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travelling to Vietnam

Are you travelling to Vietnam in the near future? Then it’s time to make a decision about whether to take anti-malarial pills or not. And despite what you might think, it’s not that easy a decision.

If you check the CDC website when you apply visa to Vietnam for your trip, you’ll see that most of Vietnam is malaria-free, but certain parts of Vietnam, those areas that are close to the borders with Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, and Thailand, still have malaria. Moreover, it’s a resistant strain of malaria, so only certain drugs will work, and the most common anti-malarial drugs will not work.
My sister and I recently traveled to Vietnam with our parents. We knew that while we were in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and other central parts of Vietnam, we were safe from malaria. But we were also going to visit Da Nang, which is right on the border with Cambodia. So, my mother, sister, and I all started taking our doxycycline as prescribed by the CDC and our doctors. My father was a different case. He worked in Vietnam back some forty years ago, and didn’t use anti-malarials then, so he figured he didn’t need them now, either. So, he went without. Luckily, none of us got sick – which makes me wish I hadn’t gone through the five weeks of taking this very strong antibiotic, but hindsight is 20-20.
When we arrived in our hotels in Da Nang, we discussed malaria and the mosquitos with our travel guide. He – like many of the locals – did not take any sort of anti-malarials, and had never gotten sick. He felt that we didn’t need to take the medicine, but we had already started it and it seemed safer to just continue.
 
Our travel guide explained that there are two types of mosquitos in that area, and that the mosquitos that had malaria only came out at night. Since we were inside our hotel by the time it got dark, we were perfectly safe. Now, he was a teaser, a really funny guy, and I did suspect that he might be pulling our legs – two types of mosquitos? But he seemed earnest.
In any case, we didn’t get sick…well, from the malaria. The antibiotics I took were so strong that I threw up if I took them without eating a full meal right beforehand. Still, I’d take that any day over the awful disease of malaria.
Traveling with children

Thinking twice about bringing your kids along when you travel to Vietnam? Traveling with children need not be stressful. Here are few tips on how you can enjoy your trip with less trouble and more fun after you apply Vietnam visa for your trip.

Plan with your kids
Get your kids’ opinions about the trip. That way, they will get involved and get excited about it. Children have limited attention span and can easily get tired. Choose simple but fun activities. Bring along disposable stuff like diapers instead of cloth. You can rent out strollers or prams which is more convenient than bringing along bulky equipment. Remember to pack any medication your children need and a first-aid kit. If with an infant, bring sterilizing equipment for bottle-feeding.
 
Keep them busy
Make the trip enjoyable for the kids by bringing along their favorite toys. Do not allow them to read on the road, this may add to motion sickness and constrain the eyes.
 
Be safe on the road
When in a car, be sure that seatbelts are securely in place. Remove unnecessary things on top of the car ledge that might fall over and hit your kids when you suddenly step on the brakes. If traveling in a public vehicle, keep your children on your lap or beside you. Crawling or walking around might cause them to fall.
 
Avoid motion sickness
Most children complain of being dizzy and sick while traveling, usually on a ship or a boat. If on the road, you can prevent this by planning several stopovers. Open your car windows to let in some fresh air. Before the trip, be sure that your children took a snack. You can also check with your doctor for appropriate anti-nausea medicines.
 
Prevent travelers’ diarrhea
You can avoid child dehydration by bringing plenty of distilled water. Stay away from street foods. Also avoid raw fruits and vegetables, seafood and rare meats.
 
Pack your kids’ favorite food
Children can be choosy when it comes to food. Adults may want to try out the local delicacies but kids prefer to eat something they are familiar with. Most specialty restaurants might add a kid’s meal to their menu; you can check it out before dining in.
Overall, the most important tip is: be patient. Sure, you will have some bad moments, but traveling with kids can be a lot of fun if you’ll take the time to understand them. It’s always nice to see your kids happy and smiling brightly, and of course, you should too!
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