When you finally make the decision to go on vacation, there is probably one item you don’t check off on your to-do list: Getting sick. Be it before your vacation or while you are on it, becoming sick is not a vacation memory anyone wants to bring back home. I read the blog post “Traveling and Being Sick” and it made me think about whether or not I personally put enough thought into taking care of myself before traveling. Do you? Because not all of us get the chance to go on vacations whenever we want to. Maybe if you worked your socks off through your career before managing to find the best equity release plan possible for your retirement, you may get this opportunity. If not, you’re really going to want to take care of yourself before your vacations so that you don’t fall ill before your time off.
Before a trip, I am the one who plans every detail of every day and every aspect of our vacation right down to the minutia. Long before we have left our home to begin our trip, I’m already stressed just thinking about our trip. What to pack or what not to pack, going to the post office, stopping by the store for last minute necessities, and so on. My husband tells me that I need to “relax,” but for anyone who is in charge of family travel, you know what it’s like trying to get the trip organized and put into motion. The stress you put on your body doing this can lower your immune system and increase your chances of getting a cold or the flu or any other bug out there.
The night before a trip, I can never sleep. I always feel like a kid the night before the first day of school with the anxiety of what is to come the next day. I am always looking forward to it and can’t feel like I can relax until I am actually in the seat on my flight headed to my destination. Add more stress to an already stressed individual and the meter on their immune system starts heading in the wrong direction and makes them far more susceptible to colds, flu, infection, etc.
Although we will arrive in a port city the day before a cruise and stay in a hotel, which is also the same advice I give to all of my clients, I am now opening myself up to more sickness if I am not careful with where I stay, what I eat and drink, and by not getting enough sleep. Naturally one might think that vacation has started and I can start to enjoy a bevy of alcoholic beverages, all of which might have a pretty little umbrella in them, but that would be silly. Why? Because then I might eat food that’s not good for me while enjoying a drink or two (or three!) If my body is already starting to feel run down, adding the wrong food and alcohol is certainly not going to make me feel better the next day on the first day of my cruise.
Ok enough of the doom and gloom and getting sick at every turn already. What can I do to avoid this? I am a big proponent of drinking lots of water, at least 64 oz. per day and getting plenty of sleep every night. If you can throw in some exercise and a healthy diet, then you are off to a good start before you ever leave your home. Try to exercise the day of your departure if you’re an especially wound up kind of person like me to help take some of the edge off. Some people swear by Airborne, which helps to support your immune system, but it’s definitely a personal choice. When you’re flying, stick with drinking lots of water and avoid alcohol if at all possible. Try to get in a little exercise at your hotel and try to eat some healthier food at restaurants that have a good amount of business. Those that look like they are vacant when you arrive are probably the ones you want to avoid. Once onboard your cruise, try to follow some of the same pre-cruise recommendations, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself either. Any extreme of over-exercising and underindulging or conversely too much indulgence and not enough exercise can make for a bad vacation.
Lastly, I recommend to take the travel insurance when offered. I will forever be shocked by anyone that doesn’t because you just don’t know what can happen before or during your vacation. I take it for every trip I take and wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t buy it as well. It doesn’t have to mean that you get sick and can’t travel. Imagine planning a trip of a lifetime and there is a death in your extended family. You certainly aren’t going to go, but will the airline and the cruise line simply refund your money? Absolutely not! It’s not something you could have planned or anticipated, but with travel insurance you will get your money back. If you do get sick while on a cruise or a trip anywhere for that matter and you need to be medically evacuated, your health insurance will not cover the cost of the evacuation, which will be pretty expensive and they will not bill you. Spend a little money up front for some peace of mind later and you will have a stress free vacation.
Stop stressing about the “what if’s?” and start planning your next vacation. Life is far too short to not try to check off a few items on your bucket list starting today.