Month: December, 2020

Guided Meditation In The News

December 24, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments

Guided Meditation In The News

Many studies have been done on the effects of guided meditation and most of these studies have proven its effectiveness on calming a person’s mind and body. Guided meditation is not a new exercise and has been around for many years but since the recent notice of stressful and time consuming jobs and lives, many people have turned to it to help relieve their stress and to instruct them on how to deal with straining situations. Through the use of guided meditation practices, people who participate in these meditative sessions are finding more calm and quiet moments in their lives, even when they are not meditating.

Guided meditation and private meditation were developed in the Buddhist community about 2,500 years ago and have been used ever since. The Dalai Lama takes this line of guided meditation so seriously that he decided to meet with Western neuroscientists to help them test the effectiveness of the guided meditation exercises. The Dalai Lama stands by meditation by referring to it as a way that human beings express their ability to avoid suffering and find their own personal happiness. The Dalai Lama met with these scientists in a number of sessions in which they interviewed him and presented their research on the subject of guided meditation. He offered his opinions on the subject from his Buddhist point of view but also engaged in the scientists’ factual understanding of meditation and its effects. Although the Dalai Lama stands by his completely spiritual and meditative practices, he cooperated with the scientists and showed them that he understands the importance of science and research on the subject.

Guided meditation was shown to be effective at calming a person’s inner thoughts and sometimes relieving ailments such as migraines. By attempting to achieve the three levels of guided mediation, many people have found their limit of difficulty and what they need to work on to make their meditative session more intense. The meditating person must first work to achieve an external focus during a guided meditation session. This is the most basic type of meditation and the easiest form to achieve. In the external focus session, the person must concentrate on an object in the room while still paying close attention to his or her own body. The internal focus is a form of guided meditation that is found to be a little more challenging. In this form of meditation, the person must focus on occupying the mind with a mantra or another small but non-thinking task while concentrating solely on removing thoughts from the brain and relaxing the body. The unfocused form of guided meditation is the most challenging form and it is the form where the person meditating can go the deepest into the meditative state. In this state of meditation, the person focuses on nothing and keeps the mind completely silent.

People are finding the world of meditation is easy to become one with when they use the help of guided meditation. Many users can achieve their meditative goals and the meditative state of calm with guided meditation.


December 22, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments


Belladonna is not an herb that you are going to want to stock your pantry with. While it has its benefits, this is an herb that can be very dangerous and sometimes even fatal. It has some medicinal properties to it and has an interesting history but it can be very dangerous. The nickname “deadly nightshade” is a good clue of its potency. There is however a tincture that comes from this plant that is used for medicinal purposes. Belladonna is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia Minor but is now grown quite often in the United States, Europe, and India. When the plant is in full bloom the plant is harvested and then dried for use.

The most important contribution from Belladonna is atropine which is an important agent that is useful in dilating the pupils of the eye. This has proven to be very beneficial. Even small doses of atropine can cause the heart rate to increase. Some cough syrups are known to contain atropine and are used for bronchitis and whooping cough. Further it is used to soothe the stomach lining prior to an anesthetic being administered and also for peptic ulcers.

Belladonna goes by many different names but has been used for over 500 years. While growing in the wild, which belladonna commonly does, a slight dose can be fatal. In the earliest times when Belladonna was first used it was cosmetic purposes. Women felt that if they used it to dilate their pupils that they would look more sexy and alluring. That is why the name Belladonna means “beautiful lady” in Italian. Yet, it is still used in many eye doctors’ offices across the country to this day.

Belladonna also has other great benefits for purposes of what it is used for today as it has the ability to dry up bodily fluids such as breast milk, saliva, perspiration, and mucous. The alkaloids in Belladonna are used for many conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders such as colitis, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, colic, diarrhea, and peptic ulcer. It also works for asthma, excessive sweating, excessive nighttime urination and incontinence, headaches and migraines, muscle pains and spasms, motion sickness, Parkinson’s disease, and biliary colic.

Quite often Belladonna is used as homeopathic remedies such as the common cold, earaches, fever, menstrual cramps, sunstroke, toothaches, headaches, sore throats, and boils. How the patient ingests and how much they ingest is determined by a few various factors such as their symptoms, mood, and overall temperament. When Belladonna is administered for homeopathic use it is highly diluted because of the toxicity level of it.

No one should ever use Belladonna as a self help measure and it should only be taken under the care of a qualified doctor. The doses given of Belladonna are always in very low doses. When Belladonna is prescribed it is either added to sugar pellets or mixed with other types of drugs and is available by prescription only. So while it is clear that Belladonna is an extremely dangerous herb it is also very beneficial when used correctly.

Information About Pre Menopause

December 20, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments

Information About Pre Menopause

For women in their thirties menopause is the last word they want to hear and the last thing they want to think about. No one wants to admit that they’re at that stage of their life yet, even if it is just the “pre” menopause stage. It doesn’t ever feel like it should be happening yet, especially when most people still have babies or small children at that age. And yet, you can tell your body doesn’t feel 100% normal. You’re not eating any differently but you started gaining wait, your breasts are sore, and your periods are becoming irregular. You’re skin is dry and your sex drive just isn’t what it used to be. You’re irritable, tired, and getting headaches. So what’s the deal, what is happening?

Pre-menopause is something that all women either know about or have at least heard about, but no one seems to have a name for it or be able to recognize it when it rears its ugly head. Millions of women are going through pre-menopause or have experienced some kind of symptoms, but don’t think there’s any possible way it’s menopause because they’re still in their early thirties.

Symptoms that come along with pre-menopause are basically the same as those that go with menopause: PMS, endometriosis, fibroids, tender and sore breasts, fatigue, irritability, depression, foggy thinking, sudden weight gain, having a hard time conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to full term, memory loss, migraine headaches, light or very heavy periods, spots, bleeding in between periods, and cold hands and feet. While it is a pretty long list, chances are you won’t have every single symptom, but instead just a select few.

All of these symptoms are caused by hormone imbalances, mostly from having too much of the hormone estrogen and not enough of the hormone progesterone. These symptoms are not just scientific and medical; they also have a lot to do with and are more evident in women who are out of touch with their bodies and feelings. Basically, stress heightens the symptoms.

When women have the prescribed pre-menopausal symptoms doctors will usually administer estrogen supplements. Unfortunately, if estrogen doesn’t clear up symptoms, doctors will often perform hysterectomy’s or try drugs for depression such as Zoloft of Prozac unnecessarily. Other than getting pills, women can utilize a healthy diet and regular workout and exercise regimen to help with these early pre-menopause symptoms and an easier life transition.

Pre-menopause is the mixture of a body beginning to cross yet another age marker, and symptoms that every woman will notice around 10-15 years before actually going through menopause. It’s kind of like a dress rehearsal for the big show.

Travel Preparation For Trips At Sea

December 18, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments

Travel Preparation For Trips At Sea

Packing your bags for a cruise may seem like a no-brainer but there is travel preparation involved. While forgetting an item or two won’t ruin your vacation, it will create unnecessary headaches and hassles. Here are some things to remember when packing for your trip.

Cruise ships are not required to have doctors or medical facilities. That being said, there is usually a first aid station and a physician or nurse onboard. The ship’s gift shop usually stocks some basic over the counter medication but you’ll pay for the convenience. You can also purchase things at your ports of call but dealing with this hassle can take away from enjoying your trip.

First off, make a list of the things that you usually forget. After you’re done packing consult your list to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

Be prepared for the sun. The sun can be the most deceiving in cool weather destinations or when it is overcast. While returning with a nice bronze glow can be ideal, don’t be over anxious. Bring sun block and sunscreen and apply it frequently. Getting a burn early on in your vacation will limit your activities on your cruise ship tour and make for a less enjoyable holiday. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and lip balm as well. Again, you can (and should) buy these onboard the ship but it will be an added hassle and expense. If you’re especially sensitive to the sun then consider bringing loose fitting long sleeve shirts and long pants; linen clothing is perfect for the warm weather.

Sea sickness is a problem for many and if you have a tendency to get sea sick then come prepared. Bring sea sickness pills or other alternative treatments. Remember that the center of the ship sways the least. Your first couple of hours (if not day) will be adjusting to the movement of the ship so don’t plan any big activities.

Pack all of your prescription medication since filling a prescription will be a hassle, if not impossible, at sea. Make a copy of your prescriptions or a copy of the medicine bottle; if you loose your medication then replacing it will be easier. It’s also a good idea to bring an over the counter medicine kit for tummy aches, headaches and allergies. If you’ll be traveling to other countries, your digestive system may not be immune to the bacteria in the food and water. Your doctor can prescribe you anti-diarrhea pills to take just in case you encounter this problem.

With some travel preparation you can have a cruise ship tour that is hassle free. Protect yourself from the sun, prepare for sea sickness and remember your medicine.

Physical Symptoms of Depression

December 14, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments

Physical Symptoms of Depression

Depression is often called “mental illness” and most of us know about the emotional symptoms of depression. However, clinical depression frequently causes physical symptoms as well. In fact, a lot of people with depression feel pain or other physical indications, which include:

Ø Headaches. These are somewhat widespread physical symptoms of depression in people. If one already suffers from migraine headaches, these become worse when they are depressed.
Ø Muscle aches and joint pain. This is one of the physical symptoms of depression which is aggravated with depression; chronic pains become worse with depression.
Ø Back pain. People suffering from back pain gets it more often when they are depressed.
Ø Chest pain. Apparently, it is very essential that one experiencing chest pain should be checked by a specialist immediately because it can be a sign of a serious heart problem. However, chest pain is also one of the physical symptoms of depression.
Ø Sleeping problems. Several people suffering from depression can no longer sleep well; they either wake up too early or have trouble sleeping when they go to bed. Others have excessive sleeping.
Ø Digestive problems. One of the common physical symptoms of depression are feeling queasy or nauseous, including having diarrhea or becoming chronically constipated.
Ø Exhaustion and fatigue. The feeling of being tired or worn out no matter how much sleep one does is one of the physical symptoms of depression. Even getting out of bed may seem very difficult if not impossible to do.
Ø Change in appetite or weight. Weight and appetite are also affected with depression. Some people lose appetite and weight, but for some they find cravings for certain foods like chocolates and carbohydrates, therefore they gain more weight.
Ø Dizziness or lightheadedness. Depressed people may experience being lightheaded or dizzy when they wake up in the morning or during the day.

A lot of people who have depression never get help because they are not aware that their physical symptoms may be caused by depression, and a lot of doctors miss the symptoms as well. The physical symptoms of depression are not “all in your head”, it can cause real changes in the body that can result to a lot of physical problems.

Some cases of depression require treating it with therapy or medicine or both, which will also resolve the physical symptoms. Just make sure to inform the health care provider about any physical symptoms, and don’t assume that it will go away on its own. It may need additional treatment; the doctor may recommend antianxiety medications for insomnia that will help in relaxation and better sleep. Other treatments can also help with the painful physical symptoms of depression such as focused therapy that can teach ways to cope better with the pain.

Nasal Spray; Heroin for the common man.

December 12, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments

Nasal Spray; Heroin for the common man.

Before an intervention is called, I will go ahead and openly admit that I have a problem. I am addicted to over the counter nasal spray. Not because I have a killer sinus problem but because every time I fall off the wagon, the congestion returns with vengeance, blocking my nasal passages, stifling my sleep, and overall, decreasing my quality of life.

Summarizing from last weeks Grey’s Anatomy, the medical term of my condition is Rhinitis Medicamentosa. This is quite different from Allergic Rhinitis for the onset of the condition is the continuous usage of OTC nasal sprays, as opposed to AR, which is a blockage of the nasal passage due to a common allergen. Most of OTC nasal sprays come in one of two different flavors; Oxymetazoline and Phenylepherine. Oxymetazoline is the most common active ingredient (as found in Afrin) while Phenylepherine comes in second (as found in 4-Way Nasal Spray).

My troubles started back in early May. I had begun an intensive weight training program and had been making good progress towards eliminating body fat while gaining muscle and strength. But coupled with my intense workouts, a tight schedule at work, a flurry of “oh shit” home repairs, and ignoring my blood pressure medicine, I quickly found my head feeling like it was going to explode, and I was hospitalized soon thereafter.

Slowly through the usage of a combination of drugs, my blood pressure came back down. But I started to realize another issue; I was still receiving headaches. Not the same headache that I had experienced earlier (frequent blood pressure checks confirmed this), but more of a sinus pressured pain. The intensity would originate from the top of the nose to around the eye-brow and would work its way throughout the top of my head. It was as if someone squeezing the top of my forehead.

The pain always intensified after nasal spray usage, and would weaken as the day progressed. Usually the pain would wear off after a period of 12-13 hours. The congestion always persisted even after the headaches died down. This lead me to believe that the headaches were induced by the nasal spray.

I finally broke down and purchased the Rhinostat titration system. The premise behind a titration system is that you utilize the substance as needed, and when the liquid reaches a certain point in the bottle, you add a dilutent to reduce the contents of the active ingredient. The Rhinostat system appeared to work fairly well in the beginning. The bottle is a peculiar design and didn’t seem to penetrate my nasal passages the way a conventional nasal spray bottle did. The dosage of the decongestant is quite small, so if you find yourself frequently using your nasal spray, the Rhinostat system is going to become diluted quite quickly. Unfortunately the dilution of the system outpaced the withdrawal of my symptoms. In the end, I was left with a fully diluted solution and still a stuffy nose. In order to sleep, I relapsed.

I have tried several decongestant products since the Rhinostat system, and all have failed to clear my passageways. Here are the products I’ve tried in attempt to alleviate congestion (all of the products do not contain Oxymetazoline or Phenylepherine)

  • Sinusbuster
  • SnoreStop NasoSpray
  • Colloidal Silver Nasal Spray by Source Naturals
  • Sinus and Allergy Relief Nasal Spray by bioAllers

My Own Titration System

Since I was unsuccessful in finding a solution that allowed me to sleep in peace, I decided to create my own titration system that I could control the dosages.Since I was unsuccessful in finding a solution that allowed me to sleep in peace, I decided to create my own titration system that I could control the dosages.

Start with a full bottle of nasal spray and every time the fluid level reaches half, fill in the rest of the fluid level with Saline nose spray. BUT, not just any saline nasal spray. Don’t go the cheap route on this; make sure that saline solution does not contain benzalkonium chloride (e.g. Simply Saline). Benzalkonium chloride has been shown to further increase the rebound effect.

The Conclusion

So far, I still get somewhat congested and I can feel my sinuses swell up from time to time, but I think the intensity is slowing diminishing. I’ve heard that it takes 4-7 days to withdrawal cold-turkey, so utilizing a titration system I can reasonably expect double that time-frame before I can draw any real conclusions.

The Balinese Massage Therapy

December 8, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments

The Balinese Massage Therapy

Having originated on the exotic island of Bali, the Balinese massage therapy is one of a number of ancient traditional massage techniques of Indonesia which had been carried down from one generation to another as a method of curing a wide variety of complaints. The Balinese massage is extraordinarily unique in that it brings together several alternative medicine practices such as massage therapy, acupressure, reflexology and aromatherapy with the use of essential oils scented with striking aromas of jasmine, rose, sandalwood, coconut, cempaka, sandat or frangipani into a single massage session.

As it is true with most massage techniques, the Balinese massage strives to reach the ultimate state of relaxation of the body and the mind. What sets it apart is that the Balinese believe that, in order to attain that heightened state of relaxation, blood and oxygen must flow freely and only then will the gi or energy flow without restraints as well.

The Balinese massage therapy is performed on a conventional massage table or on a soft mat on the floor and a great deal of attention is paid to the scented oils which are generally applied at room temperature. For restorative purposes of an ailing or painful body part, warmed oil with an added mixture of lemon grass, cloves or ginger is applied. Overall, the bouquet of fragrances used in the Balinese massage therapy is intended to induce relaxation, to promote indulgence of the body and to drive away nervousness and unhealthful tension.

To reach the deeper tissues of the muscles, the Balinese massage therapist alternately applies vigorous kneading, cross fiber mobilization as well as skin rolling with gentle motions to every muscle of the body. To enhance results with long lasting effects, robust acupressure movements such as hardy press point and strong palm pressure are generously applies in addition to the prevailing massage techniques such as sliding, long and short exploration and manipulating.

The Balinese massage therapy is far from being gentle or delicate and it is, therefore, time and time again compared to Ayurveda, an Indian holistic medicinal method which is considered by most as being extremely intense. And it is due to the inherent intensity of the Balinese massage, that this therapy is so successful in reaching deep into tense and strained muscles to sooth and calm their spasms.

As a matter of fact, the Balinese massage therapy is quite frequently prescribed for sports injuries as well as for stiff and achy joints due to various injuries or ailments, for easing migraines and other kinds of headaches, for relieving sleep deprivation and insomnia, for mitigating chronic and acute breathing maladies due to allergies and asthma, for boosting blood circulation and the lymphatic system, as well as for alleviating stress and easing anxiety and depression.

In essence, the Balinese massage is a rigorous yet lavish therapeutic system that aims to bring the body and mind in full synchronization of optimal health, well being, tranquility and spiritual renewal.

Have you decided to give the Balinese massage a try? Good choice! Relax, enjoy the process and come out smelling heavenly.

Mustard For Health: Speed Up Your Metabolism And Improve Digestion

December 6, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments

Mustard For Health: Speed Up Your Metabolism And Improve Digestion

Mustard is known to be very helpful for digestion, and can help to speed up your metabolism.

Mustard produces such a tiny seed yet it yields many health benefits. Mustard is one of the most popular spices in the entire world and is used in every country as a favorite spice. Part of the cabbage family, mustard can be used in its whole seed form, as a ground powder or combined with wine, vinegar or some other liquid to create a loose paste.

There are three varieties of mustard: black, brown and white. The mustard plant grows to be quite tall and has a bright yellow flower.

It was imported to US through Spanish missionaries and seen as a cure-all. Its sharp and bitter taste, especially mixes into paste with vinegars, gave off a medicinal fume long before its health benefits were discovered.

Better than a Vitamin

Mustard seeds are a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as calcium, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, protein, selenium and zinc. Selenium is a nutrient that has been shown to help reduce asthma, arthritis and certain cancers. Magnesium also reduces asthma and lowers blood pressure. The effects of mustard are currently being studied for menopausal women and on migraine attacks.

Other Healthy Benefits

Just a few of mustard’s possible healthy benefits include:

Speeds up metabolism
Stimulates digestion, increasing saliva as much as eight times more than normal
Inhibits cancer cell growth and possibly prevents other types of cancer as well
Treatment of skin diseases through the application of sulfur found in mustard
Reduces in the severity of asthma
Decreases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Lowering of high blood pressure
Prevention of migraines
Facilitation of gastric juices which aids digestive problems and gives digestive aid
Soothing of sore throats, bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia
Disinfectant qualities it provides

Additionally it has four powerful qualities: it is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties.

How to Add Mustard to Your Diet

Mustard is for more than just hot dogs at the ballpark. Whether in ground powder form, seed form or out of the bottle, there are multiple ways to include mustard into your diet to reap its benefits. And since its pungent, tangy taste enhances food so uniquely, it can easily replace fattier condiment options such as mayonnaise, butters and sugary catsups.

Mustard is often used in Indian, French, German and Irish foods. But there are many more options as well.

Include powdered mustards in salad dressings, egg dishes, pickles, marinades and vinaigrettes.

Sprinkle whole mustard seeds on salads, over vegetables and rice and on roasting meats. Try roasting them first in a dry skillet for a nuttier taste.

Mustard paste is useful. Bottled mustard can be rubbed on meats before roasting. Try dipping cut vegetables in a mustard sauce for a unique, flavorful dip. Mustard paste can easily be added to mayonnaises, vinaigrettes, marinades and barbeque sauces.

Mustard is so versatile; you will find many exciting and new ways to use this old standby.

Wipe Off The Years From Your Appearance

December 4, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments

Wipe Off The Years From Your Appearance

For health conscious liver detox is mandatory. The best time for a liver detox is spring. Of all the things you can do in alternative health, the liver detox is probably one of the most important in terms of achieving maximum health in today’s environment.

We live in an age where our deteriorating natural environment is polluting our bodies with cigarette smoke, pesticides, food additives, smog, chemical toxins, heavy metals, and more that threaten our intestines, colon, kidneys, liver and gallbladders. It is best to detoxify your liver and gall bladder twice a year.

One of the primary purposes of the liver detox is to flush all of the gallstones from your body and minimize the chances of their return. One all natural herbal product that preforms well in assisting the body through a liver detox. DEEP Liver and Kidney Cleanse will improve your digestion and immune system and help to keep your whole body healthy.

Body signals that your liver needs detoxification include:

*- Chronic constipation
*- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
*- Frequent headaches
*- Eczema or skin related disorders
*- Flatulence, gas and bloating
*- Excess weight
*- Food allergies
*- Parasites in stool
*- Bad breath and body odor
*- Constant fatigue and low energy
*- Yeast infection
*- A yellowish tint to the skin and/or liver spots on the skin;
*- poor hair texture and slow hair growth;
*- skin itching and irritation. Elevated cholesterol (and all of the problems related to high cholesterol).
*- Anemia and large bruise patches indicate severe liver exhaustion•

Detoxing is no longer practiced by only the healthy few. Detoxification is regarded as an essential element for successfully treating cancer by alternative cancer treatment specialists. Detoxification of the liver with a liver detox diet can get the liver working properly again and help the individual regain their appetite.

Detoxification is an ongoing process that takes place continuously within the liver, lymph, kidneys, intestines, blood, and colon and in every cell in your body. Feeling tired and sluggish, blocked up or headaches, with
less tolerance of alcohol, sugary foods or caffeine are all possible signs that your liver may benefit from a detox.

The liver is the organ which helps in detoxification of our bodies. Designed to cleanse and detoxify the liver, DEEP Liver and Kidney Cleanse is an easy-to-use, a natural cleanse program that contains minerals, vitamins, herbs and amino acids which have long been used to promote healthy detoxification and cleansing of the liver. Liver & Kidney Cleanse is a scientifically balanced formula that provides your body with some of the strongest natural liver and kidney detoxifying ingredients available today. Naturally remove heavy medals such as lead and mercury from the body. A colon cleanse is of initial importance so as to prevent liver poisoning from reabsorbed toxins.

Tips For Traveling To The Caribbean

December 2, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments

Tips For Traveling To The Caribbean

The Caribbean has long been a favorite destination for American travelers. Treasured for its scenery and family-friendly atmosphere, the Caribbean is one of the safest travel destinations for millions of American tourists each year.

Yet, like anywhere else in the world, some travelers occasionally experience travel headaches. More often than not, these travel troubles are the result of poor planning by tourists. Hence, the key to a successful Caribbean vacation is preparation, from passports and choosing the right resort to learning important details about your destination and knowing how to pack.

To make sure that your Caribbean vacation is a success, here are some travel tips to consider while planning your getaway:

• Apply for passports as soon as possible. As all Caribbean destinations – with exception of St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands – require passports for air travel, every member of your family will need to apply. Being the first year of the new passport regulations, delays have increased (with some estimates placing completed application at 10 weeks). Since you don’t want to miss your vacation because of passports that haven’t arrived, complete this step before arranging the details of your vacation.

• Do some research before you travel. Try to learn about the culture of your destination and the locations of point of interest. Check reviews for hotels, restaurants and activities. Once you learn a bit about your Caribbean destination, you will be able to make informed decisions regarding resorts and activities.

• Since the Caribbean has plenty of great family activities, try to get your kids involved in the planning process. Your children will be happy to know they had a role in your family vacation and you won’t have to worry about disappointments.

• Try to book a resort near your points of interest that offers helpful services. Throughout the Caribbean, reliable resorts will often offer shuttle transportation, activity packages and might even have exclusive opportunities for guests. Also, try to take advantage of your resort’s local connections. It is possible to plan everything from car rentals to scuba diving tours directly through your resort.

• If you plan to visit the Caribbean during the high season (generally December to mid-April), make your hotel reservations about 2-3 months in advance. During the off-season (June to November), reservations at popular resorts are a bit easier to come by and also more affordable.

• Depending on where you plan to travel in the Caribbean, you may not need to exchange currency as many islands accept U.S. currency in addition to local currencies. However, in many cases, it is advantageous to carry the official currency of your destination – especially when traveling outside of areas frequented by tourists. If you are unsure whether or not you need to exchange currency, check with the concierge of your resort. Your concierge can also direct you to a reliable point of exchange.

• Throughout the Caribbean, food and drinking water are generally safe for your whole family. Yet, if you spend time exploring outside the major tourist areas – like the unique desert coast of Western Aruba – make sure you pack some bottled water.

• Wear sunscreen. Far and away, the most common health concern for tourists in the Caribbean is overexposure to sunlight. However, this hazard is also the easiest to avoid. Simply pack some good sunscreen and cover-up clothing for use on the beach or while playing outside.

• If for any reason you have any difficulties while on vacation in the Caribbean, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Nearly all of the islands in the region have an office offering helpful travel information and personnel able to resolve many common travel headaches.

• The U.S. State Department also offers detailed Consular Information Sheets for all the Caribbean nations. These information packets can help you understand entry and exit requirements, currency exchange, the location of consulates and embassies throughout the region and plenty of other local issues. Use the information of the U.S. State Department in conjunction with your travel guides to prepare for your vacation and avoid the unnecessary stress associated with international travel.

• Look into travel insurance programs before finalizing the details of your vacation. Travel insurance can protect you (and your money) in case you need to cancel your vacation, experience delays while traveling or have any medical issues. Review your existing homeowner’s and medical insurance plans to see if any of these conditions are covered before you travel.

Following these simple tips as you plan your vacation to the Caribbean will not only help you avoid common travel headaches, but also grant you and your family a perfect vacation.

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