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How to Battle Illness While Traveling

  • Travel Team
May 30, 2012

Travelers can always prepare for the worst by investing in visitor medical insurance or trip cancellation reimbursement programs, but sometimes, individuals will simply get ill on the road. Insurance is very useful for severe cases, or when travelers need to go to a medical facility, but in many cases, tourists simply are run down by the journey. Some people may become fatigued by long flights or road trips, while others could catch a bug or cold during their vacation. Either way, it is ideal to prepare ahead of time for mishaps and know how to best avoid getting sick before embarking on a getaway.

Plan ahead for travel sickness and weariness

Before the trip begins, there are many things a traveler can do to get ready and stay healthy for the journey. One of the first steps can be packing a carry-on with all the essential first-aid items needed to combat small injuries and illness. If individuals take vitamins or prescription medications daily, packing those up front is advisable, so medication can be easily reached and not disrupt the routine. Other things to have readily available include over the counter medications for common colds and indigestion, hand sanitizer and portable water purification systems, depending on what kind of trip travelers are taking. Having some ibuprofen or allergy pills close by can also be useful in a pinch.

Avoiding illness on the trip

Once travelers have hit the road, there are certain precautions all can practice to keep illness at bay and help steer clear of emergencies. It is commonly known that one of the easiest ways to become sick is by drinking local water. Although the water supply may not necessarily be contaminated, foreigners may not have developed an immunity to the elements found inside the tap or in ice cubes. Fortunately, there are packets of chemicals and small water container filters that travelers can purchase to minimize the risk of bacteria.

If the final destination will be in the mountains, individuals may want to gradually reach the higher altitudes by slowly journeying to the final height. When someone has spent the majority of his or her time at a certain altitude, sudden movement to a new level can make tourists feel nauseous or weak.

It can be tempting to try to experience a little bit of everything while in a new destination, but sleep is just as important. Even a cat nap on the beach or quick break between sightseeing and dinner can give tourists the energy they need to enjoy their trip. If possible, taking a day off before and/or after the actual getaway can help as well, so individuals can relax in the familiar atmosphere of home before embarking on an adventure.

What to do if the situation becomes serious

Seasoned veterans of the road know that staying healthy all the time on vacation is almost impossible, and the occasional mishap is bound to happen. When individuals fall sick in a foreign locale, it is best to handle the situation with plenty of rest and medication. Although travelers may want to try to push through their symptoms, the whole vacation could be lost if the predicament worsens.

When the unexpected happens and travelers need to go to the hospital or call off the trip, having the best travel insurance plan comes in handy. This will ensure tourists can receive good care while abroad or on short weekend getaways, no matter what ails them.


How have you battled an illness during your travels?

Ever gotten terribly sick during a trip? Perhaps you have some suggestions of your own! We love to hear from you. Use the comment section below to share your experience.


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