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Traveling Tips During Swine Flu Period

Traveling abroad nowadays is made at an increased risk. Although staying at home is not the safest way of staying away from the flu, you should pay very much attention to some usfeul tips listed and detailed below if traveling to another country sharing the same medical issues. Most important is indentifying the symptoms of swine flu – Sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, fever (greater than 100ºF), fatigue, headache, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting, a worsening of preexisting conditions, a wicked case of the unhuggables. Besides, do not travel unless it is absolutely necessary for you to do that. Don’t go just because you have made the reservation.

Passengers using protection mask in the airport - traveling tips
Passengers using protection mask in the airport - traveling tips
First of all, if you are sick – DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME. So, if you have any kind of symptoms that can lead to this kind of flu, you should not leave anywhere seven days after you get sick or for at least 24 hours after you stop having symptoms. There are few categories of persons that have to take into consideration the risks of the swine flu outbreak – women who are pregnant, adults older than 65, babies and children under 5 or people of all ages who have any chronic medical condition, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease or weak immune system suppression caused by medicines or by HIV. But first discuss with a doctor whether to take flu medication with you or not. However, USA has not introduced travel restrictions for healthy people yet because it is thought that this is not a means of preventing people from catching the swine flu.
Plane crew wearing mask - traveling tips
Plane crew wearing mask - traveling tips
Before and after your flight, you may be screened by having your temperature taken by a walk-by thermal scanner or thermometer. Although it is commonly believed that masks are a way of protecting against swine flu. A very important tip is to wash your hands with soap and water very frequently or use an alcohol-based hand rub. Even if you cleaned your hands, avoid touching your nose or mouth. However, these do not stand for the old-fashioned hand washing with soap and water. Do not cough when you are very close to somebody else and do not forget to use a tissue. Moreover, the seat back pocket in the plane is a very dirty and dangerous place so the crew always has to clean it in order to avoid catching a flu. In addition, hotels are also an unsafe place to stay in, but if there is nothing you can do, then avoid drinking from the glasses provided or eat breakfast from the bar because these are enviroments where germs spread rapidly. It is advisable to avoid sick people. Identify possible health resources at your destination such as hospitals and clinics.After coming back home, remeber that the average incubation period of Swine Flu is 48 hours, that is you can reasonably expect to see symptoms within 48 hours in case you have the virus. In case you do start to feel sick, then avoid unnecessary travel/contact, drink plenty of fluids, consult a physician, if you must come into contact with others, wear a surgical mask for their safety.

Wearing a mask against swine flu in subway
Wearing a mask against swine flu in subway

Passengers wearing masks in a railway station against swine flu
Passengers wearing masks in a railway station against swine flu

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Rio de Janeiro Traveling Tips

Rio de Janeiro, a city of contrasts, has about 6 million inhabitants. Although the city is making great efforts to improve safety in the area, you should not worry about visiting Rio because most of the criminal acts take place in the West side, which is not basically the aim of the visitors. The rest, is ok alright to visit. It is advisable to pay attention to some basic rules when traveling to Rio, some useful tips are listed below. The currency in Brazil is the Real (R$, 100 centavos). Notes come in denominations of R$1, R$5, R$10, R$50 and R$100 and the coins in use are 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c, and 50c and R$1. If you want to change money, go to ‘Casa de Cambio’, where you will find the best rate. Moreover, the head offices of the major banks provide an exchange facility.

Rio de Janeiro 3D View
Rio de Janeiro 3D View
As their schedule, most are open until 1PM, and the rest till 2 or 3 PM. Pay attention, the minimum you can change is $100 and some may impose a $20 no matter the amount changed. US currency is the best to use in order to exchange money. You can use credit and bank cards at ATMs which have the Cirrus symbol and the credit card logos. Travelers‘ checks are ok, but you will not get a good rate, so you’d better use them only for emergencies.


Visa, AmEx, MasterCard and Diner’s are the most frequently used credit cards in Rio de Janeiro. Use them especially if you have to pay your hotel bill, at the restaurant or at shopping. MasterCard holders with a PIN number may obtain cash from any 24-hour machine which lists CIRRUS among its participating banks. Cash withdrawals on American Express card: Call 0800-785050.
Rio de Janeiro Traveling tips
Rio de Janeiro Traveling tips
Look for ATM’s with Cirrus system because they use the same exchange rates your credit company will use back home. So, do no change more money than you need – you will always lose some when changing. Travel agencies with currency exchange desks offer attractive rates. Don’t ever exchange cash with strangers in the street. The best currency to have in Rio are Euros and Dollars. Dollars are preferable, because of the higher rate. Until you get to your hotel in order to put your money in a safety box, use a money belt inside your pants. As tips for taxi drivers, they usually do not expect one, but hotel staff expect at least one BRC. A tip is between 10 and 15 percent in restaurants. But avoid giving tip to public servants, because this may be considered bribing.

The most famous event in Brazil is the Carnival, which lasts five days and starts at midnight on the Friday before ‘Ash’ Wednesday. There, visitors can see extravagant costumes, beautifully coloured, extraordinary parades, exciting sounds, where entertainment is at its best rates.
When it comes to eating, Rio is the best place for dining, where international cuisine is available but it is worth trying local dishes, like ‘feijoada’ which is based on black beans and pork served with rice, kale and manioc, ‘churrasco’, huge chunks of barbecued beef, or pork served with manioc and onions. Seafood is always prefered – fresh lobster, shrimp and shellfish appear on a large number of restaurant menus.

Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro

Latest Recession Travelling Tips

Even if the ‘hard times’ are here for everyone all around the world, don’t lose hope and most of all, don’t give up your travelling plans as there will be always some strategies available in order to save up money and benefit from the vacation:
1. Calculate carefully in advance. Hotel deals may differ from one night booking to fortnights. The “Better Tomorrow” promotion is currently available through March 31, 2009, at Starwood Resorts (which includes W, Westin, St. Regis, and Sheraton hotels). For every night booked you get 50% off the next night’s rate.

2. Pick a destination within driving distance. A family trip can be profitable as the price of gas went down. According to the AAA’s fuel gauge report, a gallon of regular gas now costs $2.46, on average, compared to $3.60 only last month and over $4 last summer. Still, this is not the case of airline companies.

3. Choose your own food. Especially if you travel together with your familiy is difficult to decide how much you will spend on food so choose a hotel such as Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, or Residence Inn, which provides a full-meal accommodation. As a bonus, you’ll get much more space for your money than you would in a standard hotel room at the same price point.

4. Travel light. No matter how you slice it, hauling a lot of stuff is going to cost you. Driving? The more your car is weighed down, the more gas you’ll burn through. Removing heavy items you won’t need could save you a few cents a gallon, which quickly adds up over the course of a trip. Flying? Many major airlines are now charging for a first checked bag and Southwest Airlines is the only major carrier that doesn’t charge for a second checked bag.

5. Cheap ride from the airport. Before your trip, find your destination airport in Official Airline Guide’s airport directory. Most airport web sites have a page outlining all the transportation options, including cabs, trains, buses, and airport shuttles. Some even provide a list of local hotels that offer a cheap or free shuttle. Typically, a family can save up to $40 each way simply by nixing the cab.

6. Stay where kids eat free. Fifteen years later, kids 12 and under still eat free at nearly 900 Holiday Inn properties throughout the Americas. Kids also eat free when you book Marriott’s “Escape Family Time” package at select destinations. Tip: This kind of “soft” deal is often promoted in a low-key way.

7. Discover our parks system. Pauline Frommer frequently champions national parks as the ultimate family destination. “They are cheap and rewarding at same time. Once you’ve paid to get in, you don’t have too many additional expenses. You can camp or stay in one of the park lodges, which tend not to be too expensive.” For $80, you get unlimited access to national parks for a whole year. Since individual parks typically charge entrance fees of $10 to $20 per visit, you could break even after visiting as few as four parks.

Latest Recession Travelling Tips
Latest Recession Travelling Tips

8. Snag CVB coupons. Always visit the online version of your destination’s tourism office or convention and visitors bureau (a.k.a. CVB) before you leave home, and poke around for a discounts or coupons page. For instance, if you head to the San Diego CVB coupons page, you’ll find that it’s chock-a-block with money-saving discounts on everything from harbor cruises and meals to tickets for top local attractions such as LEGOLAND and hot-air balloon outfitters.

9. Meet some friendly locals. There’s nothing like getting shown around for free by someone who, well, knows his way around. For instance, a grassroots group of some 120 volunteers called Paris Greeters are giving tourists fun, informal walking tours of the City of Light. Here in North America, we know of free greeter programs in New York City, Chicago, Houston, and Toronto. Typically, you need to sign up for your tour in advance. Greeters will usually not accept any tips, but will expect you to pay for their local transportation fares.

10. Stay at the YMCA. Each summer, the YMCA runs over 2,000 day camps and some 339 sleepover camps for boys and girls. Much lesser known are the handful of lodge- and cabin-based YMCA family camps, including the exceptional YMCA of the Rockies, which offer vacations all year long in enviable locations in tremendously scenic areas. Best of all, prices at these not-for-profit camps are downright affordable, with lodging sometimes starting at less than $700 a week for a family of four.

11. Act like you live there. A virtue of public transportation is that it lets your kids have a more authentic experience. Before visiting New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, or Washington, DC, hop on Hopstop.com for directions, maps, guides, and other helpful tips on getting around like a local.

12. Join the AAA. This one’s a no-brainer. The standard AAA membership costs $59 per year, but can be recouped in just a few days on vacation. Membership entitles you to discounts on an enormous range of travel services, from train travel on Amtrak and the Grand Canyon Railway to Hertz rental cars. You can chop up to 20% off your lodging bill at major hotel chains, including Hyatt, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn, and even Disney properties. And you can shave 10% off your bill at popular restaurant chains, including and Pizza Hut. (For more good-value spends, see our 6 Genius Travel Buys.)

13. Go electronic. The cost of choosing a paper airline ticket is skyrocketing—up to a whopping $75 at United. If you opt for an e-ticket and print it out online, you pay nothing.

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