No one wants to travel when they are sick. However, many times people who are too sick to travel still do so, anyway. That’s because they feel they must travel for any number of reasons, including an important business meeting or a rare family get-together in an exotic location.

But when should you simply admit to yourself that you are too sick to travel? It’s important to know the illnesses and symptoms that should keep you from getting on a plane. A stuffy nose is one thing. But the following are ways your body is letting you know that now is not the time for you to fly.

A Fever

A fever of more than 100 degrees is a sign that you likely have something contagious. You don’t want to expose fellow passengers to your illness. Also, a fever may worsen with the stress of travel. This is one of the primary ways your body lets you know that flying is not a good idea.

Chest Pain

As Dr. Cedrek McFadden told Orbitz, chest pain is a sign of heart trouble, and heart trouble takes precedence over travel. Chest pain means you need to get your heart checked out immediately. McFadden said, “If a person is feeling pressure or a squeezing sensation in the chest, they could be exhibiting a sign they are not well enough to fly.” It could be a sign the heart is not getting enough blood flow.


Nausea plus flying is not a good combination. Much like food poisoning makes you violently ill, flying can do the same thing with a case of nausea. At the very least, this can make the flying experience extremely unpleasant. This is a situation where you must really evaluate how you feel, as slight queasiness can be brought on over nervousness about flying. But true nausea is worse than that.

Trouble Breathing

Like chest pain, this is a sign that you need to see a doctor rather than get on a plane. Difficulty breathing can be caused by many different things, but it’s important to consult with a physician and find out which one of those things is impacting you. Getting on a plane with respiratory problems can only make the situation worse, as the decrease in oxygen will only worsen your situation.

Sinus Infection

There’s pain. Then, there’s the pain that high altitudes can cause for someone with clogged sinuses who is traveling at 30,000 feet. The high altitude increases pressure on the sinuses, which in turn will cause pain for you. If you can clear your sinuses before getting onboard, you should be all right. But just be aware that changes in cabin pressure can cause severe pain and even damage to your eardrum if you have an infection. This is definitely an area where you might be too sick to travel.

Medical Escort

If you do not match the above but still are not feeling your best, it’s not a bad idea to travel with a medical escort. They can see to all your medical needs and be on hand if your situation worsens while you travel.

Keep these issues in mind as you consider whether you are too sick to travel. No one likes to bail on a planned trip. But sometimes, your body is trying to let you know that this time, cancellation is the best idea.

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