Archive for the ‘Travel Tips’ Category

Safety Medical tips for Seniors travelling abroad.

It is  not always easy to find medical assistance if you become ill while travelling. MONDIAL ASSISTANCE is a Global company,  which offers Specialty Insurance and Emergency assistance services  to travellers. They caution travellers, especially  Seniors,  to make sure they have all the medical information necessary, in case they require assistance while on vacation:

1. Take along a list of all your medications, with  both the brand and generic name, and amount and frequency of dose,   and be aware of your medical details, for which  these medications have been prescribed.

2. Carry your medical necessities, in their original package,  in a Carry On bag. This way if your luggage gets lost or delayed, you will still have your medications.

3. Make sure you have an adequate supply of medications for the trip, with a bit in hand in case of an unforeseen delay.

4 .Consult with your physician and travel provider if you have any underlying condition that might be affected by travel. This way, both will be aware, if  a problem arises.

5. Keep a note of the contact no(s) for your Travel Provider, including a number that can be dialled from overseas. Some 800 numbers are only good in North America.  Many provide 24 hour service.

Not all Travel Insurance policies are equal. Shop around for the best Travel Insurance for your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask exactly what is covered by the fine print and don ‘t necessarily go for the cheapest policy.  Some conditions or situations may not be covered  and supplemental insurance might be necessary.

Avoiding Injury and Illness While Traveling

Staying healthy while traveling is no accident. It takes careful planning and preparation, especially when facing inhospitable environments like unfamiliar roadways, steamy jungles and hours of flying at 30,000 feet. Access America, the U.S. travel insurance brand of Mondial Assistance, the largest travel insurance provider in the world, provides customers with 24/7/365 access to its travel assistance department. The department is staffed by doctors, nurses and specially trained assistance specialists who can help travelers with a wide variety of travel-related emergencies. Kimberly Seay is nursing manager for Access America’s travel assistance department. She has more than 15 years of experience as a registered nurse in emergency room and acute care settings.

“There are a number of things you can do to plan to stay healthy while traveling,” says Seay. “Make sure you’re healthy before you travel and ask your doctor to clear you for travel if you’ve been ill or have chronic health issues. Also, do some pre-trip planning to learn about the health risks and treatment options for where you’re going. Every destination is different, so it’s important to plan ahead.”

Seay and the nursing team at Access America help travelers every day with common illnesses and not so common injuries.

Sensible precautions will ensure a Worry free vacation.

You can access more information about Mondial Assistance at

Travel Tip: Ruth Lor Malloy’s Beijing

The 2007 edition of Ruth Lor Malloy’s Beijing is available this month.

It’s a handy alternative to searching frustrating websites that contradict each other and try to sell you something. Ruth Lor Malloy’s Beijing even compares 2007 hotel prices with those of hotel reservation agencies. It tells you what’s wrong and what’s right about 70 of Beijing’s most popular hotels and hostels. Continue reading

Travel Tip: Claim your refunds!

Tax Free Savings in Europe

As a traveller residing in a non EU country, you are entitled to a Sales Tax refund in many European countries, including Britain and Switzerland. Look for a tax free shopping logo when you are shopping. They are not always easy to spot and you may have to ask the store for a refund form.

Upon presentation of receipts, purchases, and passport at your Point of departure, your Global refund form will be stamped. You can collect your refund in cash at a nearby office if you have time, or mail your form when you return home, for  credit on your credit card or a refund cheque.

To find out if the country you are visiting is eligible for this program, contact Traveller Services – 020 8222 0101 or website

In the United States, Louisiana is one State that offers Tax free shopping to Visitors, with five Tax Refund centres in larger towns and at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Tax free Shopping member merchants include: Macys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Target, K Mart and Walmart, and many New Orleans souvenir shops.

They offer the following tips for claiming your refund.

Bring your Passport or current Identification with you when shopping

Ask the Merchant if they are a member of LTFS (Louisiana tax free Shopping and if so, show them your ID and ask for a tax refund voucher.  Save your bills.

Redeem vouchers at one of the  centers in  New Orleans, Lafayette, Shreveport ,or Macy’s Lakeside, or at the Airport before leaving.  Refund is payable in Cash.

For further information see:  or

Travel Tip: Beware what you eat and drink!

While it is wonderful to visit an exotic locale and immerse your self in the local food and culture – beware – hygiene and cleanliness are not always up to the standards we in the developed countries are used to and you should take a few precautions:

  1. Especially in tropical countries, drink only bottled carbonated beverages, bottled mineral water or water you know has been purified.
  2. Avoid ice cubes.
  3. Eat only fruit you have washed in safe water and peeled.
  4. Avoid salads and raw vegetables.
  5. Often there is little refrigeration so eat only thoroughly and recently cooked meat and shellfish and avoid food from street vendors.

Even with these precautions it is wise to take some water purification pills and medication with you for management of diarrhea or other infections which you may affect you. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before you leave or contact Travel Medicine Center, Toronto

If you do get sick in a foreign country and need a doctor, there is a wonderful organisation, IAMAT, International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers, founded by Toronto Doctor Vincenzo Marcolongo in 1988 headquartered in Canada, with branches internationally. This organisation has a directory of doctors around the world who can provide assistance in your own language wherever illness strikes you down. Member benefits include IAMAT membership card, worldwide directory of doctors, clinical record chart, immunization and climate charts. Membership is free although donations are greatfully received to help support the work of the organisation.

Be sure to check out IAMAT when doing your travel planning:

Travel Tip: Disney’s ‘Magical Express’

Always innovative, World Disney World in Florida now lets you relax from the minute you leave home. Disney’s “Magical Express” offers complimentary airport shuttle and luggage delivery for Disney hotel guests.

Effective May 5, 2005 guests worldwide can check their luggage at their hometown airport, bypass luggage claim at Orlando airport, and be whisked by Motor coach to Walt Disney resorts, where their luggage will “magically” appear in their room upon checkin.

The service is complimentary and represents a savings of about $80 US for a family of four. It is just one of the ways Disney aims to make vacations easier and more enjoyable. Magical Express will also take care of your luggage upon checkout and transport it to the airport at the end of your vacation. The service must be booked at least ten days prior to arrival and can be booked through, Disney reservation centre 407-W-DISNEY, or through your travel agent.

This is the newest addition to Disney’s Magic Your Way program, which allows guests to create their own customized vacations, and save more per day, based on length of stay.

To find out more: log onto

Travel Tip: Use your Consular Services

Before travelling to a foreign country, the best place to go for the latest and safest advice is the Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade . It operates a comprehensive website which is full of useful worldwide information and is updated daily with a Travel Report and special Alerts in case of dangerous situations.

Pay special attention to the new security measures implemented between Canada and the United States which have been tightened and may affect some travellers and cause delays. Effecive February 2007, all Canadian travellers entering the United States by Air now require a passport
Or if you find yourself in difficulty while abroad, Canada’s Consular Services operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a network of 270 offices in 180 countries. Check the website for advice especially if you are visiting a country where there may be some political turbulence, and if you get into trouble while you are abroad, the Consular Affairs office is the place to get help. It is recommended that you register your intentions with Consular Affairs before travelling, especially if you plan an extended or multiple destination stay.

The Bureau also publishes a number of information booklets in both English and French including a useful pocket size handbook “Bon Voyage But” which provides invaluable information on just about everything you need to know when traveling abroad. Will you need a Visa, or a malaria shot, will your insurance cover you if you get sick, are there any currency restrictions? It is all here in “Bon Voyage But” which also includes addresses of overseas consulates. Don’t leave home without it!

You can pick up the indispensible handbook at passport offices, order it toll free in Canada at 1-800 267 8376 or (613) 944 4000 elsewhere, or contact: In addition to the informative website, you can email

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive

For Emergency Services Call collect from abroad: (613) 996 8885