Your worst travel nightmare has happened…
You’re FINALLY off and away on your one week of fun and relaxation that you have been been working so hard for and planning for months… aaand now you’re sick.
First of all, don’t freak out. I know that getting sick on vacation is no fun. I’ve been there, and I want to help you get better. Depending on where you’re at, your resources will vary, but here are a few things to remember if *knock on wood* you get sick while on vacation:
1. Don’t Freak Out: You’ve heard the horror stories about malaria and Japanese Encephalitis, but chances are you’re fighting off a simple flu or stomach bacteria. Keep an eye out for the warning signs of something more serious, but don’t let your mind wander early on.
2. Stock Up on Supplies: The environment may have changed but the rules are basically the same. Pick up water, bananas, tea, white rice/bread, 7Up/sparkling water, and a local version of noodle soup should be available in just about every country. If you’re staying at a nice hotel, ask if they can provide it for you! Otherwise, send your travel companion out to a local pharmacy for some ibuprofen, vitamin C, oral rehydration salts, cough syrup, tissues, and any other basic medications that you can comfortably prescribe yourself.
3. Sleep: If you’ve been traveling cheaply, now’s the time to splurge. It may be worth paying for the private room just so you can sleep, sleep, sleep as long as it takes for you to feel alive again.
4. Waiting is OK but Then Call the Doctor: If I’m not deathly ill, I usually prefer to wait a day or two to see if it’s worth the hassle. Getting a taxi to the hospital can be half the battle on some vacations, but if you still feel just as terrible after some time has passed, get checked out by a doctor to be prescribed any necessary medications. Don’t forget to save a copy of the bill for reimbursement by your travel insurance company (note travel insurance is included with some credit cards).
5. Get Back Out There!: You don’t want to totally waste your whole vacation! The moment you feel well enough to walk outside, give it a try. I don’t recommend you try to scale the highest peak in Latin America on your first day out of bed, but you can at least go for a walk or dip your feet in the water. Sip tea at a cafe or read on a bench in the sunshine so you still feel like you’re on vacation, even if its not exactly what you imagined.
Ever been sick abroad? Whats your best remedy? Tell us about it on Facebook or write us in the comments below! (Click here if you can’t see the comments: Sneezy, Sick & Sleepy: How to Save Your Vacation When You Get Sick).