Getting sick is absolutely sucks, but when you’re sick while travelling, it’s a whole other story. Last year, I took off on a much anticipated trip to Japan during Cherry Blossom season with my lifelong best friend. Would you believe it, I got sick on the first day and it was only getting worse as the hours passed (she also ended up getting sick, too!) Recently, I travelled around Asia for one month and what do you know – I was sick AGAIN! I’m talking the whole body ache, sore throat, head cold kinda thing; the worst. The difference between my sickness in Japan and Myanmar was that I was super prepared the second time round!
Here are some of my tips for preventing & preparing for sickness abroad, plus how to cope with it:
Before You Leave
TRAVEL INSURANCE: This should be a no brainer really. Don’t go overseas without buying travel insurance first! You could only come down with a little cold, but what if your sickness escalates and you have to get to a hospital or doctor for help and medications?! Your insurance will cover the costs (or the majority of) for you! I had to go to a hospital in Japan and ended up spending over $200 on the visit and medication. It was totally worth the price in the end, because the next day I was feeling SO much better!
LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY: If you’ve been planning this trip of your dreams for so long and treat your body like crap before hand, you won’t be feeling in your prime to explore! Sometimes getting sick is just unavoidable, and some people like myself, can be more susceptible to getting sick. Get some vitamins into you, stay hydrated and get excited for your holiday!
PACK MEDICATION: On my trip to Japan last year, where I seriously went wrong was not stocking up on medication. I ended up having to pay a lot of money in the end over there for them! So, I learnt my lesson for my one month Asia trip this year and stocked up on just about every kind of medication I thought I might need. I brought: pain killers with codeine, asthma puffer, heyfever tablets, gastro stop, a course of antibiotics… I didn’t think I would use any of them, but when I actually got really sick, I was SO happy with my past self for packing them. I ended up recovering a lot quicker than I did in Japan as I didn’t mess around hoping I would magically get better, I just took the drugs straight away when I felt the symptoms kicking in!
While You’re Sick
SLOW DOWN AND REST: Just stop for a few days and take care of yourself. There really is no point in pushing your body to its limit while it’s already struggling – you’ll end up feeling even more sick for a longer period of time! Chill out in a hotel room, cuddle up in bed with a movie and tea and sleep your sickness away. I did miss out on hiking in Kalaw, Myanmar, but there was no way my body would’ve been able to walk around for 20km in the heat. It was a better decision to just chill out, trust me!
STAY HYDRATED: Drink A LOT of water. This will flush out all the bad stuff and your body will thank you for it. I just think you should aim to stay hydrated all day everyday anyway even if you’re not sick! Bring a water bottle with you to fill up while you’re on the go, or if you’re in a country where you cannot drink their water, stock up on the massive water bottles!
KEEP UP WITH MEDICATION: I suggest getting those medications into you as soon as you start feeling sick. I feel like that really helped my body get over my illness a lot quicker! Plus, don’t forget to keep taking your tablets at the appropriate times of day until you are 100% and the packet is empty (if you’re on antibiotics) as you don’t want the sickness creeping back up on you!
SEE A DOCTOR IF NECESSARY: If your illness has gotten to the point where you need to see a doctor or go to the hospital, do some googling or talk to someone at your hotel for help. Google translate may help in communicating how you feel to your doctor, too. In Japan, I had the option of seeing an English speaking doctor, which was great! Don’t stress out and put off getting help – if you feel you need it, just do it – you won’t regret it if it’s gonna make you feel better, that’s for sure!
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF: Continue to stay hydrated, keep up to date with your medication and chill out a bit. Don’t go too hard and decide to hike a mountain in a rush – just let your body recover so you can fully enjoy the rest of your trip!
APPRECIATE YOUR HEALTH: I bet you’ll be over the moon you’re starting to feel like your normal self. I remember feeling so happy that I wasn’t sick anymore and could go venture around Japan & Myanmar again! Being sick really makes you appreciate your health, especially when you’re travelling!
HOW TO YOU STAY HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELLING? ANY TIPS FOR COPING WITH BEING SICK?
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