What to Do When You’re Sick on Vacation

sick, vacaion, dunheger travel blog


Nobody wants to think they’ll spend their limited holiday time being ill. But germs spread abroad just as easily as they do at home, and when you add the extra stress travel can put your body under, illness can certainly happen. If sickness befalls you on the road, keep these common sense tips in mind.

Get plenty of rest

It can be tempting to push through sickness to make the most of your limited time in a destination. But this will only make your illness worse and your time less enjoyable. Are you really going to be able to focus on the information in a museum or guided tour while snuffling and coughing? Put your FOMO, and yourself, to bed, and get plenty of rest so your body can heal.

Drink lots of fluids

Staying hydrated is critical to fighting off an illness. A large collapsible water bottle, like the ones made by Platypus and Vapur, always belongs on your packing list. They take up next to no space in your bag when not in use, and it’s both easier on your wallet and better for the environment to refill your own water bottle than to constantly buy bottled water. Try to drink at least a liter or two of water a day. You can also supplement your liquid intake with orange juice, whose vitamin C boosts your immune system, or tea and hot soup, which are soothing to sore throats.

Find a pharmacy

While you should always have a small first aid kit packed for emergencies, there’s no need to pack for every possible contingency. Save that space in your bag for things you use frequently, like Band-Aids, aspirin, and antihistamines. If you find you need supplies for, say, a head cold, you can always pop into a pharmacy in your destination. We promise – people there get sick too! Some of the brands may be unfamiliar to you, but you will probably still be able to secure things like tissues, cough drops, and decongestants. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you run into a language barrier with the pharmacist, keeping an app like Google Translate or Whym, which connects you with a live personal translator at pay per minute rates, on your phone.

Sanitize everything

If you’re traveling with friends or family, you’ll naturally want to protect them from catching your bug. This can be difficult in the close quarters of a shared hotel room though. Make sure both you and your companions wash your hands frequently. It’s also a good idea to travel with not just hand sanitizing gel, but sanitary wet wipes. With these you can scrub down faucet taps and door handles as you go, instead of relying on a once-a-day visit from housekeeping to rid the room of germs. They also come in handy at other points of trips. In fact, wiping down the tray table and armrests of your plane seat could keep you from getting sick in the first place!