It’s happened to all of us. You’ve been planning your vacation for weeks, having picked out the destination, mapped the route in your road atlas and even called and reserved your campsite well ahead of time. (After all, you wanted to take advantage of your 50% Passport America discount!)
And then, as soon as you roll in to your campsite, it hits you like a ton of bricks. It starts with a sore throat, and soon you find yourself feeling tired and sniffly… until it’s an out-and-out sneezing, coughing ick-fest that has you running through box after box of tissues. (Get the ones with aloe. They’re worth it.)
There’s no cure for the common cold, of course, but no one wants to waste their precious vacation time feeling terrible. So we put together this list of a few ways to hopefully help speed up the “feel better soon” process… as well as some indoor activities to do to help you pass the time while you wait for the bug to leave you.
Best of all, you don’t have to leave the couch to read it. You can stay thoroughly ensconced in your tissue nest!
Cold Remedies for Adults
Although there’s no cure, there are many treatments for head colds that are supposed to help you recover as quickly as possible. Depending on your personal preference, you can choose from traditional cold medicines, like Nyquil and Dayquil, which include pain relievers, expectorants, and cough suppressants to help keep the worst of your cold symptoms at bay. Mucinex is another popular option, as well as good, old-fashioned ibuprofen. All of these medicines are available in pills and liquid form, which can be a lot easier to take if your throat is really bothering you.
Some people like to steer clear of these medicines, however, and opt for natural, alternative remedies, or holistic options. For example, many swear that apple cider vinegar can help you beat a cold more quickly, whether you stir it into your tea or simply take a quick swig straight out of the bottle… although we recommend tempering it with some honey, since it is pretty darn bitter. Plus, the honey itself can also help calm your throat, and is considered to have antiseptic properties.
Cold Remedies to Help You Sleep
Whether herbal or chemical, the very best cold remedies are the ones that help you sleep, because this is the body’s natural way of fighting infection. Although you might be still and silent, you’re working very hard when you sleep! Your immune system is doing double duty to beat the bugs that have invaded your sinuses.
Lavender is well-known to promote sleepiness, and it’s easy to use some for aromatherapy. You can either purchase some lavender oil to rub gently below your nose or onto your wrists to sniff, which will also help clear up your blocked sinuses. Otherwise, you can simply find a lavender-scented candle to light and fill the room with its essence. They’re available almost everywhere!
Melatonin is another natural way to promote sleep, and is available as an easy-to-take supplement. But when you’re really sick, honestly, probably all you need to do to get to sleep is simply to lie down under your favorite cozy blanket. You might be surprised at how quickly you conk out when you’re sick!
Cold Remedies That Actually Work
How well different types of cold remedies work, as well as how fast they take effect, will depend on the severity of the cold as well as the individual makeup of your body. The best approach is to try a variety of different remedies and see what works best for you over time. You know your body best!
No matter which remedies you try out or how fast they work, however, it’s inescapable that you’re going to face some unwanted vacation downtime if you’re suddenly stuck to the couch like glue. Being sick on vacation is even worse during an RV trip, since close quarters mean everyone in the family can easily catch the bug, ruining not just one, but several vacations. So send your family out to hike, bike, or adventure as they’d originally planned, and try to quarantine yourself as much as possible. For example, if your RV has a master bedroom, consider heading there to rest and shutting the door.
Alternative Cold Remedies
So, what should you do while you’re hunkered down, waiting for the worst of the ick factor to pass? Fortunately, RVs are relatively comfortable — being sick while tent camping would be a lot worse! You can stream your favorite movies or catch up on the latest TV shows, or even read that novel you’ve been meaning to get to for weeks and weeks. There are also lots of solitary games and puzzles you can use to pass the time, whether it’s crosswords and sudoku or something you can play on your phone. But don’t spend too much time staring at the screen — that blue light can interfere with your sleep, which is imperative to help you get better!
In the end, you might be surprised at how peaceful it can be to simply lie back and let yourself drift in and out of sleep while you coalesce, taking advantage of some much-deserved (and probably hard-to-find) quiet time. Of course, being sick on your vacation isn’t ideal… but at least in an RV you have a cozy bed and probably even air conditioning to help you regulate your temperature. Just imagine how much worse it would be if you were car camping!
No matter which remedies work for you or what tactics you use to pass the time, just remember the golden rules of any illness: get plenty of rest and water, and try to keep from contaminating others as best as you can. Hopefully, you’ve got someone along with you for the trip who will be happy to cook you up a batch of chicken noodle soup. Even if it’s just the instant stuff, there’s nothing like a little bit of caring effort to make a sick camper feel better.
Get well soon!
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