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Read This Before Traveling with Pets

Traveling with your four legged friends: The term family is so broad nowadays especially considering how we view our pets. My dogs are not just parts of my family but they are the bond that keeps us going. Today pets are becoming more intertwined in…

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Traveling with your four legged friends:

The term family is so broad nowadays especially considering how we view our pets. My dogs are not just parts of my family but they are the bond that keeps us going. Today pets are becoming more intertwined in our lives and going everywhere we go. Its rare that I go on a plane and their isn’t an emotional support dog sitting close to me. Everywhere we go is becoming more and more accessible for animals and over half of American’s travel with their pets.

I bring my guys with me whenever I can and it makes me happier to have them with me. Animals are important because they have positive impacts on our lives and we need more positivity in our world.

I would never put my animals underneath the plane or in a cargo bay, bit that is a personal preference. Some dogs are perfectly fine with going down in the cargo, but not my babies. For the pet owners like me, getting your pet registered as s support animal is the way to go.

It’s becoming easier to get your dog or cat or really whatever pet registered as an emotional support animal, which means you can literally bring them anywhere. It doesn’t matter what the reason, because of the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) its illegal for someone to ask you why you need the support.

Emotional Support Animal

This is the best way to travel with your pet because with a support animal, you are not restricted by where you can take your pet. The process is actually pretty easy and only takes a few steps. First, to technically have an emotional support animal, you need to suffer from some sort of mental or emotional disability, which 1 in 4 Americans have. These disabilities can range from PTSD all the way to anxiety. Once you are diagnosed with an issue, you need an official letter from a licensed clinical professional. Now all you have to do is find a reputable certification company like CertaPet to process your application and pass their screening process. Now with an official prescription for an emotional support animal, you can take your furry friend anywhere you go.

Consult your Veterinarian

Always check with your vet before you book your travel, some animals may not be suited for travel. It’s always good to consult your vet and get your entire pet’s shots and medicine before travel. Some destinations will require you to have a health certificate for your pet to pass quarantine. It’s also just a rule of thumb to see if your destination has a mandatory quarantine and for how long. Some countries and islands more specifically have stricter guidelines to protect their natural environment.

Food and Water

Make sure your pet has plenty of food and water.  It gets dry in the sky so on airplanes, they need extra water.  Many airports have animal relief stations now, which are basically little patches of grass so they can use the bathroom too.

Pet ID

Get your pets fresh identification in case they get separated. DO you have a new number or a local number of where you are going; it’ll help to have those on the tags.

Pet carrier

Make sure your pet will be comfy on the trip. Has your pet grown since your last trip? If so, they may be too big to fit in their old carrier.

Contact Airline

Every major airline has different rules and regulations regarding pet travel, so make sure you cross your t’s and Dot your i’s.

Check in and Book Early

Check in and book your flights early to save yourself a last minute headache. When checking in, make sure you let the airline that you have a pet, often they will let you board early and that is a great advantage.

Toys and Treats

Pack your pet’s favorite toys and treats so they are occupied. Nobody wants a bored puppy acting up on a long flight.

Pet Drugs

Many people tend to drug up their animal for a flight, while this may work for some, I prefer not to dope up my doggies. Also, it’s good practice to test out the sedatives before your trip so if your animal has any adverse affects they won’t happen 10,000 feet above the earth.

 

Hopefully this guide helps you travel with your furry friends and alleviates some of your concerns.

 

Photos Courtesy of HealthyPets, PetZiti, superCoolPets

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Travel

Explore the Magic of Florida’s Glowing Waters

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Whether you call Florida’s Space Coast home or travel there for business or pleasure, be sure to set aside time to explore the splendor of Florida’s glowing Indian River lagoon. When you participate in a late-night tour in a clear-bottom kayak courtesy of A Day Away Kayak Tours, you’ll experience firsthand the beautiful, mind-boggling effects of dinoflagellate bioluminescence — water flashing blue and green and illuminating literally beneath your feet. It’s something you simply don’t want to miss.

What is bioluminescence?

If you’ve ever spent time in the summer as a child trying to capture fireflies in a jar, you know what bioluminescence looks like. It’s that flash of light that may last but a second or for several seconds. According to the Smithsonian Institution, bioluminescence is created by a living organism as a result of luciferin, a chemical compound reacting with oxygen. Unlike other sources of light, it generates little heat and is therefore considered a cold light.

What organisms cause bioluminescence?

We’ve mentioned fireflies already. And some fungi also cause bioluminescence. But most bioluminescent creatures including some species of fish, jellyfish, worms, sea stars, and even sharks find their home in the ocean. The spectacular bioluminescence found in the lagoons of Florida’s Space Coast is created by dinoflagellates, miniscule single-celled organisms in the algae family that are typically found in marine plankton.

Why do they glow?

According to National Geographic, there are many reasons why some organisms glow. For example, some squids will use their bioluminescence to confound their attackers. The sudden flash creates a deer-in-the-headlights frozen reaction to predators giving them time to quickly slip away. And the brittle star, a type of sea star will detach a bioluminescent arm so its predator will chase after it leaving the main body of the star to escape. (It’s little matter to the brittle star as it will grow a new arm in its place.) Other sea creatures including worms and small crustaceans use their bioluminescence to attract suitable mates. Earthbound fireflies use it for the same reason.

Dinoflagellates flash blue light whenever the water they are in is disturbed, including when hungry fish swim by — or when curious kayakers paddle through. Scientists believe their response works to distract predators while also attracting the kind of prey those predators might prefer to dine on.

Where can bioluminescent waters be found?

Bioluminescence can be found in Jamaica, the Maldivian Islands, and other warm water ecosystems, but you don’t have to go nearly so far to experience the beauty of bioluminescent plankton. The Indian River lagoon on Florida’s Space Coast and the Banana River near Cape Canaveral provide amazing kayaking opportunities to enjoy this magical experience.

When is the best time to see the glowing water?

Dark, moonless nights anytime between the months of May and November are good, but if you want a truly fiery night, July and August are prime time. You can experience this extraordinary phenomenon from a traditional kayak, observing glowing droplets of water as they swirl from your paddle, or you can immerse yourself in the magic completely with a clear-bottomed kayak and perhaps catch a glimpse of a graceful manatee as it glides below you.

The choice is yours.

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Travel Vaccine Checklist: What Vaccines Do You Need for Your Upcoming Trip?

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Are you planning on leaving the country? Before you depart, it is a good idea to check in with a travel clinic for a pre-travel consultation to see whether or not you require any vaccinations or booster shots. 

Give yourself plenty of time because the full effects of immunizations can take anywhere from four to six weeks to manifest, and some people may require more than one dose. 

You will, of course, want to ensure that you have had all of the standard vaccinations that are recommended for daily living in the United States. If you take precautions against these diseases at home, they won’t be as dangerous for you when you go to other places where they are also found. 

What Else Do You Require, Exactly? 

The vaccinations you need are going to be determined by your destination. 

Check to see that you are up to date on all of the usual immunizations, including for COVID-19, measles-mumps-rubella, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox, polio, hepatitis B, and the yearly flu vaccine. 

Hepatitis A vaccination is a must for travel to most of the world except Western Europe, North America, Japan and Australia and New Zealand. A typhoid vaccinations is also recommended for many tourists destinations. In addition, other specialized vaccinations may be recommended depending on where you are going. For instance, you are required to get vaccinated against yellow fever if you are intending to travel to particular regions in Africa or South America. 

However, if you are traveling to places like Canada, Japan, Australia, or New Zealand, as well as Western Europe, it is quite unlikely that you will require any destination specific vaccinations. 

In the event that you want to go to a region of the world in which contracting malaria is possible, your physician will prescribe you medication to ward against the disease. Although it is not a vaccination, you will need it in order to defend yourself. Make sure you take all of your anti-malaria medication, including the pills that are prescribed for after you return home. 

You should also take precautions against getting bitten by mosquitoes if you are going to be traveling to a region where mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue fever or Zika, are prevalent. Vaccines against these diseases may not currently exist. 

If you go to the “Travelers’ Health” section of the CDC website, you will find out just what you need to bring with you to your destination. You are able to search depending on where you are going as well as any unique requirements that you may have, such as whether or not you are pregnant or take medications that have an effect on your immune system. You may also be going somewhere with limited access to medical care if you are going on a humanitarian mission or to provide assistance following a natural disaster. In addition, the website provides a “healthy travel packing list” tailored to the specific nation that the user would be visiting.

As you prepare for your trip, make an appointment with the travel health experts at Travel Bug Health or visit their website to learn more: https://www.travelbughealth.com 

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Travel

Warning: Don’t Get Scammed on Vacation

Scammers, criminals and lowlifes await you on vacation; so if you want to stay safe, avoid these popular scams. Don’t be a victim to immoral people all over the world who are waiting to swindle you out of your hard earned money. Tourist are conned and stolen from every day in every possible way imaginable. […]

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Scammers, criminals and lowlifes await you on vacation; so if you want to stay safe, avoid these popular scams. Don’t be a victim to immoral people all over the world who are waiting to swindle you out of your hard earned money. Tourist are conned and stolen from every day in every possible way imaginable. I’ve had some of these happen to me so everyone is susceptible.

Common scams:

Pick Pocket

This is number one for a reason, it happens all the time. Why do people not take care of their valuables? First rule of traveling: NEVER keep your wallet in your back pocket!

Simple rule but so many people fail to follow it. I carry a traveler’s wallet, it slings over my shoulder and I keep it under my shirt. The pickpocket would have to literally take my shirt off and only my wife and doctor have that privilege.

Women keep your purse under your jacket or double wrapped around your wrist. Ladies, your purses are a huge target and pickpockets can plan their attack from any angle.

Pickpockets run all sorts of scams to get your attention away from the fact that they are taking your wallet. Here are the most common pickpocket scams.

The Bump

This is a great diversion, since you are physically being bumped; all your attention is being diverted to the initial strike. While you are being bumped, your wallet is skillfully being taken out of your pocket or purse. When in large crowds or small areas pay extra attention to your loot.

Misdirection

This is usually a two-person scam. The first criminal is somehow stealing your attention while the accomplice cleverly snags your goodies. The misdirection can be anything from asking for directions or trying to sell you something. As long as they break your concentration and you are sidetracked, they’ve already won. Again, an easy way to avoid this widespread trick is to keep your wallet or purse safe.

The Spill

Pickpockets will clumsily spill something on your clothing and while they haphazardly try to clean it up, they are expertly pilfering your stuff. So, if some stranger spills coffee on you, DON’T let them help you clean it up. They will not only get coffee on your fantastic pea coat, but they will be spending your cash in no time flat.

Taxi Scams

The Overcharge

This is the most common one and happens everywhere, even in your hometown. Taxi drivers can spot a mark from a mile away and will exploit your naivety for their benefit. I’ve had this happen to me a few times and its more common than you think. The cab driver will either take you on an extremely long route or flat out overcharge you. They think you have no idea where you are going and they are probably right. The key is to ask someone knowledgeable that you also trust how to get somewhere and how much it should cost. The airport has many officials that should help you and your hotel concierge will provide you with all the help you need.

Wrong Change

This scam isn’t just relegated to cabbies, any shop or restaurant employee will try this scam on you. Image for a second that you are in a foreign land and you are unfamiliar with the currency or exchange rate. You simply try and pay for something and the clerk gives you change, how e=on earth are you supposed to know what’s right? This is a tough nut to crack, but a little pre-planning and homework should fix this. It helps to actually know what the currency is and how much the exchange rate is. It isn’t hard work to find these things out. Here is a handy currency converter you can use for free.

An additional nugget of knowledge: Never get in an unmarked cab, these illegal taxis will scam you, guaranteed.

Other Popular Scams

Free Jewelry

Never trust anything that seems like too good of a deal. If a person tries to give you free jewelry, food or really anything, it’s probably a scam. They will give you the free thing then immediately demand money for it. When you at first don’t pay, they will make a huge scene and hope that this makes you pay. The key to staying safe is simple, never take anything from anyone.

Overly Aggressive Woman

This is an age-old scam, send an attractive woman to hit on a guy, she gets him to buy her drinks and then something happens. This is where the narrative changes; the woman drugs you, a man comes up pretending to be her boyfriend or she pickpockets you. Any of these are no good and can easily be avoided by being smart. Nobody wants to wake up with his or her kidneys gone or their passport missing.

Scammers are out there everyday trying to get over on someone, flip the script and be one step ahead.

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