Getting sick while traveling is the last thing you want to happen. Whether you are going on a holiday or a business trip, when you have a cough, cold, or flu, or all three, you won’t be able to function properly.
When you fall ill during your travels, you will have a hard time focusing on what you need to do. Whether it’s engaging in a fun activity or performing something work-related, you won’t be able to carry them out correctly.
You may lack the strength to start doing any of them if you are suffering from fatigue, weakness, and aching muscles.
In case you have a cough, you may even be embarrassed to step out of your room due to your incessant hacking. Moreover, you will feel more self-conscious during the long bus or train ride or flight home since you will be constantly making sounds as you deal with your irritated throat.
Although having a cough may make your travels less fun and productive, it doesn’t mean that you should put everything on hold and spend the rest of your trip holed up in your room. By following some tips, you can still make the most out of your holiday or working visit in another city or country.
Below are some ways to treat and deal with a cough if you are traveling:
1. Drink a highly recommended over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine
If you want to experience fast relief from your persistent hacking, take cough medicine. However, make sure the medication you choose is recommended by experts and has been proven effective, especially if you are getting an OTC one.
An option you can try is a 24-hour cough medicine. This is a medication that you take only once a day, and you will get relief from your sickness for the next 24 hours.
This particular medicine, which typically comes in capsule form, is the perfect option for people who always have a busy schedule. Whether you are visiting one tourist spot after another or seeing various offices and meeting different clients, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to take your medication since you will take it only once a day.
Moreover, it will be easier for you to carry cough medicine capsules instead of liquid-form ones. You will never have to worry about your medication spilling and making a mess in your bag.
2. Stay hydrated
Whether you have a dry or chesty cough, it is crucial that you drink plenty of liquids.
When you have a dry cough, liquids will keep your throat moist, which will help lessen the scratchy irritation. In case you are dealing with a chesty cough, the fluids you take will aid in expelling the mucus faster.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to experience these benefits. Additionally, warm fluids such as herbal tea and clear broths can help relieve some symptoms of coughing, including sore throat.
However, limit or avoid caffeinated drinks, including sodas, coffee, and black tea. They will irritate your throat and cause you to start coughing more. Their caffeine content can prevent you from getting enough rest at night or whenever you want to take a nap.
3. Try lozenges
Also known as cough drops, throat lozenges can give you relief from your coughs temporarily.
Lozenges add moisture to your throat. This, in turn, helps ease dryness and scratchiness of your throat and the urge to cough.
Lozenges with menthol are highly recommended if you also have a sore throat. This ingredient acts as a mild anesthetic, thus giving your throat a bit of numbness, which will give you relief and even reduce coughing.
However, avoid sucking on lozenges at night, especially before going to bed, since this medicine can block your airway and make it hard for you to breathe.
4. Use a face mask and wet handkerchief
To avoid spreading your illness, wear a face mask. They can prevent you from inhaling irritants as well.
Face masks are affordable and disposable, and you can buy them at any drug store.
If you are in your room or relaxing near the pool or beach, place a clean wet handkerchief or small hand towel on your nose. The moisture in the cloth will moisten the air you inhale. This will help reduce the itchiness at the back of your throat.
Additionally, the wet cloth will also reduce the dust and pollutants you inhale, making it easier for you to breathe.
If you can get some eucalyptus oil, add a few drops of it onto the cloth. The scent will help you breathe easier and open up your airways, which will enable you to feel less suffocated.
When placing a wet cloth on your nose, make sure you keep your mouth closed; you need to breathe through your nose. In case you feel smothered, remove the handkerchief or towel and inhale naturally. Alternate between these two methods to get the most from this cough relief technique.
5. Stay warm with a blanket
In case you have a chesty, wet cough and chest congestion, wrap a blanket around your chest, neck, and back at night or whenever you are in your room. By doing so, you will keep these parts warm, which can reduce your coughing.
This simple technique will minimize the feelings of suffocation you may have due to phlegm build-up as well.
Don’t forget to crank up the air conditioner a bit if you’re feeling cold inside your hotel room. However, do not open the windows since irritants from outside will enter and possibly aggravate your cough.
6. Take a warm bath
By taking a long, steamy shower or soaking in a warm bath, you will breathe in moist, humidified air, which can soothe your irritated throat and quiet your cough.
The steam you inhale can help loosen your phlegm and make it easier for you to expel as well.
In case you don’t feel like taking a bath, turn on the shower and let the hot water run and create a mist in the bathroom. Close the door and just stay inside to breathe in the steam.
When preparing to travel, packing cough medication in your bag is a must, even if you are not feeling under the weather yet. If you are going on a holiday with your family, bring medicine that can treat chesty or dry cough in kids as well so that you can give them immediate treatment when they start showing signs and symptoms of this ailment.