Travel Tips…

Who doesn’t have a …. Hmmm. Horde, Host, Pile, Flock… A bunch of electronic items with them when they travel? I know I have too many but oh well. Laptop. Iphone (US). Iphone (France). Ipad. Tablet. Kindle. And yes, electronic toothbrush. OH and my FitBit Charge HR. (The latter so I know how many steps I have taken and how well I sleep. You’d think I could figure out the latter without the Fitbit…)

So charging is a challenge. Outlets are a challenge. At least part of the process has gotten easier. None of my devices actually need a “converter.” That thing that changes the 220v to 110v for our US devices. The companies have gotten smart and make the chargers that come with the devices the converter itself. But where to plug them in and when? It becomes a true balancing act when you see how few outlets there are in European apartments. Well, heck, in US hotels too. And my house in the states that was built in the 70s.

I find it used to be a daily challenge – what gets charged first. But this time I bought some French power strips and so I can plug in my device charger (with, of course, the European plug adaptor – different from a converter because it doesn’t convert the electrical charge, it simply allows you to plug the US plug into the adaptor and into the European plug.) To finish that earlier sentence – I can plug my device charger into the power strip and then just plug the USB cords in as needed. I don’t have to unplug over and over again. BUT wait there’s a better idea! From Ned. He brought a US power strip. Plugs in all the US devices to their own type of plug and just uses one adaptor to plug the power strip into the European wall outlet.

However, do beware. I was reading up on this on Amazon. You must have a power strip that takes 220v. Otherwise, it fries. Goes up in a whiff of smoke. I found one on Amazon – Monster – that a reviewer said will work. A friend coming over on the 16 is bringing me two. I got her one too as a thank you.

Of course, when I go to England, I do have to find an adaptor for the English plugs. Which are, of course, different from the French plugs. I have two people I will ask to find and bring.

The other tip: bring Zicam and Neosporin. They don’t sell Neosporin in Europe. One of those issues where they think we use too many antibiotics. I won’t argue with that in general. But I still bring a big tube. And now that I know about Aleve, I will bring that too.

The Zicam – I don’t know how many of you know about it. It’s zinc. And a wonder drug as far as I am concerned. Even pharmacist friends tell me to use it. At the first symptom of a cold – tickly nose or throat – take Zicam. You have to let it sit on your tongue and dissolve. You don’t eat it – the magical effect comes from the mixing with your saliva. All I know is it works. Last night I was supposed to go to Toastmasters. Just as I reached for the doorknob, I felt that tickle in my throat. I stayed home and immediately started the Zicam. It was one of the fastest growing colds I have had. My head turned into a regular bodily fluid factory. The kind of cold that would last weeks. At least days! Zicam every three hours and I feel pretty good this afternoon. It’s a full moon tonight and I was going to go down to Notre Dame for some photos – but I may just be sensible (Oh how boring!) and stay home and stay well.

Last tip – you can never have too many zip lock bags of varying sizes.

Do you have any tips to share? I would love to hear them.

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