While the upside of travel are many, the worst downside is falling sick. The reasons why people are susceptible to falling sick and contracting illnesses while travelling are many. From pre-vacation work load stress, to sleep disrupted by jet lag, and unfamiliar food and smells, the rigours of travel can throw us off and how. Here’s how to cope with being sick while travelling:

Check your health insurance before you travel

This one’s a mandate; being covered for medical care while travelling is the smartest things to do before you go on a trip. Buy a trip insurance with medical coverage; and if the need arises, find out what is covered by your insurance by calling the insurance company or visiting its website.

Contact your embassy or consulate for serious help 

Incase of language or other communication barriers, embassy and consulate officers are the best people to recommend local health care providers and hospitals, get in touch with your family, assist with transfer of funds and help arrange for local transport.

Find a good doctor

Regardless of whether you are travelling within your home country or abroad, the best way to fix your health is by visiting a doctor. Especially, if the symptoms persist after 48-72 hours.

Don’t put off taking medications

This can be quite tricky: especially if you have to find medication if there is a language barrier involved. Which is why bringing basic medications (aspirin, antacids, throat lozenges) and first-aid items with you is highly recommended. Also, don’t wait till your symptoms flare up; have the medicines as soon as you feel under the weather.

Stay calm though it all

Realising that your illness is temporary is the most important. That instantly cuts half of your problems. Most common illnesses last about a day or two, just wait it out and get some unadulterated rest. Also, since life is unpredictable, keep your expectations flexible and adjust your schedule around it for a happy recovery.

Turn your hotel room into your recovery ward

We usually under-estimate the comforts of a hotel room; it’s only used for sleeping at night on a vacation. But if things go awry, and you’ve gotten sick, use the amenities to the fullest to recover from your sickness. With the room service, hot water heater, Wi-Fi, and a television, your hotel can double up as a luxurious hospital ward.

Treat your digestive system with love and care

The first rule of recovery is to eat light and healthy. Ditch all kinds of adventurous foods for simple, easily digestible stuff like bread, rice, apples and bananas. Keeping the system hydrated with water and juice is of primary importance too. Also, probiotic foods such as yogurt is great for both prevention and recovery.