What to do if you get sick while traveling abroad

While traveling has many benefits, it can also have some unexpected side effects. It can take a second to process as your body adjusts to its new environment and eating plan. In some cases, it may deny you a travel itinerary, leaving you with a feverish illness. Since your doctor is hundreds of miles away, you should know what to do if you get sick while traveling abroad. It's not fun, but being prepared and knowing how to take care of yourself (if you can't control last night's dinner) can quickly save the rest of your time abroad.

You plan to check out a row of street food vendors on a day when a severe migraine keeps you stuck in your hotel bed. And you don’t pretend like Lizzie Maguire did on her school trip to Rome in The Lizzie Maguire Movie for the sake of a greater adventure. You are actually sick . Bacteria occur. They're everywhere, but they don't have to ruin your trip.

Maybe you got something from the person who sneezed in seat 19C on the plane, maybe the food wasn't for you, maybe the universe was working against you. No matter what the cause is, the most important thing is your health, and it should be addressed immediately rather than forced. Before you go abroad, you can start the road to recovery abroad by looking into travel insurance.

When you plan the fun parts, plan the practical parts too. Assuming an emergency might arise, it's always worth checking out a short-term travel health insurance plan before flying out. Depending on the plan you choose, coverage can cover any medical expenses incurred while at sea. But let’s say you don’t seem to need a full health insurance plan just to spend a week at the beach. Now you are sick.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to deal with a sore throat or flu-like symptoms until you get home. You shouldn't do this because you can go see a doctor. If you have a type of illness beyond what ibuprofen can treat, Johns Hopkins University Medical Center recommends: "Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for a list of local health care providers and medical facilities." The consulate will help you find appropriate medical assistance. You can also search using resources like the International Society of Travel Medicine’s online clinic directory.

To prevent any illness while traveling abroad, do research on your destination. If drinking tap water is not recommended, don't drink it. If you're visiting a food market and aren't a typically adventurous person, think twice before eating anything fresh to avoid adverse reactions. Enjoy everything the location has to offer, but make decisions that are right for your body.

Let your home health care provider know about your condition. Please be aware of time changes and you may need to contact them so they know what is happening in case they want to arrange an inspection when you return. Taking care of your health isn't just about when you're at home. For the sake of your health, the health of those around you, and of course your precious vacation time, make sure you take care of it while abroad!