Your bags are packed. Your tickets are printed. You're ready to take off for the next leg of your trip when...achoo! You start sniffling and sneezing, and feel like you'd rather crawl back in to bed than hop on an airplane.
Getting sick while traveling is no fun, but it does happen. Here are tips you can use to feel better again as soon as possible, whether you're on the road for work or on vacation.
1. Drink plenty of water.
Coffee and energy drinks might help you stay awake to catch a red eye flight, but they can also dehydrate you and make an illness worse. Airplane cabins and hotels tend to be dry, making it all the more important to drink enough water. Aim for a tall glass every few hours. Hot tea or broth will do the trick and keep you hydrated.
2. Skip indulgent meals.
If you're experiencing nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, it's wise to stay clear of rich meals. Sugary, salty and spicy foods can irritate your stomach, making it harder to recover. Stick with easily digestible items like toast, bananas, rice, oatmeal, baked chicken and turkey. Give your body the nutrients it needs. Avoid adventurous eating habits until you're on the mend.
3. Rest and relax.
Rest is essential to healing. If you get sick on your trip, skip strenuous activity like hiking, biking, running and other types of intense exercise for the time being. As difficult as it may be, try to clear your itinerary so that you can get extra sleep. At a minimum, get the seven to nine hours recommended by doctors. The more rest you get, the stronger you'll be. Relax, turn on a good movie and enjoy the downtime.
4. Take a hot shower or bath.
The steam from a hot bath or shower can help relieve congestion. Moist air can help open up and drain your sinus passages. If you're short on time, lean over the sink with the hot water running. Drape a towel over your head and breathe deeply.
5. Reorganize your plans.
Air and rail travel may not be the best idea when you're sick, especially if you're running a fever. You run the risk of picking up more germs and infecting other passengers. Even though you're eager to get back home, consider rebooking your tickets. Check with your travel insurance carrier to see if they'll cover the costs of changing your plans.
6. See a highly trained doctor.
It can be difficult and stressful to find a local doctor while traveling. You may not know where the nearest clinic is or feel hesitant about visiting the ER in an unfamiliar place. Some hotels and resorts have a doctor on-site who may be able to treat minor aliments. If you can't see a doctor in person, you can also speak with a licensed medical professional anytime, anywhere. Services like MinuteClinic®'s Video Visits allow you to see a doctor online from your smartphone, tablet or computer. They can prescribe medication if medically necessary and have it ready at a pharmacy of your choosing, whether that's CVS Pharmacy or another pharmacy.