5 Things I Learned While Being Sick On Vacation (and a BOUNS)

What started out as a promising runaway to Miami, quickly escalated into an epic mouth-breathing, body aches and pains, snot fest (with a little orange-brown situation happening at one point)…gross I know but I can’t be the only one to have had that happen.

I’m still fighting this cold and now I’m also fighting the dependency I’ve developed after taking NyQuil for the last few days. It.is.very.addictive. I tried not taking any last night and I was up until after 2 a.m. trolling Netflix for something to put me to sleep.

Didn’t work. And I’ve been stuffy and miserable all day.

There is no sugar-coating this: being sick while on vacation effing sucks. Granted, one should always attempt to go/be on vacation while healthy and happy…life, however, has a way of turning the best intentions on their head. Thus, I’ve decided to curate a few of my thoughts on the matter so that others can learn from my misfortune.

1. Sleep. Never underestimate the healing power of restful sleep. You’re on vacation, ergo you have the time to relax! This has been my saving grace over the last few days. Despite the NyQuil dependency, sleep was the best thing to happen to my body since this cold began. Also, getting enough rest, means less stressing out. Less stressing out means getting better faster.

2. Hot showers. Because they can be almost medicinal to aching bodies. My advice: Take full advantage of your hotel’s never-ending supply of hot water. Add in a citrus/ginger body wash and the steam can be downright heaven. Bonus: The steam clears up nasal congestion for a while.

3. Lots of H2O. Yes, I went on vacation thinking South Beach = Shots! Shots! Shots! Sh-sh-shots! And was sorely disappointed that the only shots I ended up having were NyQuil shots. But after being sick on vacation, there is nothing worse than cold, dry air (al la Miami in February) causing nosebleeds on already stressed sinuses. Drink lots of water. I actually used this app to keep me on track. Cuz you know drinking water with no appetite is not something you’re going to remember to do.

4. Make time to do something fun. This trip I wanted to explore Little Havana and try Cuban food. My recommendation if you’re sick: Take a guided tour. Lots of cities offer tours by bus or boat which is a great option if you’re too sick to explore on foot. Or in my case, the guided food tour I wanted to do was booked solid. So I mapped out the advertised locations, which were all on one street just a few blocks from each other (proving one can use the downtime spent in bed productively) and then convinced my travel buddies to do a “self=guided” tour anyway. We only made it two of the spots but they were both worth it! Score for me!!!

5. Be prepared. Negotiating a pharmacy even in Miami was not much fun. I was told I could not get Advil Cold and Sinus without a prescription. Freaking Advil! Going forward, I will travel with some vital supplies just in case: decongestants, NyQuil gel caps, and some pain relievers. Because with my luck, a headache and a runny nose are very distinct possibilities.

Bonus tip:
If you’re going on vacation, start taking some preventative measures a few days BEFORE you leave because if you’re like me, there will be little sleep and non-stop exploring once you get to your destination. It also helps to find out what the temperature is like in the city you will be visiting BEFORE you get there as well. That way you don’t end up with summer clothes in freezing Miami. (I also cannot believe I just put freezing and Miami in the same sentence…but I digress.) Start getting a little more rest, drink more water, load up on multivitamins and definitely beef up on your Vitamin C. Wash your hands and avoid touching your face and eyes. That last part applies to the airport and plane ride especially.

Excellent list for sick days, vacations or being sick while on vacation!

Excellent list for sick days, vacations or being sick while on vacation!

There you have it folks. Now, if you’ll excuse me, (cuz I left the office early today due to the a/c being on Arctic Blast and my lungs not being able to cope with the stress) I’m going to spend the rest of the day in bed with Netflix. Maybe sleep will come this time?


  1. February 26, 2015 / 10:44 pm

    What a bummer to get sick on vacation. Looks like you did all the right things to get well. Lets hope the next one goes better.

    • February 26, 2015 / 11:50 pm

      *fingers crossed* 😀

  2. February 27, 2015 / 10:59 pm

    Poor thing! I bring some Airborne or EmergenC and take it after the flight. It might all be mental, but I’ll take it. 😉

    • February 27, 2015 / 11:11 pm

      They’ve just been added to the list!

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