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Last-minute items for a safe and healthy break

Healthy U

By Laure Cardarelli
On March 8, 2012

Spring Break is finally here! Can I get a hallelujah? Although I have hardly been able to control my excitement all week, I must admit, I've been overwhelmed in terms of packing.

It's inevitable to forget something. For me it's typically an essential like a toothbrush. Not this time, though. In attempt to avoid a memory lapse, I decided to make a checklist of absolutely everything I will need to be cruising comfortably in style. Best idea ever. I'll give myself a pat on the back.

Don't worry, I share! Here are a few last-minute safety and health-related items you should throw into your suitcase before bidding UConn farewell.

Must-have meds.

It never hurts to be too prepared. It's better to be safe than sorry, right? Being a walking pharmacy will help alleviate any ailments that may arise so you don't miss out on any of the fun.

Be sure to pack necessary prescription medications along with antacids, antihistamines, pain relievers and antidiarrheal/gas relief medicine. Motion sickness tablets are also paramount for bumpy flights or trips out at sea.

Prep with proper garb.

Bathing suits, check. Undies, check. It seems so juvenile, but take a look at the projected weather forecast of your travels and pack accordingly. If you're headed for somewhere warm, protect yourself from the sun with sunglasses and a baseball cap.

Even if your not planning on exercising, make sure a few workout ensembles, sneakers and socks are in your suitcase. Who knows if an adventure will present itself or you feel like taking a tour of the town. Because sneaks can add a lot of bulk, I usually wear them when I travel. Can't beat being comfortable and ready for racing to catch a flight!

Pack healthy snacks.

If you have never been to your destination spot before, you have no idea how the food will be. Even if you're going to an all-inclusive resort, there is potential for a living nightmare, especially in regard to those with food allergies or restricted diets.

Whether you're picky or not, it's always a good idea to load up on some of your favorite portable snacks in case of a food emergency. I keep a few protein bars in my bag but other easy munching options include prepared baggies of your favorite cereal, granola, nuts or popcorn. Packets of Crystal Light, Emergen-C and the like are great to stick in your carry-on to stay hydrated!

Skin care, repellents and personal hygiene.

Where do I begin with this list? There's a lot you need a week or so away from home so it may be a good idea to divvy them up amongst your fellow travelers to save space. Some beauty must-haves include sunscreen/bug spray, aloe vera gel, shampoo, brushes (both tooth and hair), deodorant, face cleanser, contact lenses and solution (if applicable), toothpaste, floss and lip balm with SPF. You get the gist.

Create a traveling first aid kit.

A scrape here, a cut there…things happen! Be sure to pack adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointments and antiseptic wipe packets. If you have a medic alert bracelet, rock it. Safety is always in style! For those with serious allergies or asthma, remember your EpiPen and inhaler and keep them handy at all times. 

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