sick during travel
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What to Do if You Fall Ill While Travelling Abroad

When you pack for a trip abroad, do you remember to put some basic medicines in your bag? Chances are you answered that with a resounding yes. We usually prepare ourselves for minor stomach upset, cough & cold, and such ailments that can be taken care of with our usual medicines. But what if one falls seriously ill during a holiday in a foreign country? It’s everyone’s worst nightmare, isn’t it? You’re off galavanting around the world, taking in exotic sights, sounds, cultures, and cuisines. You’re having an absolute ball, and everything is going swimmingly, and then all of a sudden disaster strikes, and you find yourself falling ill. This can be very distressing when you’re in a foreign country because sometimes, all you want is your own bed.

However, the fact of the matter is that falling ill is a very real part of the travel experience and something that you must prepare yourself for. Luckily, you’re not alone, and there is plenty of advice to help you through difficult times.


  1. Don’t panic

One of the most important things you need to remember is to not panic when you fall ill. So many people freak out because they’re abroad, and think that they’re going to become seriously ill. However, this is often not the case, and most of the time you’re going to be just fine. The important thing is to make sure you remain calm, so you can make the best possible decision in the moment.

  1. Use your medical supplies

Now, hopefully, you will have brought a first-aid kit and any medication you need with you on your travels, as is the sensible thing to do. Sometimes, if you are ill, you might find that using your packed medical supplies is all you need to do. If you’re travelling with a medical condition, you’ll need to take your medication with you through customs, and hopefully you will have packed this somewhere that’s easily reachable. If not, then you may need to move onto the next tip.

  1. Seek medical help

Seeking medical help is often very important when you fall ill, especially if it’s something you can’t manage yourself, such as food poisoning. You need to make sure you take any medical problems seriously and get the professional help that you require. Make sure you have done your research as to where the nearest doctor or medical facility is, should you need it on your trip.

If you’re unsure on the local emergency number, most hotels will have a list of important numbers in a welcome pack. Alternatively, dial reception and try to explain your problem.

sick during travel



  1. Visit your embassy

If the situation is serious and becomes more of a problem, then you might need to visit your embassy to see what the options are. This is somewhere you can feel safe and secure, and they will be able to inform people back home if you need them to, as well as help to send money if required. Sometimes it’s great to just talk to someone from your own country who understands the cultural differences you might be experiencing. This can be very helpful when you’re ill and may help a lot with making you feel better.

  1. Take preventative measures

It’s one thing to take action after the fact, but you also need to make sure you are trying to take preventative measures as well. Keeping in shape when you’re on vacation is an excellent way of being able to fight off illness, so you need to find motivation!

You should also make sure you do research before you travel and pick up tips about what to avoid, and how to get into the right sort of routine. This is really important when travelling, and can go a long way toward helping you improve your health in the long term – not just when exploring the world.

As you can see, there’s a lot to keep in mind when it comes to improving your health abroad and taking action when you are unwell. It’s important that you do as much as you can to be prepared and take the right sort of action in these situations.

If you can come up with any more tips you think should be added to the list, please let us know in the comments below.


Purva is the co-founder of Blue Sky Dreamers. A journalist with 11 years of experience, she also freelances as a content writer & editor.


  • Ishieta

    Visiting your embassy – this is a gem of advice! We usually just make do with our medicine supplies we have carried and worry! especially when language barriers are there and how expensive medical assistance is in foreign countries!

  • Gunjan (tuggu.n.mommy)

    This is so thoughtful of you to do a post of this. Last month my parents were on a world tour and we were do worried for the same. Thankfully they carried all prescriptions and mandatory papers and all was okay.

  • Sandy N Vyjay

    Falling ill while travelling is probably most travelers’ nightmare. We try to take utmost precautions while travelling, and travel with a medical kit and also are careful with what we eat and drink.

  • Manasi

    Prevention is better than cure is what I firmly believe in. I always carry necessary materials that I might require incase me or my family happen to fall sick. It’s good have everything in times of need.

  • bytetrails

    I always carry the required/basic medications while travelling abroad. Moreover , as they say prevention is better than cure, always be careful of what you eat and drink to avoid falling sick.

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