Travel Tips: Prescription medicine

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Avoid a travel nightmare

When drawing up your packing list for an upcoming trip, one of the first line items should always be your medication.  Getting that part wrong could lead to, at best, a small travel headache that you don’t need on your vacation or business trip, or, at worst, a medical emergency.

Here are five tips for traveling with prescription medication.

Bring more than you think you need, when possible.

If you forget to bring enough socks and underwear, that’s an easy fix on the road, as long as you’re not in a remote destination. Finding a pharmacy that can fill your prescription is a much taller order, anywhere, and can even be impossible.

One recent example: a Redpoint client had used her last epi-pen on her trip to India, and needed more. Epi-pens are not readily available in most parts of India. Locating a new supply took a few days – an emergency that can be mitigated in the future by having an ample supply in your travel bags.

Keep them in your carry-on baggage.

As we all know, checked luggage regularly gets lost on airlines. Again, when it’s clothing that’s missing, it’s a nuisance that can be fixed by buying new ones, while replacement medication is much trickier.

Because airport security limits liquid containers to 3.4 ounces – or one quart-sized clear zip-top bag – it is always helpful to have your medication in tablet or capsule form when available, if you know you’ll be traveling in the near future.

Check to see if your medication is legal in your destination.

Classifications and regulations of pharmaceuticals, of course, vary between countries.

Some fairly common medications in the United States, especially amphetamines for the treatment of attention deficit disorder, are illegal in many countries, most notably Japan. (You can find a full list on the Center for Disease Control website here.) There have been a number of stories over the past few years of travelers in Japan who were arrested and jailed for carrying Adderall or receiving refills in the mail from family members.

It is always wise, no matter where you are traveling with these kinds of drugs, to keep your medications in the original prescription container. While ADD and ADHD prescription drugs like Adderall are in fact legal in Europe, for example, they are as closely controlled there as they are in the United States. For this and other reasons, it is important to retain copies of scripts or any other documentation you have about your prescription with you, and with a traveling friend or family member.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

Cavalry swims two miles through choppy seas in San Francisco to raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation

Posted on Posted in Fundraising

Redpoint Vice President Ted Muhlner powered through two miles in choppy seas to complete the 2nd Annual Golden Gate Frogman Swim recently, in order to raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation.

The mission of the NSF is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Surface Warfare community and their families. The event, held in various rough-sea courses around the country, raises tens of thousands of dollars each year for the foundation.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

 

Redpoint VP Ted Muhlner headed back to cold waters of the SF Bay for two-mile Frogman Swim

Posted on Posted in Fundraising

Raising funds for Navy SEAL families

Redpoint Vice President Ted Muhlner is headed out once again to the numbing waters where the Pacific Ocean meets the San Francisco Bay to participate in the 2nd Annual Golden Gate Frogman Swim, on July 29, 2018.

It’s a two-mile, open-water swim and fundraiser that benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation. The mission of the NSF is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Surface Warfare community and their families. The event, held in various rough-sea courses around the country, raises tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

A quest for the most outrageously smelly cheeses in Europe

Posted on Posted in Europe travel, travel tips

From the decadent to the deadly

Smelly cheese isn’t for everyone. My mail lady, for example, wasn’t thrilled to deliver me a small, pungent wheel of Roquefort cheese, which had endured the transatlantic voyage from Southern France already and had become particularly ripe in her truck through the warm afternoon hours. It was delivered at arm’s length.

Some of us will receive that wheel of cheese with pleasure, and we will travel throughout Europe to find the most aromatic specimens. For the connoisseur, the more intense and decadent the smell, the more appealing. Here is a most-wanted list of Europe’s most odoriferous cheeses, from the enticingly offensive to the downright disturbing — and even deadly.

Stinking Bishop

This one was bound to lead off the order simply for its name, but, when overly ripe, this one truly smells like something died. Although tame in the sense that it is produced from pasteurized rather than raw cow milk, from Gloucestershire, England, it has an overpoweringly putrid perfume due to continuous washings with fermented pear cider.

Epoisses

You know you’ve got a winner in the smelly cheese category when it is banned, by law, from public transportation in France. And it is entirely illegal in the United States. Like Stinking Bishop, it is frequently doused in alcohol in the aging process to give it its distinctive odor – in this case brandy – but unlike its English counterpart it is made from raw milk, giving it that extra punch. Its aroma has been described by critics as something between the middle of compost bin and a baby’s diaper.

Cados

A properly ripened Camembert is deliciously fetid enough, but dump it in breadcrumbs and let it soak for months in Calvados – France’s famous apply brandy – and it is absolutely deadly. Think of driving by a dairy farm on a hot, humid day. The thing is, the taste itself is not like the tangy, stinky Camembert. All you can taste is the Calvados because it is positively dripping with it.

Limburger

This German entry is well known in North American supermarkets, along with Stilton and Munster, as an everyday, go-to smelly cheese. To the uninitiated, an aggressively ripe Limburger smells like used, damp rugby socks that have been sitting for weeks in a duffle bag – and for good reason. The cheese is fermented with Brevibacterium linens, a bacterium that contributes to the odor of the human body.

Casu Marzu

If you’re banned as a cheese in the United States, that’s one thing. But if you’re banned in the European Union? You’re one bad hombre of a queso.  That is the proud distinction of the Sardinian specialty, casu marzu, or rotten cheese, which has even killed a few consumers. It is a pecorino that relies on thousands of maggots to break down its milkfat, and is eaten with the larvae still inside. In fact, when diners spread it on toast, they hold one hand over the top of the slice to keep any of the worms from jumping out. As for the smell, well, you will never get near enough to this outlawed cheese to ever need to know.

 

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

What’s the difference between Cavalry and other travel insurance?

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Tailored for high-end travelers

When our partners recommend Cavalry Elite Travel Insurance to their clients, a common question asked is: “How is this different from the travel insurance that I bought for my last trip?” Or: “How is this different from the insurance included with my credit card?’

A Cavalry policy is very different from other travel insurance policies. It’s almost an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Cavalry Elite Travel Insurance provides elite travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverage to $100,000, while empowering clients to determine where they want to receive medical treatment. Cavalry is a Redpoint Resolutions brand, built for the high-end leisure traveler and covering high-dollar trip costs for luxury vacations.

Most travel insurance policies will only reimburse for evacuations to the nearest appropriate medical facility once hospitalized, if deemed medically necessary by the local foreign attending physician. Cavalry will evacuate the traveler to their home hospital of choice when hospitalized – allowing the traveler to make critical medical care decisions.  Additionally, Cavalry provides access to Redpoint’s medical team of paramedics, nurses and physicians for medical consultations and second opinions, who are deployed bedside to manage the clients’ care at foreign hospitals as needed.

“Travelers don’t want to read all of the fine print or examine different levels of coverage to know if they would be protected in an emergency,” said Redpoint Resolutions VP Tom Bochnowski. “What they want is to enjoy their vacation and know that they are covered.”

Clients reimburses for missed cycling trip to Italy due to heart attack

Posted on Posted in Europe travel, reimbursements

Olive grove adventure canceled

The Puglia coast

A couple in their 50s, both Cavalry comprehensive travel insurance clients, were gearing up for a luxury cycling trip of Southern Italy when the husband had a heart attack. He received a stent in one of his arteries and his physician directed him to not engage in any physical activities. The cycling trip was off.

In addition to missing the experience of the azure waters along the coastal routes of southeastern Italy, and a beautiful pedal through Puglia’s olive groves, the couple had to forfeit about $10,000.

As comprehensive travel insurance policyholders, they filed a claim with Cavalry, and Cavalry reimbursed them for the full insured trip costs.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

Arugula: Our favorite mystery cruciferous topping

Posted on Posted in Europe travel

Rocket and rucola

 

Everyone loves arugula. Even cooler than kale, the healthy topping is on Trader Joe’s pizza, underneath fine cuts of meat, stacked on sandwiches, and tossed on everything in between.

But what is it?

The website medicalnewstoday.com defines arugula as a ” lesser known cruciferous vegetable that provides many of the same benefits as other vegetables of the same family, such as broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Arugula leaves are tender and bite-sized with a tangy flavor.”

The leaf is well known to Europeans for its health benefits, and is found on menus around the Continent, but just not under that name. The same vegetable is known to the British as “rocket,” for example, and in Italian as “la rucola.”

Americans tend to identify Italian foods by their Southern pronunciation, due to the massive immigration from the Italian South in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Prosciutto? “Pro-zhut” in much of America. Capocollo? “Gabagool” in Rhode Island delis, at least. Hence, the Southern pronunciation of “la rucola” as “ ‘a rugula” is favored in the Americas.

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Experience the heart of Provence on two wheels

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Cycling the South of France

Credit: John Moretti

Ever since the 1989 best-seller by Peter Mayle, “A Year in Provence,” the villages of the Luberon in the South of France have been a five-star attraction for North Americans. It’s famous for its delicious melons, approachable rosé wines, and bucolic hilly landscapes best experienced by bicycle.

Credit: John Moretti
Cavaillon melons / Credit: John Moretti

Cavalry Elite Travel Insurance partners Butterfield & Robinson are experts in this part of France, and provide a suite of bicycle tours to make the most of this pastoral and culinary paradise.

On the six-day “Provence Luberon Biking” tour, expect views of the Rhone River and its famed vineyards, the limestone valleys of Les Alpilles, guided tours of Vincent Van Gogh’s last residence, and picnics in the Vaucluse Mountains.

On Day 4, you will pedal through Mayle’s old stomping grounds, through the villages of Gordes, Roussillon and Lacoste. This is the heart of the Luberon, and its hills and valleys are a dream destination for the cycling connoisseur. It’s a challenging but picturesque 100-mile day, and an experience to remember for a lifetime.

Cavalry staff have their own fond memories of cycling the Luberon:

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

Redpoint’s Laurie Nahigian completes her 20th Boston Marathon

Posted on Posted in Fundraising

Soaking wet shoes, but $250K for cancer research

There was freezing rain falling from the sky for the first time in at least ten years. The temperature on the course was in the 30s. Everything was soaked, but Redpoint’s Client Services Director Laurie Nahigian finished her 20th consecutive Boston Marathon despite the wicked weather.

“I wore a poncho for the first 10 miles but it was so windy it was like I had a parachute on,” Laurie said. “My shoes were soaking wet the entire run.”

Laurie was less concerned about a personal record, but rather the fundraising goals of her and her team, the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC), which has already raised more than $5 million for critical cancer research this season. The team directs 100% of funds to the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. Laurie has raised almost $14,000 and the dollars are still coming in.

The memory of those who have fought the disease and their families is what drives Laurie to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the DFMC every year, and to finish this grueling 26.2 mile slog in the frigid temperatures.

“For the last 12 years, I’ve had a tradition with my Patient Partner where I carry a special coin from Hopkinton to Boston and when I see her family at mile 25, I give it to them,” she said. “My hands were so cold I couldn’t go into the teeny pocket in my tights to get it, so her mom had to. It certainly added some comic relief for the other friends and spectators who brave the weather to support us.”

Despite a calf cramp in that final mile down Boylston Street, Laurie made it to the finish line with a remarkable time of 3:35. But more impressive is the $250,000 she has personally raised over the last 20 years. “That is what I am most proud of.”

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

Why are there two Monacos on an Italian map? European city names explained

Posted on Posted in Europe travel

Smoky bay, black pool and merchants’ harbor

Monaco

There’s a funny idiosyncrasy on Italian maps: There are two Monacos. One is a principality on Italy’s northwestern border, the other is Germany’s third-largest city.

The reason is simple. Monaco means “monk” in Italian, and both of these places were once known for the hermits who inhabited them.

The independent city state of Monaco, sandwiched between the Italian Riviera and the Côte d’Azur, may be known these days for its casinos and yacht parties, but back in the 6th century B.C. it was known for the loners who lived in what was then considered the middle of nowhere. So the Greeks gave it the name Monoikos or “solitary house.” (Mono = one or solitary, ikos = house). This word became monaco in Italian.

Munich

Meanwhile, the Bavarian capital known as Monaco in Italian was the site of a Benedictine monastery. The Germans honor those founders by calling it “monks” or München. The original name in Old German was Munich, which of course remains the name in English today.

In much of Europe, naming a city for the people who founded it was pretty common practice. Paris was named for the Parisii tribe who built that city on the Seine. Rome was named for the legend of its first king, Romulus, who along with his brother Remus founded that city on the Tiber.

Paris

Even more common was naming cities for the water that drew settlers there in the first place.

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