Blog Posts


Drink a Coke and kill two goats… or don’t

Over the last month, I've figured out two things about Mussoorie, the hill station in northern India where I'm currently staying. One: someone’s business is everybody’s business. The pastime of gossip here is as extensive and entrenched as the 94 viruses that were expelled from my laptop yesterday. Two: everyone ... read more

Janna White

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Insider Tips

flagUnited Kingdom

Forget the bill, it's free!

Because health care is publicly-funded in London, trips to the emergency room are free--as my friends & I so bittersweetly discovered the night we got caught up in a bar fight ... read more

Ann Clark


Be wary of the tap water

I didn't experience any health problems while I was in Chile. For prospective travelers, I recommend checking with locals before drinking tap water outside of major cities. For example ... read more

Matthew Hintsa


In case of emergency, break glass, use helicopter

Seeing so many ruddy cheeks exercising around town and walking into smokeless clubs whenever I went out, it is no surprise to me that Norwegians have one of the longest ... read more

Patrick McCue


Going green

Though Amman is relatively clean compared to other smog-infested Middle Eastern capitals like Cairo or Damascus, littering is still part of the daily routine. In a developing country like Jordan ... read more

Adam Lichtenheld


Health yourself

If you have the privilege of checking into a Jordanian hospital with a stomach ailment, they’ll either want to take out your appendix or (if you’re female) just ... read more

Adam Lichtenheld


Better to be safe than sorry

Be wise. If you’re spending a lot of time in Internally Displaced Persons camps in northern Uganda, be vigilant. Odds are you’ll be fine but remember that there ... read more

Pete  Muller


End that stomach pain without going to the doctor

When your intestines feel like they're going to explode because they're filled up with gas or you have nothing left inside of you after a long night of ... read more

Emily Rusca


How toilet seat covers are going to pay my way through college.

In Italy, for hygienic purposes, you must wear plastic gloves when touching fruit at the grocery store. There's also a change bowl to avoid hand-to-hand contact when exchanging cash ... read more

Alessandra Roqueta


The Big Desk

The best part about going to a doctor in Switzerland is the "Big Desk." While still in your street clothes, you will talk with the doctor at their desk and ... read more

Chantal  Panozzo


The rich seek help elsewhere

Most private hospitals in Bangladesh are crowded and short-staffed, and make American ERs look like a model of efficiency. Because of this, the upper-class, who can afford to go abroad ... read more

Amy Adoyzie Lam


Over-the-counter everything

Bangladesh has a plethora of generic drugs that are easily available over-the-counter. In fact, it's easier for a civilian to legally buy morphine than it is for a hospital--the ... read more

Amy Adoyzie Lam


Don’t drink the water

Don’t drink the water in Damascus, but if you do and get sick, know that there are plenty of well-stocked pharmacies around the city. Many pharmacists also speak English ... read more

Mimi Hanaoka


A drop of water won't kill you

While traveling in India, it's easy to convince yourself that every bite of food potentially contains a strain of death. While it is smart to be cautious about tap ... read more

Emily Strasser


As long as you wear a condom...

Aside from having the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world, Swaziland is a good deal healthier than most of its Southern African neighbors. There’s little to no ... read more

Mallory Primm


Choosing between public and private care

While on study abroad, a friend of mine had an unfortunate skiing accident. He called in sick to school to go skiing with his host brother, but on his first ... read more

Mike Mian


How to get vaccinated for free

Keep in mind that if you are in Argentina and want to travel to Bolivia, you'll need to get a vaccine against yellow fever. If you don't want ... read more

Julie Turkewitz


Got the sniffles? Your doctor's just a flight away.

The health care system in Laos leaves a lot to be desired. For example, the website of Luang Prabang's largest hospital lists abortion as one of the most common ... read more

Gabriel Shaya

flagCosta Rica

How to get healthcare when your country doesn't provide it for you

After living our entire lives in a country that doesn't provide adequate healthcare for all citizens, and where the healthcare system is devised to profit by rejecting sick people ... read more

Matthew Amaral


De-carb every once in a while

If there's one thing that can be hard to adjust to when it comes to Peruvian cuisine, it's the disproportionate amount of carbs. Rice, potatoes, bread, rice, empanadas ... read more

Courtney Ng


Avoid breathing the black cloud

Air pollution in Ulaanbaatar is like most major cities, but in the winter, things get ugly. UB has had an influx of families from the countryside in recent years and ... read more

Lindsay Myron


LADIES: Future Offspring or Bare Feet? Your Call.

There are a number of commonly held beliefs in both Croatia and Serbia about things perilous to your lady parts. When my Serbian host mother catches me barefoot inside she ... read more

danielle hayes


Carry your bathroom accoutrements with you

Sanitary conditions in Malawi leave much to be desired — particularly when nature calls. Though you can usually find a flush toilet in urban areas (in rural settings, expect to squat ... read more

Rebecca Jacobson


Watch where you purchase your medications

“It’s been an exciting week,” my friend exclaimed her second week in Delhi, “Not only did I sprain my ankle, I also visited the emergency room when the skin ... read more

Valerie Hohman


Don't let the bed bugs bite

Raise your hand if you thought bed bugs were just a make-believe creature some parent dreamed up to make for a sweet good-night tiding. If your hand is in the ... read more

Amy Vaerewyck


The cats are like pigeons, but more disgusting

In Egypt, cats roam the streets. They are flea-bitten, diseased strays, so no matter how much you want to adopt or cuddle one, I would recommend against it! Worse are ... read more

Delia Harrington


Consider medical tourism

Even though Thailand has seen a slump in its tourism since the United States issued a travel alert in late 2008, medical tourism seems to still draw many to the ... read more

Anna Schwaber

flagEl Salvador

If it smells like burning, your shower is over

Hot water is a beautiful luxury. In El Salvador, your showerhead might have a giant heating unit attached to lots of wires. Instead of a hot water tank, the water ... read more

Caitlin Quigley


Purchase altitude medication to conquer the heights

Seeing the Andes was one of the reasons I chose to travel to Peru, but being at high altitudes also presents a lot of problems for those who, like myself ... read more

Courtney Ng


Watch the cheese

Cyprus is famous for halloumi cheese: It's white, slightly salty with a hint of mint, and firm enough to grill without melting. And it's served at every meal ... read more

Madeline Blount


Middle East diet

Israel can sometimes seem a bit backwards, but the country has advanced in technology and medicine in the last 15 years at an extraordinary rate. Medicine and pharmacies are easily ... read more

Jonathan Amerikaner

flagUnited Kingdom

The National Health Service

This winter I was able to take advantage of the UK’s National Health System first-hand, thanks to some bad oysters I had in Paris. (The corollary Insider Tip here ... read more

Marshall Worsham


Malarial mosquitoes dig Uganda

In the past year, I've gotten malaria three times. Every few months I come down with that tight, back-of-the-head headache; I feel achy and feverish; I start shivering in ... read more


A touch of plague with your marmot, sir?

Mongolia doesn't suffer from many of the endemic diseases of more tropical nations, and even HIV/AIDS is barely present. Be careful anyway, because other sexually transmitted diseases are ... read more

Andrew Cullen


Stomachs Twist Here

No matter how hard I try, I can never stay healthy for long in Uganda. The thing that ails me most here is an upset stomach. I don't eat ... read more


The Littlest Snakes Pack the Biggest Punch

When walking around in a wild place, it’s generally important to watch your step, but more specifically important to know what you’re watching for. Besides thorns and the ... read more

Cara Giaimo


Mastering the art of heat

India’s heat is a force to be reckoned with that can wreak as much havoc on your body as any tainted water or undercooked food. It’s a time ... read more

Janna White

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