We’ve all been there. We’re in the middle of our dream vacation, and all of a sudden we’ve got a killer sore throat. Or a kid suddenly and without warning throws up in the hotel room. Or your nose is so stuffy that you can’t breathe or sleep.
Let’s be honest. Getting sick on vacation sucks. And being sick on vacation really zaps the pleasure out of any trip and makes it hard to enjoy the moment.
For my family, it’s rare that we have a vacation where none of my family gets sick. Usually it’s me and at least one kid. Between the germy airplane and crowded places and getting less sleep, it’s bound to happen.
I remember coughing my way through my family’s first 7-night cruise on the Disney Fantasy. I kept everyone in our room awake, and the lack of sleep put us all in bad moods. Then there was the time just over a year ago, while staying at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, that my ears were so stuffed I could barely hear. What?
Well, every experience makes us smarter. I continue to change our pre-trip health routine and our medicine while on vacation. My family got into a groove in 2017 and miraculously we didn’t have any major sickies on any of our vacations. Woohoo!
I always travel with a gallon-size Ziploc bag of medicine on our trips which serves as our travel medicine cabinet. I do this because usually it’s way cheaper and much more convenient to pack our own medicine instead of trying to find what we need in a strange city.
So here is what works for me. Note: This is not a sponsored post. I was not paid to mention any of the brands listed below.
Airborne is my go-to before, during and after a trip. I took one or two tablets a day during my Alaska cruise last summer and also during our recent winter getaway. Whenever my throat started to feel scratchy, I soon felt better after having a drink with Airborne in it. I’m convinced that Airborne is the most responsible for me not getting sick on our vacations in 2017.
Airborne effervescents come in a small tube that’s very easy to transport. I prefer the effervescents over the chewable tablets because the tablets are very concentrated and tart.
Afrin Nose Spray
Afrin clears a stuffy nose with just a few squirts. But in December 2016, I discovered that Afrin is good for more than just a stuffy nose. It’s also great for clogged ears.
Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Night Effervescents
When I do get a cold, I prefer Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Night Effervescents over Nyquil. They are easier to transport than liquid Nyquil, and they take effect quickly.
Aspirin and Vicks Vapo Rub
My husband and I each have our own preferred headache medicine (Bayer Aspirin and Advil Migraine). Sure, hotel gift shops usually at least have Tylenol, but I find the stuff we bring to be more effective.
I also throw in a small jar of Vicks VapoRub for coughs.
Since I’ve got kids that still can’t take all adult medicine, I always throw in some children’s versions of a few medicines. We bring Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen, Children’s Benadryl and some Children’s Pepto tablets. One of my kids develops reactions to different foods when we least expect it, so having the Benadryl gives me peace of mind.
Longer Trips: NeilMed Sinus Rinse Bottle and Refill Packets
If I’m going to be gone for more than a few days, I’ll bring my NeilMed sinus rinse bottle with some refill packets. People usually fall into one of two categories for sinus rinses: Best Thing Ever, or EWWWWW.
I’m in the “best thing ever” category. I’m convinced that keeping junk out of my sinuses helps me ward off illnesses. Many hotels and cruise ships have distilled water available if you ask.
It sounds like we take a lot of medicine with us when we travel. However, all of it is fairly small and fits neatly in our suitcase. If I know ahead of time that our hotel will be next door to a pharmacy, I might take less.
We put so much time, effort and heart into our vacation plans. It really is a shame when sickness puts a damper on our plans. I hope to keep my trend of warding of illnesses on our future vacations (knock on wood!)
Readers, what about you? What routines do you have in place to prevent sickness on vacation? What do you bring with you in your travel medicine cabinet? Tell me about your worst experience you’ve ever had being sick on a trip.
Note: This post is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your physician.
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Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.