Costa Rica Bridges - June 12, 2016

Who else is on this tour? I will have my 12 year old daughter and 9 year old son. Curious if there will be more kids around their ages. Can't wait!

Comments

  • Family of five from North Carolina just signed up : 17 y/o son, 14 y/o and 10 y/o daughter looking forward to trip as well.
  • Almost-eleven-year-old Jack will be in your group. He's fun-loving and high-energy. We arrive a day early, stay a day late. He's bringing us, his grandparents! hahaha!
  • Oops, sorry, Jack and we are in the June 19 group!
  • Hi. My 13 yo daughter and I (her mom) are going on the June 12th trip. can't wait!
  • Glad to see that there are other kids on our trip! My 67 year old mother will be with us also. I'm starting to gather up all the clothes and gear we will need. I wish someone would post that has been on this trip and talk about clothes that worked/didn't work. Do i need to buy us mosquito net hats and the suggested water[roof backpacks?

    Curious also if any of you plan to take Malaria prevention meds. I have 2 different answers from 2 different doctors. Thoughts?
  • edited May 2016
    We have been on two different Costa Rica adventures with Tauck when they offered several different tours there in the past. We love the country and I am working on my husband to take another tour there this winter instead of a lazy beach vacation. Some of the places and hotels are different than the two times we have been. I love the exotic feel of the country. When we researched malaria in Costa Rica very carefully and on the CDC and WHO websites, I believe they said that it was the Pacific coastal areas that had the risk of Mosquitoes carrying Malaria. Having said that, we always take Malaria medication wherever there is the tiniest risk of contracting Malaria in any country we visit. So we took meds on both our tours to Costa Rica, and will again, even if we are not visiting the coast. You have to take different Malaria meds depending on the area of the planet you are visiting and follow all instructions for taking it, such as not taking it on an empty stomach. Guidelines for the recommended medications do change so your doctor ought to be a travel specialist who is up to date with his/her knowledge. We have taken many different types of the medication and have never had any reactions-- we are slightly younger than your Mom by the way. Tauck guidelines for the forum suggest that people take advice from their doctors who know their medical history and not from strangers on the this forum, so I am just telling you what we do. No one wears mosquito hats. Again, what WE did was to spray our clothing with the special repellent following all instructions, doing it outside ---tip, we hung the clothing out under our deck, donned gloves, mask and safety glasses, and made sure the clothing was dry before bringing it inside, at this point the repellent is deemed safe. If you want to be more frugal than spraying the clothing all over, just spray around openings like neck, end of sleeves and legs. We spray the Deet based repellent meant to spray on our skin over areas of our skin that is exposed, like neck and ankles, Deet should not be sprayed under clothing or near the mouth and eyes. Wash hands carefully afterwards. Also be careful because some people recklessly spray repellent randomly around themselves when they are in close proximity to others which is both annoying and dangerous and inconsiderate to others. Remember that mosquitoes that carry other diseases like Zika and the many others I can't remember how to spell are active during the day. Many of these mosquitoes cannot be seen, so don't assume they are not around.
    We met an infectious disease specialist socially last year, he regularly sees clients who contract Malaria while on vacation.
    Clothing, very casual, for daytime, lightweight cotton clothing. Save on repellent and sunscreen by wearing lightweight long pants and shirts or t shirts. Hat with a good brim. You will be in rainforest, so you can expect to get wet, even if it is not raining. A lightweight waterproof backpack is a good thing to have and can be used on any type of Tauck tour, and fold up to nothing. These can be found at all price points. No need to be over formal for evening wear. Sometimes I just wear the clean clothing I am going to wear for the next day in the evening. Tip, if you hand wash any items, they take forever to dry because of the high humidity, you might want to avoid doing any laundry yourself for that reason. On our first tour to Costa Rica, I made the mistake of hand washing a cotton bra and after a couple of days had to resort to drying it with the hairdryer, I can't repeat what my husband said when he thought I was taking an eternity to dry my hair on this forum!
  • I understand the importance of following my doctors recommendations for malaria. My confusion comes because my primary doc said yes I need preventative, and my kids pedi said no. I talked with a travel medication specialist that said absolutely not necessary based on no instances of malaria in years in Costa Rica. I just want to assure our family is safe, but not take meds unless necessary. Appreciate your feedback and glad to hear the meds did not make you sick - that is my fear!
  • jengl wrote:
    I understand the importance of following my doctors recommendations for malaria. My confusion comes because my primary doc said yes I need preventative, and my kids pedi said no. I talked with a travel medication specialist that said absolutely not necessary based on no instances of malaria in years in Costa Rica. I just want to assure our family is safe, but not take meds unless necessary. Appreciate your feedback and glad to hear the meds did not make you sick - that is my fear!

    Hi, having read your reply, I just looked at various websites, here is one

    http://globalhealthsciences.ucsf.edu/sites/default/files/content/ghg/country-briefings/Costa-Rica.pdf

    There are others. It seems that there has been a big reduction in the cases of Malaria in Costa Rica since we were last there. But it has not been constant. It just shows how up to date we should be on this subject. It was interesting to read about the increase in hurricanes causing a spike in Malaria and the workers in the banana plantations, this is why I picked out this article to highlight. On our last Costa Rica tour, we drove through banana plantations and our bus stopped at the processing plant and they brought a large tarantula onto the bus for us to look at. Based on what I have been reading and knowing that we have no problems with the medications required to help prevent Malaria in Costa Rica, it must have been Malarone we took, I think we will still take the medication, partly because circumstances could change and there could be a spike in cases. I have also had to look after people with Malaria in the past, and it makes you very very ill. It can recur any time especially when the body is under stress, like in pregnancy, I have seen that several times and probably when someone has a condition that compromises their immune system. It also means if I get a fever within one year of returning, I can assume it is not Malaria.
    Regarding your question about footwear, we have never taken hiking boots on any of our more adventurous tours, and thankfully we have not turned our ankles. I do not recall seeing anyone in hiking boots or shoes with ankle protection. Certainly shoes with a good tread or grip are extremely useful because of the chance of a muddy terraine. Believe it or not, even when the tour guide gives you a briefing on suitable footwear for the day, there are those who ignore the semsible advice, some on our Galapagos tour wore flip flops on the sharp jagged lava flow rocks. On another tour, someone wore old sneakers where the tread had completely worn down and they slipped and fell and were injured, tip here, don't wear sneakers that have no tread left. Most people do wear Keen type shoes or closed toe sandals. Once again there are shoes of this type at every price point, you do not have to pay a fortune. enjoy Costa Rica, we are going again next year!
  • My husband and I are taking our grandsons,8 and 9, on the June 12 trip. We are looking forward to meeting everyone. They are especially excited to meet fellow kid travelers so hopefully there will be other children their ages to pal with. We are arriving a day early so will look to connect with fellow travelers by the pool. Safe travels!
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