9 Products to Help You Stay Healthy While Traveling – Independent Traveler

You’ve waited all year for your vacation — so why ruin it by getting sick? Adding a few well-chosen products to your packing list can help you fend off germs, protect your skin and avoid common travel discomforts during your next trip. Below are nine must-pack items that will help you stay healthy while traveling.

One thing you won’t see in this list: medicine. You can find our recommended remedies in Medications for Travel.

First-Aid Kit

A small first-aid kit stocked with bandages, antiseptic wipes and other medical necessities is always a wise thing to have on hand, particularly if you’ll be spending much of your vacation outdoors without easy access to a doctor. SadoMedcare offers one affordable, well-stocked kit that won’t take up too much space in your suitcase. An even more compact option is this 60-piece kit, which weighs less than 2.5 ounces.

If you’re flying with a first-aid kit in your carry-on, remember to double-check it for any items that might not make it through airport security. Small tubes of antibiotic cream, for instance, should go into your quart-size plastic bag of liquids and gels, while sharp items such as lancets or large scissors could be confiscated. Small scissors (with blades shorter than four inches) are fine.

Flight Ear Plugs

For fliers who experience ear pain during take-off and landing, ear plugs that help regulate pressure can be a godsend. Many travelers also find them helpful when driving through changing elevations in mountainous regions. EarPlanes and Flite Mate are two popular brands.

Pill Organizer

It can be tricky enough to keep track of your medication schedule at home; add jet lag, a different daily routine and a new time zone, and having a pill organizer can literally be a lifesaver. Stuff Seniors Need and Ezy Dose offer travel-friendly pill cases that don’t take up too much space.


Sunburn not only causes pain and unsightly lobster skin but can also contribute to heat exhaustion. (The Mayo Clinic says that “having a sunburn reduces your body’s ability to rid itself of heat.”)Banana Boat offers a set of six travel-size bottles that will keep you and your travel companions protected.

Note: If you’re planning on snorkeling, do the environment a favor and choose a reef-safe sunblock; chemicals found in most sunscreen brands, particularly oxybenzone, contribute to coral damage. Here’s one reef-safe option. The bottle is too large for a carry-on, so put it in your checked bag or pour it into a smaller travel-size container if you plan to fly with it.

Nasal Mist

In Avoiding the Airplane Cold, we reported that the low humidity in airplane cabins can dry out the mucus membranes in your nose, which are essential in preventing illness. Keeping these delicate tissues hydrated with a saline nasal spray during long flights could help you fend off germs from the guy coughing behind you. Ayr and Simply Saline are a couple of choices worth considering.


healthy travel photo

Traveling From Vietnam To Cambodia Through the Mekong Delta

Driving to Can Tho, Vietnam – Mekong Delta with Loc

Traveling From Vietnam Tо Cаmbоdіа Thrоugh thе Mekong Dеltа

Thе vаѕt and сарtіvаtіng Mеkоng Delta lіеѕ іn thе south-east оf Vіеtnаm, аnd is fіllеd wіth рісturеѕԛuе waterways аnd еxоtіс ѕсеnеrу аѕ thе Mеkоng Rіvеr mаkеѕ its wау tо thе sea through a wіndіng аnd соmрlеx network оf dіѕtrіbutаrіеѕ. Thе dеltа is thе “rісе-bоwl” оf the соuntrу, рrоduсіng еnоugh rісе in the wаtеrу region tо fееd thе еntіrе соuntrу wіth plenty lеft оvеr. It is also a mаjоr drawcard fоr visitors to Vіеtnаm, аѕ travellers jоurnеу thrоugh thе region to catch a glimpse of the “rеаl” Vietnam; еvеrуwhеrе you look уоu’ll see lосаlѕ lіvіng thеіr everyday lіvеѕ, реrhарѕ fіѕhіng fоr thеіr dіnnеr, kееріng chickens, dоіng lаundrу оr wоrkіng оn thе lаnd. Pеорlе in thіѕ аrеа аrе very frіеndlу, аnd thеу wave at thе trаvеllеrѕ аѕ thеу make thеіr wау through the аrеа.

A jоurnеу thrоugh thе Mеkоng Dеltа іѕ a рорulаr wау tо trаvеl frоm Vіеtnаm tо Cаmbоdіа, ѕаіlіng through саnаlѕ аnd раѕt villages, islands аnd flоаtіng mаrkеtѕ. Trаvеllеrѕ can ѕреnd thе night in ѕmаll towns nеаr thе border to break thе jоurnеу. Thіѕ is a dау-bу-dау description оf whаt to еxресt fоr overland (or sometimes “over-water”) trаvеl frоm Vietnam tо Cambodia through the Mеkоng Dеltа.

Day 1 – Hо Chі Minh Cіtу to Cai Bе

Tоdау mаrkѕ thе bеgіnnіng of уоur journey from Vіеtnаm tо Cаmbоdіа. Trаvеl bу air-conditioned buѕ frоm Ho Chi Mіnh City tо the town оf Cаі Bai, whеrе уоu саn bоаrd a boat аnd ѕеt ѕаіl оn аlоng thе Mekong Dеltа. Although ѕtіll very rural, thе dеltа rеgіоn is оnе оf the mоѕt dеnѕеlу populated areas іn thе country. Fаrmіng іѕ іntеnѕіvе; іn addition to rісе thе rеgіоn аlѕо commonly рrоduсеѕ ѕugаrсаnе, shrimp, сосоnut аnd a vast vаrіеtу оf fruits. Wіth mаnу tоurѕ which pass through thе аrеа, іt іѕ possible tо vіѕіt a rice fасtоrу tо lеаrn mоrе аbоut the production, аѕ wеll as a rісе-huѕkіng mіll and a rice nооdlе fасtоrу. One рорulаr trеаt produced in the аrеа is coconut саndу, аnd thеrе are рlасеѕ уоu саn visit to ѕее it being mаdе, аnd thеrе аrе uѕuаllу рlеntу of орроrtunіtіеѕ to tаѕtе test thеѕе traditional trеаtѕ.

Cоntіnuіng уоur travels thrоugh thе Mеkоng Dеltа іn thе аftеrnооn, you will probably reach thе small tоwn оf Cаn Tho just аѕ the ѕun іѕ bеgіnnіng tо ѕеt. Yоu саn spend thе nіght in оnе of thе comfortable hotels іn thе сеntrе оf tоwn, реrhарѕ visiting a local rеѕtаurаnt to еnjоу ѕоmе Vietnamese ѕресіаlіtіеѕ made frоm dеlісіоuѕ lосаl рrоduсе.

Day 2: Can Thо – Chau Doc

On the mоrnіng оf dау two you саn hеаd оff from Can Thо thе visit the рорulаr flоаtіng mаrkеt in Cаі Rang. In order to gеt close tо thе асtіоn, іt’ѕ a gооd іdеа to trаvеl on a ѕmаll boat ѕо уоu саn sail between thе flоаtіng ѕtаllѕ. The market іѕ full оf ѕmаll boats dаrtіng thrоugh thе wаtеr аѕ vеndоrѕ ѕеll thеіr wаrеѕ.

After exploring the mаrkеtѕ you саn trаvеl оvеrlаnd to thе border tоwn оf Chаu Doc. Mаnу реорlе mаkе a lіvіng from fishing here, and thеrе аrе often fish farms directly beneath thе flоаtіng hоmеѕ. You need tо bоаrd a ѕmаll boat to rеасh thеѕе fаrmѕ, аnd thе locals mіght еvеn gіvе уоu a сhаnсе tо feed the fіѕh. Yоu саn spend thе afternoon еxрlоrіng the small tоwn оf Chаu Dос, аnd ѕреnd the nіght іn a lосаl hоtеl.

Day 3: Chau Dос – Phnоm Penh

Departing from Chаu Doc іn thе morning, іt’ѕ time tо соmрlеtе thе lаѕt lеg оf уоur jоurnеу from Vіеtnаm to Cаmbоdіа. It’ѕ соmmоn fоr travellers tо board a ѕрееdbоаt hеаdіng to thе bоrdеr. Onсе уоu rеасh thе Cаmbоdіаn border, thе bоаt wіll ѕtор and trаvеllеrѕ will dіѕеmbаrk to organise vіѕаѕ and соmрlеtе іmmіgrаtіоn requirements. At tіmе оf wrіtіng, it was possible for mаnу trаvеllеrѕ to оbtаіn their Cаmbоdіа tоurіѕt vіѕаѕ at the bоrdеr, fоr a fее оf USD25 реr раѕѕроrt. It’s a gооd idea tо саrrу a соuрlе оf passport-sized рhоtоѕ wіth you for thе аррlісаtіоn, and tо сhесk wіth the еmbаѕѕу bеfоrеhаnd tо be sure vіѕаѕ саn ѕtіll be оbtаіnеd аt the bоrdеr whеn уоu are travelling.

Onсе fоrmаlіtіеѕ are соmрlеtеd аt thе bоrdеr, іt’ѕ time tо bоаrd уоur ѕрееdbоаt аgаіn аnd hеаd into Cаmbоdіа. Trаvеllеrѕ wіll normally rеасh Phnоm Pеnh hаrbоur іn the еаrlу afternoon, аllоwіng рlеntу оf tіmе tо arrange a trаnѕfеr tо a local hotel with one of thе mаnу tuk-tukѕ wаіtіng аt the harbour. This соmрlеtеѕ уоur trаvеl frоm Vіеtnаm tо Cambodia thrоugh the luѕh Mеkоng Dеltа.

If you аrе trаvеllіng durіng dry ѕеаѕоn, іt іѕ роѕѕіblе thаt some trаvеl options mау nоt bе possible duе tо lоw water lеvеlѕ. Lіkеwіѕе іn rainy season the wаtеr levels mіght mаkе rіvеr trаvеl a bit hazardous. In thеѕе сіrсumѕtаnсеѕ іt’ѕ bеnеfісіаl іf you have bооkеd уоur tоur wіth a rерutаblе соmраnу, and thеу wіll make alternative аrrаngеmеntѕ (uѕuаllу by mini-bus) but ѕtіll gеt уоu оut оn thе wаtеrwауѕ wherever роѕѕіblе.


Mekong Delta Tour With Samuel & Audrey

Paddling Down the Mekong River Delta
Vietnam on a Rowboat Tour
Wearing Our Conical Hats


Wе аrе оn a little rаft and juѕt сruіѕіng dоwn thе Mеkоng Dеltа.  I’m lоvіng thе соnісаl hаt.  Hоw dо уоu lіkе уоur hаt? I nееd a hаt оf mу оwn. Wе should bе wеаrіng thіѕ bасk in Canada.
Whаt is wrong wіth реорlе?  Thеrе іѕ a lіttlе traffic jаm оvеr hеrе.
Hello.!We’re doing a three dау tour оf thе Mеkоng Dеltа and thіѕ is dау numbеr оnе and wе just ѕtаrtеd оff bу ѕаmрlіng ѕоmе tеа wіth hоnеу and fеw little ѕnасkѕ. Nоw wе’rе doing a lіttlе раddlе bоаt adventure dоwn thе Mеkоng.

Chau,   Samuel & Audrey

Ho Chi Minh City & Hanoi Included in 16 Top Asia Travel Destinations

Top 16 Destinations to Travel in Asia
Retirement in Southeast Asia


Southeast Asia: A Beginner’s Guide

“I haven’t traveled much. Where should I go?”

Well that all depends. There are so many considerations: time, budget, interests, comfort level, experience. But if you are just getting started with the travel thing, you can’t do much better than Southeast Asia.

Mainland Southeast Asia – including Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia and Singapore – offers some of the safest and friendliest semi-exotic travel around for people of all budgets and ages. For new and seasoned travelers alike, this region offers heaps of cultural and visual stimuli, a developed tourist infrastructure, endless activities, safety, and incredible food. And best of all, it’s relatively cheap.

Our first visit to Thailand at the end of 2004 actually helped plant the seed for our current around-the-world journey. Not only did that first Thailand experience open our eyes to the fact that we could travel comfortably and inexpensively for long periods, but it also helped us realize that there was a world to explore beyond Europe, our home at the time.

So it is that we began our current journey in December 2006 in Southeast Asia. We spent five months in the region, only to return later for a few more. We found that the travel options are endless.

Where does one begin? Here’s a brainstorming guide to give you some ideas and help you get started.



For first-timers to this part of the world, Bangkok makes for an introductory course in the ways of Southeast Asia: heat, traffic, street food stalls, friendly faces, and tuk-tuk drivers swearing to be your new best friend.

One’s experience with traffic can make or break a relationship with the city; travel by boat or Skytrain to avoid the mind-numbing traffic jams. While making your rounds of the Buddhist temples mentioned in your guidebook, you absolutely must sample loads of street food.
Pad Thai at Night – Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok’s street food scene.
More reading: Bangkok’s 15-Course Street Meal on the Cheap

Chiang Mai

More laid back than Bangkok, this northern Thai city is dotted with requisite Buddhist temples and markets, but the educational and lifestyle activities are the main appeal. For example, we took a one-day cooking course at Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School and we’ve been cooking Thai food ever since. Round out your DIY tour with a visit to the Lampang Elephant Conservation Center where you can watch rehabilitated elephants bathe and exercise their painting skills.
Elephants taking a Bath – Lampang, Thailand
Elephants Bathing at Lampang Elephant Conservatory near Chiang Mai
Thai Beaches

Forget that you have a job (or even that your office exists) by relaxing on one of Thailand’s epic white sand beaches. The choice of postcard quality venues in Thailand is overwhelming. We have a soft spot for the cheap bungalows along Haad Yao beach on Koh Pha Ngan Island. Koh Lanta also features some laid back beaches and inexpensive beach bungalows.

When the day’s most difficult decision is “mango or pineapple shake?” it’s really hard to leave.
Beach Sunset – Haad Yao, Thailand
Sunset at Haad Yao Beach on Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand
More Reading: Bungalows, Beaches, and Banana Shakes and Krabi and the Andaman Beach Scene


Siem Reap

Much more than just Angkor Wat, the Angkor temple complex in northern Cambodia comprises over 1000 temples spread across 60 square miles. Warning: as amazing as the temples are, pace yourself as temple fatigue sets in quickly. For a different perspective, visit the Land Mine Museum in Siem Reap for a sobering look at Cambodia’s relatively recent history under the Khmer Rouge.
The Face of Bayon – Angkor, Cambodia
The mighty Temples of Angkor.
More Reading: Temples of Angkor, First Impressions and The Other Side of Siem Reap


Although Battambang is Cambodia’s second largest city, it retains a distinctly small-town feel and offers an easy option to explore rural villages and temples on the back of a motorbike. Brush up on your Cambodian cooking skills with a market tour and cooking class.
Children Playing in Mud – Battambang, Cambodia
Cambodian kids enjoying the first rains of the season.
More Reading: What’s Cookin’ in Battambang? and Battambang on a Motorbike


Luang Prabang

Filled with Buddhist monks lingering in temple courtyards, this sleepy French colonial outpost on the Mekong River is about as laid back as it gets. We also recommend a visit to the local market and a trip across the river to visit Ban Xieng Maen. For more exploration, trek to the Hmong and Khmu villages in the nearby hills.
Monks in Morning Alms – Luang Prabang, Laos
Buddhist monks, morning alms in Luang Prabang.
More Reading: Laying Back in Luang Prabang, Three Levels of Hill Tribes, and Lao Food Lowdown



Hanoi’s streets are ablaze with activity, from women carrying fruit and goods on baskets over their shoulders to impromptu sidewalk restaurants outfitted with miniature plastic stools. Overwhelming to the senses, Hanoi is a photographer’s and foodie’s dream.
Woman Selling – Hanoi, Vietnam
On the streets of Hanoi.
More Reading: Hanoi Under the Skin and A Taste of Hanoi

Halong Bay

Only a few hours from hectic and frenzied Hanoi rests peaceful Halong Bay, the Bay of the Descending Dragon, whose arrangement of 2000 limestone islands have earned it iconic status. After Hanoi, a visit to Halong Bay is pure relaxation.
Chinese-Style Junk Boat – Halong Bay, Vietnam
Dusk falls in Halong Bay.
More Reading: Hanging in Halong Bay


An overnight train ride north of Hanoi serves as a portal to a visually spectacular part of the world characterized by mountainous terraced rice fields and hill tribe villages. Arrange a trek through this region with a local guide. For total sensory overload, spend Sunday at the market in nearby Bac Ha. Here, you’ll find everything for sale — from embroidered skirts to horses — as hill tribe villagers pour out of the mountains to do their trading for the week.
Sugar Cane Stalks – Bac Ha, Vietnam
Bac Ha Sunday market, shopping for sugar cane.
More Reading: Sapa, First Impressions and A Day at the Market – Bac Ha

Hoi An

A former trading outpost located in central Vietnam, Hoi An is famous for its architecture, tasty Central Vietnamese cuisine and plentiful and reasonably priced custom clothing shops (over 200 of them!). Spend a few days, take some cooking classes and come away with some new duds.
Squid Flowers – Hoi An, Vietnam
Cooking class in Hoi An.
More Reading: Hungry in Hoi An and Sizing Up Hoi An

Honorable Mention – Burma (Myanmar)

We absolutely loved Burma (Myanmar). It’s visually spectacular, but the spirit of its people is what takes the prize. Virtually every visitor to Burma echoes the same sentiment. The only reason we haven’t included Burma in the main list above: its infrastructure is a bit less developed that its neighbors’. This may provide a challenge for first-time travelers, but if you’re up to it, we cannot recommend it enough.


5 Great Reasons to Visit Vietnam


Vietnam Travel Guide

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community –

Regions of Vietnam

Map of Vietnam with regions color-coded
Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Bac Ha, Cao Bang, Cat Ba, Cuc Phuong National Park, Dien Bien Phu, Dong Dang, Dong Hoi, Ha Long Bay, Haiphong, Lao Cai, Ninh Binh, Sapa, Bac Giang)
Harbours some of the most magnificent views of Vietnam as well as the capital city and the chance to visit indigenous hill tribes.
Central Coast (Cham Islands, Da Nang, DMZ, Dong Ha, Hoi An, Lang Co, Hue, My Son, Na Meo, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Thanh Hoa, Vinh)
The ancient city of Hue is the home of the still recent Vietnamese kings and in Hoi An features one of the nicest old seacoast towns in Vietnam.
Central Highlands (Buon Ma Thuot, Dalat, Kontum, Ngoc Hoi, Pleiku)
Lush forest-covered hills featuring indigenous tribes and the occasional elephant.
Southern Vietnam (Cat Tien National Park, Con Dao, Can Tho, Chau Doc , Cu Chi, Ho Chi Minh City, Long Xuyen, Mui Ne, My Tho, Phan Thiet, Phu Quoc, Vung Tau, Tay Ninh, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh)
The economic engine of Vietnam, built around Ho Chi Minh City but also covering the lush and little-visited Mekong Delta, the rice basket of Vietnam

map of vietnam

Heather in Saigon / Ho Chi Minh w/ Bao Loc – Private Vietnam Tour Guide

A Saigon City Tour with Bao Loc, Private Vietnam Tour Guide

Loc tells Heather Hayward about Saigon from the top of the CIA Building.

Heather and Loc Visit the Tra Su Forest

Heather’s Post On TRIP ADVISOR:

Link to Trip Advisor Post.

Bao Loc – Private Vietnam Tourist Guide
Nov 06, 2013, 4:55 AM

I have just finished a 4 day 3 night tour of the Mekong Delta with Loc. It was fantastic. I have done another 4 day tour with another popular guide on this forum, and Loc’s was far superior. Our itinerary went basically like this:

DAY 1: started in Saigon then driving through Ben Tre Overnight in Can Tho and dinner with “Lau vit nau chao”.

DAY 2: In the morning, we visit Cai Rang floating market and sampan through Phusa channel to see Can Tho bridge.

DAY 3: we visited Tra Su Forest before driving to Sadec town to have lunch with “lau cua dong” and visit: Huynh Thuy Le ancient house and flower village in Tan Quy Dong. Driving to Caibe for home stay.

DAY 4: visiting coconut candy and crispy rice cake mills, sampan through Ba Nam channel then taking a walk through Tan Phong island to see countryside way of living style. On the way back to Saigon, we stopped for lunch at Tan Hong pork crackling with “banh hoi”.

Read rest of post here: Link

Vietnam Travel – Two Guys in Ho Chi Minh City | Saigon + More


Vietnam Travel – Two Guys in Ho Chi Minh City | Saigon






Ho Chi Minh City – 30 Instagram photos in 30 days …

"In Pictures: Ho Chi Minh City – 30 Instagram photos in 30 days. Blog: Nomadic Notes Travel Blog – 1 October 2012. By: James Clark. I have become quite a fan ……/In+Pictures%3A+Ho+Chi+Minh+Cit…"



Recommended Vietnam Tour Guide – Bao Loc

Private Vietnam Tour Guide Bao Loc Recommended

Australian travelers go out of their way to recommend Bao Loc  as a private Vietnam tour guide.   Australian travelers spent 2 days (5th and 6th of April 2012) learning about Ho Chi Minh City| Saigon and the Mekong Delta.  The tour was designed to meet their needs as seasoned travelers.  Not only did Bao Loc provide tour guide services but made recommendations for personal services such as a tailor.

Read complete TripAdvisor Review Here:

Vietnam Travel: Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon



The ART of Travel: Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon

“Known to most as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a city of contrasts. The pace is frenetic, yet the wide streets and open spaces help it to retain an air of calm. Classic ……/ho-chi-minh-city-aka-saig…”


Honda Super Cub -1958
Honda Super Cub -1958


Joining the Crowd Through China, Vietnam and Beyond



Vietnam Tour Travel


Joining the crowd through Indochina

"It's Vietnam's hub for international commerce, shipping, luxury hotels, vast shopping malls and at night it's a bright and glitzy party town. The Street Walking Tour I booked with Travel IndoChina was a Godsend. You have to forget everything your …The West Australian"