What to Do If You Get Sick on Vacation in the Age of Coronavirus

by Julia on May 18, 2020

The vacation industry was ground to a halt due to the coronavirus. Cruises were hit especially hard. Due to their negligence, some cruise ships, including Royal Caribbean, are facing class action lawsuits for not taking steps to protect passengers and employees from the coronavirus.

The good news is that the cruise lines will be required to submit a plan to the CDC for moving forward in the age of COVID-19 in order to operate again, airlines are putting social distancing into place, and hotels are prepared to disinfect and sanitize nearly every inch of their properties. With these adjustments, we will be able to travel again.

That doesn’t mean the coronavirus is going away! Just because you manage to go on vacation doesn’t mean you won’t get sick. If you do start to feel under the weather, this is what you should do.

Know How You Can Get Tested

If you’re beginning to show signs of illness and you suspect that you might have COVID-19, you may want to get tested. Unfortunately, getting tested isn’t easy.

First, take a look at the CDC’s recommendations for who should get tested to see if you would qualify. If you think you should be tested, call a local health care provider and ask them how you should proceed. They may direct you to a nearby hospital or clinic.

If you are unable to get tested while you’re on vacation, it’s best to assume you have it and to follow the remaining tips on this list.

Quarantine Yourself in Your Room

If you find out you have the coronavirus, or you simply suspect that you might, you should begin quarantining yourself in your room. You should avoid common areas in the hotel and have food delivered and left outside your door.

Being stuck in your room isn’t the ideal situation, but there are ways you can make it fun. Things you can do in your hotel room to pass the time include things like:

  • Take a long, hot bath

  • Reach out to friends and family on the phone or video chat

  • Get creative by drawing or editing the photos on your computer

  • Invent games, like crumpled paper basketball

  • Read a book or look through your favorite magazines

  • Spend the day watching a movie marathon

Notify the Hotel Staff

It is important to notify the hotel staff if you aren’t feeling well. They may normally want to stop by and clean the room, but they definitely shouldn’t if you’re quarantining yourself.

The hotel staff may also be able to help. If they know you’re sick, they can provide you with things to keep you busy, and they may also be able to connect you with local resources. For example, they can give you the number for the local grocery story that delivers so you aren’t dependent on takeout for every meal of the day.

Wear a Mask When You Are Around Others

You should say out of the main parts of the hotel as much as possible, but if you do have to take the elevator to do laundry or go down to the front desk, it is extremely important that you wear a mask.

Although a mask isn’t going to protect you from getting sick, it can protect others around you from getting infected if you are sick. By wearing a mask, you can potentially save the lives of hotel employees and other guests in the hotel.

If you’re vacationing with others, it’s important to wear a mask all the time. If you have the money in your budget, you may want to consider getting a separate room for others in your party to help prevent them from getting sick.

Find a Way to Get Back Home, If You Can

If you only planned on being gone for a few days, the last thing you want to do is prolong your vacation stuck in a hotel room. Quarantining yourself this way can be expensive, and it’s not very comfortable. Chances are, you would feel a lot better if you were able to recover at home.

If getting back home requires a trip on an airplane, you should stay put. If you drove to your destination instead, you may want to consider driving home. Just be careful. Driving with an illness can be quite dangerous, so you should only drive yourself if you have minor or no symptoms. If you really aren’t feeling well, you may want to ask another member of your party if they would be willing to drive you home.

Ask for Refunds

If you get sick on vacation, there are going to be plenty of things you’re going to have to cancel. Fortunately, in the age of coronavirus, it’s easier than ever to get a refund.

If you purchased tickets to theme parks, shows, or any other kind of event, give them a call. Chances are, they will be willing to refund your money. Even airlines are required to issue refunds if you have to cancel your flight for any reason!

Get Plenty of Rest

Before the coronavirus, you may have been tempted to find a way to salvage your vacation, which might have meant lounging by the pool or going out for ice cream, even if you don’t feel that good.

Those are definitely things you shouldn’t do in today’s world. If you’re sick, don’t look for ways to modify your schedule so you can make it work. Instead, you should really focus on getting well. Not only so your condition doesn’t get worse, but also so you don’t end up infecting anyone else.

Stay in your hotel room, sleep when you can, and try and get home as quickly as possible without endangering anyone else.

Getting sick on vacation has never been fun, but it’s especially scary now that coronavirus is part of our lives. With these tips, you’ll know exactly what to do if you start feeling under the weather while you’re away from home.

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