Travelling with a cold: this week in Vienna

Having a cold sucks at any time, but what happens if you come down with a cold while travelling?

Buildings at Am Hof, Vienna

Buildings at Am Hof, Vienna

This is the dilemma I came up against this week when, after touching down in the Austrian capital Vienna, I started to sniffle. No-one thinks having a cold, under normal circumstances, is the end of the world, but if it’s bad enough it might certainly feel like you’re drowning in a tide of mucous.

In Vienna with a cold :/

In Vienna with a cold :/

Some of my most unpleasant memories while travelling have been with heavy colds – blocked up in Bishkek, hacking lungs in Hong Kong, sneezing in Sara’ayn and phlegm flowing in Fremantle. So when the streams of snot finally hit me in Vienna, I knew exactly what to do – and so should you.

Danube in Vienna

The River Danube in Vienna

1. Don’t push yourself. Vienna (and most other cities, except perhaps Venice) will always be there. You can always go back. Holidays where you feel forced to “tick the boxes” and sightsee are often painful anyway, so why do it to yourself while you’re nostrils resemble the Danube? Do what you feel like doing – skip the rest and don’t feel FOMO for it.

Johar Joshanda (Image: Qarshi)

Johar Joshanda (Image: Qarshi)

2.  Ask the locals what to do – you might come across an amazing local remedy. Sometimes this backfires (like it did in Bishkek, where the eucalyptus oil I was recommended stung my nostrils), but often it’s better than anything you’ve got in your personal medicine kit – Johar Joshanda, a herbal tea from Pakistan, is a perfect example.

Volksgarten, Vienna

Volksgarten, Vienna

3. Walk – get out and breathe the fresh air. If you’re in a polluted city, go to a large park where you can at least walk in a bit of natural sunlight. You’ll feel better for it, the light exercise will stimulate your sinuses to temporarily weaken the stuffiness, and you won’t be stuck in a hotel room surrounded by used tissues.

Coffee in Vienna

Coffee in Vienna

4. Go to a cafe or teashop and read, people-watch, be amongst it without the exhausting sightseeing trail. Try some local food, sip green tea, and take a holiday from the holiday. It doesn’t matter even if it’s not 100% authentic – look after yourself.

Buskers in Volksgarten, Vienna

Buskers in Volksgarten, Vienna

5. Wear comfortable clothes. One of the best things about being on holidays in a new city is the anonymity. Wear whatever you like, be comfortable, and don’t make things more miserable by forcing yourself into clothes that may look good, but leave you feeling even more hassled.

Vienna streets

Vienna streets

And finally, remember that when all is said and done, you’re in a new city and it’s just a cold – you’ll get over it soon enough and be ready to continue your holiday!

With that, here are a few pictures from Vienna this week;

Vienna Natural History Museum

Vienna Natural History Museum

Vienna streets

Vienna streets

Wiener Pestsäule

Wiener Pestsäule

Hofburg Wien

Hofburg Wien

Art History Museum Vienna

Art History Museum Vienna

St Stephan Cathedral, Vienna

St Stephan Cathedral, Vienna

Do you have any tips to recover from a cold quickly? Comment below!

Comments (4)

  • Andrew Boland Reply

    nothing as bad as travelling while sick. I mean plenty of things are better and worse, but not exactly as bad as travelling whilst sick. Funnily enough the pictures usually DONT re-block your nose when you look at them. Thankfully.

    August 16, 2016 at 2:24 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      True. And I always find it interesting how, despite how gross I feel when I’ve got a cold, it hardly shows on my face in the pictures – don’t know how that works :/

      August 16, 2016 at 7:22 pm
  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave) Reply

    Oh no, get well soon! I had a horrid viral flu like illness when I went to Japan this year and just felt so much more tired than normal till I recovered from it so definitely agree with you about the importance of not pushing yourself just because of FOMO, taking lots of breaks and coffee/tea breaks (Vienna is fabulous for that!) and comfy shoes. I’ve only been to Vienna in the winter but it looks just glorious in the sunshine :_

    August 18, 2016 at 11:56 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Oh that sounds horrible – and that’s even worse that it took a while to get over it. Feeling much better now – thanks for the wishes, and thanks for reading 🙂

      August 21, 2016 at 4:48 am

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