Will ZIKA virus change where you travel in 2016? Are you taking precautions? Are natural or chemical mosquito repellents your choice?

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natural bug repellant

A reader sent me an email about something I have to try. They swear by this natural Mosquito Repellent Bracelet NEOR. I am not so sure reading some of the review comments but then again I have sprayed “OFF” on my arms on many a golf course and had a mosquito land moments later and bite me so… who knows!

off repelant

I was interviewed by my friend Christen from The Frugal Travel guy blog a while back about if I was afraid of terrorism flaring up here and there and if that impacted where I travel. I said no but I tend to stay away from real “hot spots” and for some countries I am really more afraid that for some reason my TSA PRE Check will go away after a visit and end up with the dreaded SSSS on my boarding pass each time I check in. That puts real fear into me!

But ZIKA is another matter. I fully expect this will spread and become a massive crisis all over the USA this year. It will spread faster than anyone had imagined (clearly, this is not in any way a scientific or expert analysis, just what I think will happen).

So to answer the question, will ZIKA impact if I fly or not? Maybe. Now I am almost 50 years old (as is my wife) so the risk to us I understand is low. That is not to say that the effect of this nasty virus could linger with me for a while as it has for some. I do not like the idea of getting infected one bit. So I am looking at ideas.

But what about ZIKA “hot spots” if you will. What if a place I am set to go is in the news that they are being crushed with reported cases of the virus. Will I still go? I have to tell you I think not or I will do a bunch more digging before I go. If Delta will not allow me to cancel I will be sure to blog it as I think ZIKA airline waivers are going to become as common as winter weather waivers are now. What impact this will have on Delta, and airlines, is scary to think about (let’s see them sell a cruddy C+ seat when folks are afraid to fly).

I very much like the natural ideas (if they work) but have for years drenched myself with chemical sprays with no known adverse effects on me (well other than I seem to keep flying Delta despite all they have done to SkyMiles and the Medallion program). I know I have to do something this summer even way up here in the Midwest!

I guess I would love to know your thoughts on this matter. Are you afraid of ZIKA? Will it impact your travel plans if you learn where you are going is having a bad outbreak? What steps will you take to avoid getting this nasty bug? – René




  1. The Zika virus worries me, not so much for myself as for my pregnant daughter who lives in the southern United States. Caribbean travel is out for us this year.

  2. I will probably just stay in Delta jets because they have my safety in mind and “have my back!”

  3. Some years ago on a KLM flight departing at midnight from New Delhi to AMS, the ground crew neglected to extend the skybridge awning, allowing tons of mosquitoes to fly in and then stay in the business class section closest to the boarding door. I bitched to the KLM FA, who could not have cared less, and I spend the night swatting mosquitoes on the cabin walls as messily as I could. In a malaria-ravaged country like India, one would think they would do everything to kill bugs. Anyone remember the days when flying into HNL they would spray the aircraft upon landing, before disembarkation was allowed? Or how about the highway inspection stations when driving into California to prevent fruit damaging insects from being carried in?

    So, I would not rely on the airlines to take any meaningful precautions to protect your health.

  4. Thanks for the mention Rene’. Great minds think alike; I just submitted a post on this very topic. I smiled when I read that the SSSS on your boarding pass is what you really fear because I feel the same way. I do however have fear for those who are traveling and may get infected without knowing it, return to the U.S. and inadvertently infect their female spouse who may then become pregnant. This is a real danger and has happened. My friend and I are headed to Brazil this summer and will certainly be stocked up on repellent wipes. I won’t be changing any travel plans due to the virus, however.

  5. Zika has been around for many years and only since the since the situation with Babies in Brasil had there been any attention on the disease. I am not afraid and it does not scare me to travel where this mosquito is prevelant.

  6. Yes, it has definitely affected our travel plans. My S.O. has already reneged on a job in Brazil because of it. Also, we are especially concerned living in South Florida where there have already been several travel-related cases. There are A LOT of people traveling b/w South Florida and Brazil especially (as well as other affected countries). With the weather getting warmer and mosquitoes more prevalent, soon we will be seeing cases originating here once the people who picked it up in their travels pass it on to people here.

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