Friday, April 11, 2014

Make Sure Souvenirs Are All You Bring Back From Your Holiday !


There have been a number of recently publicized cases where returning travelers to their home countries, including Canada, have come back and gotten quite ill from diseases they have brought back with them.
A recent study states that many of these cases that developed could have been prevented.
Some of those diseases that returned with the travelers, such as malaria, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, along with typhoid fever and tuberculosis could have been prevented by a simple visit to a travel health professional.
Others could have been minimized by a visit to a doctor when the first signs of any kind of usual or unusual symptoms of illness were first felt after their return.
These cases are on an increase, not just because of vacation travel, but in an increasingly mobile population commerce is carried out in every corner of the world. Not your usual traveler adventure seekers are increasingly looking far off the beaten path of normal vacation destinations for satisfaction. It is therefore no wonder that contact with communicable diseases is growing.
The study pointed out the fact that two thirds of the patients in the study, which included over 4000 participants, did not even try to consult a doctor for input before departing on their journeys.
The study underscored that even for the most popular vacation destinations where we may take travel health safety for granted; some measures of caution and protection are usually advised.
These include vacations in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico, where the greatest numbers of Canadians travel.
At least 20 percent of returned travelers suffer some kind of illness or other.
Longtime immigrants to Canada often feel, because of their history and culture relating to the country from which they came, that they don’t need to take the same pre-travel health precautions. They believe because they once lived in the country, they are immune to diseases that the rest of the populations of visitors are susceptible to catch.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The facts are that those travelers who went back to visit friends and relatives require medical treatment in double the numbers of all returned travelers. And worst of all, this group also were in the lowest percentage of all those who chose to meet with a professional for pre-travel consultation.
The immunity that they may have had when living in the country is eroded more quickly than most expect when they start living under the standards in a health developed environment of Canada or the United States.
While pre-travel consultations are very important there are other actions travelers should undertake when they are visiting any country where health standards are not up to those here in  Canada.
If you are already under medication for medical issues you have had, the most obvious of recommendations is to be sure to check with your own physician before you even consider booking a trip to be satisfied he or she supports that decision.
Carry more medication than you will need, and whenever possible keep them in the original containers. Never store medications in your checked baggage.
Stay away from fruits that don’t need peeling and never eat raw meat, fish, or shellfish in countries or resorts where you are not sure of their storage and usage policies.
While it really is exciting to want to try foods sold by street vendors, safety first would suggest you avoid the desire to do so. It may seem like you are experiencing local life better when you do, but your innards may balk at the intrusion.
Stick to commercially bottled water, soft drinks, and fruit juices over tap water. There is a number of water purifying tablets and liquids that can be purchased as well.
If you are travelling to a region where mosquitoes are prevalent be sure to take along insect repellent containing the largest amount of DEET you can find. The higher the concentration the longer the product will protect you. A repellent with 30% DEET should provide protection for about 6 hours.
Even during hot evenings long sleeves and long pants and socks are advised. Light coloured clothing attracts fewer bugs.
For traveler's diarrhea treatment and prevention, there are some over the counter products that can be taken to prevent or alleviate at least some of the symptoms.
To repeat my on-going precautions in this area always check and double check your travel health insurance policies to know inclusions and exclusions beforehand.
In Winnipeg you can book your pre-travel health visit with the Journeys Travel Clinic by calling 204 982-9489. Other places in Canada can be found at http://www.travelhealthclinics.ca/.
For safety and other prevention and comfort travel accessory products visit journeystravelgear.com  on line. You will find just about everything you need to travel anywhere in the world on that site.




posted by That Travel Guy @ 1:03 PM  |  0 Comments

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Back to Montreal.


This weekend I will head out once more, this time to what may be my favourite city in Canada.

Since I worked for an advertising agency whose head office was in Montreal many many years ago it has been a favourite.

While this trip is for business I will arrive on time to catch the Montreal/Detroit game at the Bell Centre. 
In the morning I will take my time getting up and head out to China Town for a dim sum brunch. And on Monday I actually go to work choosing luggage at one of the largest and best suppliers of luggage in Canada. 

The Holiday Group, as it is known, owns or has distributing rights to brands like TravelPro, Roots, National Geographic, Atlantic, Austin House, Swiss Wenger and a whole lot more. 

We'll work hard on Monday and celebrate our new buys at another great Montreal restaurant before I head home early Tuesday morning.

This is the one big city in Canada that is so different from the others.


While French may be the language that dominates the bars, restaurants, and shopping centres, it is a wonderfully cosmopolitan city with the voices of many lands commanding their own presence.

Don’t believe you will be insulted and not served because you don’t speak French. While you may occasionally encounter this rudeness, in my experience it just hasn’t happened to me. And if you really want a quick response, try speaking your broken French and they will quickly jump to your rescue with English conversation.

This is a major tourist city, and for the most part economics has no language barriers.

Old Montreal is worth a day’s visit unto itself. The casino, renovated a long time ago from the Expo 67 French pavilion, was one of the largest in the country for a long time.


And visits to the popular streets and neigbourhoods of Boulevard St-Laurent, Crescent Street, and the many substantive ethnic regions that dot the city make it a complete tourist package.

I won't take in much of the above on this trip but I will surely try Montreal smoked meat, likely at Schwartz's and take a walk around old Montreal.

A couple of weeks later I will be bringing in the brand selections I have made.

In the meantime if you are looking for great light-weight quality luggage go to journeystravelgear.com where you will find a selection of our existing lines of TravelPro, National Geographic, Austin House

and Swiss Neo-lite, along with a wide range of others.

I am currently using the amazing new series of TravelPro Magna with the patent pending magnetic wheels and I love the set completely.

posted by That Travel Guy @ 5:27 PM  |  0 Comments

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Grand Canyon was as Grand as Can Be!



I knew I would not likely get back.

Being as close as I was to the Grand Canyon with only a two hour drive I had to go. Interestingly the most hair raising part of the drive was in the first 30 kilometres from Sedona with its never ending hairpin turns and up and down two lane portions that really took a while to complete.



The rest of the road was excellent and even as I got close to the Grand Canyon I thought I must have taken the wrong turn.



The road is mostly flat, even upon entering Grand Canyon National Park.


 Once the car was parked, still on flat land it was a short walk to the rim of the canyon. And that was majestic.

I was overwhelmed with what nature has provided and could not get enough of walking along the rim to keep etching more and more into my memory.


This was special.

Because I have to carry on to my real purpose for coming to Arizona, the International Travel Goods Association luggage show I will keep further comments until later and let this be a photo show of what I say.



If you get anywhere close on any of your future journeys, make a point to take in this spectacular offer from natures own paint book.



If you have travel questions or travel comments email me at askjourneys@journeystravel.com and visit us for the best in travel products at www.journeystravelgear.com

posted by That Travel Guy @ 9:04 AM  |  0 Comments

Friday, March 7, 2014

It was a Pink Jeep Adventure!



The story of how this company came to be called the Pink Jeep Company is interesting in itself.

The owner, after visiting a resort in Hawaii, was persuaded by his wife to change the name because of a similar branding exercise incorporated on the resort they visited.

And so it would become the largest tour company of its kind in the Sedona area with more than a dozen vehicles working all the time, noted by passerby tourists who cannot avoid seeing the bold pink vehicles pass them by.



They offer a variety of tours.

I took the one entitled Old Indian Ruins. It proved to be a fascinating journey through time as the history of the first natives was told to us by an excellent driver and guide.

While the area today is covered with trees the reason it became the settling ground was for the agricultural lands that product food abundantly for the tribe.

It is noteworthy that when the white men came and brought literally thousands of head of cattle the grasslands disappeared, trees grew and forever after it became abandoned land for whites and natives.



Like in so many areas the white settlers drove out the natives from the best lands and only recently have they achieved a small measure of compensation of sorts.

The natives, during their time left signs of an interesting society that is worth exploring today.

 







posted by That Travel Guy @ 7:00 PM  |  0 Comments

And Then Came Sedona!



So many had told me that Sedona was an interesting place to visit.

It had to be on my list for this trip even though I thought the reasons given for the enthusiasm about the area seemed sketchy.


Sedona is a long way up there. I don't mean in driving distance although the journey is an interesting one driving along at 75 mph plus on winding up and down roads, some of which are not the best in the state.

But the altitude of Sedona is 4500 feet above sea level with some of the surrounding communities like Flagstaff are 7000 feet above that same sea base.

As a result the weather we have had, while hot during the day is somewhat cooler than in the Phoenix area. I imagine during the other winter months the range could be even more with some pretty frosty nights.

What strikes you as you get closer to Sedona is the majesty of the red rocks, or should I say mountains that appear before you with every curve and hill you pass.



They really are majestic.

The centre of Sedona truly is a major tourist attraction with every shop and restaurant clearly catering to the tourist crowds.



We are staying at the L'Auberge de Sedona. This I am sure must be the best if not one of the best in the entire region.

Our accommodations are in one of the single units that dot the hillside looking down into a valley and winding river or creek and looking up into the majestic red rocks of the region.

Watching the effects of the color changes with the sun's movement has been captivating.

These units each have a large balcony, a living room style area in addition to the bedroom and a sauna room in addition to the great bathroom amenities.



This is a fascinating place that offer a wide range of daily complimentary activities from Mind/Body/ Spirit  lectures to stargazing, and Yoga stretch classes.




On this trip Rae and I both brought our brand new rust TravelPro Magna suitcases, and I also am travelling with my 4 wheel business case from Samsonite, which I really love.



I have been wearing my Tilley hat as the sun has been very strong, and Rae keeps taking along both her rolling Lug carry-on and her old Ameribag.

 I noticed she also switches to a small Derek Alexander carry purse when we go for dinner or similar outings.





 If you have travel comments or travel questions email me at askjourneys@journeystravel.com You can see previous questions and httpanswers at http://www.journeystravelgear.com/AskJourneys.cfm  See our wide range of travel products at www.journeystravelgear.com 















posted by That Travel Guy @ 8:02 AM  |  1 Comments

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale

The Rusty Spur.

Another unique experience today!

The company is Arizona Food Tours and what they do is take visitors for a sampling of 5-6 different restaurants.

Believe me after the tour you will not be hungry. Each stop serves a different plate and each one was quite fantastic.

Our tour guide was a young man and part owner of the organization whose name is Zach Egedy.

He was totally organized and the people at the restaurants were always ready for us as we arrived.

All of the restaurants were in old town Scottsdale within easy walking distance of each other.

The company does both lunch and dinner tours with the dinner tours only taking place outside of weekend nights.

We were on the lunch tour and it was indeed a tasty and filling series of treats.

Today our first stop was at the Rusty Spur Saloon. A very casual atmosphere where their own version of hamburgers with their special toppings was a great way to start. You would think a hamburger might not be much to get excited at but this was a really excellent burger, not at all what you get at any drive through.

Old Scottsdale

Next was Malee's on Main, a Thai restaurant that we are determined to go back to before we leave. Their Tom Ka Gai soup was as good as any we have tasted anywhere.

Then some great tastes at The House Brasserie served by chef Matt Carter in a wonderful outdoor patio connected to the main house and kitchen.

Then we sampled some excellent Olive Oils at Outrageous Olive Oils and learned a heck of a lot about quality and what you need to look for when you want to ensure you are buying quality oils.

Finally Distrito the restaurant in the hotel we are staying at the Saguaro, which is right on the edge of old town Scottsdale.



The chef is Jose Garces of Iron Chef fame and his Mexican fusion tastes are so good we went back to dine there again.

We wondered up and down the art streets of old Scottsdale and then wound up the day with another fine meal at the Cafe Zuzu in the famous Valley Ho hotel. The Valley Ho, built in the mid 1950's and upgraded a number of times within the parameters of a historical building constantly entertained the rich and famous of that era.

It is where Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood got married. Jimmy Durante was a regular as were Zsa Zsa Gabor and so many other greats of that day.

With all of the renovations it is still the place to go for many celebrities.

View from Valley Ho of Scottsdale!

If you have travel questions or comments email me at askjourneys@journeystravel.com 









posted by That Travel Guy @ 9:56 PM  |  0 Comments

One of Best Museums You Will Ever Visit! MIM.



After landing and acquiring our auto rental at the Phoenix airport we headed straight for the Musical Instruments Museum, only because we could not check into our hotel until later yesterday afternoon.

While the idea for the visit held some curiosity for me it would not likely have been my first choice for a museum visit but for the persuasion of the people at the Arizona Tourist Board.

Highly rated by Tripadvisor and the major tourist magazines they said. Loads of instruments from all countries going back hundreds of years.

OK, I said with limited enthusiasm.

All of what they said is true. There are a lot of music playing machines from all over the place and they are very interesting. But the real attraction is the placement of videos at most locations with a sound touring equipment that triggers itself as you approach each and every video stand.

You will hear Don Messer and the Islanders in the Canadian section. You will see the Red River Jig and other numbers that originate in other parts of Canada.


You will find and entire Elvis section with much of his memorabilia as a result of the close alliance they have established with the Graceland foundation after they were able to repair an old broken down Elvis guitar.

You will see the instruments of the greats in all genres of music from rock and roll, to blues to country and even bandstand.

There is a display of hand crafted instruments created from the daily cans and boxes found around players who loved music but could not afford to buy instruments from stores.

And unique one of a kind creations that have withstood the test of time. Or have been made as show piece for a particular musician.

From the nations of the world you will see there and hear these instruments played by those who used them from the beginning of the days when film was first invented into modern times.



Each countries sound is not only on display but there is even a section where visitors, and children especially can try their hand at creating the sounds of nations.

We only spent about 3 hours here. We could have spent 3 more and not experienced half of what there is to hold rapt attention because of the education, sounds of the music and the talent that created them.

If you are going to Phoenix do not pass up the opportunity to experience this attraction. You will be glad you did.

If you have travel comments or travel questions email me at askjourneys@journeystravel.com   You will also find wonderful travel products at www.journeystravelgear.com  

posted by That Travel Guy @ 5:03 PM  |  0 Comments