I took a trip to Philadelphia last month, and it was pretty great, other than one small detail: I got the flu.
I spent the last two and a half days of a 5 day trip shaking, feverish and one day just sleeping on the bathroom floor (in between bouts of eliminating everything I had ever eaten ever from my body).
It’s terrible being sick, really. No matter where you are. Especially when you’re an adult and your mom doesn’t take care of you anymore.
Being sick can be even worse when you’re traveling, all by yourself. Nobody to go get 7-Up for you, and you don’t even know where they KEEP the 7-Up (or it’s $47 from the minibar).
So in the interest of saving you from an existence void of 7-Up if you get sick, I give you a list for “How to Handle Getting Sick While Traveling Alone”!
- Get familiar with your surroundings. When I travel, I make sure to map out my hotel and the nearest drugstore and the nearest minimart or supermarket to my hotel. Even if you are googling while wrapped in all the blankets, it’s good to know how much strength you might need to muster (or how long you’ll need to hang on in a Lyft or an Uber) to get to a Walgreens.
- Make friends with the hotel staff. This is something you should do anyway. Always get to know the people who are doing things for you – it’s just polite. If you know the front desk people by name, they will sometimes go out of their way to get what you need, or point you in the direction of how to get what you need.
- Sometimes there are delivery services that can bring supplies to your hotel. I live in a small(er) town, where we just got Uber like a year ago. We don’t have things like Postmates or Instacart, so being able to have groceries delivered to your hotel is pretty epic. (Tip #2 may assist you with which service is your best bet.)
- Above all, be honest with yourself. Only you know your body, truly. Listen to your body and stop going when your body tells you to stop. If you are getting nauseous in the middle of dinner, take a moment to reassess. Don’t eat more pasta.
When push comes to shove, you really have to take it easy. You may be traveling for work (as I was) or traveling for fun, but when you are struck down with something like the flu, you need to rest and take care of yourself….because FLYING while you’re sick is a whole other realm of Dante’s Inferno.
Some drug stores deliver! Those helpful folks at the front desk might know one. There are apps available that can connect you to a real doctor for a video chat appointment ( in case you need prescription meds!) and they accept insurance! Set those apps up before you leave. They are lifesavers. I use Doctor on Demand.