It’s unfortunate but true: sometimes you’ll get sick while you’re traveling.
Depending on the illness, it can take some time to recover. Luckily, there are a few methods you can use to expedite your recovery from illnesses like the common cold or flu.
Need some tips to recover and get back to your travel plans?
Here are 9 tips to get better fast when you get sick on a business trip or vacation.
- Wear a Face Mask
Wearing a cloth or surgical face mask when you’re out in public is one way to take care of both yourself and others while you’re traveling.
Face masks protect other people from contracting your illness if you have a respiratory infection like the cold or flu. These ailments are spread when a person coughs, sneezes, or speaks, sending droplets into the air that others can inhale and potentially get sick.
Wearing a face mask when you’re around other people can help protect you when you’re sick, too.
Your immune system is working hard to recover from the illness you already have, so you might be more vulnerable to additional conditions if you’re exposed to them.
- Stay Hydrated
While it’s always a critical way to maintain your overall health, staying properly hydrated when you’re sick is essential to a fast recovery.
Your body loses water while you’re battling symptoms such as:
- Nausea or Loss of Appetite
Staying hydrated keeps the cells in your body healthy and better equipped to fight viral and bacterial infections.
Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to take in healthy fluids like water and decaffeinated, herbal tea. Thirst is usually a sign that you may already be dehydrated.
- Rest Up
It may be tempting to soldier on and stick to your planned activities, but doing so can make your illness worse and lengthen your recovery process.
Check your itinerary and identify when there will be opportunities to rest. If possible, head back to your hotel and take a nap during the day.
Regardless of whether or not you can nap, be sure that you’re getting to bed at a reasonable hour (the earlier the better).
Your body’s cells regenerate while you’re sleeping, helping them recover and become stronger as they defend against illness and general stress throughout the day.
- Skip Certain Activities
It’s not ideal to skip that 12-mile hike or opt-out of an all-day activity you’ve been planning and looking forward to.
If you’re sick, however, it’s probably a good idea.
First, it’s unlikely that you’ll fully enjoy strenuous activities or day trips that won’t offer you the opportunity to rest.
Second, you don’t want to be far away from your accommodations if your condition becomes worse and you need to call it quits for the day.
- Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the things people enjoy most about travel is the culinary experience that comes with it.
Food is part of the thrill as you explore a place that’s different from your day-to-day norm. And you will undoubtedly be tempted to indulge.
But before you place an order, think carefully about your health.
Try to find restaurants with dishes rich in protein and fiber made with healthy ingredients. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to fortify your immune system (steer clear of excess sugar, fat, and sodium).
- Wash Your Hands Often
You already know that it’s important to wash your hands after using the bathroom or touching dirty surfaces.
What you may not know is that washing your hands frequently while you’re sick is beneficial to your recovery.
You probably aren’t aware of most occasions throughout the day when you touch your face, nose, and mouth. When you’re sick, these areas contain germs that can spread when you touch your possessions or objects in your hotel.
To minimize the risk of further contamination, it’s a good idea to wash your hands more often than you usually would.
- Locate a Drug Store
Controlling your symptoms can not only allow you to enjoy your trip more when you’re sick: it can help you get better more quickly as well.
Look at apps and websites where you can locate a local pharmacy or drug store. You might also ask the concierge at your hotel for suggestions.
Stock up on over-the-counter cold and flu remedies you already know are safe for you to use.
Try vitamin C supplements, fever and pain reducers like acetaminophen, cold medicines for day and night time, and cough remedies.
- Gargle with Warm Salt Water
Perhaps one of your parents or grandparents has told you to gargle with warm salt water as a remedy for sore throat. And you may have dismissed the advice or forgotten it entirely.
But gargling with warm salt water can, in fact, provide some relief.
Salt water washes away mucus and draws harmful fluids out of your throat tissue, which will help relieve some of your symptoms.
Dissolve about one-half teaspoon of salt into an 8-ounce glass of hot water and allow it to cool to a comfortable temperature. Gargle several times, spitting out the salt water (try not to swallow much of it).
- Find a Doctor
If you are seriously ill or your symptoms don’t improve with these remedies, it’s important that you seek professional medical care right away.
You can work with your health insurance company to find local providers covered by your plan, but don’t let coverage deter you from getting the care you need.
It can be immensely disappointing to get sick while you’re traveling, but these tips will help you recover as quickly as possible.
Don’t forget that becoming sick before you travel can make canceling your plans difficult and expensive.