5 tips on what to do if sickness or injury strikes on tour..

5 tips on what to do if sickness or injury strikes on tour..

It’s happened to the best of us, we either get a horrendous cold / flu, a bad case of travellers diarrhoea or something worse requiring admission to hospital. It’s bad enough when it strikes in your comfort zone, but what if all you have a suitcase of a few belongings and a crummy room without hot water? Here is a quick guide to help you in this situation;

1. Always always always take travel insurance, without question. Purchase a decent policy that provides medical cover for the whole duration of your trip as a minimum.

2. Make sure you always have some bottled water with you wherever you go. If illness or injury occurs, you will need hydration.

3. On every trip, take a few sachets of diarolyt or similar brands. They are sachets you mix with water to replace lost electrolytes in severe cases of vomiting and diarrhoea. Trust me, in such cases you may not be able to get to a shop and it’s important for your health to keep these balanced and yourself hydrated.

4. Check where the nearest clinics / hospitals are prior to departure. If you have a known medical condition, this is important!

5. Always take basic medical supplies away with you, not all places have easy access to these. The major ones I’d recommend is; antiseptic cream, paracetamol, ibuprofen, plasters, bandages, also lavender essential oil has fantastic healing properties. Keep them to hand, if you get an infection it’s best to manage it before it can become more serious!!

Safe travels!

Hotel Pennsylvania, Midtown Manhattan 

Hotel Pennsylvania, Midtown Manhattan 

Hotels in Manhattan are notoriously overpriced in general, so on a recent visit I was keen to cut back some pennies. I have known of the hotel Pennsylvania 2* for many years having booked it for thousands of clients and I actually walked past it 5 years ago. It’s well known for being a good budget hotel (starting rates around $150 per night) in the city centre. I have had mixed reviews about the hotel and was honestly not expecting much at all on arrival on a recent six day city break.

The first thing that shocked me was the size of the hotel, it has around 2,000 rooms and towers high (much like many New York buildings) and the queue for check in.


After a long day of travelling, a 45 minute wait to get to the front desk was not ideal. Properties of this magnitude will always have drawbacks. BUT, on the flip side, having a room on the 12th floor meant so much of the New York noise couldn’t be heard when sleeping which is a massive bonus and something most people do not think about when booking a hotel. The check in staff were very friendly and professional.. Worth the wait.

The bedrooms are a little dated and the bathrooms, although clean could certainly have a little revamp. The beds are very comfortable. I think the mattresses were the fancy hypo allergenic sprung types with a topper, which my back appreciated after battling the city each day.


A very bizarre thing happened during our stay. We had a ‘do not disturb’ tag on our door so house keeping did not visit. But, on our return, there was an extra fridge freezer in our room! We couldn’t understand why it had been brought in as we already had one and we certainly hadn’t asked for it. I half expected to find an oven the next day…!

The room keys frequently decided to fall asleep during our visit requiring a frustrating 60 minute round trip to reception and security etc etc to gain access to our room.

Facilities at the hotel are decent, hotel guests have access to an Olympic size swimming pool next door free of charge and if you are offered breakfast, take it!! It’s at a buffet cafe accross the street and is fantastic; salad, fruit, cereal, bagels, pancakes, toast, hot food, tea, coffee and juice…. I am salivating whilst writing this just remembering it. There are also a few stores inside the hotel and a coffee shop. Seating is available in the lobby, but there could be a little more given the amount of guests. The hotel is wheelchair friendly as there are ramps / lifts available.

The best bit by far, location location location!! The hotel is directly opposite Penn train station (which operates a direct train to Newark airport), and Madison Square Garden. The hotel also has several subway stations within a few minutes walk. Times Square is about a 15 minute walk north of the hotel and Central Park another 15 minutes north.

Overall, I was happy with my stay. Would I stay here again? Absolutely. Would I recommend it to others? Definitely. Suitable for all ages? Yes, although in my opinion it is perhaps a little more suited for 18-45 years. Friendly staff? Yes, and mostly very helpful.

I was pleasantly surprised by my stay and if you are considering staying here, do not let bad reviews put you off. It is budget accommodation so don’t expect a 5* hotel, but it’s a great gem in the heart of Manhattan.

You are ABLE to Travel, Disabled.

You are ABLE to Travel, Disabled.

*warning* material in this article may upset readers.

Did you realise that there are over 11 million people in the UK living with a severe dibilitating illness or disability (estimates of 6% of children, 16% of working age adults and 45% of 65+) that’s over 17% of our population.

In the UK, we are very fortunate that most medical conditions are recognised and we generally get the support we need. It’s not uncommon in developing countries for disabled or impaired individuals to be seen as having drawn the short straw and have no alternative but to resort to a desolate life of begging on the streets for food.

  
How does a disability affect travel? There are many factors to take into account.

  • Will I be able to get travel insurance?
  • Will there be amenities to suit my requirements?
  • Will the different climate affect me?
  • Will flying be stressful / possible?

Travel insurance can be tricky if you have extensive pre-existing medical conditions and will take a little time to research the best policy for yourself. Most policies will insure everybody but simply exclude cover for any existing illness. Other policies will allow you to add on cover for certain illnesses, for an additional premium. There are also companies that specialise in these areas and / or elderly travellers. Please do not be simply discouraged from travel altogether because of this, rest assured with a little research, you will get there in the end.

Any reputable UK tour operator will have a selection of wheelchair friendly properties. When you call with your requirements, please be patient! When I worked as a travel agent I recall a client becoming irate on the phone because I wasn’t able to produce an immediate selection of suitable hotels for him and his requirements and he accused our company of discrimination. The travel industry is very broad and it can take time to liaise with hotels / resorts to ensure that what is offered is definitely suitable. Villa companies usually will have ‘wheelchair friendly’ properties with wheel-in / walk-in wet rooms, wider doorways and handlebars.

In the UK, we are mostly graced with miserable, cold and wet weather. The good news here is that warmer climates can actually help certain medical conditions. Heat therapy (or thermotherapy) can improve muscle pain, chronic pain or stress, amongst others. So get your sun cream out and enjoy!

Flying long haul can be stressful for everybody. If you are elderly or have difficulty in walking long distances but are not in a wheelchair, the prospect of battling the airport alone can be terrifying. At the check in desk you can request a buggy to take you to the gate for your flight. If you are immobile, you should advise your airline or travel agent prior to departure and they can arrange boarding assistance for you. Wheelchair users normally receive priority boarding to ensure you are comfortable prior to the flocks of other passengers boarding. If you have a life threatening allergy, you should also advise your airline prior to travel. I have known instances in the past where the airline has banned all nut products from the entire aircraft because one passenger had a severe allergy.

I am one of the 11 million people to suffer with a disability. I have chronic fatigue syndrome and fibro myalgia and can empathise with others who find travel difficult but do not want to miss out on these fabulous joys in life. 

If you have any queries, please feel free to email me and I will try my very best to help you;

Info@cuddleyourglobe.com
References

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-facts-and-figures/disability-facts-and-figures

https://www.painscience.com/articles/ice-heat-confusion.php

Feeling Alive in The Dead Sea

Feeling Alive in The Dead Sea

Everybody has heard of the Dead Sea with its infamous mineral products, but how many of you have actually been there?

For those of you who haven’t, these are the fabulous reason why it needs to go to the top of your travel bucket list.

  
It’s the lowest point on Earth at 420 metres below sea level. When you are there it is eerily peaceful and feels like you are in a different atmosphere, a different world.

The Dead Sea has many healing properties. It’s unique minerals and solar build up is known to help heal breathing problems along with chronic skin and joint problems.

A lot of people dislike the regular sea because of the creatures who make it clear we are unwelcome. Well, the good news here is that due to the high salt amount in this stunningly giant ionic compound, nothing can survive so you can swim freely without the worry of being stung nor bitten.

The best bit – you can float! The rumours are true. I can vouch for it as a pretty heavy and tall female, it is impossible to actually stand in the sea. The force of the salt content physically pushes you to the surface so you don’t need a lilo to kick back and read a book.

It is disappearing. The Dead Sea levels are dropping by approximately 1 metre a year. In 200 years it is very likely that the Dead Sea will be just dead. As if you needed another reason to get out there ASAP.

Tips on visiting-

Make sure you do not have any scratches or open wounds when you enter the Dead Sea or you will be sorry you did. Also, leave at least 24 hours after shaving before attempting to enter. Take some jelly shoes (yes the ones you wore as a child!) as the sea bed is very sharp-rocky and slippery. In some hotels it is mandatory to wear them to get in the water.

I actually feel extremely fortunate to have been able to experience the Dead Sea. I would return in a heartbeat and urge you to visit before it’s too late.

  

Feeling Alive in The Dead Sea

Feeling Alive in The Dead Sea

Everybody has heard of the Dead Sea with its infamous mineral products, but how many of you have actually been there?

For those of you who haven’t, these are the fabulous reason why it needs to go to the top of your travel bucket list.

  
It’s the lowest point on Earth at 420 metres below sea level. When you are there it is eerily peaceful and feels like you are in a different atmosphere, a different world.

The Dead Sea has many healing properties. It’s unique minerals and solar build up is known to help heal breathing problems along with chronic skin and joint problems.

A lot of people dislike the regular sea because of the creatures who make it clear we are unwelcome. Well, the good news here is that due to the high salt amount in this stunningly giant ionic compound, nothing can survive so you can swim freely without the worry of being stung nor bitten.

The best bit – you can float! The rumours are true. I can vouch for it as a pretty heavy and tall female, it is impossible to actually stand in the sea. The force of the salt content physically pushes you to the surface so you don’t need a lilo to kick back and read a book.

It is disappearing. The Dead Sea levels are dropping by approximately 1 metre a year. In 200 years it is very likely that the Dead Sea will be just dead. As if you needed another reason to get out there ASAP.

Tips on visiting-

Make sure you do not have any scratches or open wounds when you enter the Dead Sea or you will be sorry you did. Also, leave at least 24 hours after shaving before attempting to enter. Take some jelly shoes (yes the ones you wore as a child!) as the sea bed is very sharp-rocky and slippery. In some hotels it is mandatory to wear them to get in the water.

I actually feel extremely fortunate to have been able to experience the Dead Sea. I would return in a heartbeat and urge you to visit before it’s too late.

You Always Take the Weather With You.

You Always Take the Weather With You.

Why you should never use travel to escape life’s troubles..

Yes it’s tempting to pack your essentials and clear off to a far away beach because life has become just a little bit too shit.

But, the reality is that whatever you are battling be it depression, anxiety, low self esteem or other medical problems, when your plane leaves the tarmac, it will come with you.

Too many of us try to put our problems in a box and lock it tight because we think we will be OK. But news flash – that box we are putting everything in is actually our mind and believe me if you don’t deal with it, it will stay there haunting you whether you are in your flat in London or a beach bar in Thailand.

I’ve wanted to book a long haul flight to ‘get away from it all’, however ‘it all’ will be the unwelcome luggage that travels with us.

Travel is an extraordinary thing which we are all priveledged to experience, so it shouldn’t be abused. Get help before you leave, talk to people, understand how you are feeling. Otherwise you will end up across the other side of the world, with all the same problems and alone.

It’s called (emotional) baggage for a reason. Unpack it before you travel.