packing for guatemala

Old Apr 19th, 2010, 08:32 PM
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packing for guatemala

Hi all,

Getting ready to fly to Guatemala for my week-long vacation and finishing my packing. Does everyone recommend that i bring DEET - inspect repellant? Also, how much of a concern is that water? Should i come armed with Pepto-bismal?

Any suggestions on other must have items?

Thanks
mbascia is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2010, 10:03 PM
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My best advice is to pack really light - just a loosely filled carry on bag each. Check out www.onebag.com and my generic CA packing list which is #14 here:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...hreadID=828622

I usually go for a month at a time but my list would be the same for a week or 6 months. My photos with blog and travelogue links can be found here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

I like Ultrathon or Sawyer's Controlled Release Deet - great products and available in a 3 ounce size you can carry on.

I don't drink the water or brush my teeth with it. Purified water is widely available and safer. I've pasted a few notes below that have helped me stay healthy. Have a great trip and be sure to tell us all about it!
_______________________________

Here are some of the things that have proved successful for me:
:: I only drink bottled water, never tap (unless I purify it or boil it), even on my toothbrush
:: I avoid fruit I haven't peeled myself unless I trust the preparer (no bags of yummy-looking cut up mangos from street venders, but usually I've felt ok in homestays)
:: I avoid lettuce
:: I only eat street food if it's selling quickly and really hot; most careful folks would say avoid it
:: I take probiotics daily on the road; the one I prefer is here:
http://www.iherb.com/Jarrow-Formulas...-Caps/124?at=0
:: I take a papain and bromelain digestive enzyme capsule just before or after high protein meals to speed digestion; I don't have a preferred brand but here's a link to some information:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...its.html?cat=5
:: When I have a touch of diarrhea, I take 2 or 3 cayenne capsules and repeat every few hours - usually kicks it
:: I carry immodium or the like but rarely need it; it shouldn't be used if you're REALLY sick as it keeps the bad bugs in your system longer
:: I get a prescription filled for the antibiotic Ciproflaxin to carry along in case one of us gets REALLY sick; it's usually available without a prescription in CA
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Old Apr 20th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Here in Canada (the other CA!), you need a prescription for Cipro.
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Old Apr 20th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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U.S., too, but not CA in my experience - not sure about Mexico.
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Old Apr 24th, 2010, 05:27 AM
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I would be really careful about drinking the water and eating vegetables and fruits w/o peels. Better safe than sorry. As hopefulist indicates, purified water is widely available. Our family of four had no problems during a week long trip last year, but we were careful about the food and water.

Be sure to take a water bottle with you.

Not sure where you are going. If you are staying overnight in Tikal, a flashlight or headlamp for evenings after the lights are off.

Have a great trip
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Old Apr 24th, 2010, 05:37 PM
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Hi mbascia,
I'm preparing to go to Costa Rica for the first time and went to a travel doc to get Hep A and B shots. He also recommended a Malaria drug (websites I've visited have mixed opinions on whether that is necessary). The CDC site is a little vague, but we decided to take it. He did give me a prescription for Cipro which I filled and plan to take with us just as a precaution.
I will be taking Pepto Bismal, Immodium and Bonine. The first two items are for "just in case" but the Bonine because I suffer from motion sickness at times and I've heard the roads in CR are quite bad in some locations.
Some sort of mosquito protection is an absolute must. I'm not familiar with the products recommended by hopefulist, but she seems to have a good bit of experience which I don't have. I bought a small 100% deet something or rather as well as some Deet wipes which I read about somewhere (can't remember where but it sounded like a good idea).
Have fun!
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Old Apr 24th, 2010, 10:18 PM
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Be cautious with the 100% deet - it will melt plastic and some fabrics and remove paint and finish from products and creeps me out. We've had great luck with the smaller percentage controlled release products and I think they're safer.
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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Hope,
I didn't necessarily want 100% Deet, but was trying to find things in a 2 oz or less size so I could carry them on the plane. Well I just realized that the limit is 3 oz per item...for some reason I get that mixed up every time I travel...keep wanting to make it 2 oz.

I think I will return the 100% stuff. I was actually told that 25-35% Deet is all we need. Do you know where I can buy Ultrathon or Sawyer's Controlled Release Deet locally in GA? I don't know if I have time for mail order.
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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I don't know anything about GA; I buy it at REI. I don't see Sawyer's many places but Ultrathon I sometimes see at department stores. Good luck!
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 05:31 PM
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Hope,
Had just been at REI last weekend and didn't think to look for bug repellent cause I thought I was set. REI is not really close by but today I found some of the Ultrathon at a Bass Pro Shop. Do you remember how long one of the 2 oz bottles will last by any chance?
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 09:50 PM
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It depends on how thick the mozzies are as you'll want to reapply periodically. On my month-long trips 2-3 ounces have been plenty but if you're in an area where bugs are thick for an extended period you might want to pack 2. I mostly use my quart ziplock allowance for great quality 1st aid, bug stuff, and sun block.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 05:45 PM
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I take one cpro daily and leave all the other stuff at home. Bottled water only, no lettuce or fruit and you will be fine. Also no jewelrey or purse. I carry my $$$$ and passport under my clothes. A small purse or fanny pack for your immediate needs is fine, no problem if it gets picked. After all you might need to get your kleenex or notebook or pen or calculator and a convenient pack works well. Pack light, then take out half of that!
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Old May 1st, 2010, 09:38 PM
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You take cipro daily even when you're not sick? YIKES! It is a really powerful, broad spectrum antibiotic and waaay off label to take it prophylactically.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 05:19 PM
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Eeeks, some of you guys are super cautious, when i travel i travel light, stuff is so cheap out here that i theres something you dont have u can usually get hold of it.

Deet would be useful tho, especially at the momement as its wet season and the mozzies are begining to come out in force!

Dont forget to visit Palacio de Dona Leonor on you visit to Antigua! Its a 15th century mansion renovated to be a hotel oozzing with heaps of colonial mystique.... gotta be worth a visit, located a block away from the central plaza...

feast your eyes on these photos:

http://www.palaciodeleonor.com
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:40 PM
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Johnny,
What is with you and the Palacio de Dona Leonor? You must just love that place..You mention it in everyone of your posts
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