Women, if you’re like me, when planning travel, you’ve got your agenda planned, your wardrobe to match the adventure you are about to embark upon and a child-like smile plastered to your face thinking about the sites you are about to see.
Health issues while traveling could put a serious damper on your anticipated plans. We asked Founder of Women’s Travel Club, Phyllis Stroller, to share a few health tips for women travelers:
1. Menstruating Overseas: Tampons are not sold in many countries. Pads, which come in a long roll and are cut by a pharmacist, are NOT sanitary. Bring your own supplies.
2. Yeast infections and UTI’s: Women get urinary infections due to skimping on drinking water. Yeast infections also occur after one has taken or is taking an antibiotic. Carry Monistat, Canestan cream, or a single dose tablet, Diflucan. Eat yogurt if available.
3. Safe sex, even with your husband: Carry birth control pills, do not pack them. Lock medicines in the hotel safe. If you use a diaphram, do not wash it in iffy water. Bring trustworthy condoms; local products may be harmful.
4. Medical records: Always visit a travel doctor before taking a trip, especially to an exotic locale. List all vaccinations + medicines (the latter in the generic). Bring your eyeglass prescription.
5. Dress modestly: Notice and adhere to local customs. Scarves, that cover shoulders and heads, are invaluable and light. Pack socks for walking shoe-less in temples and mosques.
6. Protect your skin: Carry a foldable hat. Sun-proof clothes with RIT Sunguard Laundry Treatment. In insect areas, slather on high SPF lotion, spray yourself and clothes with DEET. Remember the higher the DEET, the longer the protection-make sure to read the labels!
7. Proof of parentage: If you plan to cross borders with children, be prepared with proof of parentage or guardianship. Single parents need a letter from the absent parent with permission for children to leave the country. If separated or divorced, have copies of legal documents regarding custody rights for minors traveling with you. These are important if children need medical treatment abroad.
8. Wedding rings and jewelry: Ward off unwanted male attention by wearing a wedding band. Make sure it is not tight; many women find feet and hands swell on long flights.
9. The bathroom: We’ve all hovered over filthy toilets. Welcome PMate, a nifty light invention (fits into an envelope), made of a sturdy disposable coated cardboard- very discreet.
10. Clean water and avoiding buying water: Consider purchasing a simple water filtration system. SteriPEN has many options at www.steripen.com.