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Retail Tales

by Alana Sprague

I finally did it, I took the plunge, I spent the bucks, and I am overjoyed. Yes that’s right; I booked my first ever all-inclusive vacation. This is something I’ve always wanted to do but until now just didn’t have the resources to do so. I knew I didn’t want to end up making this kind of trip for the first time in my 50s like my Mother did. I knew it was something I wanted to do prior to retirement, when I was still young and single. So my friend and I found a fantastic price and are heading to Holguin, Cuba during what’s turning out to be one of the nastiest winters in years. Now I’m sure that I am not the only person making this kind of trip for the first time and that I am not the only one wondering what those items are that you must not leave home without. So after speaking to a few people that have made these kinds of trips before I have come up with some must haves before you even step foot on the plane.

Let’s start with the basics, skincare. No matter what your skin type you must ensure you have a good sunscreen with a high SPF when traveling to a tropical destination. Also, after sun moisturizer or Aloe Vera just in case. Bring a hat to protect your face and sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection are a must.

Now for your medicine cabinet. You just never know how your body is going to react to the food or all the drinks you might consume while on vacation, and no one wants to spend their whole trip feeling ill. Just in case bring your preferred pain reliever, Gravol or Imodium, an antacid, cold medication, allergy medication even if you don’t typically have allergies, and Band-Aids or a small first aid kit. Hopefully these things will ensure a pain free good time.

Of course when heading to some of these locations you must remember that the people in these countries don’t have a lot and any little thing you can bring to make their lives a little easier will make a world of difference. Including beauty products for the women, water floaties, small toys or candies for the kiddies, school supplies like scribblers, pens, pencils, erasers, etc., and pain relievers. These will bring a smile to the faces of those who will make your vacation relaxing and unforgettable.

Lastly, the items that you should have but may not even think about when planning your vacation! Voltage adapter/reducer (from 220V to 110V), flashlight, extra batteries, a thermal mug for drinks to reduce some of the many trips you will make to the bar, facecloths, tea bags, ant traps for your room to avoid some unwanted visitors, bug spray, a pouch for your passport, money, credit cards, travel insurance card etc., snacks, and a smile. I know I’ve had my smile packed for weeks now.

Here’s hoping everyone experiencing the tropics for the first time or heading down south for their umpteenth vacation has an amazing and safe break from this old school Canadian winter.

TIP OF THE MONTH: The one thing every traveler must ensure they have with them at all times is courtesy. Remember, it’s not going to be exactly like you have it at home; things are going to taste, feel, and be different. It’s all an experience and you should respect the people and places you are visiting.

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