Hot Topics

Planning a Trip? Plan for the Unexpected!

Planning a Trip? Plan for the Unexpected!

It's fun to plan a vacation, whether it's family travel to a local park or abroad to some exotic locale. But, nothing can ruin a vacation more than something going awry, such as illness, lost or stolen money even bad weather. Avoid the pitfalls of travel woes by doing some pre-planning.

If you vacation locally or are driving just a few hours from home by car, you should always pack some kind of auto emergency kit, water, snacks, books, puzzles or some type of entertainment-especially if traveling with children.

For hiking or any type of extensive walking, you'll enjoy the experience more if you follow these tips:

• Bring a quality/comfortable daypack or backpack-preferably one that has wide shoulder straps and an attached belt around the waist for added support.

• Water is not an optional item. Carry enough water to last for the duration of your walk. Unfortunately water is fairly heavy and bulky; another reason to get a quality comfortable pack that has room enough to hold your water bottles.

• The food you bring will depend on your individual tastes and the nature of the walk you are planning. High energy snack foods are light weight and carry well in the pack as are salty foods, trail mix, hard candy and electrolyte powder or drink.

• For prepared for anything. Be sure to layer so that you can adjust easily to changes in weather and temperature. Make sure you choose clothing that wicks moisture away from your body.

• Invest in a good pair of walking, running or hiking shoes that do not bind either at the toes or on the sides. Be sure to break them in before using them on extended distances.

• Protect your eyes and skin--sunglasses with polarized lenses are essential and sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher are a must.

When you are planning to venture to a part of the U.S. that you are not familiar with, or to another country, here are some tips to make your trip more safe and enjoyable:

• Safety begins when you pack. Avoid becoming a target; do not dress so as to mark yourself as an affluent tourist. Leave expensive-looking jewelry at home.

• Always try to travel light. You can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. You will also be less tired and less likely to set your luggage down, leaving it unattended.

• If you wear glasses, pack an extra pair. Bring them and any medicines you need in your carry-on luggage, in case your luggage is lost or stolen.

• Carry the minimum number of valuables, and plan places to conceal them. Your passport, cash and credit cards are most secure when locked in a hotel safe. When carrying them on your person, put them in various places rather than all in one wallet. Avoid handbags, fanny packs and outside pockets that are easy targets for thieves. Choose inside pockets or a shoulder bag with the strap worn across your chest. One of the safest places to carry valuables is in a pouch or money belt worn under your clothing.

• Bring travelers checks and one or two major credit cards instead of cash.

• Pack an extra set of passport photos along with a photocopy of your passport's information page to make replacement of your passport easier in the event it is lost or stolen.

• Bring anti-diarrhea medicine in case your system cannot handle food changes, and make sure when you order food that it is fully cooked to avoid bacteria.
While you can't account for every little mishap of traveling, there are certainly some good common sense practices ...the key is to plan ahead and try to be prepared.

Healthy Eating on Vacation
1. Don't skip breakfast, stay away from carb-ladden bagels, pastries and donuts. Opt for fresh fruit, granola or fiber rich cereals.
2. For lunch and dinner, as tempting as it is, don't stop at fast-food places that have fried foods and don't order things with ‘mystery' fillings or sauces. Eat things that are grilled, broiled or steamed and well seasoned for flavor (hold the melted butter). Instead of a meal, you might try ordering off the appetizer menu.
3. Portion control is important. Don't create three plates at the buffet..Take one small plate. If you feel full-step away from the table, so you can leave room for a small indulgence.
4. You are on vacation so you need to indulge a bit. If you eat a healthy breakfast, go light on lunch and eat a properly portioned dinner, go ahead and treat yourself to something special.