Avoid Getting Sick when Staying in a Hostel

Getting sick is never fun, especially when you are abroad. Every time I stayed at ChiliBlue in Sydney, I seemed to get sick, in fact, I was almost constantly sick when I was there. It sucked. I have a pretty good immune system, maybe get sick once a year (and when I did, it was bad). So I was obviously dumbfounded that I couldn’t shake the constant cough and phlegm in the back of my throat. I sounded like I had smoked for 50 years or something, it was awful. I wasn’t the only one either, everyone was sick and that probably didn’t help the situation. You would finally get over one spell only to be hit by a new bug. Ick.

The most obvious reason we all kept getting sick was because we all came from different parts of the world, plain and simple. We all had different strains of something and were constantly around each other so naturally, we caught what everyone else had. After a while, your immune system builds up a natural defence and I can only imagine how strong mine is now after a miserable two months. There are ways to mitigate catching something, most are common sense but by following these simple steps, you can avoid being sick all the time.

First, the best thing to do is actually get sick. This may seem counter intuitive but it’s just best to get it over with because you are going to get sick. Just accept it. With the sharing of drinks, mold, and goon pong, you are constantly swapping germs with people whether you realise it or not. It’s gross to think about but it’s also a fact of life. Even if you don’t do that stuff, you are going to still catch something. By getting sick initially, you will boost your immune system and it will be more able to fight any other sickness you may catch. So go swap some drinks with people and get it over with.

After you initially get sick, drink plenty of fluids and not goon. Alcohol just prolongs the problem so try and stick to water if at all possible, Look into taking vitamin supplements as well. Emergency-C is a life savor and definitely helps you get over any cold you may catch faster than trying to tough it out. How long you are sick is ultimately up to you so take a lesson from your mother and practice good hygine after your initial sickness.

Now ChiliBlue, it was much harder to get over a cold. The prime reason for this was the lack of hygiene. We didn’t have soap dispensers in the bathroom so obviously many people skipped washing their hands, especially if they were drinking. When something you are used to being there such as a soap dispenser is no longer there, it is very easy to forget to wash your hands. Invest in a hand sanitiser. This is extremely important after your first cold as it will help prevent future colds or at least in someway mitigate the severity.

What truly saved my ass was antibiotics. Lucky for me, my friend omitted was able to send me some and that is what finally got me over the last hurdle. If you do not have access to antibiotics or any friends that are on some, go see a doctor. Antibiotics are easily obtained through a prescription and are very inexpensive abroad. Remember, finish all of them otherwise you will compromise your immune system further and further antibiotic treatments may not be as effective.

To Sum It Up

  • Hand sanitiser is your friend when soap is unavailable
  • After initially getting sick, wash your hands and frequently
  • Drink plenty of fluids, not goon
  • Take a vitamin C supplement if possible
  • Avoid sharing the same cups or drinks with other people, even if they aren’t sick, you are most contagious right before symptoms appear.
  • Wash your clothes and bed sheets frequently
  • The advise your mother gave you when you were younger was good, follow it

About Topher Lazarz

I'm Topher Lazarz, an expatriate from the United States currently skipping around the world and your guide to surviving outside your home country. I have always wanted to travel but never had the time, money or freedom to do so. My life changed forever in May 2012 when I was pretty much forced to travel and my life has been an exciting journey ever since. I hope my guides can help those considering becoming expatriates or backpackers as the information provided on this website is something I definitely wish I had access to when I first began backpacking.

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