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Re: [IP] Touring Europe

> Hello all!  My son will be touring Europe in July with a state-wide honor
> band (from Oregon), seven countries in 16 days! HELP!! I need everybody's
> suggestions for how to be prepared for this trip. There will be a nurse
> and several school teachers along who have had students with D in their
> classes, but I don't know if any of them know anything about pumps. Kyle
> is very responsible, but this is totally unchartered territory for us!
> Thanks for all your help!

I travel to Europe 1-4 times a year and don't have any real problems to
report. Your son should be fine and have a great time. Here are some tips:

* Carry prescriptions in case someone asks to see them at customs. I have
_never_ been asked, but you never know.

* Absolutely bring enough insulin. I ran into trouble in Italy once because
they only stocked U40. (They switched over to U100 this year.)

* If you use weird batteries, bring extras, obviously.

* Time zones are a real pain. (I'm 12 time zones from Europe.) I've done a
zillion different things to deal with jet lag over the years. Here's all I
do now:
 * Set my watch to destination time as soon as I get on the plane.
 * Forget about time at home. (Not dealing with L or N helps.)
 * Avoid night flights.
 * Stay up until regular bedtime at the destination.
 * Go to sleep on destination time. (Melatonin can help here.)
 * Get up on destination time once you arrive.
 * Be active and go outside at your destination!

A lot of jet lag turns out to be attitude.

* Standard meal times in many European countries is quite different from
here. Definitely carry more food around than usual.

* ATM machines (often called 'Bancomat' machines) are the best way to get
money. You don't have to stand in line at banks, and the exchange rate is
better than using a bank. Credit cards used to be a good deal, but they
almost all have raised the conversion fees to about 3% of the transaction

* If your son smokes, he can save a bunch of money in many countries.
Everyone else will very kindly smoke so much that he'll get a pack a day
like it or not ;-) (Sweden is an exception. I asked why: "Oh, we learned it
was unhealthy and stopped." Great.)

* I find it much _easier_ to get a nice, healthy meal in any country in
Europe than in many parts of the US. He's in for a treat.

* Given the age, group, and destination, it probably makes sense to talk
about alcohol. (Drinking alcohol at meals is such an ordinary custom in many
countries that American norms come as a real surprise to people in many
countries. I know this is a group event, so it may not be an issue.)

* Keep a copy of his passport, bank cards, etc. at home in case there is any

* Find a cheap calling plan for him to call home. I don't know what the
current good deals are.

* Internet cafe's are common if he has an extra hour to send you a note.

Best of luck!

 David Adams
 Kailua, HI 96734
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