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The Organized Traveler - Part 2
by Jill Ellen Shankar

5. Do you need any vaccinations?

You may need or want vaccinations. More than just a precaution, vaccinations can save your life in the event of an emergency, ranging from a cut from a rusty nail, a car accident requiring a blood transfusion, or something far more serious.

The National Center for Infectious Diseases at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/ provides vaccination requirements, outbreak alerts and advice on food and water safety, cruise ship and air travel, traveling with children, and more.

In addition, they offer a toll free phone number,
1-877-394-8747 (FYI-TRIP).

6. For those at home.

Always be sure to leave your itinerary and contact information for each spot in which you will be sleeping overnight. This gives your friends and family at home a chance to contact you if needed, and will also put them at ease during your absence.

They would love to hear from you too, so take the time to send an email or two from an internet café-it'll be fun for everyone!

7. Visit your destination before you go.

Whether you like to plan each day's agenda ahead, or explore on the fly, reading about your destination can save you time and hassle. Guidebooks often provide useful tips regarding daily and seasonal hours of operation, least crowded hours, and so on.

Moreover, your armchair visit will create lots of excitement and get you in the mood, which will sustain you in those few stressful days before you depart.

You can also visit virtually. www.Travel.state.gov is a good place to start. Or, you can always Google the name of the city or country and see where that takes you.

8. Review your insurance policies.

Make sure that you are covered for your circumstances. Some health insurance policies do not provide coverage abroad, and there are short term health policies designed specifically for travelers' needs that you may want to consider. Check with your current provider or travel agent to be sure.

Another option for consideration is called "trip insurance." Since many trips are non transferable, and do not allow for changes or cancellation (sometimes even in the event of an emergency), a policy of this type could protect you.

You also may want shelter against a tour or other operator that goes out of business or does not make good on its commitments. Some trip insurance will refund your payments. Ask your travel agent for firms.

9. Medicine.

If you would face life-threatening illness without certain medication, be sure to carry an extra supply, and in your carry on, pack several days' worth in case you lose your checked luggage.

Bring along copies of your prescriptions, and even consider bringing a physician's letter supporting your claims. Officials proceed quickly and abruptly if they think a traveler is carrying illegal narcotics or other biologically threatening substances.

In addition, have the generic name of your meds so you could obtain an emergency supply from a foreign pharmacy.

An organized traveler is a happy one, and anticipating disruptions and disasters before they come up is your best preparation.

Though you cannot plan for every possible contingency, you can mitigate a great number of travel snafus ahead of time.

Bon voyage!

Ask our Expert a question. Click to E-mail org@ClevelandSeniors.Com

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Part 1 of the Organized Traveler

Back to Get Organized

Back to Travel

Jill Ellen Shankar
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