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smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

Newcastle, Australia
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smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

Hi we have never travelled overseas before, but on Thursday we are off to Port Vila.I am very apprehensive anyway, but recently have read about so many negatives and am just wanting to know just how accurate these warnings are.

We were told getting Vaccines was not really necessary ?? Seeing we only have 4 days to go I think we have missed the boat when it comes to this. Is this dumb of us??/

Have also read about Dengue fever and want to know if Mosquito repellent is enough or do you have to cover up?

Also is smoking as bad over there as I have been warned? I cant handle smoke at all, be it inside or outside and am worried about the room smells at the Hotel due to smoking being allowed in the Casino.

Lastly....the fear of food poisoning? Is it true you cannot have Ice???God forbid drinking a drink without ice? I guess this is why we like Australian holidays. There are no hidden nasties:)

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

You sound like you have the last minute jitters before travelling. You are going to a wonderful friendly safe country that is only a few hours from ours yet is different in so many ways. Try to concentrate on the wonderful things you will see and do, not the few bad reports you may have read. Remember you expect things to be different in other countries. That is part of the fun.

No vaccines are really necessary particularly if you are staying in and around Port Vila. The water there is perfectly safe to drink, but tap water is a bit higher in mineral content than we are used to and can upset sensitive stomachs. I make ice from it with no effects, except cooling my duty free cocktails hehe. I've never heard of anyone getting food poisoning, and I've personally eaten at a large number of places. You can buy snacks at Bon Marche, also beer and mixers too. Buy grog prior to midday Saturday as packaged alcohol can't be sold from then till Monday morning.

Dengue fever is an issue there at present, take a good tropical strength repellent, and be sensible if you encounter mossies. We go in early May and have not encountered mossies at all.

Smoking is allowed just about everywhere. Part of the joy of Vanuatu is the lack of nanny state rules. I hate smoke personally and never noticed it in the Grande Hotel entry area or dining precinct. The Casino stinks but given I spend minimal time there it is no real worry.

I'd suggest you concentrate on the positives, anticipate the wonderful experience ahead and enjoy the fact it is totally different to home. Have a few drinks and a good meal or two and you'll wonder why you were worried.

Cheerz Wabster.

Edited: 12 April 2014, 00:31
Adelaide
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2. Re: smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

Australian holidays safe, no hidden nasties? Actually, the last time we holidayed in Queensland, the suburb we stayed in was 'shut down' two days after we left because of a bad dengue outbreak! We actually started going to Vanuatu in preference to Queensland because you can swim in the sea in Vanuatu all year round without worrying about all the killer stingers we have in Qld. I've had food poisoning in Australia many times, never in Vanuatu, even after eating food cooked on remote islands with dubious hygiene. I've had issues with drinking water in Australia, never in Vanuatu.

Three deep breaths, relax and plan to enjoy your holiday. If you are stressing and looking for things to go wrong, that is what will happen. As Wabster said, one of the wonderful things about Vanuatu is the lack of nanny-state rules. This might mean people can light up near you outside (and I detest smoke too), but it also means you are trusted as an adult to do the right thing. I've never felt 'put upon' by a smoker there.

Vanuatu is a beautiful, safe, amazingly friendly place. Go there expecting good things.

Cheers, Barbara

Australia
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for Port Vila, Vanuatu
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3. Re: smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

All town drinking water is treated, you will be swimming in pollution free clean ocean water and enjoy clean air (unlike Newcastle!). There is a small pool at The Grand, which is a fairly generic hotel right in the middle of town and not very island-y or tropical resort like. The humidity will be low compared to February for instance.

Mozzies aren't an issue around PV but the dengue one is around in the day so yes its best to wear repellant all the time. There are very few night time mozzies around though. Vaccines aren't necessary for PV, 1000's of cruise ship passengers come each month with no issue. So no its not dumb of you to not bother, your normal vaccinations will cover you.

Some people will smoke outside but I haven't seen people smoking indoors except at the Casino.

As Barb & Wabster say you are fine to have ice, ice-cream, frozen drinks etc. Restaurants and Cafes are as careful about food safety as anywhere in Australia.

You should try and get out of town (which can be hot and dusty and busy with buses) to see the natural beauty, places like the blue lagoon, Eton Beach, Cascades, The Summit and a round island tour. You can catch buses everywhere quite cheaply.

Have fun and make sure you report back on your experiences!

Newcastle, Australia
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4. Re: smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

Thanks heaps for your positive comments.

I do have jitters as this holiday was always so far away , but now its here, I am panicking as I have so many animals to be taken care of and its very tricky. I also get very sick flying so a plane trip is never a positive for me and currently have a horrid cold which is lingering (first cold in 15 years!!)

I am sooo glad we don't need vaccinations though as that was a wee bit scarey.

Had to laugh with the food poisoning issue, as I also have had it a few times in my life In good old OZ. :)

Anyway thanks again and stay tuned for my EXCELLENT report back ( hopefully )from the first holiday we have had in 6 years.:)

Newcastle, Australia
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5. Re: smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

I will say that as far as smoking goes I am not looking forward to going to a place where it is allowed as I can smell smoke no matter where it is, and have difficulty breathing. So that aspect is still a worry to me. If I had it my way cigarettes would be non existent, and the mere fact that the Casino permits it means I will not be able to walk anywhere near it . Think of the money I will save!!

Australia
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for Port Vila, Vanuatu
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6. Re: smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

Just make sure you sit upwind of smokers in outdoor cafes. There is often a sea breeze which will mean you probably won't smell it too much. The door to the Casino opens into the foyer of the Grand so you may get a whiff making your way to the elevator. But once you are in your room throw open the windows, sit on your balcony and let the breezes in.

Just keep an open mind on your first visit. Vanuatu is very different from Au. Expect to smell cooking fires and see chickens on the road on your way in from the airport, big pot holes, slow service …."island time" has a way of kicking you back a few notches and making you relax. Don't worry if drivers or tours are running 15 minutes late…its normal. You will find everyone to be friendly and relaxed. If you visit villages don't think of the modest houses as poor, most are subsistence farmers, feed themselves from fantastic veg gardens. The old and disabled are looked after by the village (no social security) and many only work when they want to buy a new phone or satellite TV subscription etc so they can enjoy life! Many speak English, French and Bislama so its a good easy place to travel for your first OS trip and you shouldn't have too much culture shock. Start your holiday when you get on the plane and the 3 hour flight will be over before you know it.

Edited: 12 April 2014, 06:10
Newcastle, Australia
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7. Re: smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

Great advice thankyou.

. The smoking thing is explained more clearly now, as I had read a recent review written by a local who was appalled at the smell in the foyer. I will try to get through the foyer as fast as I can .

I doubt we will go overseas again (apart from NZ) , but it seems that for our one and only OS adventure , Vanuatu is a good choice.:)

Thanks again

Campbelltown...
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8. Re: smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

It beats me why you would ever choose an overseas holiday when you arent open to experiencing something different

Jody

Port Vila, Vanuatu
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123 posts
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9. Re: smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

JODY why would you even say that? Don't think that's very helpful to the OP, and OP has never been overseas being a first timer of course no doubt will have jitters over it, and wants to know things about the place which is why he/she has come onto this forum, all other advice above has been great and what this message board should be about.

Newcastle, Australia
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10. Re: smoking and foods and drinks to avoid

Husband winges that I am boring cause I don't like flying and cant go on a cruise, both due to sickness. Decided that Vanuatu fitted the category of OS without flying far ,and it looked very pretty. Should have researched it all before committing, but the travel people raved on about how great it was, so we went with it.

Personally I think Australia has so much to offer that I have never ever had the desire to leave I,t and am happy to just read about the rest of the world and watch documentaries.

So that is why I will not be heading away again. We did try to change our destination but it would have cost way too much to do that .

Hopefully that explains things, but I am sure it does not make sense to you and all those other people who just love getting away from their home country to explore the world.