Here’s What To Do If You Get Sick While Traveling In A Foreign Country

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Traveling, with all its perks, can have some unexpected side effects. As your body adapts to a new environment and eating schedule, it could need a second to process. And in some cases, it could reject your travel itinerary, spiraling you into a feverish illness. With your doctor literal hundreds of miles away, you should know what to do if you get sick in a foreign country while you're traveling there. It's not fun, but being prepared and knowing how to take care of yourself — should you not be able to hold down last night's dinner — can quickly salvage the rest of your time abroad.

You're scheduled to check out a row of street food vendors on the day a massive migraine confines you to your hotel bed. And you're not faking like Lizzie McGuire did on her school trip to Rome in The Lizzie McGuire Movie for the sake of an even bigger adventure. You're actually sick. Germs happen. They're everywhere, all the time, but they don't have to ruin your trip.

Maybe you picked up something from the person sneezing in seat 19C on the plane, maybe the food didn't agree with you, maybe the universe is out to get you. No matter what is to blame, the most important thing is your wellness, and to take care of it right away instead of pushing through. The road to recovery while you're on the road in a foreign country can start before you head abroad by looking into travel insurance.

While you plan the fun part, plan the practical part too. Assuming an emergency could occur, it's always worth it to look into short term travel health insurance plans before take off. Depending on what plan you choose, being insured could cover any medical expenses accrued over seas. But let's say your week long stint by the beach didn't seem to warrant a whole health insurance plan. And now you're sick.

Don't worry, you're not stuck to ride out that sore throat or those flu like symptoms until you get home. And you shouldn't because you can get to a doctor. If the type of illness you're experiencing is beyond something ibuprofen can handle, Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends, "Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a list of local healthcare providers and medical facilities." The consulate will help you find the appropriate medical assistance. You can also search using resources like online Clinic Directory from the International Society of Travel Medicine.

To prevent any illness while traveling abroad, do your research about your destination. If it's not recommended to drink the tap water, don't. If you're perusing a food market and are not a typically adventurous eater, think before chowing down on anything new to you to avoid adverse reactions. Enjoy everything the location has to offer but make decisions that are right for your body.

Let your domestic health provider back home know about your condition. Being mindful of the time change, you might want to check in with them so that they are aware of what's happening in case they'd like to schedule a check up upon your return. Taking care of your health isn't only for when you're at home. Make sure to take care of it while in a foreign country for the sake of your wellness, the health of those you're surrounded by and of course, your precious vacation time!