Health & Wellness

How Not to Get Sick on a Cruise

If you’re headed out on a cruise this season, you have to worry about regular travel illnesses and germs, plus sea-side ails: Seasickness, jet lag, viruses, sun poisoning, consuming contaminated water, and over-eating or -drinking are all common causes for sickness on a cruise. Here’s how to not get sick on a cruise.

How to Not Get Sick on a Cruise

You’re more susceptible to illnesses on a cruise: Pack these drugstore products to help avoid getting sick.

Sickness: Viruses and Flu


Prevention/Remedy: Start your battle against germs with these handy sanitizing spray pens, but also pack a severe cold and flu, day and night caplet combo pack to have in case you do catch something while traveling.

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Sickness: Jet Lag


Prevention/Remedy: If you find yourself unable to sleep, take immunity, plus melatonin pills from Live Better. To help fight off jet lag during your flight or trip, try homeopathic jet lag-prevention pills or an oral spray. 

Sickness: Seasickness


Prevention/Remedy: Even if you don’t normally get motion sick, seasickness is a whole other ball game. Most people use Dramamine (or other motion sickness tablets), but if you want to go a more natural route, check out anti-nausea ginger gum, essential oils, or a seasickness band—these are all great options because they’re non-drowsy.

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Sickness: Sun Poisoning


Prevention/Remedy: We’ve all been the overeager vacationer who spent just a few too many hours tanning on the first day of vacation. Don’t let a sunburn or even worse, sun poisoning, ruin your cruise. Prevent this overexposure to harmful UV rays by using proper sunscreen and application techniques (don’t forget the lips), but also cool off with refreshing aloe vera lotion to alleviate any burns.

Sickness: Over-eating and -Drinking


Prevention/Remedy: From buffets to open bars, it’s easy to overindulge on a cruise. Pack some electrolyte powder mixes or tablets to help rehydrate your body after drinking, as well as some stomach relief like antacid tablets to take as needed.

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Sickness: Drinking Contaminated Water


Prevention/Remedy: While the water on board goes through a strict filtration system and is safe for drinking (you can read more surprising cruise ship facts on our sister site, Cruise Critic), many popular cruising destinations might not have safe tap water. To avoid drinking contaminated water, pack a reusable bottle that filters water like this one, as well as some anti-diarrheal tablets just in case something doesn’t agree with your body.

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By Ashley Rossi

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

After interning at SmarterTravel, Ashley joined the team full time in 2015. She's lived on three continents, but still never knows where her next adventure will take her. She's always searching for upcoming destination hotspots, secluded retreats, and hidden gems to share with the world.

Ashley's stories have been featured online on USA Today, Business Insider, TripAdvisor, Huffington Post, Jetsetter, and Yahoo! Travel, as well as other publications.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A reusable filtered water bottle—it saves you money, keeps you hydrated, and eliminates waste—win-win."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "A week in a bamboo beach hut on India's Andaman Islands."

Travel Motto: "Travel light, often, and in good company."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window—best view in the house."

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