How to Survive Sickness While Traveling

Sick When Traveling

I’m fighting a minor cold this week on the road (it is that time of the year) and as I wait to move into my new apartment in Italy. I’m hunkered down at a B&B, trying to drink a ton of fluids and feel a little bit better before I head off to Prague on Christmas. As most of us know, traveling while sick can be one of the worst complications you can run into. Not only can it kind of ruin your time in a place, but it can also make your traveling companions miserable around you.

Here are some things I’ve found help me when I’m fighting a cold while traveling:


Yes, I know. It’s the last thing you want to do when you’re in the location of your dreams. But there are ways to make sure that you have some time to recover and to still enjoy where you’re at. Duck inside a café for a half hour and treat yourself to a hot chocolate or sleep in an extra hour or so. You’d be surprised how a little bit of extra time taking care of yourself can really add up and can make you feel better.


This kind of goes without saying, but you would be surprised how hard it can be to sometimes get the amount of water that you need when you are traveling. The best way to make sure you are is to make it a priority—say that you have a bottle of water every couple of hours and make sure that you carry one around with you. Make sure that you try and drink bottled water while traveling, even if you are in a place like Europe where most the water is fine (ask me about it some time—I have a good story about parasites). Better to be safe than sorry!

Check out a pharmacy.

Finding what you need at a foreign pharmacy is never a given. Different products that we take advantage of in the States are simply not available or harder to find in other places. If you can, see if you can take any medicine you might need with you and think about what you will need before you head out. Most places will have your basic needs (tissues, hand sanitizer, cough drops and medicine), but it might not hurt to carry them along with you if you know you are going to have a cold on that plane ride.

How have you dealt with a sickness while traveling in the past?

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