Handy Travel Tips

December 12th, 2010

By Cathie Dunal, MD, MPH:

CLEAN YOUR CREDIT CARDS (and everything else you can think of!) You’re waiting at the airport and decide to eat.  You’ve just washed your hands because you used the self check-in machine.  You order, hand your credit card to the cashier, take it back, then sit down and take a big bite.  Think about it!  After touching everyone else’s credit card, the cashier has taken yours, given it back to you with a sampling of the bugs du jour — you get the bugs on your fingers, then you eat.  (Alcohol wipes work just fine.)

EASIER AIRPORT “It was an excellent flight,” my elderly mother beamed as I walked up to her inside the baggage claim area, “and this is a beautiful airport.”  I thought so too as I pulled her suitcase off the carousel and walked to the car waiting 20 feet outside.

Flying into Milwaukee rather than O’Hare turned out to be an excellent idea because it’s a smaller airport, easier for her to manage, and easier for me to pick her up.  The extra 20 minutes of traffic-free expressway travel was well worth it.  I imagine it would be easier for families with children too.

But I initially booked the flight into Milwaukee for health reasons:  Mom caught a bug and needed antibiotics the last few times she’s flown.  My guess was that a smaller regional airport, with fewer people coming from overseas, and shorter wait times, would expose her to fewer infectious challenges.  So far, so good!  She’s been back home for a week now, with no signs of sickness.  It’s Milwaukee next time, for sure.

POTENTIALLY PROTECTIVE PILLS Preparations said to help ward off sickness when exposed to crowds include: Vitamin C (I prefer buffered C), Zinc, Silver Spray, Air Borne, and Source Naturals’ Wellness Formula.  Hand washing/sanitizing can’t be emphasized enough!  Don’t hesitate to stay home or use a mask if you are sick.

GREAT LINK FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL INSURANCE International Medical Group provides very reasonable overseas health insurance: click or call 800-655-4500.

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