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Greetings HGV owners,

Okay…….here we go!  As we all know, traveling is a great opportunity to have fun, enjoy time with family and friends, meet new people, experience new adventures, relax, and maybe just chill!  Being a person who absolutely looks forward to vacationing, I have a special heartbeat for people who are afraid to travel due to personal health challenges or those of a family member who may be traveling with them.   Today, I want to share a few suggestions that you may find helpful in either scenario.  Please know that they are just that, suggestions!  However, they are based on my personal experiences.  In addition, although I am not in the medical profession, I do consult with my personal physician and those of my family members before traveling and/or venturing into new travel experiences.  I have also shared my suggestions with others who have found them to be quite helpful.  I hope that I am helping someone to reconsider taking a quick get-a-way, or planning a vacation that they may have canceled due to the aforementioned challenges.  Below, I have noted what I call my “Planning and Preparation stages.’”

Planning

In the initial planning stage (6-12 months before traveling), my family and I develop a list of places that we would like to visit.  We really make sure that we have established our list by the end of January. In doing so, we consider major factors that can impact a person’s health such as region, state, location, climate, time of year, etc.  Based on where we are traveling and the aforementioned factors, we will decide on the length of our stay as well as how we want to spend most of our time.  Is our major purpose resting and relaxing, tourism or a combination of both?   It is always very challenging to find that perfect balance, knowing that our plans are likely to change once we reach our destination.   However, honestly, no matter what….like most travelers….resting and relaxing usually supersedes tourism.  We also use this information to assist us with our mode of transportation.  There are times when flying may be more beneficial than driving, or vice versa.  Also, as HGV owners, knowing that you can book nine months in advance, the earlier you start, the more likely you are to receive the accommodations that you need, based on the number of people in your party. Remember, the early bird catches the worm!

Arrangements

After making our final selections, and confirming destinations, I begin making arrangements needed to accommodate any health concerns.  I start by visiting the Hilton Honors website to explore properties and their locations including HGV Resorts.  I will research the area and contact the front desk for immediate answers if necessary.   For instance, in the case of an emergency, is there a reputable hospital, urgent care, and pharmacy nearby?   What is the distance between the Hilton location and the nearest grocery store for food items that may be needed but are not provided in the pantry at the Hilton location?  This is very important when traveling with family members who have food allergies, and diet limitations.  Some properties allow pets.  When traveling with a person who is allergic to pet dander, or a specific type of pet, a good question to ask is if there is a designated area for guests with pets?

If not, given the circumstances, what type of cleaning is provided to ensure that detrimental allergens have been removed?   Please know that in asking this question, I make it very clear that I am in no way suggesting that guest with pets should be treated any different from those without pets.

Once those questions are answered, I will contact the property directly and speak to a member of the guest services management team, and the director of housekeeping.  My reason for doing so is to share my travel plans and to confirm that the property is able to accommodate particular needs and concerns that I may have.  Traveling with a person who has Asthma and allergies may require the removal and replacement of all feathered items.  The use of perfumed deodorizers or cleaning products may be harmful as well.  Dust can lead to breathing complications and perhaps an asthma attack.  Also, once again, a person with food allergies or dietary conditions may request breakfast accommodations or inquire about food items for manager’s receptions.   Just so you know, in my quest for assistance, I have never received “no” for an answer.  I can honestly say that my concerns have always been addressed with compassion and integrity.  I have never been disappointed.  The Hilton brand itself speaks volume to the services rendered and acknowledged in all situations.  This is another reason why I will always be a member of the Hilton family!

Prior To Arrival

As I am communicating with the property management team, I will make arrangements to re-establish contact two weeks prior to our arrival date.  I will then send an email confirming the conversation and provide a list of details that were discussed. Usually, I receive an email endorsing arrangements conferred.  My final conversation will take place within the abovementioned time frame.  Normally, upon arrival, during check-in, information regarding our stay is conveyed without prompting.   At this point, all that has needed to be done, based on the conditions, has been done.  Let the fun begin!

Medical Preparation

It is important to note that before any travel plans take place, visiting the physician is extremely imperative.  Not only do I schedule a check-up, but I also seek advice regarding our travel plans.  Making sure that medications are plentiful is equally imperative.  You may also consider taking along refill scripts in the event that medications are misplaced.  I have had scripts filled while vacationing without any problems.  I usually create a list of meds and the amount needed three weeks before we depart.  I also check the batteries of all maintenance devices such as the nebulizer.  I will re-charge that equipment 48hours in advance.  If we are flying, I will make the airline aware of all “carry-on” medical devices when making our reservations.

Last but not least, never forget that vacationing can be good for your health!!

Until next time, take care as you plan your next family, fun-filled vacation!

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