The Unwanted Companion

It starts with a little rumbling … maybe a slight head-ache? Sweating? Dizziness??

One of the WORST things that can happen while on vacation is getting ill. Whether a little 24hr bug, or a full blown epidemic, you start praying to let it all end. You’ve spent hours (it could be worse … days) crouched over a toilet (if you’re lucky) and wondering “how can a body spew so much when you’ve had so little”.

In the beginning …

For those of us who are traveling with millions of others on extended vacations, the nightmare (and possibilities) of getting sick on your trip starts as soon as you get mixed up with the general population.

  • Flying? Standing in line at the counter.
  • Cruising? Standing in line outside the terminal checking your bags.
  • Train? Just getting aboard and touching that hand-rail to climb up.
  • Driving? ANYWHERE and anything outside your car.

No matter where I’m going (and no, I’m NOT a germophobe), I always make sure to have a small bottle of hand-sanitizer with us. In my car, in the little side compartments of each door … a bottle. Inside the front and garage doors of the house … a bottle — So, why WOULDN’T I have a bottle with us when we travel.

I personally like these guys because I can simply click it to my belt-loop and I have instant access to a little dab– and it makes its way clear through any TSA scanner. I even go a step further and make sure I have the travel-size packet of “Wet-Ones” so when I do get on a plane (do you SERIOUSLY think they have time to clean an entire plane in 15 minutes? — but that’s another blog topic) I use one wipe to simply clean every surface I may come into contact with — arm rests, tables, the seat back monitor, and even the window frame (because I know I’m going to be sleeping with my head on that).

The boy-scout motto …

Even if you don’t catch a little bug while on your travels, there are other things you should “Always be Prepared” for.

A simple little TRAVEL FIRST AID KIT is something you should carry with you, in addition to your DAILY medications you need. One little thing people never think about bringing … a few band-aids. Even the most cautious person is prone to a simple cut on the finger, or a blister that suddenly pops up on your heel from walking too much.

While tempting to just pick up a small FIRST AID KIT at your local drug store, typically those kits are NOT designed for travelers and include everything you really don’t need (like ten packs of sterilized gauze). You’re better off buying a larger shaving-kit/make-up bag (something that can be zippered to keep everything together) and customizing your kit to your needs.


  • an antidiarrhea medication like Immodium,
  • a mild laxative,
  • pain reliever like Tylenol,
  • Antibiotic ointment,
  • an Antihistamine like Benedryl,
  • a small bottle of cold remedy,
  • a sleep aid like Melatonin

… and for those excruciating cramps from bloating and heartburn … don’t forget your TUMS!

Recently, I was chatting with a woman by the pool and we started talking about getting sick on a cruise. We BOTH had our first aid kits, but she says she insists on two more things for she and her boyfriend.

  • Condoms
  • Early Pregnancy Test

… afterall, that little bit of sickness just may not be related to travel. Smart woman!

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