and walk from gate to gate, instead of relying on people movers or escalators.
  • In flight, ask the attendant for a pillow when you board and use it to keep from getting neck cramps.
  • Don't over-schedule yourself the first day of arrival. Allow your body to ease into its new schedule.

How to take care of your feet while travelling?
It is now recognised that long periods of inactivity, combined with cramped conditions and dehydration which can occur on long-haul flights, can cause a number of problems from swollen ankles and tired aching legs to more serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis(DVT). It must be stressed that the risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis during flight is low, but it can occur. The consequences can be extremely serious and therefore it is better to take the following preventive measures.

  • Exercise your legs while seated.
  • Walk around the cabin.
  • Drink water or soft drinks and avoid drinking excessive tea, coffee or alcohol.
  • Consider wearing compression socks.

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