What should every traveler's first-aid kit contain? Here is a list of items recommended by Dr. Brian Terry, a specialist in travel medicine who practices at the Healthy Traveler Clinic in Pasadena, Calif., and Dr. Christopher Van Tilburg, an emergency and wilderness physician and editor of Wilderness Medicine magazine in Salt Lake City:
Antibiotic: Depending on where you're headed, include a broad-spectrum prescription antibiotic such as Cipro; also, take antibiotic cream to treat cuts.
Antihistamine (such as Benadryl) for allergies and bug bites
Anti-malarial medication, if you are traveling someplace where the risk is high
Bug spray with DEET
Dental floss and an emergency dental kit
Digital thermometer in a hard carrying case so it won't break
Elastic (Ace) bandages (These bandages are useful for binding major wounds, says Van Tilburg.)
Electrolyte tablets to combat dehydration
Eyeglass repair kit
First-aid tape (waterproof)
Hand sanitizers (But keep it in your purse or backpack, Terry says.)
Hydrocortisone ointment or cream to get the itch out of bug bites
Ibuprofen or other pain reliever
Imodium for diarrhea
Indigestion remedies, such as Gaviscon or Maalox
Moleskin or mole foam for blisters
Nasal decongestant spray
Nitrile gloves (Nitrile is more flexible and less likely to cause allergies than latex.)
Pencil and notebook
Scissors that fold
Sunscreen, waterproof, with an SPF of 25 or higher and UVB and UVA protection
Throat lozenges (such as Cepacol)
Tweezers (metal is best)
Wilderness trips: Van Tilburg recommends items for wound care, water purification and CPR.
Yeast-infection medication, over the counter or whatever your doctor prescribes.
HOTELS: Sheratons to be smoke-free
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Four Points by Sheraton Hotel brands will ban smoking at more than 300 hotels and resorts throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Canada. The new policy follows one implemented at Westin Hotels & Resorts, which became smoke-free in 2006. Westin and Sheraton are both owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Some 8,000 rooms at the hotels will be cleaned, including treatments for rugs, upholstery and hard surfaces. Smoking will also be banned in public areas in the hotels, but a designated outdoor area will be available. Both hotel brands expect to be smoke-free in the U.S. and Canada by Dec. 31.
VIRGINIA: Money flows into Williamsburg
For the third straight year, Colonial Williamsburg recorded an increase in ticket sales. Ticket sales in 2007 rose by 5 percent to 780,000, the historic attraction reported. It is the same percentage gain posted in 2006. Last year also saw strong gains in donations and Williamsburg's endowment, which rose 5 percent to $816 million. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation had 118,000 donors nationwide contribute a total of $14.8 million, a 5 percent increase from 2006.
FLORIDA: Mermaids get state-park status
The famous mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs will become state employees Nov. 1. That's when the venerable roadside attraction will become a state park. The Southwest Florida Water Management District, which owns the land and spring, approved the deal Jan. 29. The tiny town of Weeki Wachee, about 50 miles north of Tampa, owns the park but asked the state Department of Environmental Protection to take it on after years of disputes with the water management district. The state says it plans to keep the famous live mermaid shows intact.
Washington from the Ground Up / Belknap/Harvard University, $29.95
For visitors to the nation's capital, this detailed study of Washington's architectural development adds depth to the monuments and neighborhoods we see today. James H.S. McGregor tells a tale of two cities, that of official Washington, whose neoclassical buildings express America's power and reach, and that of the District's fragmented urban neighborhoods, home to many blacks and other minorities who rarely share in that power. The chapters move chronologically and geographically from the Capitol outward, explaining how the monuments, museums, churches and squares were created and sometimes re-created. The guide brings to life the architecture of the capital, placing each piece in a historical perspective that is national in scope.
10 FOR THE ROAD: Most dangerous mountains to climb
The top 10 most dangerous mountains to climb, according to Men's Vogue.
1. Annapurna, Nepal (26,545 feet) 2. Nanga Parbat, Kashmir, India (26,657) 3. Siula Grande, Peru (20,814) 4. K2, Pakistan/China (28,251) 5. Kangchenjunga, India/Nepal (28,169) 6. The Matterhorn, Switzerland/Italy (14,691) 7. Everest, Nepal/China (29,029) 8. Washington, N.H. (6,288) 9. Denali, Alaska (20,320) 10. Fuji, Japan (12,388)