C:\ Home » Blog » Life » The Costs, Complications & Contemplations of Travel With A Common Cold

The Costs, Complications & Contemplations of Travel With A Common Cold

AKA The Complicated Matter of Potential Colds and Air Travel, as per the voice recorder notes I recorded the other morning...

So the plan was that I'd be up in Boden right now, visiting a good buddy for the weekend, instead I caught a cold.

Now it's not like you can't still travel with a common cold - if a common cold is all it is - these days you can never be to sure it is just that either.

And it's not like this is a super bothersome cold - if it is a cold.

At least it wasn't super bothersome on the day I'd intended to travel.

I'd been chewing cloves, I'd been sniffing essential oils like Eucalyptus and Pine, I'd been taking a surplus of vitamins and minerals and sleeping well and eating healthy for at least the last couple of days since I became aware of those early signs.

All such countermeasures probably do lessen cold-related symptoms, and without such counteractive conditioning I'd most definitely feel worse than I currently do, but hopefully my feeling unwell is more so related to the actual remaining symptoms pertaining to this cold, and not more so the disappointment and shame in not actually traveling when I could have traveled.

I could have.

I packed my bag in case I'd wake up all good, I set the alarm for 5:45, I was up in time and feeling... okay... momentarily, before my nose started running wild, all the common conduits of such conditions once again came into play, and I decided it probably would be wisest to stay home...

Should you fly or not fly if you're sick though, even if just slightly?

If in an early stage at which you carry a contagion no less?

Of course airlines recommend you don't. Other health-related instances ditto. I myself get a bit annoyed at people who board the same plane as I do when they sniffle and sneeze and clearly seem to be in a stage of illness at which they might easily deposit said disease in the mucus membrane of just about everyone else on said plane too.

If this was a work-related trip I probably would've flown regardless, as long as I was - as I still am - in good enough shape to do the work required.

Less because I would've wanted to go but more so because it would've been a situation where I would've felt all the more responsibility in actually doing what I needed to do then; not letting employers or customers down. Even if the consequence may be that they come down with a cold as well post my visit, it just seems like common work culture these days that you don't let minor inconveniences come in your way, not when it comes to anything related to potential profit. On your own part or the bosses.

This time the trip was not a business one though, and it just so happens the buddy I'm visiting is coming down to visit me next weekend as well, so it seemed a somewhat more complex scenario than it might have otherwise.

As to ascertain if it was wise to travel or no I weighed the pros and cons of this trip, taking the following into consideration:


1. I'd feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in actually going through with a trip despite the discomfort - which applies to going through with anything for that matter. Getting out of your comfort zone's a good confidence booster, not to mention a good way to actually progress and get things done.

2. It'd be a fun reunion, if all went well. We'd get a weekend get-together as planned. We'd embark on great outdoor adventures and have a blast - assuming symptoms lessened and waned and it'd be viable to do all that which had been planned in the first place.

3. I'd use my non-refundable airline tickets, which is always a major pro - plus if you reach eighteen single flights in a span of twelve-months with Norwegian you get free baggage on your trips for another year! Which is a benefit I've been enjoying and making good use of for just about a year now. Without these two tickets it's possible I won't make the cut next time, but of course it'd be possible to just book another two flights...

4. Maybe the biggest: I wouldn't let said buddy down.


1. Considering we'd spend said weekend in enclosed quarters occasionally, it's very possible said buddy might contract the cold from me, which would not be ideal. Much less ideal considering his planned trip the weekend after, after a span of time potentially just long enough for him to arrive at the peak sniffle point in time for the next trip, would his immune system not manage to bat of the attack.

2. I'd be both flying and commuting in close vicinity to a great deal of other passengers, which at an early stage of a cold run a substantial risk of catching it as well. Or worse, if this is in fact no common cold.

3. Being up and about too much whenst you do have a cold may potentially prolong the duration of said cold, which wouldn't be ideal again considering that said buddy's coming down to visit in a mere seven days, at which point I might then still have said cold. I may still have the cold regardless, but the likelihood is at least lesser, and greater that I'm better.

4. Worst case scenario the virus might get to my ears, in which case it'd be a painful or impossible task to make the flight back. I've tried this before - when I didn't have much choice, and it took me a few days to regain my hearing that one time...

5. It might not be that much fun to be out and about in my current state of being even if I do manage said trip, if symptoms don't wane away quickly, neither for me nor buddy. I'd be a burden more than betterment.

6. It's still winter up North. Somewhat. Nights are cold. Not as ideal for a cold. Plus home is where I have all my remedies, extra blankets and towels and oils and whatever else you may need for speedy recouperation.

All things considered... it is better I stayed home no?

It didn't seem at all as clear in my head the morning of the trip, but written down there really are few benefits to taking a sick trip if you don't have to.

You may feel like you let people down if you don't, but at the same time you're not being considerate to them if you do travel, and ultimately it may end up a sacrifice of health and potential for both you and for everyone you meet along the way, just so you can garner a sense of accomplishment in powering through discomfort, and follow through on promises and plans, which may worst case matter more to your accomplices and contacts precisely because they require that element of discomfort and struggle to follow through on your behalf, more than they actually amount to enjoyable times for anyone.

As long there are other times available there seems little benefit to showing up sick just to show up.

If you have to cancel something that required a great deal of preparation by another party then of course you're letting them down in a different way; that requires a different kind of consideration. In such a case showing up seems more synonymous with showing you care, more so than the mutual sacrifice of say going to a bar and getting blasted, knowing there's a comradery - albeit a toxic one - in you both being prepared to take the hit for it the next day. Which probably seems very irrelevant in context but is something I just realized could run as a parallel to the mutual sacrifice required in sharing a virus. Or maybe it'd be more so a form of rivalry; to see who's better; who can ward of the bug and not...

But that's neither here nor there, these seem to be more so traits of toxic relationships to me, and I'm fortunate to - as far as I know - not have any of those! Fortunately friends are understanding and rarely - if ever - require intentional discomfort on my part to test ties or feel verified.

They reason too. We're all reasonable dudes. We see things in a light even with seasonal flu.

One other added benefit to staying home btw, beyond proper rest and recouperation = more time. :) More time to recoup and to get things done... though ideally I'd do more one than two.

It's a ~5 hour trip after all, each way, counting transfer times and wait.

I will be spending most of this weekend on recouperation y'all! I'm just typing a bit. Considering. Contemplating. What could've been. What should've been. If I'm letting myself down when I could've, or making the right choice when the less desirable choice is really the better one.

If you can't power through discomfort for a sense of accomplishment, you can maybe at least make the difficult choices instead of the easy ones. Instead of taking a trip no matter what: Consider. Show consideration. Slow and you have patience. Know when there's a meaning, in leaving and escaping, and recouping... next weekend with new faith regrouping.

Or am I just trying to reason in a way that makes me feel better about staying home when I could've been out? What's good is no doubt.

The maybe bigger contemplation is: Could I have killed this cold in its tracks if I'd done something different? Like I somehow managed to do before Dublin. Like if I truly could have willed this away - if I felt more surely that I would get rid of it - or committed to traveling no matter what.

Since that trip was a mutual trip it didn't seem as much an option to jump out at the last second - albeit in case of a serious ailment - we'd paid for hotels and everything, and maybe that's part of the secret. Maybe if you truly commit to something, then it's mind over matter after all...

Maybe the cold would've waned if I flew out this time too. Maybe I'd be up in the North right now, in fresh air and shine and feel fine.

But maybe it would've worsened. I felt Thursday morning that if I was good this weekend I'd curse my assertion, but if no... then it's good I didn't go.

Right now I'm coughing and sniveling like a mofo, so at least in that regard all is good.


Keep track of the discussion via rss? Read about comment etiquette? Or type in something below!
This was pretty damn interesting. And yet, nobody's spoken! Be the first!

The Comment Form

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your email is saved only to approve your future comments automatically (assuming you really are a human). ;) It's not visible or shared with anyone. You can read about how we handle your info here.

Question   Smile  Sad   Redface  Biggrin  Surprised   Eek  Confused  Beardguy  Baka  Cool  Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Coin

Privacy   Copyright   Sitemap   Statistics   RSS Feed   Valid XHTML   Valid CSS   Standards

© 2024
Keeping the world since 2004.