Over 65 Travel Tips – Keeping Healthy While You Are Abroad

Are you enjoying retirement with grand plans that include seniors travel destinations? As strong and healthy as you might be at your age, it’s always a good idea to stay healthy throughout your retirement and particularly through any travel adventures and holidays you have planned.. Here are 4 very important over 65 travel tips to keep in mind the next time you start planning the next trip out of town.1 – Get Vaccinated.While you’re studying your destination, make it a point to check if there are any common local diseases you can get vaccinated against. It’s not required, but it’s definitely recommended for travel to exotic countries. You definitely don’t want to cut your vacation short simply because you got sick and had to go home, right? Make sure you take a visit to your doctor to ask about any travel vaccinations that may be required to stay healthy in your senior travels.Many diseases are carried by insects, especially mosquitoes in tropical climates. That’s why it’s always a good idea to pack insect repellent into your medicine kit – my favorite is Rid. Speaking of which…2 – Bring A First-Aid Kit Along.And no, you’re not supposed to bring band-aids and alcohol. Think of your medicine cabinet at home — that’s what your travel medicine kit should look like. You’ll need medicines for other common ailments in addition to your insect repelling measures. Here is what I tend to pack in my first aid kit, feel free to use it as a checklist:- Prescription drugs packed – preferably in their original containers/boxes
- Letter from your doctor stating the need for your medication
- VitaminsFirst aid kit:
- insect repellant
- Gastrolite
- Diarrhea mediation such as Imodium
- Tea tree oil
- Lucas’ paw paw
- Band-aids
- Aspirin / panadol
- Cold and flu tablets (without pseudoephedrine)
- Laxatives
- Medical information such as blood type, allergies and medication needs
- Thermometer
- Bandage for sprains
- Throat lozenges
- Emergency contact list3 – Watch The Drinking Water.Unfortunately, not all locations in the world have 100% safe drinking water straight from the tap. Drinking tap water can be the road to diarrhea and other digestive problems! If you’re not sure about the quality of the water at your location, err on the side of caution and drink bottled water instead.The same thing goes for eating — always order bottled water or soda, without ice. Ask the waiter if they wash your salad greens in tap water, and resist the temptation to eat anything raw (no matter how exotic it might be). Make sure all your orders are well-cooked!4 – Make Sure Your Medications Have Documentation.Some countries prohibit the entry of certain medications without the proper documentation. That’s why it’s important to bring documentation for your prescription medications and other meds the authorities may find suspicious. So, ensure that you get a letter from your doctor before you travel, stating the need for the medications and the amount you are traveling with.It’s also a good idea to note any food allergies you may have, especially if you take a tour package where your meals will be planned (like bus tours). It’s also a good idea to know the emergency numbers at your destination just in case something goes wrong.And finally, don’t travel if you’re feeling sick a few days before your departure. Postpone it if you have to, and cancel it if you feel you’ll be sick for days. Travel insurance should cover the costs of moving your vacation, so make sure you get covered before and during your holiday.

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The Sahl Hasheesh Rises to Prominence in the Egypt Property Market

The past ten years have been witness to considerable changes throughout Egypt, as the burgeoning tourist industry throughout the Red Sea region brought about new developments on an unprecedented scale. Whilst many of these developments are designed to cater for the mass market demand, a select number have sought to create something entirely more aspirational in their focus. The Sahl Hasheesh has been designed to provide the most desirable residential locations in the Red Sea region, a place of unparalleled beauty, where inspirational design has led to some of the most stunning property developments to be found anywhere on the Red Sea.Following on from the increasing early success of established resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada, the Sahl Hasheesh was designed as a purpose built resort, offering residents and visitors a wide choice of leisure, retail and sporting activities day and night. As such, people visiting the Sahl Hasheesh can browse through the boutique shops and cafes of the quaint Old Town region in the morning, before sampling the crystal clear blue waters of the legendary Red Sea on an afternoons scuba diving trip. For golf fans, there are a number of excellent golf courses to be found throughout the Sahl Hasheesh, allowing residents to lower their handicaps gradually, whilst enjoying the stunning surroundings of this beautiful development.An integral part of the growth of the resort has been the introduction of a number of luxurious new developments, and today the demand for property in the Sahl Hasheesh is increasing consistently, as the resort slowly begins to realise its full potential as one of the Red Sea’s leading tourist destinations. The emphasis on quality is to be found throughout the Sahl Hasheesh, from the stunning architecture, to the superb built quality. The focus on attention to detail is consistent throughout, and subsequently it is entirely understandable why the property developments which have launched to date have proven so commercially successful.The latest development to have launched is the stunning new Dream Heaven Resort, were residents can choose from a wide range of properties including studios and apartments through to luxurious villas. Designed for completion in the early months of 2013, by the property in the Dream Heaven Resort is likely to have benefited from considerable appreciation in value by the time they are handed over in just over two years time.It is fair to say, that from the moment you pass through the imposing security gates to the resort, it’s apparent that this is no ordinary resort. In the same vein, it would be safe to assume that the Sahl Hasheesh will take its place amongst the leading tourist destinations in Egypt in the years to come.

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Education – We’re Failing Our Children

There are reams of reading and stacks of studies purporting to assess various problems of the United States’ educational system. Each problem turns out to be rooted in our individual failure to place an extremely high value on a solid education. Our failure contrasts sharply with societal values of China, India or Japan where admission to universities is a high calling and competition for scarce slots is fierce.

This failure to assign a high value to education is all too easily laid at the feet of society rather than each of us. Unfortunately, that approach allows individuals to escape responsibility for doing something to reverse the “… rising tide of mediocrity”, so well documented a whole generation ago by the National Commission on Excellence in Education.1 If we truly cared we would be working, really hard, to reverse that tide.

The numerous findings of the Commission as to content, expectations, time and teaching2 are more compelling today than they were then. Little has been done to: extend the school year or extend daily hours in school. Those remain the same. (note 10 infra) A full core of language, math and science for all students is not required and only a third of students study the solid subjects.3 Teacher pay remains low in comparison to other professional opportunities for college graduates.4 Dropouts are 30% or higher.5 The disproportionate influence of the education lobby continues.6

The consequences of a failed system are severe. Our kids won’t have good jobs. Their quality of life will decline, sharply. Our culture will lose international influence. Commerce does not wait. CEOs can hire better educated workers offshore to sustain value. Why should the rest of us wait at home?

In 2005 the prestigious ACT noted: “… the number of post secondary school graduates will not be sufficient to fill the more than 14 million new jobs that will be added to the labor market by 2008. And, leaving high school without being prepared … will cost our nation over $16 billion each year in remediation, lost productivity, and increased demands on criminal justice and welfare systems.”7

In 1984 thirty seven states had minimum competency tests for high school graduation. By 1995 the number was seventeen. The minimums have tended to become maximums, thus lowering standards for all.8 Today rank and file teachers say with some irony that “No Child Left Behind” is coming to mean “All Children Left Behind.”9

The organized time that children spend learning in school has remained static at 180 days per year and about 6 hours per day for a generation. By contrast, educators in China, with one fortieth the per capita GDP of the United States, have 8 hour school days in its poorest, worst educated province.10 Talk about valuing education!

The Commission also noted that a “… 1981 survey of 45 States revealed shortages of mathematics teachers in 43 States, critical shortages of earth sciences teachers in 33
States, and of physics teachers everywhere. This shortage persists. The percent of college graduates going into the teaching profession has continued to decline.11

One specific thing we can do is vote! Votes can emphasize values. Votes get the attention of those who make policy. Even though federal and state education policies tend to dominate, a critical link in our system of education is the independent nature of local school boards. Where voters in local districts can lead, those politics can also help to elect state and federal officials with values that can help.

In short, we need to build a better value system for education. Ask prospective School Board members; ask state and federal candidates what they will do, specifically, to raise the priority of, and fund, high quality education for our children. Elect and retain those with pro-education answers, and actions. Don’t vote for those whose talk — and actions — fail to show that education is a topmost priority.

As parents, we must tell our children we value education highly — and back those words with deeds. Teachers alone cannot be expected to change the value system of our society. The preeminent value we place on education must be clear in all our social interactions, and in our families. Even through poverty, divorce, and single parenthood, education must be sustained as a most important activity of family life. No electronic toys, or ipods, or play time, until all of the homework is done. No cell phone privileges unless grades are up to snuff. And we all can think of additional ways to drive home the point that hardly anything is more important to our children and their posterity than acquiring a quality education. Learning well is simply essential to their future.12


1 A Nation At Risk: National Commission on Excellence in Education; April 1983
2 ibid: Findings; also following Note 10 re teacher shortages
3 Courses Count: ACT 2005 (American College Testing, formerly)
4 USCA: New Teachers and Old Pay Structures; 2002
5 Manhattan Institute: High School Graduation Rates in the U.S.; 2001
6 American Behavioral Scientist: The Political Context of Higher Education; 2000
7 ACT: Courses Count; Preparing Students for Post Secondary Success; 2005
8 Synthesis Report 20; NCEO 1995
9 Desert Sands Unified School District: Author interviews; 2006-2007
10 The Education Sector; Washington D.C. and IUCN Asia Directorate; 2001 (Ghizou; Lowest urban GDP/worst education)
11 Opportunity in Education
12 Author David L. Smith is retired from a dual career in local government and in business. He has owned a company, served as Chairman and CEO of a ten-university consortium doing technology transfers, and as County Administrator for one of California’s largest counties. He is state certified as a guest teacher, grades K-12, for his local school district.

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