The Most Common Holiday Illnesses and How To Avoid Them

With the holiday season upon us, spirits are high. Flights are being booked, bags are getting packed as we all eagerly await our well deserved summer holidays. However travelling can also come with its problems and getting sick whilst away can unfortunately sometimes be on that list. There is really nothing worse than getting sick whilst you’re away. Not only can it destroy a holiday but it can also be really horrible to be away from home when you’re feeling sick. Therefore we want to share with you the most common illnesses that people get whilst on holiday and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Photo by David Cohen on Unsplash


If you are lucky enough to be travelling to some far away and exotic location one of the most important things that you should be researching is the level of risk of malaria in that area. Malaria is most common in parts of Asia, Africa and tropical parts of Central and Southern America. Therefore putting in research into the malaria risk level to where you are travelling to is essential. Even a low risk area could bring problems so proper vaccinations are really important.

Sufferers of malaria can experience dizziness, headaches, hallucinations and can lead to a coma and even death. So if you get any of these symptoms when you get home, go and see your doctor immediately or book an appointment with a same day doctor. Reducing the probability of mosquito bites, whilst on holiday comes in the form of proper vaccinations, wearing a high-level deet spray whilst away and covering legs and arms with lightweight clothes, particularly in the evenings or whilst in heavily dense forest or wooded area.


Dengue is another mosquito related illness. So again if you are heading somewhere exotic or tropical you will want to check that area for dengue risk levels before you leave. Dengue disease can be really serious and people can suffer from symptoms such as headaches and muscle and joint pain and fever. Some sufferers experience drastically low blood pressure and serious rashes.

Although there is no vaccine for dengue as of yet, people can take measures to protect themselves from getting bitten by mosquitoes whilst travelling to medium to high level risk areas. As stated above, wear mosquito spray, wear long sleeved and long leg trousers when trekking in forest or wooded area, and in the evenings. Sleep with netting and travel with a plug in mosquito repellent device.


We have all been there. New, foreign, rich foods, playing havoc with our systems and leading us to spend half the night in the bathroom. Sometimes this can be very serious if travelling somewhere where the water and cuisine is completely different to what you are used to and can result in fever, dehydration, cramps and of course, unfortunately, spending half the holiday on the toilet.

Therefore it is really important to know the best preventative measures that you, and your family, can take in order to reduce the likelihood of having diarrhea whilst on holiday. As the main cause of diarrhea is dirty water and food, this is the area to be the most vigilant. Avoid tap water and ice cubes, and in particularly far-flung and exotic places you may even benefit from brushing your teeth with bottled water. Also be careful with fruit and vegetables that will have been washed in local tap water. It is also a good idea to travel with iodine tablets that you can pop into your drinking water and pack a couple of packs of diarrhea sachets just in case you get a case of the icky tummy.

Sunburn & Heat Stroke

We all love to lie under the sun and enjoy the heat of our summer holidays. However falling asleep on the beach or hiking for a day under the blazing heat can sometimes lead to us getting really sick. Sunburn can be a common part of any summer holiday, but with so many dangers associated with sunburn it is super important to be careful. Serious sun burn can result in blisters, tumours and even cancers. Many people who suffer from sunburn can also end up with heat stroke which is incredibly unpleasant and can lead to nausea, vomiting, dizziness and severe dehydration.

We all know the basics of protecting ourselves from the sun. Sun hats, sun screams, lots of water and just don’t overdo it.

Sinus Infection

Unfortunately a huge amount of illnesses are picked up on the plane, before we’ve even arrived at our holiday destinations. Planes are rather grotty places and being within such close proximity to so many other people, with such a lack of fresh air, can mean that we can pick up all sorts of unpleasant bugs and illnesses. One other very common problem is sinus infections. The taking off and landing part of a flight can cause ear pain, when ears are not able to ‘pop’. This can be a really painful experience and is definitely something to try and avoid.

To try to avoid this sinus problem, try chewing on gum, sucking on hard sweets and swallowing frequently. If the earache continues then take a decongestant to try and alleviate some of the pressure. It is also worth making sure you are getting enough Vitamin C, for at least a week before you fly, to ensure that your immune systems is fighting fit in order to try and stave off any nasty bugs that may be floating around your plane.


Coming down with the flu when you are far away from home and your lovely cosy and comforting bed, is really awful. Whether you pick it up on the place, on the bus or from one of your fellow holiday makers, flu will knock you off your feet and can completely ruin a lovely summer holiday.

Being bed bound on holiday is certainly the last thing anyone wants so make sure that you are taking preventative measures before you leave and whilst you are away. Be diligent with hygiene. Washing and disinfecting hands regularly, lots of lovely Vitamin C, fruit and water to keep that immune system strong and steer clear of anyone who is sneezing, blowing their nose, and generally, probably just looking miserable. You don’t want that to be you in a couple of days time.

This is a collaborative post.

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