The Real Reason Why You’re Always Catching a Cold After a Vacation
Do you find that you're always getting sick after you travel? A doctor explains why this happens.
There are a slew of possible reasons you might feel under the weather after a getaway. For one, we tend to abandon our usual routines during vacation—perhaps we stay out later, drink a little more, and eat less healthy. Not surprisingly, all that can cause your immune system to take a hit, weakening your body’s ability to fight off unwanted bugs. Couple that with the fact that airports, buses, trains, and hotel rooms are brimming with germs, and you can see why you’re much more likely to catch something while in transit.
To get back to 100 percent once you’re home, return to your regular routines as soon as possible. Make sure to eat balanced meals and sign up for workout classes so exercise is already on your calendar. As always, try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. If returning to your healthy ways doesn't quite kick that icky post-vacation feeling, check in with your doctor. Persistent symptoms could signal that you picked up an infection while traveling. Your doc should be able to help you determine whether your lingering sniffles (or stomachache or temperature) may require treatment.
Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.