SUMMIT, N.J., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Little things mean a lot -- quite a lot -- when it comes to vacation planning. With prime vacation season just weeks away, a few pointers from the Transderm Scop(R) (scopolamine 1.5 mg) Travel Advisory Board*, could help avert some potential vacation disasters. Friends, honeymooners, and families planning trips need to understand that it takes more than a great destination, a good travel agent and a dependable guide book to ensure success. When the unanticipated occurs, dream destinations can easily lose their luster -- whether due to a glitch in plans, a physical reaction to your new surroundings, or a clash of expectations between traveling companions. By focusing on four distinct categories before you travel, you will help to ensure that your dream destination doesn't become your nightmare. These categories include: making the arrangements, getting there, travel health, and managing expectations. Making the Arrangements ... Whether you're making all the arrangements on your own or working with an experienced travel agent, ask plenty of questions. -- If prices are lower during the period you want to travel, ask if it's because the weather is less than terrific. Rainy season? Hurricanes? Too cold for the beach? Know before you go. -- Make sure your clothing is appropriate for both the season and atmosphere of your destination. Why spend unnecessary dollars on formal wear because you didn't ask first? -- Bringing the kids? Ask about cribs, bed configurations, baby-sitters, kids' activities programs, kids' menus, reduced fares/packages, VCRs, and videos. Unwelcome surprises here can turn into the proverbial thorn. -- Discuss accommodation expectations with your travel companions. If your fantasy is five-star, but your companions would rather economize, find a happy medium. It will save lots of arguments (or unspoken resentments) later on. -- Discuss expectations and your idea of the perfect vacation with traveling companions, even the kids. If the vacation doesn't offer something for everyone, re-think the plan. -- If one of you wants to beachcomb while the other wants to boogie board, plan to schedule separate activities for part of the day. Splitting up occasionally means everyone goes home having done what they hoped to do. Getting There ... -- Pack what you think you really need -- or a little less. Don't throw in a few extra outfits "just in case." Stick to one or two color schemes. Select shoes thoughtfully -- you don't need a pair for every outfit. You'll appreciate this when you end up carrying your own bags because you can't find a porter. -- If you're driving to the dock or airport, give yourself plenty of time to get there. Something will probably go wrong if you don't. If you're driving to your destination, or even if you're driving a short distance from the airport, get directions first. Don't think you'll be able to "figure it out." -- Get seat assignments as far in advance as possible; there's a cutoff date, after which you'll be stuck on line waiting for them. Reconfirm flights and seats a couple of days before departure. Before leaving for the airport, reconfirm departure times. Should the flight be delayed, why sit around a terminal for several hours if it can be avoided? Travel Health... -- Nothing can ruin a vacation quicker than physical discomfort. Travel with a complete arsenal of remedies, including those you need to obtain by prescription. Pack all medication in a carry-on bag, just in case you and your luggage take different trips. -- Plan on getting enough sleep before you depart -- don't stay up past midnight packing when you have a 7 a.m. flight. -- Whether you're in the air or safely at your destination, don't over- indulge in alcohol. And, of course, never drink and drive. -- Cruising, sailing and even flying can cause motion sickness. Yachting around the Greek Islands loses its romantic edge quickly when you're hanging over the rail. One Transderm Scop patch provides up to 72 hours of protection and has been clinically proven to provide better protection from nausea and vomiting than the leading over-the-counter remedy. It's also more convenient than taking pills every 4-6 hours. Transderm Scop is a prescription drug that should not be used in children or by those with glaucoma, difficulty in urinating, or an allergy to scopolamine or other belladonna alkaloids. In clinical studies of Transderm Scop, some side effects were noted, including dryness of the mouth (in two-thirds of users), drowsiness (reported incidence: less than one in six), and blurred vision. While using this product, patients should not drive, operate dangerous machinery or do other things that require alertness. Patients should avoid using alcohol. Physicians should exercise special care when prescribing this product to the elderly. -- It's also important to have sun protection. Intense sun can take its toll by day's end; even hazy days are dangerous. Full-spectrum sunscreen is the most beneficial, particularly newer products containing avobenzone. Also, pack a hat, as well as moisturizers for post-sun care. -- Don't forget about the potential discomfort and inconvenience of diarrhea. You may be sailing a top-of-the-line cruise ship, but a port stop for lunch at the "greatest little seafood shack overlooking the lagoon" could change your perspective. If you leave your ship or resort in a hot climate, stick with only bottled beverages, including water. Pack an effective anti-diarrheal remedy. -- Bug bites can escalate from annoyance to intense discomfort. Carry an odorless spray or stick with a product containing DEET, and remember to apply it before you go out, especially at dusk. Bring along some cortisone cream in case you do forget. Managing Traveler Expectations... -- If you're the stay-loose-and-improvise type and your traveling companions are compulsive planners/doers, your vacation could be doomed. Agree to disagree in advance of your trip. Plan morning activities and keep afternoons open, or plan activities for several designated days. Don't waste precious vacation time resolving such issues. -- If one or more in your group loves cultural activities -- museums or combing historic ruins -- but the interest isn't unanimous, don't drag along the unenthusiastic. Let them do their own thing; everyone will be happier. -- Looking for love? You might be looking in all the wrong places if your idea of romance doesn't mesh with that of your companion. If sailing, surfing or whitewater rafting is the focal point of your significant other's vacation plans but not yours, schedule a few romantic dinners. -- Married with children? Vacations should fulfill a wide range of expectations. Baby-boomers usually choose family-friendly ships and resorts, but if there's no adult venue to retreat to, you may want to reconsider your choice. It's quite common to return home feeling out of sorts if you haven't had your "grown-up" time. Many more travel tips are featured in Transderm Scop's free brochure, "Don't Miss the Boat," a cruise travel reference containing a before/during/after checklist to help you sail smoothly throughout your vacation experience, as well as a $5 rebate coupon. To obtain a complimentary copy, call 1-888-SCOP-72HR or visit http://www.transdermscop.com. Transderm Scop is marketed and distributed by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. Novartis Consumer Health U.S., headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is a leading consumer pharmaceuticals and foods company. The division includes Novartis OTC (over-the-counter medicines), Gerber Products Company, Novartis Medical Nutrition and Novartis Health and Functional Nutrition. Focusing on consumer needs and preferences, each NCH sector provides well-known, high-quality products to enhance overall health and well-being for millions of American consumers each day. Novartis is a world leader in Life Sciences with core businesses in Healthcare, Agribusiness, and Consumer Health (Nutrition and Self-Medication). In 1998 Novartis Group sales were $21.8 billion, of which $12 billion were in Healthcare, $5.8 billion in Agribusiness, and $4 billion in Consumer Health. The group annually invests more than $2.6 billion in research and development. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis employs about 82,000 people and operates in over 140 countries around the world. The company's U.S. headquarters are located in Summit, New Jersey. * The Transderm Scop Travel Advisory Board consults with Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. on all matters related to Transderm Scop, travel, and travel health. Its members include Kenneth R. Dardick, M.D., a family physician and travel health expert located in Storrs, CT, Anne Campbell, editor in chief of Cruise Critic, an area on America Online that helps passengers plan their cruises, and Larry Maloney and Edward Siegel, co-owners of Forbes Travel, a full-service travel agency located in Pittsburgh, PA.
SOURCE Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.