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Refridgerated Medicine/other questions

17 Jul 2007 GizmoKitty said

Hello all.<BR>I am going on European Discovery soon. When I made my reservations, I told the rep that I am a Diabetic and that my medicine needs to be keep cool. How would I do this (other than packing the small cooler I have)? Are there fridges/ice machines in the hotels? Or does it vary depending on where I go? Should I call Contiki and ask their advice? Also, this very small cooler has not been counted as luggage at the airport, would Contiki count it as luggage or no?<BR><BR>A friend of mine went to Europe last month (not on Contiki) and gave me some advice. He said NOT to get traveler's checks because the conversion fees are very high. He said, just take my ATM/bank card and use that and use the ATMs. What is better to do? To convert a small amount of cash to Euros here in the US? Or get a prepaid debit card? I'm reading a lot of stuff in the advice area but not finding a lot of help.<BR><BR>And is it OK to take my laptop with me? Is it even worth it? If I take it with me, would I be able to use it in the hotel room? Is there more information on cell phone use in Europe other than roaming costs suck? Should I get a calling card, would that be better? I'm trying to do things as cheaply as possible.<BR><BR>And last, I will only have $1300 for the trip, maybe a little more, before conversions and stuff. Will this be enough to get food, and maybe a little bit more? I think it's about 80 euros a day that that converts to, I did the conversion a little while ago, but I guess actually converting from USD to Euros costs money too... so...<BR><BR>If anyone can help, thanks!
  • Read the responses 15 responses so far
  • 17 Jul 2007 ashleightara said



    First, RE your medication. Definitely call Contiki and ask for their advice. As far as fridges in the hotel rooms, its not likely in all cases (from what I’ve heard a lot don’t have hair dryers), however your TM might be able to make arrangements with the hotel to have it stored in another fridge etc.

    I’d also ask them about including the cooler (probably wouldn’t hurt to have dimensions/weight handy). I’ve heard there is a compartment on the bus that is often used for soivenirs, maybe you could be given use of that (I think its locked).

    Money – general opinion is, no traveler’s checks. They are too hard to exchange. Take either you ATM card of a prepaid debit card…its a personal choice and will usually be made based on ATM and conversion fees (Check what those fees would be if you took ur usual ATM card). Also make sure you tell your bank you are going and have the appropriate numbers etc. in case you lose your card (maybe get a 2nd card).

    You might want to get a small amount of cash before you leave to tide you over until you reach an ATM…maybe pounds if you are arriving in London first.

    Laptop – general idea is its not worth it, its hard to get internet roaming etc plus you don’t have a lot of time to use it. Those that take it are normally big photographers who need the storage, those that need it for work/study purposes or those who need it for things before/after Contiki.

    Phone Use – one of the simple phone cards to use is the ekit from, you can either a calling card or an ekit sim card, so long as your phone is compatible.

    Having enough money – I guess it depends on what you spend. I’ve heard that a general budget for 100Euros a day is definitely generous. If you don’t drink, or don’t intend to buy many souvenirs you can get away with less. The smallest budget I’ve heard is approx 60Euros a day. I think you’ll be find with the 80 a day, just make sure you keep an eye on what you have left Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Hope that gives you some answers.

  • 18 Jul 2007 aroundthe said


    Hi there,

    Call Contiki so they can make arrangements for you. Hotels are very basic. Luxery at these hotels would be a hairdryer and more then one towel. They wont have a fridges in the room or even ice machines. Although like ashleightara said Contiki and the TM will most like be able to make arrangments to accomindate you. Let them know as soon as possible then remind them again when you go for your pre-tour meeting. Since it’s for medical purposes if it’s not large I don’t think they count it as an extra bag. If they do they might bend the rules for you.

    I reccomend maybe having some emergency money in a Traveller’s check. No more then 100$ The rest on your ATM/Credit cards. With TC you lose so much money with the conversion and service fees that it’s not worth. If your bank doesn’t offer a plan that includes international transaction, you should know you’ll be charge around 5$ from your bank and if the other bank charges anything that too (I was only charge once from a forigen bank at the ATM down the street from the Royal National and it was like 1.50 GBP)So keep your transaction to a min and take out money for a few days at a time. Maybe it was just me that didn’t know but I’ll pass this along too. You cannot make interac purchases overseas with your atm card.

    When I went on European Magic and stayed an extra day I went with 980$ CAN, I did come back with about 100$.I was well fed, saw what I wanted to see the most and bought a few souvieners even did some partying. But I did wish I brought more so I could have had more fun, saw some of the things that werent on my list of things to see but sounded so good when I was there, and so I didn’t have to worry about running out of money mid way through. It all depends on what kind of shopper you are and what you’re looking to do while there. The more the better I think. If you dont spend it while your there then you can always bring it home.

  • 18 Jul 2007 Kristi said


    I am not sure if you are aware of this info but if not you might find it helpful. Insulin does not have to be refrigerated. This is from the package insert of humalog but should apply to all types of insulin. I think your tour is short enough that you could get away with this you would just need to be careful on where you kept it (so that it doesn’t get too hot).

    Storage—Humalog should be stored in a refrigerator (2° to 8°C [36° to 46°F]), but not in the freezer. If refrigeration is impossible, the vial or cartridge of Humalog in use can be
    unrefrigerated for up to 28 days, as long as it is kept as cool as possible (not greater than 86°F [30°C]) and away from direct heat and light. Unrefrigerated vials and cartridges must be used within this time period or be discarded.

  • 18 Jul 2007 Loogie said


    Hey everyone, I’ve travelled with Contiki and would like to offer some advice:

    If you plan on taking a credit card to Europe, you may want to call your credit card company to let them know you’ll be travelling so they don’t think the card has been stolen and cut you off.

    Another thing I recommend is carrying your cash in a money belt, I find it safer.

    Plan on spending $100-$150 USD per day. You’ll have to buy lunches daily, souveneirs, some dinners and going out at night. You should try exchanging money before you leave. You’ll have to chance to do so on the tour, but easier to get that part out of the way and have one less thing to worry about.

    When you pack, throw some clothing into your carry-on to lighten the weight of the suitcase and in case your luggage gets lost. Leave room for souveneirs & carry with you an extra copy of your pasport and hotel address list.

    In terms of weight of luggage, it’s the airlines that are more strict than Contiki. Each airline has their own weight threshold & will only be too glad to charge you extra for going over. You can find out the limit/rules by going on the airline’s website.

    Feel free to ask me anything else.

    Brian (from New York)

    Southern Ireland ‘97
    Grand Explorer ’00
    Rainbow Nation ’01 (no longer offered by Contiki)
    Beaches & Reefs ’02-’03

  • 18 Jul 2007 laura1987 said


    Hey Guys,

    I’m travelling on a Contiki trip with my cousin this summer. She is also Diabetic and was concerned with her storing her insulin. I am a pharmacy student so I did some research and yes, insulin is okay to be unrefridgerated for 28 days, but they say it should be kept under a temperature of 25 degrees. Our only concern was that if we are travelling to another location, the insulin may have to be left on the bus, where temperature could get quite hot. Since we don’t have access to an ice machine or a fridge in the room we weren’t really sure how we were going to keep it cool. We considered bringing some of those instant cold packs that you break and they turn cool, but we didn’t know how many we would have to bring. If anyone is talking to Contiki about keeping medicine cool, could you please post it on here!

  • 18 Jul 2007 cdm115 said


    I believe the buses have refrigerated sections (the ones they use for camping tours definitely do). But certainly call contiki so that whatever arrangements need to be made can be made.

  • 19 Jul 2007 K-Co said


    On my last tour there was a cooler/fridge at the front where they kept cold water bottles for us to buy. You could keep your insulin there.
    I am sure you have thought of it, but just in case, try to find out how to say that you are diabetic in the languages of the countries you are visiting and print it out on a card just in case something happens and you need medical attention.

  • 20 Jul 2007 GizmoKitty said


    Thank you all so very much, you have all been very helpful. I will definitely find out how to say “I am Diabetic” in other languages, I think that would be helpful should I be away from the group, hopefully there will be no problems on the trip that require me to say that. I will call Contiki and ask about the cooler. I would be worried too about leaving it sitting on the bus, I haven’t had problems carrying it so far, I just want to make sure, since I don’t want to have insulin that in no longer good with me, that would be a very bad thing.

  • 22 Jul 2007 Tara said


    The instant cold packs are a good idea. Also instead of bringing a hard cooler you might wants to bring a soft cooler. Might be easier to carry and travel with. Then at the end of the trip when you are done with the insulin you can fold up the cooler and pack them in the suitcase.
    You would want to call ahead and find out about what you need to travel with the needles also.

  • 23 Jul 2007 laura1987 said


    My cousin and I talked to Contiki and apparently you have to let them know if you are daibetic. You have to fill out a form and then they “approve” if you can go on the trip. Does anyone know if it is unlikely that she would be approved?

  • 24 Jul 2007 smithyana said


    I am an insulin dependent diabetic, and when i raised the question of the insulin not being refridgerated with my specialist she advised that it would be ok… (i’m away for 9 weeks). As long as its not in the full sun etc. you will be fine. Also, i didn’t have to fill out a form to be “approved” by contiki, what is that all about? I’ve paid my money, and got all my travel docs now so i hope its ok (have got the travel agent checking this as we speak)

  • 24 Jul 2007 ptooma said


    There might be a small refrigerated compartment at the front of the coach. The coach I was on had one …

    - Vic

  • 24 Jul 2007 Jeremy said


    I would imagine that any form someone has to fill out for being diabetic is to just let them know its a pre-existing condition and is entirely for insurance purposes.

    The “approving” process is probably them just making sure their insurance company approves it as to avoid a bad situation if something may arise mid-trip. It may also be there to give the tour manager a heads up as well.

    As for money, do not take travelers checks. I’ve been researching into it and found that the best rate is through ATMs. But you have to be cautious, your bank may charge fees of up to 3% plus the flat fees for ATMs. My bank charges $2 per, plus 3%, plus whatever the foreign bank charges. Exchanging cash before you go can be expensive as places charge up to 7% here. Same goes for travel prepaid cards. The best I have found so far, and anyone can correct me if they have found better are the following: Capital One Credit Cards have 0% for purchases, but if you get cash out the cash advance fees apply so that is bad for cash. Capital One also has a No Hassle Prepaid Card that if you set up direct deposit from a checking account is only $1.75 per withdrawl and 1% [Visa charges the 1%]. Thats the best one I’ve found for withdrawals so far. Unless I find a better one, I plan on getting that plus an extra card for security reasons.

    Be sure to let your bank and credit card companies know you are leaving as to prevent your account from closing due to fraud.

    I’d avoid taking a laptop or cell phone, its just extra weight. Calling cards are probably best and cheaper.

  • 2 Oct 2013 brownrichard said


    The medicine is a prescription. It is a written directive, as for the compounding or dispensing and administration of drugs,to a particular patient. Dr. Ricks: Neck Pain Relief in Boise

  • 2 Oct 2013 brownrichard said


    The refrigerator should have a working thermometer to verify temperatures are at proper levels at all times. Refrigerators should also be plugged into red outlets for their power source. Dr. Packer: Neck Pain Relief in Chesapeake

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