5 Ways to Have Fun on Vacation While You're Sick

by  Maryrose Mullen | Mar 26, 2013
Sick passenger on a ship
Sick passenger on a ship / nicoletaionescu/iStock

Oh, how I love New York in the spring! Well, maybe not so much this year: Like many areas in the U.S. and beyond, New York’s been hit by some extended cold weather, with a handful of luke-warm days thrown into the mix. The erratic weather has left me (and plenty of others), for lack of a better term, under the weather. While chugging gallons of orange juice to power through the workday can be frustrating, it’s not nearly as bad as being sick on vacation. Even the best vacation plans can go awry if you’re forced to spend the trip cooped up in your hotel room, hacking up a lung. But being sick while away doesn't have to put an immediate damper on your journey. If you've got the energy, there are plenty of activities you can enjoy while ill.

1. Relax in the sauna

Many hotels have spa facilities on-site (or even a gym with a free sauna), but if yours doesn't, the concierge can point you in the direction of a great one. Book an afternoon in the sauna to clear up your sinuses. The steam will give you a sense of rejuvenation (as well as help you breathe, which is always good).

2. Get a massage

The aches and pains of being sick can be assuaged with some therapeutic relief. Whether your technique of choice is a Swedish massage, aromatherapy, or a deep tissue rub, some well-deserved pampering can squash your symptoms and help you enjoy your trip.

3. Take a bus tour

If you want to explore a new city, but don’t want to risk wandering around unknown neighborhoods in a fugue state, take a bus tour. You don’t have to do anything and you can still see your vacation destination. Many run under a few hours, which means you’ll be able to snap some photos before the cough syrup wears off. If you’re worried the exhaust or stop-and-go traffic will upset your already-queasy stomach, look for a tour that offers a "hop on, hop off" option. Take a break at a landmark, or jump on the next ride back to the hotel.

4. Go parasailing

Alright, so strapping yourself into a harness and being hoisted through the air isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think ‘non-invasive vacation activities,’ but parasailing is a fairly low-maintenance choice. Plus, it shouldn't occupy more than an hour or so of your time. There’s something very freeing (and hopefully nasal-passage-opening) about soaring hundreds of feet over the ocean. Plus, there’s always the chance the spray of salt water will clear up your sore throat on the ride back to shore.

5. Make a home away from home

Unfortunately, there are going to be some ailments that require more than cough drops and willpower to recover from. Forcing yourself out to have fun while sick can prove more miserable than the illness itself. To salvage your trip, your best bet might be to seek out the comforts of home. Order chicken soup from room service, or rent your favorite movie on pay-per-view. It may not wind up being your best vacation yet, but at least you’ll be able to return healthy, rested, and relaxed – and isn't that the least we can hope for from a vacation anyway?

How do you cope with being sick on vacation? Tell us in the comments!

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