On Being Sick While Traveling

There is nothing worse than waking up the morning of a new adventure only to feel like death. I wish I could say this didn’t happen to me often, but it does. On more than ten occasions, I’ve woken up wishing for death while traveling. Maybe it’s because my body freaks out or gets too excited or the new climates are too much to handle, but I get sick while on the road all the time.

What to do in these situations?

1. Stay calm. Don’t assume that you are actually on your death-bed. Sometimes we actually do get really sick while on the road. A bad case of food poisoning or an allergic reaction could land you in a local hospital, but that is of course a worst case scenario. In most cases, over the counter medicine will do the trick. Stay calm and look for that local pharmacy.

2. Rest. Gosh I know this is a hard one. I know in my experience, my body will be over tired and a cold will move in before I knew what hit me. When that happens, all you can do is suffer through it. I’ve found that the best way to cure a cold is chocolate, a very warm room, lots of fluid, and sleep. Sleep, sleep, sleep. While on the road of course good healthy sleep can be difficult to come by, but do what you can and give your body a rest. Skip out on that one adventure activity.

3. Be positive. There was one time I got the swine flu on the way to a summer camp. I spent three days on bed rest in some dorm room in North Carolina hallucinating off of the cough medicine the doctor gave me. I couldn’t keep my eyes open, snot was pouring from my nose, and my throat was on fire. My body refused to move, and I couldn’t keep anything in my stomach. Things looked rather bleak. The only way I made it out (aside from a visit to the Urgent Care center and some high quality medication) was by telling myself that this would go away. Keep telling yourself that it’s only here now and will be gone soon and the fun will start all over again.

Most recent sickness happened on the road trip I’m on now. I woke up yesterday morning with a serious case of the sniffles and runny nose. My throat was sore making my voice sound funny and the noises in my ears were oddly muffled. The six-day trip loomed in the near future and it was the last thing I wanted to do.

Yesterday afternoon we scheduled a surf lesson in Bundoran. Knowing that it would only make me sicker, I surfed anyway. I needed to relax in the ocean and sway with the waves no matter the cost. By 6.30pm, my body had given up. I told the other two people I was with good night and was in bed before 7.00pm. At one point I had the family running the BnB bring an extra heater into the room, and the mum hooked up an electric blanket for me. Ahhhhhhh!!! It was so comfy!

Curled up in my little warm cocoon with tissues strewn all over the bed, I took the evening to heal myself. I put in my earplugs and was passed out asleep before 9.00pm. I woke up this morning feeling 1000x better! Currently I am able to breathe in and out of my nose and knock on wood, I haven’t sniffled in hours.

Sometimes our bodies just need us to stay calm, rest, and be positive. That’s some of the best self-help medicine you can give yourself right there. It may ruin your trip for a day or two, but take it from my experience, you would rather miss out on a day of your trip and get better and not be miserable for the entire thing.

Here I am wearing my sweater wrapped up in bed sick as a dog before 7.00pm :(
Here I am wearing my sweater wrapped up in bed sick as a dog before 7.00pm πŸ™

About travelmorgantravel

Morgan is a travel blogger and columnist who loves chocolate and a cheesy rom-com. She spends her time reading self-help books in attempt to reassure herself that she isn't all that crazy. Follow her on her wild adventures around the world.

13 Comments

  1. I got sick right at the end of my big end-of-semester trip in Chile. We spent two days in the rain and cold and lost a full night of sleep on the overnight bus ride back to Santiago. I was probably feverish on the long metro ride home from the bus station, and the second I got back, I showered and climbed into bed, and my host dad made me take some meds right away. Miserable winter cold right at the start of the summer. Rest up, Morgan! And safe travels!

  2. Why does this always seem to happen to me. The stress of travel? Germs in stale airplane air? Oh well, like you say, stay calm and be positive! (Though I don’t always let myself rest…)

  3. This almost always happens to me. Perhaps my subconscious knows that while I am teaching I have no time to rest, and then if I am on vacation and have a more relaxed schedule it is the “perfect” time to get sick! Sadly this means that usually the first day or two spent laying on a tropical beach I usually have a cold, but I have learned that the salt water, sun, and a long nap in some beachy shade is just what the doctor ordered and I’m better in a day.

    Hope you beat your newest sickness soon!

    -Amanda at http://teachingwanderlust.com/

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