Shopping Mania

My shopping pile 9 days into our last trip – bearing in mind there was a major medical emergency with my Dad, so the shopping time was somewhat reduced.
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That suitcase under all those shopping bags is full. There are bags behind the chair you cannot see. Also, at the time I took this photo, there were a lot of dirty clothes on their way to the laundry. I had 10kg of washing done when we moved rooms on the 10th day of the trip.

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All the colorful stuff on the seat of the chair is underwear. I went a little crazy and why wouldn’t I, when instead of paying $15 for one pair of bottoms and about that or more for bras, I could pay $2 for bottoms and $4 for bras!

In Australia I do not like to try new underwear. There is nothing worse than paying $15+ for something and then discovering that you hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. I usually buy the same kind I always have and woe betide me if that kind is discontinued! Egads the nightmare!

In Hawaii, I experimented. I bought underwear I would *never* have tried in Australia because the majority of it was just $2 a pair. So on my first trip I bought one of each different kind and then I went back to the hotel room and tried it all on, decided what I most liked, and stocked up on those. But I actually liked all of the kinds I tried – this is unusual for me.

This was the one space I had to put stuff in our room. Because I was sharing with a friend we had 2 double beds and this means you get one chair with a footrest (as seen here) one desk and a chair (which was holding all my friends shopping) one luggage stand (which was holding my friends suitcase – that she dearly regretted taking once she discovered the awesome shopping) and a cupboard where you can hang stuff up.

We did not do much sitting in here as my Mum had a king bed room and that had a small lounge in there – 2 people could sit on it – which meant one of us was always on the bed. Often we would end up in the lobby in the lounges there, or at Starbucks where they had comfy chairs.

We made do, but I am seriously looking forward to more space on the next trip.

Over the next few weeks I plan to talk a bit more about shopping – stay tuned!

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Space Oddity

I like to keep things Hawaii or travel related here. However, there will be times when I make an exception and this is one of them. The International Space Station has been orbiting the earth now since 1998 – the first crew arrived in November 2000. And yet, in all that time, nobody made a music video up there. Until now.

While on the subject, here are some links to photos of Hawaii from space.

Hawaii from Space

Hawaii from Space Gallery

Travel Light Medical Kit

I do not like to carry too large a handbag when travelling. I don’t enjoy anything too bulky. I want to streamline, and take as little as possible. Part of that is creating a very small kit full of the tablets I might need during a day out and about. If you wanted to carry a full sheet of all of these tablets on top of the other things you want to carry, you will need a large beach bag. So what drugs do I consider essential?

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1. Cold and Flu tablets – if I take these the minute I feel like I might be getting a cold, 8 times out of 10, I can head it off at the pass and never get the looming lurgy. These tablets contain – Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride 30mg; Paracetamol 500mg; Codeine Phosphate 6mg.

2. Antihistamines – There are a lot of different allergy tablets out there, these are the ones that I have found to work for me, from time to time I have to switch to a different one for a bit. These tablets contain – Fexofenadine Hydrochloride 180mg.

3. Nurofen Plus – Sometimes there are headaches that the regular tablets do not touch. I will usually try either Paracetamol or Ibuprofen first, and if those do not work I will try two of these a few hours later. But sometimes you know that the other tablets are not going to cut it right off the bat and so taking these right away is the best bet. These tablets contain – Ibuprofen 200mg; Codeine Phosphate 12.8mg.

4. Ibuprofen – These can be used for headaches or other pain – eg joint pain or tooth pain. These tablets contain – Ibuprofen 200mg. Note – If you are going to use the liquid versions of this tablet, you must pack them in with your liquids, gels and aerosols as per this post. You can get a non liquid version and I would recommend that just to keep all the tablets together.

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5. Paracetamol – I use these specifically for headaches – sometimes I might team them up with the Ibuprofen if I have to work and don’t want to bring out the big guns of the Codeine Phosphate from the Nurofen Plus. If you take these with some caffeine it makes them more effective and work more quickly. A cup of tea is a good option. These tablets contain – Paracetamol 500mg.

6. Difflam Throat Lozenges – these things are magic. Magic I tell you! It is extremely important that you get the right ones – they MUST be the ones with the anaesthetic effect. And idiotic me, these are not them. Oh dears. The ones you want clearly state on the box Anaesthetic – here is a photo. I will have to replace these with ones from my other packet. If you take these the moment you start to feel like you have a sore throat, you have a chance to stop whatever is going on back there. I have saved myself many times with these. Plus, these can be useful if you have a sore jaw or tooth. These lozenges contain – Lignocaine hydrochloride 4 mg; Benzydamine hydrochloride 3 mg; Dichlorobenzyl alcohol 1.2 mg.

7. De~Gas – These things are also magic. Lets be honest – when you travel and you are eating different foods to your normal foods, it can cause some issues internally. If I find things getting a bit gassy I will take 2 of these and within 15 minutes I am my normal self. These tablets contain – Simethicone 100mg.

8. Gastro-Stop – Again this is for internal issues – let us put it politely like they do on the packet – loose motions, cramps and associated pain. These tablets contain – Loperamide Hydrochloride 2mg.

9. Olbas Pastilles – These are very useful for travelling. I usually take one of these while waiting to board the plane, and one when descent begins. They generally last quite a while and they clear out your sinuses and your ear passages. These contain – Eucalyptus oil; peppermint oil; menthol; juniper oil; clove oil; sugar and glucose. If you can’t find these, Fishermans Friends in the original flavour will also work.

10. Olbas Inhaler – If you suffer from ear pain at all when travelling you should carry one of these with you. After a few inhalations your ear passages will clear and the pain will subside. If you cannot find this, a Vicks inhaler or any kind of menthol inhaler will do the trick. This contains – Cajuput oil; Eucalyptus Oil; Levomenthol; Peppermint Oil.

The above is excellent if you are travelling with young kids – they often suffer from ear pain but they cannot always tell you that is what it is, and they will start screaming once the plane doors close and the cabin begins to pressurize. They also cannot perform the Valsalva Manoeuvre to equalise the pressure in their ears and sinuses.

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So what you want to do next is cut off one dose of each drug from the sheet. Some of the smaller drugs which are difficult to trim around I will allow more than one dose because they do not take up a lot of space. But you will be left with sharp edges. This is where the time consuming part of creating this kit comes in.

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Trim off all the sharp edges. I like to use nail scissors because they are that bit smaller, and this can be a fiddly job. Lay down a tissue or a piece of paper towel so you don’t have these little fiddly bits of junk all over the place. You want to be very careful that you do not cut too close to the edge where the tablet is sealed.

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Here is the finished result. I like to add in a couple of glass cleaning wipes because I have to wear glasses.

So what happens if you use any of these doses of medicine and have to replace them? Well I like to have a backup medicine kit which stays in my check in luggage with full sheets of these drugs, so you can just cut off another dose if you need to. But if you had the time and energy you could trim up all of the drugs you carry, so they are all as small as possible and ready to swap into your carry everywhere kit.

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Now, you need something to put all of this into. I like to use small zip up purses. The smallest one I have still has plenty of space left when all of the items are placed in there.

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You can see how small this kit is, and yet it has so much in there that I might need while travelling.

What medicines are your essentials when you are travelling?

Island Soap & Candle Works

These are some of my favourite products from Island Soap & Candle Works.

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There is Creamy Coconut Botanical Lotion, which contains – Aloe Vera, Sea Kelp, Elder Flower, Yarrow, Comfrey Leaf, Chamomile Flower, Bitter Orange Flower, Burdock Root, and Calendula Flower as well as other ingredients. This lotion is decadent, absorbs very easily, leaves your skin silky smooth and smells incredible. You only need a tiny amount to cover a large area.

There is Island Passion Shea Butter Body Cream, which contains Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Yarrow extract, Burdock extract, Calendula officinalis extract, chamomile extract, Bitter orange flower extract, sea kelp extract, elder flower extract, comfrey extract and other ingredients. It is Lilikoi – Passion Fruit flavour

The body cream is available in several flavors and you can see another of the flavors right next door – Pineapple Paradise which is pineapple flavoured. This is a slightly heavier cream than the Botanical lotions.

You will not believe the gorgeousness of the smell of these creams. The products are all made in Hawaii.

Next to that you can see three of the lip balm flavors – there are actually four and they are the same flavors as the body creams. Kauai Kiss and Hawaiian Sunrise are the two remaining flavors not already mentioned. Again, all of these smell amazing.

But do not just take my word for it, on your next trip to Hawaii pop into an ABC store where they have testers of all of these products – and more! – available for you to try. If you really like what you see, it might be worth making the trip to one of their stores – there is one at Ward Warehouse, and one in the Royal Hawaiian Centre.

You can also order these online at the Island Soap & Candle Works website.

Rash Vest – For Legs?

Yes, they do exist. Here is one of my legs while on the kayak wearing them.
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So why would one wear these? The major benefit is SPF 50+ – no need for sunscreen. We often go out for 4 hours or more, and during that time you would have to reapply sunscreen at least once – not the easiest thing when out on a kayak!

When kayaking I generally only use sunscreen on my face, neck and ears – I now have SPF 50+ socks for my feet so I don’t have to apply sunscreen there, and I wear a SPF 50+ long sleeved rash vest with SPF 50+ gloves. I also have a good hat.

My leg wear came from Kmart in Australia and they are actually running leggings. You can swim in them and they keep you a little bit warmer than going without.

Here is my rash vest – it is a kayaking one, and it is a little bit special.

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Because when you are kayaking you tend to be moving your arms a lot, there is a special foam type material at the bottom of the rash vest which keeps it perfectly in place.

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Some rash vests will have a line of something that feels like silicone at the bottom that will do the same thing. When you are looking for a rash vest it is good if you have something like this, or else you might find that you are forever pulling it down while swimming. It can depend on what swimsuit material you are wearing, whether it rides or not.

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This is fine for summer, but what about winter? What about when the water is colder? For that, we have Sharkskins. The technology involved is incredible and there have been times in a very cold winter here when you could find me in my sharkskins sitting in front of the teevee, because they are so toasty warm. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you snorkel or surf and you tend to find the water cold – even if we are talking about the warm waters of Hawaii, you should look into shark skins, you will not believe how warm they keep you. I also have a wetsuit but I rarely wear it since getting the shark skins because they are so much better. They are also chillproof which can be important for things like paddle boarding, kite surfing or any situations in which you are wet and it is windy.

They are not cheap – nothing awesome is in this world – but they are an investment piece and they will last a very long time.

I am still undecided if I am going to pack the sharkskins but for sure the rash vest and leggings are going. ๐Ÿ™‚

Doctors & Chemists

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Due to a medical emergency on our last trip, we spent a considerable amount of time at the Straub Hospital. You can read all about that in my 2011 trip report – and important note, do not travel to the USA without excellent travel insurance! QBE is who looked after us, including sending a paramedic escort for the trip home.

What I wanted to mention today was – where do you go if you need to see a doctor while on holiday @ Waikiki? These are the options I am familiar with from personal experience.

Straub provide two Doctors On Call clinics – one at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, one at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. Click on the link above for opening times, locations and contact details. There are fees involved – these shouldย be covered by your travel insurance, though if you have a excess you may find it is cheaper to pay the fee.

One of the doctors at the HHV on call clinic saved my Dad’s life. If she had not sent him for a catscan which was followed by emergency surgery, within hours he would have been returning home in the cargo hold instead of in the cabin with us. One of the surgeons at Straub went on to perform life saving surgery. The staff at both the clinic and the hospital were absolutely amazing to us.

What if you need medication? There are plenty of chemists throughout Waikiki but I have to send two special shout outs –

Longs Drugs at Ala Moana – we were at this place so often buying supplies on our last trip it began to feel like a second home. Incredibly handy if you are already at Ala Moana buying other things – as we Aussies so often are. ๐Ÿ™‚ They have an excellent range to browse.

Walgreens behind Ala Moana opposite Walmart – open 24/7 for everything you could possibly need from bandages to cold and flu drugs with pseudoephedrine (read my post about the difficulties I had finding that here) to snacks and prescriptions.

When you pack – make sure to include plenty of your own medication. Do not just take enough for the length of time you will be there. I did that last time for our 10 day trip where we ended up staying 21 days and had to organise extra medication which cost a bundle – this was also covered with our travel insurance thankfully, and they even contacted my doctor at home and organised the scripts to be sent to the pharmacy, but it was a hassle I could have avoided entirely by bringing more medication with me.