What to Do if you Get Sick on Vacation

by Sarah Harris

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will – you’ll be enjoying a nice day in a brand new, uncharted territory, and then suddenly… it strikes… the sniffles, an upset stomach, or may be a fever: anything that could ruin your day. But you don’t have time to stop and rest like you normally would! You dreamed for months about how amazing this trip would be, and now you are determined to enjoy it… sick or not. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make it through a vacation without compromising your plans too much.

Stay Hydrated

This is probably the single most important piece of advice anyone can give you. Drink lots and lots of water! All doctors recommend staying hydrated if you may be coming down with something (as dehydration severely weakens your immune system), but what they don’t always tell you is that travel can worsen your dehydration more than normal. The increased altitude while in an airplane or in a more elevated area of the country will dehydrate you faster than normal. It is for this reason that you should avoid drinking alcohol if you feel you are getting sick and keep water on you at all times.

Take Precautions

Whether or not you may be sick, always bring medicine with you when you travel, especially if it will be difficult to find a pharmacy while on the road. Access to a pain-killer or anti-inflammatory while out in the middle of the nowhere may be what saves the day.

Some people swear by products such as Airborne, a dietary supplement that claims to temporarily boost your immune system with the use of vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants among other things. Taking a dose of this every time you enter a highly condensed area (such as an airplane) could keep potential bugs away. Remember, airplanes constantly recycle air in the cabin. You won’t have fresh air for however long the flight is. During that whole time, you’ll be breathing the same air as everyone else… and who knows what they may have.

Don’t Push Yourself

Contrary to popular belief, there is a middle-ground between getting the most out of your vacation and succumbing to bed-rest. Set limits for yourself and be realistic. If you’re coming down with something, don’t stay out too late; go to bed at a decent hour and get your full eight hours. Being on vacation already has the potential to add more stress to our bodies than normal – try not to push it too much.

Don’t be Stubborn

If you feel as though you are getting to a point where you can’t handle how sick you are anymore, get medical attention! There are plenty of cheap clinics in all areas of the world, and if not, the emergency room is always an option. Most insurance companies will cover you no matter where you are if you visit an emergency room. Remember, your health is your top priority! Explain the situation to the doctor there and they will help you to feel better as soon as possible. However, if your condition worsens by the time you get home, be sure to see your regular doctor to clear up whatever nasty bug found its way inside you.

3 thoughts on “What to Do if you Get Sick on Vacation

  1. Staying hydrated is the only tried and true method of avoiding illness while traveling–if you nourish yourself properly and drink plenty of (safe) water, you will be fine.

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