Sick on Vacation

The only thing worse than being sick is being sick on vacation.

When anyone in your family gets sick on a trip, it affects everyone. Previously I’ve written a story about one of the worst days of my life (My Biggest Fear). My husband got the stomach bug during our Disney trip. The experience was a nightmare and not something I’d like to repeat.

However, I’ve had LOTS of friends recently who’ve had similar experiences. So although I prefer not to even think about it, it’s something to consider. And, dare I say it, plan for…just in case!

Side note: One of THE BEST things you can do to avoid getting sick on vacation is to take care of yourself leading up to the trip. Get plenty of rest, eat well, and be sure to use elderberry syrup. (Check out my post: Elderberry Syrup Saved My Vacation to find out why I’m such a fan, and for a recipe.)

While I would love nothing more than to NOT be an expert on this subject, I do have advice to offer. Over the years, I’ve found a few helpful hints for surviving sick on vacation. That being said, others have great ideas so please comment and share your wisdom!

  • Medicine Bag: This tip received it’s own post several months ago. I pack a medical/first aid bag on every trip. It can’t, by any means, contain everything we need, but you have to start somewhere. Though these supplies receive little use, I feel better having them on hand. To view a list of my supplies, visit this post.
  • TV Alternatives: In the day and age of DVR and Apple TV, we often take for granted that kids programing isn’t on all day long. However, without access to those things in a hotel, you will quickly realize most daytime television is not kid-friendly! Have some alternative activities for sick kids (or well-kids with sick parents/siblings!)
  • Ask For Help: I need this for my personal mantra when someone in the family gets sick on vacation. Although asking is humbling, most people are so accommodating. From asking the hotel for additional room cleaning or sheet changing, to having them deliver extra towels, the hotels we’ve stayed in have always obliged. (Looking at the bright side, they are also doing the laundry!) Likewise, I’ve actually driven through the pharmacy window and asked for non-pharmacy related supplies so I don’t have to drag my kids into a store. It sounds bold, but every pharmacist has gladly come to our aid.
  • Convenience is Key: When someone in your family is sick on vacation, throw standard practices out the window. Do we typically buy Gatorade and crackers from the hotel gift shop? No. Will we typically order room service? Probably not. Do we always allow our kids to eat drive-thru meals? Nope. But, in the event of illness, all of these things are lifesavers!
  • Know Your Resources: If someone needs medical attention, it’s great to know where the closest urgent care or hospital is located. Personally, I prefer to use grocery store, or drug store doctors when traveling. I’ve found the waits to be shorter and the germs to be less. Sometimes you are even able to call your own doctor’s office for advice from a “Nurse-line.”
  • Thorough List: If you’re lucky enough to have 2 adults on the vacation, hopefully you can arrange an immediate supply run. If 1 person in our family gets sick, I immediately go into survival-mode Armageddon style. I assume the absolute worst case scenario- which, if you’ve been traveling together and staying in close quarters- it’s not unlikely. Therefore, a quick supply run while you have a healthy adult is crucial. A few essential items: bland food, plenty of drinks (gatorade, juice, bottled water), liquid hand soap, and disinfecting wipes.

I am sincerely hoping that just writing about this topic will make our family immune to sickness as we travel through the holidays! My anxiety is going into overdrive just considering having to deal with the germs.

Do you have any more tips for surviving sickness on vacation?

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