Coping With Sickness When You're Traveling

September 25, 2019

Traveling adventures require countdowns and excitement - there’s a lot of build up that goes into a trip! You spend months and weeks counting down the days until the moment you leave the house to get going, so the worst thing that can possibly happen isn't missing the flight, losing your luggage or breaking down on the road - it’s getting sick. It doesn't matter whether you head to the pre-travel vaccination clinics, pack all the hand sanitizer and bring a mountain of tissues with you, you can still get caught by flus and colds. And it sucks when it attacks before you’ve even gotten started.

The positive news is that there is a lot that you can do to make illness while traveling much less disruptive. It’s something that you can plan for, which is a good thing as then you can be prepared if you do get struck by illness along the way. With travel insurance and a plan, you are rocking and rolling. A nasty cold at the very least can ruin a few days of your trip, and when you’re already at your destination, it can feel too late to do anything about it. Headaches, muscle aches, throat infections - they all require a little TLC when they occur. Knowing where the local doctors’ offices and hospitals are is just the beginning, so let’s look at how you can cope with sickness while you’re traveling, so you can be forewarned and forearmed!
Intravenous Hose on Person's Hand
Get Travel Insurance.
You should always consider getting travel insurance when you go traveling. You are going to another country and anything can happen, so covering your back is the smart thing to do. The moment that your symptoms go from small niggles to full blown illnesses needing the help of ear, nose, throat doctors, you’ll be glad that you took out that policy before you left. Make sure that your travel insurance policy includes all medical coverage, just in case you need to be in hospital for a while. 

It can be what you need to cover special flights home if you miss your flight, and it doesn't take long to get an insurance policy and for a few dollars a day, you can save potentially thousands of dollars. Medical care out of pocket is not cheap, especially if you haven't got the savings built up. With travel insurance, you may even get cover with extensive medical care, and not just ER care. Always check the small print so that you know everything.

Choose The Right Clinic.
This is one of the most important things to do before you go. If you’re country-hopping, make sure that you have the details of a clinic to attend in every place that you go. You need to ensure that you have a clinic that would take your travel insurance medical cover as payment. If you’re in a country without any internet and you’re on the road when you get sick, you can speak to your country’s embassy - yet another thing to check up on before you go traveling.

Never Wait To Be Seen.
You’re in a foreign place, with foreign food and foreign water symptoms. If you start to feel sick or fluey, don’t brush it off and try to power through it. If you’re traveling during known flu seasons, you are more prone to sickness in areas like the plane. There are also areas of the world that debilitating diseases are more likely to occur. Think Zika virus, Dengue fever, etc. These always start out with symptoms such as fever and nausea, and they need to be checked into quickly if these symptoms start. Waiting around to see if you’ll get better could mean you’re going to get worse, and you’ll be missing out on crucial medical help where it counts. If it’s the flu, you need medication early and you don’t want to miss the window for treatment if it’s anything more serious than that!
Medicines & thermometer
Listen To Yourself.
You know your body better than everybody. Once you have a diagnosis of an illness, listen to the advice you’ve been given by your doctor and listen to your body at the same time. Slow down your travel plans and get well if necessary, as your immune system needs time to recover and recuperate. Avoid the possible risky situations that you could get into, such as exposure to extreme temperatures for too long and drinking the tap water in a foreign place. Keep your immune system as strong as possible with much hydration and rest and get some sleep!  

Staying hydrated with bottled water on your travels will help you to keep your body hydrated and staying out of the sun in the height of the day will keep your body regulated. You prevent overexertion where possible, especially when you feel symptoms beginning. Sleep is one of the most important things that you can do when feeling rough, as it will keep your body from pushing further and begin the healing process. Along with sleep, warm baths and hot water with lemon drinks can help, too! Especially for flu - your body will thank you for it as time goes on and you start to feel better again. 

Talk To Your Doctor At Home.
No matter where you are in the world, you need to let your primary care doctor back home know what’s going on. Keep them in the loop, especially if you have needed hospital care while abroad. You don't need to run up a huge phone bill with updates, but you can drop an email and let them know what’s going on - just in case you need some added support when you do eventually get home.

Being on the road and getting sick can be a tough thing to take, but if you are armed with enough knowledge on the local medical care, doctors and clinics, you can be seen quickly and recover just as fast. Ideally, you’ll get better very quickly and be able to continue your vacation!

*contributed post*

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