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Why Do I Always Get Sick On Holidays? Here's Why

15 Dec 2022

A man at a fruit market smiling before getting sick on holiday

Sick While On Holiday

Heading off on an adventure is super fun but it can also be super stressful. You not only have to worry about getting yourself to your destination in one piece, but you also have to make sure that everything at home and work is sorted before you disappear for a few weeks. During this busy time it’s easy to put aside your regular exercise and eating routine in the rush to get everything done. This combined with pre-holiday stress can leave your body open to all sorts of bugs, especially when you’re finally ready to relax and enjoy yourself.

Plane germs

Getting on a plane is a pretty key part of most people’s travel plans. Unfortunately, airplanes are also an environment for spreading nasty illnesses. With a large group of people all bringing their germs into an enclosed space with dry recycled air pumping around the plane, it’s no wonder that people sometimes come down with a sickness a day or two after they arrive in their destination.

Father and son in the airport

Foreign food, drinks and germs

One of the best parts about visiting a different country is getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing things that you’re not used to at home. However, when you’re overseas you might be exposed to nasty foreign bugs that your body isn’t used to. Many people can get sick from eating and drinking things in countries where the food safety standards aren’t as high as back home.

Tips to stay healthy while you're away

These are a few reasons why we think people get sick before they go away or while they’re on holiday, so what can you do to ensure that your next big adventure isn’t ruined by illness? At nib, we have some simple ideas you can use to help you stay healthy on holiday and make sure you only pick up souvenirs and great memories, not nasty bugs…

Sleep before you go - We know heading away on holiday can be pretty exciting, but try to make sure you’re still getting enough sleep in the lead up to your trip to keep your body rested and fighting fit.

Eat healthy - Before your holiday isn’t the best time to chow down on takeaways every night. Make sure your body’s getting its necessary vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy by mixing in some more nutritious meal options (with a variety of veges and fruit) before and during your trip.

Hand sanitiser - Having a bottle of hand sanitiser with you can be a godsend when you’re travelling, especially when you find yourself using a less than impressive bus station bathroom. Make sure you sanitise your hands often, particularly before you’re about to eat.

Stay active - Regular physical activity can help with your overall wellbeing and prepare your immune system to fight any unwanted illnesses while you’re away, so make sure you’re getting some exercise in before and during your holiday.

Easy on the alcohol - Drinking too much can weaken your immune system and leave you more vulnerable to viruses. You probably don’t have to worry about enjoying a glass of wine at dinner, but maybe say no to that third cocktail and enjoy a virgin margarita instead.

Masks - If you’re worried about Covid-19 or the general spread of germs, wear a mask in crowded communal places like the plane, airport, busy streets, and shopping malls.

Hopefully with these tips and a bit of planning you should be able to enjoy your next overseas adventure and stay healthy on holiday. Plus, remember to visit your local GP or travel doctor if you have any concerns before you head off.

Even with all the preparation in the world there’s always the chance you can get sick or have an accident while on holiday – which is why we recommend travel insurance. Find out more about nib Travel Insurance.

Important things to know

Information correct as at September 2018