What To Do If You Get Sick While Traveling

Health & Safety Tips

Jul 22, 2021


When we think about vacations,we usually picture all the fun and adventure that awaits us, but planning for unexpected surprises is still important; for instance, do you know what to do if you get sick while traveling? As the world opens up again, most people are chomping at the bit to start traveling again. However, some of us may need a refresher on how to stay healthy while on vacation.

Is it common to get sick while traveling? Yes. Injuries and illnesses never take a vacation. In fact, some of the most common summer injuries and illnesses can easily happen while you’re on vacation. It’s best to be prepared and know what to do if you get sick while traveling so you can address the problem and get back to relaxing. 

What to do if you get sick while traveling: Essential next steps

  • Step 1: Take note of emergency facilities in the area. Hospital or medical costs can be confusing to navigate especially if you’re in a foreign country. Before your trip, conduct a list of english speaking foreign emergency facilities that are close to where you will be staying. That way, in the event of an emergency, you know exactly where to go to find help. Lists and other travel resources can be obtained from the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers.

  • Step 2: Carry a letter from your healthcare provider. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, have your doctor or primary care physician write a detailed note about your condition and the types of medication you are taking (if any). This will make it easier for the medical professionals abroad to understand your current health status and determine a treatment direction.

  • Step 3: Assess your injury. If you’re unable to do so, have someone examine your injury to determine if you need medical assistance. If you’re having acute pain symptoms, the pain should subside in under an hour, but continue to monitor how you’re feeling in case the intensity increases.  
  • Step 4: Seek medical help. From that list you made before your trip, see if there is a facility nearby that offers walk-in emergency care services. This will ensure that you’ll be seen in a much quicker manner than a traditional hospital. 

Tips for how to not get sick while traveling

1. Pack a travel first-aid kit

Your first-aid travel kit should include: 

  • Your prescription medication (if you take any)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ant-bacterial wipes
  • Bandages 
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers 
  • Antihistamines for allergies 
  • Anti-nausea for motion sickness
  • Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher

2. Stay hydrated

Amidst all of the fun of vacation, it’s important to remember to drink water! Not only will it keep you well and healthy during your trip, it is a crucial part to avoiding emergencies that can send you to the hospital including dehydration and heat stroke. If you’re unsure if the tap water is safe to drink, stick to bottled water instead. 

3. Get plenty of rest while traveling 

Traveling can take a heavy toll on our bodies. Getting enough rest before and during your vacation is essential for avoiding exhaustion. Being sleep-deprived while traveling can also weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses. So be sure to catch those Zs!

4. Eat a balanced diet

“It’s vacation, I can eat whatever I want!” While that’s true, your diet heavily impacts your digestive system which can affect your overall health and immune system. Eating nutritious foods can help you beat that sluggish feeling and allow you to enjoy your trip to the fullest!

5. Check the weather

Depending on when you’re traveling, be sure to check the weather and prepare accordingly. Want to travel during the summer? Be sure to be aware of the warning signs of heat stroke. If you’re going to travel in the fall or winter time, read up on how to keep yourself healthy during flu season

Traveling in Texas or Colorado? Complete Care is ready to treat any medical emergency!

It can be very beneficial to know what to do if you get sick while traveling. Whether you’re traveling through Texas or have a trip planned in Colorado Springs, Complete Care is an emergency facility that can tend to your injury or illness in minutes, not hours. If you break your arm –– the most commonly broken bone –– or become dehydrated, our hospital-grade medical facilities are open 24/7 for any medical emergency.

For any health-related travel questions or inquiries, contact a Complete Care facility today!

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