What To Do When You Get Sick While Traveling

It started the way it always does. A slight tickle in my throat. Less painful, more just annoying, like I couldn’t ever clear my throat.

I knew what that meant.

I was getting sick. On vacation.

We’ve all been there. It’s the worst to get sick on vacation. Especially in a foreign country! But it happens more often than we’d like, so here’s a few tips on how to handle it.

Being sick while traveling sucks. Here's a few thoughts to help you recover fast!

  • Pack the essentials: This looks different for everyone depending on what kind of illnesses you tend to catch. I rarely get stomach bugs but end up getting sinus colds when my immune system is down. So I bring along Sudafed or Mucinex if I don’t know if I can get an equivalent at my destination. I ALWAYS bring ibuprofen, hand wipes and Emergen-C, because they cover a multitude of issues. I swear by Emergen-C: if you feel yourself about to get sick, I can sometimes ward it off just by taking plenty of Emergen-C. It’s got something like 1000% your daily need of vitamin C. My favorite flavor is the raspberry, but they have lots.
  • Research names and meds: If you’re not going to bring it along, you should look up what the equivalent medications are. In English-speaking countries that isn’t too hard – they had Sudafed, and I knew that paracetamol was what to look for in British cold medications. I happened to get sick in the UK, so I stocked up before we headed back to France!
  • Get as much sleep as possible: This should go without saying, but prioritize sleep! Skip the late nights, try not to get up too early if you can help it. Sleep is the number one thing to help you feel better.
  • Drink water: Carry a water bottle. Again, hopefully you’re doing this anyway, but staying hydrated helps your body fight off sickness, so drink as much water as you possibly can.
  • Know where to go: Just in case, you should always write down the nearest hospital of each place you visit. If you end up needing to go, having this information in advance will help a bunch.
  • Know yourself: And know when to change your plans. When I get sick, I need to rest or else it will just linger on indefinitely. That sucks. If you’re like me, you need to prioritize getting better or the whole trip will be tinged with misery. I’ve never changed a flight (never been that sick, thank goodness), but I have skipped events occasionally. While we were in London, I ended up sending my husband to meet our friend and skipped the first museum of the day. I met back up with them for the afternoon, but it was so great to get to sleep those extra three hours.

Being sick while traveling sucks. Here's a few thoughts to help you recover fast!

I hope you never need these tips, but better to be prepared in case you do!

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