Everything You Need for a Safe Vacation

Getting ready for a vacation is stressful enough as it is for an able-bodied, healthy person, but for someone suffering from an illness or disability taking a holiday can become a nightmare. When we travel we take for granted things like accessibility, mobility and proximity to trained healthcare professionals. It’s this kind of attitude, however, that leaves us unprepared for emergency situations. The best course of action (for any individual, really, regardless of ability) is to put a little more thought into the care that is required for you and your family to have a safe vacation. Is it a drag? Yes. Is it worth it? Totally. The best case scenario is that you have a peaceful, relaxing vacation knowing that you’re covered in an emergency. Worst case scenario is you’ll be grateful you put in the effort ahead of time so you can deal with your crisis as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Here are some things to consider before you travel in order to have a safe vacation:

Location, location, location. It’s a good idea to do a little research before you travel so you’re up-to-date with the local living conditions (i.e., is there safe drinking water?) and which diseases may be endemic to that region. A travel vaccine clinic or your family doctor may have information on which travel vaccines may be appropriate for you or your family and how often they need to be updated.

It pays to be insured. If you do skip the travel insurance, make sure you’ve got money in reverse in case you incur any medical expenses while traveling.

But know what your insurance covers. You may still incur additional expenses such as medications, etc. that are not covered under your current plan, so it’s best to be prepared. It’s also a good idea to find out ahead of time if there are any implications should you actually have an emergency. It may seem scary to explore the worst-case scenario but you’re better off knowing know that your insurance won’t cover expenses such as prolonged hospital stays or medical transportation.

Accessibility is also key. Do your due diligence and find out where the closest medical facilities are. You may also want to plan your activities with certain conditions in mind, such as proximity to washrooms, accessibility for wheelchairs, etc.

Play by the rules. Find out the customs regulations ahead of time, and make sure you plan accordingly- sometimes a doctor’s note is required to travel with certain medications. And always, always, always pack your pills in their original bottles with the prescription label to clearly identify them as yours.

Finally, go easy on yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard or jam-pack your schedule, or have too strict an itinerary. The idea is to have fun and relax, so choose a trustworthy companion that has a basic understanding of your medical condition. A truly understanding friend will let you know when you’ve pushed your limits, and not be resentful about any rest or recovery time you might need.

Safe travels!

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Have you faced any challenges while traveling? Do you have any crazy travel stories? Warnings for future travelers? I want to read them all in the comments below, or you can email me at keepingbusyb@gmail.com. Wanna find out more about vacation planning? Click here.

Managing your personal life actually takes a lot of work and organization- even when it seems like it really shouldn’t. Here I’ve researched all the many ways I could make my life easier here, from choosing an outfit to choosing a colour for your bedroom. For even more best practices for a better life, click here and here.

 

 

The Busy Girl’s Guide to the Ultimate Staycation

Ladies and gentlemen, you are talking to the queen of staycations; I never go anywhere and I never do anything interesting (except writing this blog, of course). Before you start pitying me though, I’ll let you in on a little secret: staycations save you time, money and aggravation and if done correctly can actually end up being incredibly healing.

So what is a staycation anyway? When I talk about taking one, I’m referring to any stretch of time during which you are free from any work-related responsibilities. This is not your average afternoon off, and it’s definitely not working from home. Instead, your staycation is your chance to restore and recharge in whatever way that means to you. It might be an opportunity to catch-up on household chores, personal projects, and tying up other loose ends. Or, it might involve ditching all obligations and doing whatever the $%?! you want.

Whatever your staycation style, I’ve brainstormed some options to help start things off right:

  • clean/organize a neglected drawer, closet or room in your home
  • organize family photos and/or home movies (here’s some tips for digital photos)
  • go for a long walk/hike/bike ride/rollerblade (and leave your cell phone at home!)
  • explore an unfamiliar part of your city, town or neighborhood
  • catch up on your sleep (it’s actually really important)
  • cook or bake your favorite dish, or a recipe you’ve been meaning to try
  • catch up on your reading (here are some simple ways how)
  • paint, doodle, draw or color
  • practice meditation, yoga or just deep breathing
  • call up an old friend you haven’t seen in a while (Facebook doesn’t count)
  • garden or clean your yard (one of my many hobbies)
  • make your own rock garden or terrarium
  • camp out in your own yard
  • practice yoga or pilates
  • spend an afternoon browsing your local library or bookstore (take a buddy!)
  • try a new hobby on for size
  • volunteer
  • make something for your home, or for a friend who deserves something special
  • send a friend or relative some actual snail mail
  • attend a free show or event in your area
  • practice self-care: get a massage, manicure, pedicure or facial
  • research your family tree
  • decorate your reading nook/sanctuary/man cave
  • actually play with your pets (or children)
  • rediscover childhood activities like skipping, sidewalk chalk, or Frisbee
  • have a bubble bath
  • coordinate a new exercise routine
  • teach yourself the latest dance craze, or come up with a routine with some friends
  • practice the art of doing nothing.

Happy staycation!

I want to hear all about your staycation rituals. Share them below or email them to me at keepingbusyb@gmail.com. For more ways to kill time, check out my suggestions for when you’re stuck inside here and here.

What’s in my Beach Bag?

Guys, I live near a beach so I got this one down pat. (Ok so it’s not the ocean-only a lake- but it’s still pretty close.) I can’t get enough of the fresh air and sunshine after being cooped up indoors all winter, and apparently people around here feel the same way, because in the summer this place gets packed.

Lucky for me and my dog, we’ve lived here long enough that we know all the best places to steal a quiet moment to contemplate the water, listen to music, read a book, or simply enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin.

Here’s some of what I take along to make the experience enjoyable:

  1. A large towel to sit on, although you may want to bring a second one in case you decide to go swimming.
  2. I read somewhere once that the majority of the skin’s aging process is largely attributed to sun damage so I never leave the house without sunscreen. Vanity aside, there’s also a history of skin cancer in my family which is exacerbated by my pale, pale skin.
  3. As such, my line of defense also includes a large floppy hat and sunglasses, although the glasses are mostly so I don’t get recognized. (Kidding!)
  4. Hydration is important so I always have two reusable water bottles; one for me and one for my dog.
  5. I practically never leave the house without a book, and if I’m going to the beach it’s almost certainly a guarantee. (I blog about what I’m reading all the time here, if you’re interested.)
  6. I have a little emergency kit that goes everywhere with me in my purse- I just pop it into whatever bag I happen to be carrying that day.
  7. As mentioned in this post, I’m kind of a grazer when it comes to eating, so I usually stash a granola bar or a piece of fruit in case I get too much sun, or feel like my blood sugar is too low.
  8. My beauty routine doesn’t involve too many lotions or potions, but I do enjoy indulging in a face misting spray to throw into my beach bag. It’s good for setting make-up on sweaty skin, a light cleanse after going swimming, or simply helps to cool you off after sitting out in the sun.

I keep my beach bag pretty simple- it’s hard to relax and enjoy yourself if you’ve brought too much to carry, or you constantly have to rummage around to find things.

Of course, depending on your lifestyle the contents of your bag may look a little bit different than mine. Maybe you’ve got some sand toys in there if you’ve got little kids in tow, or maybe you’ve got lots of food and drink for a picnic with friends.

Some of the stuff on my list may change if I have my dog with me. In that case, I’ll bring her water bottle (see above) as well as some treats and maybe a ball or a Frisbee to play with. Honestly, she’s pretty into hanging out on a towel with me which makes her a total beach bum.

The best part of my list, in my opinion, is the fact that I haven’t included any electronics and I don’t really plan to. I’m so attached to my phone that I’ve taken to not bringing it with me on my dog walks so I can enjoy the experience more. I might bring it along with me if I’m planning to meet up with friends and I need to be reachable; other than that, I prefer keeping my beach visits blissfully phone-free.

After all, what’s the point in staring at a screen when you’ve got that beautiful summer weather to breathe in and enjoy all around you?

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I want to know what’s in your beach bag! Are the contents sweet and simple like mine, or do you really go on a big adventure when you make a beach trip? Have you even been to a beach? Let me know! I’m looking forward to your answers below, or in my inbox at keepingbusyb@gmail.com.

For more tip on having more summer fun, I’ve got some ideas here. (As if you needed advice on how to have fun, right?!)