Updated for 2017!
On a trip to Orlando just after Thanksgiving, I picked up a stomach bug of some sort that put me in the bed for the last 24 hours of our stay. My kids are I are big on “one last time at Disney,” because we never know when the next time will be. Completely gone was one was my last chance to ride the monorail over to the Grand Floridian to see the Christmas tree again. Gone was my chance to stand on Main Street after the park closed just that last one last time. Gone was my opportunity to put my arms around my children and gaze at Cinderella Castle for just a few minutes longer. Gone, gone, (cue vomiting sounds) and then I had to ride eight hours home feeling miserable.
Plus the other four members of my family got it when we returned home.
If you get sick while on vacation, you could be in big trouble. I really lucked out, because while I felt terrible, at least I didn’t have to go to the walk-in clinic, or heaven forbid, the hospital. There are serious horror stories out there of happy people who arrived in Orlando and illness derailed most of their entire trip. Time is money on vacation, and if you get sick, well, it can waste both.
While some people just take off at a moment’s notice, for your average Disney visitor, there is a lot that goes into taking a WDW vacation. With hotel reservations, dining reservations to schedule(ADRs), tickets, park passes (Fastpass+) open and close times to research, making plans for your trip can be overwhelmingly stressful. Quite often, we have to do extra work at the office in order to leave town, which can pile on so much stress that your immune system is significantly lowered. Adding to this, many vacations frequently involve a long and difficult amount of travel time, which can further deplete your entire system. We’re not all driving to Disney from a couple of hours outside of Orlando.
If you are journeying from another country, chances are that you have been in an enclosed space with even greater contact with lots of people, thus exposing yourself to multiple germs. This is certainly the case with air travel, where you share the cabin air with many people, lots of which are probably just as stressed out as you are. Extra work, planning, traveling – these are like a cold or flu just waiting to wreck your fun.
Vacations often interfere with your regular routine. Suddenly you are eating out more often, changing up your sleep patterns, and disturbing many other various areas of your regular daily schedule. All these changes can add up to a severely depressed immune system, leading you down the path to wrecking your trip.
What can you do before your Disney vacation to keep yourself perky and ready to ride some roller coasters? Three things.
First, wash your hands frequently.
Second, use antibacterial lotions while washing your hands frequently.
Three, prepare yourself for a stress free vacation. Yahoo Voices has some excellent advice for staying well before and during your vacation.
Before and During
1. Take multivitamin supplements, as these can provide the right doses of antioxidants for a few weeks prior to your vacation.
2. Eat well. This seems simple, but we all know we live in a Burger King world. Make a conscious effort to find foods that provide immune boosting vitamins and minerals. Those foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and garlic.
3. Get adequate rest. This means at least seven to nine hours sleep each night.
4. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, tea, and coffee. These favorites can interfere with your sleeping routine.
5. Practice yoga, including include stretching, or relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, which can help you relax in times in times of travel stress.
6. Drink plenty of water and rehydrate your entire system. Try to drink eight large glasses daily between meals.
Several of our readers left their thoughts.
Disney Princess, “One time, the whole family was supposed to go to Disney World. Then….dun…dun…dun! My cousin and I got food poisoning, and all day was puke and watch Harry Potter day. Puke all day vs. Disney. How easy is THAT!”
Millie, “We were traveling with my niece, and unfortunately she came down with the flu literally one day into the trip. We called down and they were very helpful; they suggested Centra Care and another company called The Medical Concierge. Since it was late at night, we opted for The Medical Concierge since they could come out anytime. They were surprisingly affordable, and they prescribed the medication right on the spot. In case anyone finds it helpful, here is their website: The Medical Concierge Urgent Care. There are a lot of convenient services in Orlando. I suggest researching and finding one that’s right for you, in case you do experience unexpected illness on or before your vacation.”
Are you just now starting to plan your vacation? Start working on the Yahoo Voices list a month or so prior to a long journey, and you will increase your immune system, which will automatically help you become less susceptible to infection.
After that, work on keeping those hands clean, and then instead of seeing your hotel room bed on your last day, you’ll be off enjoying Space Mountain and fabulous resort views on your long-awaited vacation.
If you ever said to a family member, handing them some antibacterial lotion, “Use this, because if you get sick, you will totally ruin my vacation,” then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you in the restrooms, washing your hands…
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Amanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.
Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast.
We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel, Elizabeth and Erin. You can also e-mail them at email@example.com.