Monday, July 30, 2012

Travelers Diarrhea

OK... We might as well talk about it and not mince words... diarrhea....

The trots, Delhi belly, Montezuma's revenge, tourista... call it what you will, if you travel, you may have to put up with this one day.

Country and city names aside, you can get diarrhea anywhere.  It may be the water... even if it isn't dirty or contaminated.  Water away from home contains different minerals and bacteria than your water at home... and it doesn't matter where home is or where you travel.  Americans traveling to Mexico may worry about Montezuma's revenge, but we've talked to Mexican tourists who got tourista in California!

There are countries where you shouldn't drink the water.  Hotels in those countries will usually provide complimentary bottled water in your room.  (Double check before you just assume this though.... both whether the water is safe and if the bottle is complimentary.)

If in doubt, go ahead and drink bottled water...

better to be safe than sick.  Beer, wine, bottled soft drinks, boiled coffee and tea are also safe to drink.  (But skip the ice cubes.)

You can get intestinal troubles from the food as well as the water.  It all depends on what your body can put up with.

To be really safe, the tried and true travelers' rule is to eat food only if it's peeled or boiled or well cooked.... a rule I'm afraid we break more often than we should.  We do eat at street stalls if they look clean... but you never know what microbes are lurking....

And we eat salads even on safari or in the jungle or traveling overland in India or Tibet.  Sometimes it's a matter of "what else can you do".  For all the fun experiences we have being this adventurous, we haven't had all that many bouts with "the revenge".

We had an old doctor tell us that one of the best ways to ease your digestive system into the local cuisine was to eat things that are acidy and yeasty.... he suggested beer and yogurt.  The yogurt abroad has enzymes that can help... and the beer?  I don't know how much it helps, but it's fun to try all the local beers, and it's always safe when the water isn't.

The causes of diarrhea are just as likely be the stress of travel, the fact that you're overtired and jet-lagged, and that your immune system is worn down, so it may not be the food or the water.

If you do get diarrhea, it will usually run its course in short order.  Eat bland foods, and take it easy for a day.  Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids and avoid dehydration.  You can take anti-diarrheals to help slow those trots down and start you feeling better as long as you don't have a fever or blood in your stools.

Gross as it sounds, I had an attack when we were walking the Vietnamese city of Hoi An.  Our driver wasn't coming back for a couple of hours, so I told our guide every time I had to "make a dash".  She seemed to know people everywhere, and I was graciously allowed into the back room of businesses and several private homes to, ...ahem..., use the facilities.  I wasn't too happy at the time, but in retrospect, I had a tour like no other!  What a story, eh?

To re-emphasize... if the condition persists, if you're running a high fever, or if you have blood in your stools, you should see a doctor and get antibiotics.

Don't be worried about this.  Try to be smart about what you eat and drink.  Even then you may get "tripped up".  You'll soon be over it... and maybe you'll have stories to tell too.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Longstay Travel Insurance: Extend Your Travel Stay

Whenever we decide to travel abroad, we always get the think of taking travel insurance. If you are an occasional traveler you'll probably buy your insurance from the travel agent. But if you travel more than twice a year, it is much more cost effective to have one insurance lasting all year round, than buying one every time you travel. If you are travelling for a long time then its better to take longstay travel insurance.

Before buying any longstay travel insurance, it is better to go through the whole policy. Health concerns which are rather severe as well as problems brought about by alcohol and drug uses are oftentimes excluded from the full coverage a client is entitled to. War and terrorism clauses can be excluded in most policies to protect both the company and the traveler with the latter being influenced not to plan a trip to such hazardous nations. Travel insurance is an agreement or a contract which can offer a traveler with an adequate amount of assistance that can be beneficial when traveling so it would be smart to compare a list of policies beforehand.

There are different forms of insurance which is hard to classified but considering the durations, travel insurance is further divided in three types:

* Single trip,
* Multi-trip and
* Annual / Long stay

"Long stay" insurance is the most important and attractive part of the travel insurance because for the large number of travelers who planned their vacations for more numbers of days / many months. It not helps you only in travelling plans but also a safeguard for cancellation charges, luggage and personal belongings, financial investments, your health and well being and most important to give you sense of peace. Companies are offering much best coverage to the customers who are buying long stay like international travel insurance, top up insurance etc. The main benefit of this insurance is the customization of coverage. A customer of long stay travel insurance can optimize their coverage as per their need; he should take help with their insurance adviser. Go for most appropriate coverage often their charges may be more than the standard one. The customers must be clear about their need and the ignorance.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Travelling Meditation

Travelling on the Northern Line into the City is possibly one of the most stressful commutes one could have.  But, using meditation, I often made my journey so positive and joyful that I was sad to get off the train.  You can use many other meditations here, most of them, even a gong meditation if you have an iPod would be fine.  But there is a little extra "trick" to improving any meditation you undertake while travelling.  Some people say that you shouldn't meditate while driving, however a little gentle mental exercise can be very helpful if you are stuck in traffic or having trouble with another road user (although don't close your eyes!)


Breathe in gently through your nose and out through the mouth.


Focus on the people around you.  The tube or bus passengers or the other drivers.  Feel how you are all united in your shared objective, that you are all on the same journey, that you are all in this together.  Relax, knowing that despite the seeming competition, who gets off the train first, or who goes first at the lights, you are all travelling together, and a few minutes don't really matter in the big scheme of things.


Relax and let go, enjoying the calm and peace.


You can choose to feel the energy of the people on your journey, feel all of their hopes and fears.  Send them love, and breathe in their love and energy.


You can choose to look at the people around you, each one and repeat silently "I love you" to each one.


You can choose to relax and let them go first, smile as you say "After you", share your calmness and peace.  You could even choose to stand up and let someone else take your seat, enjoying the gift you are able to give.


If you feel that someone is pushing or trying to jump ahead of you, let them, maybe they do need to be somewhere faster.  If there is nowhere for you to go, turn and look them in the eye and just say calmly "Sorry, but we have to wait for the people in front to get off." with a smile.


Enjoy your journey, knowing that you are not racing against everyone else, but travelling together.


As you leave the train, or as others leave, silently send your fellow passengers love and wish them a great day.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Cause Traveller?s Diarrhoea?

Just so you think your most-awaited, important-than-nothing-else travel abroad is perfect, you then experience along your vacation some sort of inconvenience—abdominal bloating and cramps, urgency to go to the toilet, frequent loose or unformed bowel movements (stools), nausea, vomiting, and mild fever—in an instant you became a victim of Traveller’s Diarrhoea. This condition or illness is regarded the most common nemesis of every backpackers from developed countries—a whopping 50% of traveller’s have their rips ruined—spending 2 to 3 weeks to developing parts of the globe.

Traveller’s Diarrhoea is generally acquired by consumption or ingestion of faecally contaminated food or water, or both. These food or drinks contaminated with microorganisms that spread to the body when ingested. These microorganisms that can cause diarrhoea or traveller’s diarrhoea range from bacteria, viruses, parasites and even some unidentified causes.

As for bacteria-causing diarrhoea (80-85% of cases), the Enterotoxigenic (ETEC) forming Escherichia coli (E. coli) is one of the most common reasons of this illness; studies shown that approximately 40-75% of all cases are blamed to this, and they can be found in undercooked beef and unpasteurized milk. Meanwhile, other bacterial causes of traveller’s diarrhoea are Campylobacter jejuni, found in raw meat and poultry, unclean water and unpasteurized milk; Salmonella species, bacteria found in raw meat and poultry and dairy products; Shigella species, bacteria spread through poor hygiene and found in undercooked or raw food.

While bacterial cause is the top reason of acquiring diarrhoea, or more particularly traveller’s diarrhoea, viral infection has been found the reason in every one in every three cases (or 10-15% of all cases), notably rotavirus and Norwalk, which are passed between humans due to poor hygiene. On the other hand, Giardia intestinalis, found in contaminated water and spread through poor hygiene; Cryptosporidium parvum and Cyclospora, both parasites found in contaminated food and water; and Entamoeba hystolytica, are the parasitic infections (2-10% of all cases) that cause traveller’s diarrhoea. Although TD can be caused by either bacteria, virus or parasites, there is 1/5 to ½ of all diarrhoea cases that is unknown and thought to be gastrointestinal response to basically unfamiliar microorganisms transmitted inside the individual’s system.

So once and for all, where can travelers possibly acquire these micro organisms responsible for diarrhoea? The answer is, those totally risky foods which include the following:
• Undercooked, raw or rare meats and seafood
• Raw and peeled fruits and vegetables (most especially if the travelers did not peel them personally)
• Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce (because of possible harmful pesticides and/ or fertilizers used on them)
• Unpasteurized milk and other dairy products
• Sauces and mayonnaise
• Foods bought from street vendors
• Food buffets
• Any hot food that has been left long enough at room temperature and has already cooled, and;
• Contaminated water and other drinks

In essence, traveller’s diarrhoea can be acquired in any country but the regarded high-risk areas for people from developed countries are the most places in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and Southern part of America, where 50% of attack rates have been reported.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Travel Photography

Everyone loves taking travel photos to document and remember their adventures, but travel photography means more than just holiday photos, especially for the professionals. Many professional photographers, no matter what their area of expertise, often find themselves trekking around the world to explore different peoples and cultures. Here are some of Australia and New Zealand’s top photographers whose jobs take them all over the world.

Urs Buhlman – Advertising

Urs specialises in photographing cars for some of the biggest automotive companies in the world. He started travelling around Australia in his early years before beginning his international work. “In 1988 I started shooting ad work, and have eventually specialised in automotive work which took me to many countries whilst assigned on international accounts,” he says.

Stephen Dupont – Reportage

Stephen’s passion to tell the stories of marginalised people in some of the most dangerous countries in the world, has seen him travel to countries like Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Israel and Japan, to name just a few.

He says a great tip for taking photos on the go is to not underestimate compact digital cameras as a fantastic lightweight cameras you can keep in your pocket at all times while on the go.

Yervant – Weddings

Wedding photographer Yervant loves his job – and we would too if we got to have this much fun every day!

“I have to admit I love my job!” he says. “Beautiful girls, happy days, all smiles and I can shoot to my heart's delight.”

Not to mention the opportunity to test out and experiment with the greatest EOS digital SLR cameras every day! He also says travel is a big part of his work, which is an enviable added bonus. “I am very fortunate to be able to see many parts of the world through my assignments and seminars.” You can visit his website to see what other fun he has on his photo shoots.

Chris McLennan – Travel

Chris, of course, gets to do a lot of travelling. “For the past 15 years I have been travelling the globe on numerous commissioned shoots, photographing some of the world’s most amazing people, places, wildlife and cultures in more than 30 different nations,” he says. See his internationally acclaimed work by visiting the Canon EOS Masters website.

Monday, July 23, 2012

TravelHost Magazine ? Travel publications for a well informed traveler

Since its inception in 1967 TravelHost Magazine has defied all odds to become one of the most sought after travel publications, and which many tourists use to plan their vacations. This magazine is distributed free-of-charge in hotel, lodge and resort rooms across all the states in the country, far away from its original home in Texas. This publication provides concise contents with regards to the activities and happenings to expect in the area being covered by each edition, and it is also an effective advertisement platform - an incentive that many hotels find very useful.

TravelHost Magazine is by and large the leading national in-room travel publication; since its inception it has gone on to serve close to 6000 hotels and approximately 1.2 million rooms worldwide.

The magazine features new vibrant cover designs for the year 2011 and the publications contain compelling advertisement messages from different hotels thus helping these establishments to increase their room reservation volumes and annual revenues.

This magazine has effectively served the hospitality and travel industry by providing travelers with a unique guide for navigating around different travel destinations and information about the many attractions they can expect to encounter. The traveler will therein find many special feature sections that will provide interesting visitor info in an easy-to-read and traveler-friendly format. Travelers can expect information on concierge services, media guides, features available the travel destination, places of worship and customized maps to help get around with relative ease.

TravelHost Magazine is loved for its great feature articles which provide in-depth insight alongside past and present accounts about the locales of a given travel destination. Tourists also find great travel suggestions and traveler-targeted information to help them make better traveling decisions about their future vacations. This magazine is of great help in terms of presenting tourists with a wide variety of traveling options. Studies have shown that many tourists avoid exploring new travel destinations because they do not have adequate info about them and as such they end up visiting the same destinations for all their future vacations to avoid putting themselves at risk. This magazine has been pivotal in rejuvenating many travelers’ adventurous spirit.

Ardent travelers have been making use of TravelHost Magazine to hunt down the best deals in the destinations they intend to visit. In this magazine they are certain to find lists of the top hotels accompanied with details of holidaying incentives including restaurants, shopping centers, fast food spots, drinking venues, beaches, fitness facilities, festivals and events, and so forth. This magazine is certainly an indispensable travel accompaniment that will ensure that every travel decision you make is an informed one. The magazine also features great travel photographs and which in every way illustrate what leisure travel is all about.

Many travel writers are always eager to share their encounters on TravelHost Magazine and this is a clear testament of the popularity of this publication. Nonetheless, this magazine demands nothing short of top quality articles for its readers. As such, major preference is given to top travel writers as they can ably provide in-depth vivid travel collections that can inspire travelers to more travel adventures.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Honeymoon Travel

All the details of the honeymoon require one's attention just as the wedding party does. Here are some tips to consider for a perfect honeymoon travel regardless of whether you travel by plane, boat, train or car.

Make reservations in advance and book tickets at hotels in case you make halts on the way to the destination. If you know how to make good planning you'll benefit from great rebates; airlines usually sell all classes of seats at the most convenient of prices, but as you get closer to the departure date, only the business class seats remain available.

Moreover, travel agencies have special packages for honeymooners, with various options included. Hence, when you approach an agency for offers and quotes make sure you specify that you are looking for a honeymoon travel solution. Some choose the all inclusive variant and leave it to the agency to deal with everything from then flight details to the lodging, but other couples prefer to get involved actively in the planning.

Smart packing is another honeymoon travel tip some people fail to follow particularly when going to areas with warmer climates.

This is not about taking sweaters and jackets when going to Hawaii, but rather about choosing to have some extra apparel items available for all sorts of occasions, as you may feel the need to wear something other than slippers and t-shirts. Make sure to include some extra bottles of water, a few snacks and all the essentials in the luggage too. By essentials I mean a list of emergency phone numbers, credit cards, cash and passports.

There are some very personal items that make honeymoon travel all the more rewarding . Thus, you can pack a CD with very meaningful love songs, eventually music from the wedding reception or some special rhythms to enjoy in a romantic setting. Then, keep in mind that hotels provide all sorts of services on request, therefore, if you want to pamper yourself, the honeymoon could be the right time to start.

Feel the authenticity of the place to really make the best of your honeymoon travel: try new drinks, food and music, local customs, communicate with the local inhabitants, see relevant local sites and points of attractions. Keep bad moods away even if trifles may threaten to ruin the atmosphere.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ahmedabad Travel

Ahmedabad popularly known as 'Manchester of India' is the capital of Gujarat state. This city is among the liveliest places in the state visited by scores of tourists from across the globe around the year. It was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah as his capital in 1411 AD. The attraction of this place revolves around its scenic beauty and Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.
Some of the popular Tourist Places in Ahmadabad are:

This temple is the blend of breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It is the marvel of architecture located at Gandhi Nagar and visited millions of tourists throughout the year. The temple was built in 1992 and dedicated to the Lord Swaminarayan.

This grand edifice exquisitely carved out of pink sandstone. The leading attraction of this temple is 7 feet gold statue of Lord Swaminarayan enshrined in the main hall. While other three halls portray the rich Indian culture with light and sound shows, animated electronic models and multimedia shows.

Sabarmati Ashram
Also known as Gandhi ashram located on the bank of Sabarmati River. This ashram was amongst the first satyagraha ashrams set up by Gandhiji in 1915. Scores of tourists visit this ashram so they can get the glimpses of Gandhiji life and his freedom struggle against British Empire. It is the place from where Gandhiji started his historical Dandi March for freedom struggle of India.

ModheraSun Temple
It is one of the must-see attractions of Ahmedabad dedicated to the Sun God. This historic temple situated on the bank of Pushpavati River famous for its architectural beauty and delicate stone carvings. It was built in 1026 by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. The design of this temple resembles Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa. Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap are some of the prominent structure of this temple. Modhera dance festival held in the third week of January every year is the foremost cultural event of this place.

Ahmedabad is the city which represents harmonious blend of an ancient heritage with a vibrant present. Some of the well

Safety Tips for Traveling Abroad

Traveling abroad can be due to various reasons such as a vacation, wedding, business conference or other personal cause. Of the opportuniti...