Glam World Travel Barcelona

It’s time to fly the friendly skies again!

Actually we were supposed to leave yesterday but flights were cancelled due to snow in London.

This time we are heading out on a pre-Christmas run through the winter markets, architecture and art museums of Barcelona! My house sitter/makeup assistant has had to lend me some cold weather gear, and she tells me she is planning on flexing her cookie baking, cocoa making, HBO watching muscles while I’m away. I hope there’s some left for me when I get home!

I’ve been trying to learn some basic Catalan and have been dieting to make room for some hearty paella (there will be photos!)

If you’re in the mood to get your Gaudi on please follow this trip on my Instagram @Corinnamakeup

See you soon!

I always have my eye out for cool travel gadgets, travel sized items and travel-wear. Whether you travel for work or travel for pleasure, if you are a traveler anything in the above categories is so fantastic to receive, at any time of the year, and especially at Christmas/Hannukah time.

I was super lucky to have been sent a Bonus Box from my affiliate marketing company and Neiman Marcus Last Call.

Gifts for travelers

I don’t know if they planned it this way, but almost everything in the box is perfect for the traveler on your list, or in my case, the traveler in me!

Fluffy or warm socks are always a great gift for travelers. Airplanes are typically kept cold, and most people take their shoes off on long flights, so having some stylish socks to put on can be a God-send. Also when traveling to a cool climate, when staying in hotel rooms, or when you just want to feel a bit cozy while away its great to have some chic socks to put on.

Makeup Bags are also a fab little gift or stocking stuffer. I have travel toiletry bags that go in my suitcase, but have a separate little stash of toiletries and makeup that come with me on the plane. While you are away its super handy to have a little pouch that you can throw in your handbag or your beach bag, just to keep everything contained and organized.

Godinger stainless steel water bottle

Have you seen video of that plastic wasteland that stretches for miles out in the ocean? Its horrific. And so much of it comes from plastic bottles. I drink water all day both when at home and when I’m away. I don’t want to be buying endless plastic bottles to add to the never-ending pile of plastic waste, and glass bottles are too heavy and unrealistic to carry around everywhere. This Godinger Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Bottle is fantastic! It is very lightweight, is corrosion-proof, BPA free and is double insulated. It actually holds 17 ounces instead of the usual 12, and get this – keeps things cold for 24 hours, hot for 12!

godinger stainless steel water bottle

If you are like me and like to cruise around with a decent sized coffee to go, this is an absolute win!

You can take it through airport security empty, and then fill it on the other side. Most airports now have water bottle filling stations that save you from having to buy $5 bottles of water. It will keep water cold for you during your flight too.

The double insulation is also wonderful during the hot months. I live in Phoenix, so its hot most of the year. Regular water bottles warm up in the car, even when you have the air conditioning set to arctic blizzard, but this bottle keeps your water cool. Buy one for everyone you know who lives out here!

merkury speakers

 

I have to have music with me everywhere I go. I don’t want to just have the tinny audio from my iPhone, so I always travel with a small travel speaker. This one from Merkury is fabulous! It is lightweight for travel, is bluetooth, charges with a USB, and has good audio quality. While I am writing this post I have it sitting on my desk playing Pandora French Traditional Radio, perpetually reliving days spent in Paris.

Related Post: Seasonal Candles – Luxurious Gift ideas From Neiman Marcus

Small Candles. I always travel with beautifully fragranced small candles. Not necessarily votive candles, just something lightweight that smells fabulous. DL and Co make gorgeous candles that have a long burn, so last for ages. I don’t want my hotel room or vacation rental to smell like an abrasive gingerbread cookie or a margarita. I want it to smell luxurious – even if I am staying somewhere low budget, so a fabulous candle is a must!

I typed Travel Accessories into the search bar on the Neiman Marcus Last Call website and found all kinds of great gift ideas, from leather passport covers (yes!) to luggage tags, to toiletry bags to travel fitness sets, to fabulous dob kits for men and so much more!

All images in this post were photographed by Kristina Beth Photography

Neiman Marcus Last Call (Neiman Marcus)

 

This post contains affiliate links. See Disclosure Page for details on how this blog uses affiliate links.

Florence sunset

GETTING SICK IN ITALY – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Getting sick while you are on vacation is no fun at all. We plan to be healthy, but still it can happen, you wake up feeling like death warmed over, your tummy is in knots or maybe you have a splitting headache. If something major happens, such as your appendix gets going or you break a bone, obviously you will go to the hospital, but what about the other stuff?

This past summer I had a makeup job in Belize the week before I went to Italy. I woke up my third day in Europe with a nasty cough that progressively got worse, to the point where I had to sleep sitting up. It was miserable. It turned out I had breathed in spores in Belize that then took up residence in my sinuses and wrecked havoc on my summer. The bright side of the experience was that I got the opportunity to work my way through the Italian medical system, and see how incredibly functional and affordable it is!

Certaldo Alto

Had I been in the US I would have high tailed it to my nearest Target/Walgreens/ CVS store and loaded up on DayQuil and NyQuil, but they don’t have those products in Italy. I normally travel with a small kit of OTC medicines in case something goes wrong, but this time I had left the bag at home in the name of packing light. (Never again!)

Related Post: How To order Coffee In Italy

The first medical stop was to see a doctor. The owner of the vacation rental I was staying in hooked me up and got me an appointment. The doctor was great. He asked a million questions, including “Belize??? What the hell were you doing there?? Do you have any idea how many crazy illnesses they have in Belize???”

Then he went to a cabinet full of drawers and pulled out a packet of antibiotics, a nasal spray, an inhaler (that costs 10x more in the USA) and wrote me a prescription for some cough medicine. It was brilliant! None of this waiting an hour at the pharmacy like you do here. A basic prescription comes prepackaged and ready to go. Why don’t we have that here??

Next I went to the pharmacy to get my cough medicine. Again, it was super efficient. Everything is prepackaged and ready to go. No waiting around.

italy pharmacy

 

Because I was going to be moving around the country I couldn’t come back for a follow up visit, so the doctor wrote me some other prescriptions in case I needed them.

Normally your first stop isn’t to a doctors office, normally you start at the pharmacy. 

Pharmacies are easy to find in Italy because they have a big green cross in neon outside. It is a very different pharmacy experience than you have in America. 

Related Post: How To use Trains In Italy

The DayQuil/NyQuil/Benedryl products that we buy over the counter here aren’t sold over the counter there. In Italy you will speak to a pharmacist, and this is going to feel like you are speaking to a doctor. They will ask you tons of questions about what’s going on, so they can diagnose you correctly and give you the right products. If you want something for a cough they will ask you all about the cough, where it is coming from, is it wet or dry, and then decide which is the best option for you.

Normally the first stop isn’t a pharmaceutical, but will be a natural remedy instead. They do the same in New Zealand – it’s amazing how many ailments that we medicate in the US that they treat and cure overseas with non-pharmaceutical products! 

Across the course of traveling through Italy for 6 weeks with a never ending cough I was able to experience many, many pharmacies. They are all independently owned, not giant chains like they are here. In each and every one whomever was helping me asked tons of questions then made a decision specific to my needs. When I got to San Gimignano and was still coughing, the pharmacist said I needed to see another doctor, then organized it for me.

This doctor wrote some more prescriptions including a steroid to stop the cough. I ran back to the pharmacy and once again they just opened drawers and pulled out the boxes of medications. There was no waiting around, no pharmacy techs counting out tablets, instead the prescriptions are already in boxes waiting for you.

I speak Italian pretty well, but I don’t speak medical jargon. (I don’t speak mechanical Italian either. If you need your car taken in for an oil change and tire rotation I don’t know any of the words!) I found that in every pharmacy I went to up and down the country, they spoke English, or enough English for us to communicate.

I am a big believer in bringing some OTC meds with you in case you do catch a cold or get an upset tummy etc while on your trip, but if you don’t have what you need don’t worry. 

Volterra Stairs

What To Do If You Get Sick In Italy

Don’t get freaked out!

Act on it immediately. You may need to take a day out of your trip and sleep it off – whatever you have to do to nip it in the bud. You are better to deal with it quickly and stop it from getting worse, than to get really sick and ruin your trip. If it is a tummy issue you really need to act quickly because public bathrooms are few and far between in Italy.

Go to your nearest pharmacy and expect to speak at length with the pharmacist or the tech. They will sort you out. 

If your illness is beyond their ability to help they will help you find a doctor, and in most cases a doctor who speaks English.

If you do need a doctor and they can’t help you find one, your hotel or your landlord can help you.

 Related Post: Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

 Italian OTC (Over The Counter) Equivalents

You won’t find Advil, Motrin, Excedrine etc in Italy, but you will find these equivalent products.

Asprin = Aspirina

Ibuprofen products, like Advil are Brufen, Moment, and the best one for headaches – Nurofen.

Acetominophen products, like Tylenol are Paracetamol are Tachipirina and Efferalgan.

Naproxen products, like Aleve, are Momendol, Naprosyn and Naproxene.

Antihistamines: Reactine and Zyrtec, and a product called Telfast which is close to the American Allegra. The pharmacist will probably recommend a nasal spray as well.

Medicines To Pack

I recommend packing a small first aid kit when you travel. Make sure you have bandaids, a small tube of neosporin, a small tube of the painkiller that works for you (Excedrine/Tylenol/Motrin). You may encounter plants or air that sets off allergies you weren’t expecting, so pack an antihistimine. I bring Zyrtek with me because I find it works quicker and better than Claritin.

You should pack for tummy ailments too – something for upset stomach and something for a backed up stomach. Being in a place with different water from home and with different food from home could set you off in either direction.

Pack an insect repellent. Italy has some hungry mosquitos! But if I’m there you will be safe because they will buzz right past you to come eat me! One cool trick I learned was to pack a few tablespoons of baking soda. If you get bitten (or like me, eaten alive), mix a teaspoon of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste, paint it over your insect bites and let it dry. Once its all the way dry, rub it off rather than washing it off. It takes the redness, the itch, and the swelling out of insect bites really quickly! You can use the same trick for sunburn.

If you have OTC medicines you recommend packing, please tell me in the comments section below!