What should you do if you get sick on holiday?

Finally time for a holiday – but what if the absolute worst case scenario occurs and suddenly your body begins to weaken during the trip? Health risks can occur especially when travelling to distant countries. Find out how you can prevent an illness during your holiday, and I’ll share my personal tips on what to do if you get really sick during your trip. Plus, my ultimate checklist for your first-aid kit. Become an absolute expert when it comes to knowing what to do if you get sick on vacation. 😉

on holiday sick stethoscope
Sick on holiday – now what?


Sick on holiday? – A few ways to prevent illnesses

First of all: Of course, the risk of an illness occurring whilst on holiday cannot be completely avoided – but it can be reduced. And the best way to do that is to be well prepared just in case.
Before my travels, I always take fresh ginger in tea or as capsules. Zinc and vitamin C also strengthen the immune system and contribute to general well-being.

Who has experienced this? The good old conflict with air-conditioning – whether in the plane, in the hotel room, or in the transfer bus. I, too, am often very vulnerable to air-conditioning. The result is usually a cold and it can be really annoying on holiday.

I usually take a scarf with me on holiday. Even if I’m headed someplace sunny and won’t need it in my holiday destination – I’m usually happy about it on the plane. In addition, many have to deal with dry eyes, especially on long-haul flights. Here eye drops help to keep your eyes moisturised.

Plane Sick on holiday
Expertly prevent illnesses – even on a plane.


Travel to distant countries also requires a certain amount of medical preparation, as a different climate, unknown pathogens, and occasionally poorer hygiene conditions await you.

Especially when travelling to tropical or subtropical countries, you should keep the topic of travel vaccinations in mind. It’s best to find out from your GP or a tropical specialist which vaccinations are necessary or recommended for your target country in order to prevent illness during your trip. The Federal Foreign Office of the respective country also compiles recommended vaccinations on their website. You should also take the yellow vaccination card with you on holiday.
Hospitalisation abroad or other medical treatments can be very expensive. If you want to be on the safe side, take out travel health insurance.

Doctor advice
Get medical advice – safety first!


What to do if you get sick on holiday – the best tips

What if I get really sick whilst on holiday? In case of a cold or harmless stomach pain, we usually know what to do. However, when it comes to viral diseases or a serious injury abroad, we may not know what to do.

I’ve actually spent some time in a foreign hospital, and so I have some personal experience on the matter. Fortunately, my experiences so far have only been positive – knock on wood. To properly deal with an illness during your holiday, I have some great tips for you here.

If you spend your holiday in the TUI BLUE Hotels, you can breathe easy. Unlike backpacker trips, the hotel will provide immediate assistance should you get sick on holiday. At the hotel reception you can find out about surrounding pharmacies, doctors, and hospitals.

If you really need to visit a doctor or hospital, I recommend bringing copies of all medical records and bills home with you. If you have travel health insurance, you’ll be reimbursed for the money you spent.


Ill on holiday – Labour laws and holiday time

It’s annoying to be bedridden even for an afternoon whilst on holiday. Not only do you miss out on holiday fun and relaxation, but your vacation days are also lost – right?
There is still a glimmer of hope, because if you get sick on holiday you may be able to save your holiday time as an employee. To do this, you’ll need to have a note from a doctor to certify your incapacity to work during your illness. So you can have your earned vacation days credited to your holiday account by your employer.

Receipts bills doctor vacation
Collect your medical records and bills to secure your vacation days.


The ultimate checklist for your travel first-aid kit

It is essential to leave space in your luggage for one important thing. I’m talking about a small first-aid kit. If you get sick on holiday, this bag is your salvation. But what are the must-haves for my trip?

Here is my essential first-aid checklist:

  • Storage for medication: Bags, resealable bags, cooling bags
  • Anti-nausea medication (e.g. travel pills)
  • Cough syrup, expectorant
  • Sore throat tablets
  • Nasal spray
  • Painkillers
  • Earplugs
  • Fever reducers (acetaminophen)
  • Medicines for stomach pain, constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn
  • Fever thermometer
  • Preventive medication
  • Disinfectant
  • Wound disinfectant
  • Antiseptic
  • Wound and healing ointment
  • Cortisone ointment
  • Bandages (gauze bandages, sterile compresses, leucoplast)
  • Plasters, blister plasters
  • Sunscreen and aloe vera
  • Bug spray
  • Insect repellent
  • Depending on the destination: malaria prophylaxis / stand-by products
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Tweezers, sewing needle
  • Thrombosis prevention
  • Personal medication (contraceptives, allergy tablets, blood thinners, chronic illness medication, saline solution)
medications on holiday sick
Don’t forget your first-aid kit 😉


My tip:You don’t need to pack the whole pack or bottle of every medicine – after all, you want to make the most of the kilos you’re allotted 😉 It’s enough to have a blister pack in each pocket. You can also find travel-sized items like sunscreen or insect repellent at drugstores.

By the way: If you take your own small first-aid kit with you on holiday, you’ll save a lot of money. Buying painkillers, sunscreen, or insect protection can be very expensive or hard to find in your holiday destination.

#helloholiday – now you’re well informed about how to prevent illness during your holiday, what to do if you get really sick on holiday, and you have the ultimate checklist for your travel first-aid kit.

Still haven’t booked a trip for next year? How about a holiday in the TUI BLUE Hotels?  Have a look 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *