Falling ill can be an unfortunate part of your pilgrimage, but it doesn’t have to be necessary. Taking some time to think through your planning and decisions can make the difference between a truly memorable experience and one marred by disruptions or problems for those that are closest to you.
So, here are our three top tips for dealing with upsets as part of your pilgrimage, starting with-
Taking time to think through your actions can often save you a lot of time and effort. While local food can be incredible, it’s often worth exercising caution to make sure that the meal your eating has been prepared correctly. Staying in Hotels in Makkah that are fully vetted by your travel company can help avoid many issues. Check that any bottled water or beverages have been sealed correct and always try to be as sanitary as possible, something that can be helped by adding alcohol free wipes or sanitiser to your Ihram pouch. If you are affected, it may be worth packing rehydrating medication such as dioralyte can help replenish lost salts and water, and take some time to slow your trip if one or more of your group are affected – after all, they would do the same if it was you in their place.
Two of the biggest issues that plague pilgrims are due to the wear-and-tear undertaken as part of your pilgrimage and sickness. Taking the time to exercise before your pilgrimage can help keep your muscles limber and resistant to injury. Unfortunately, while conditions like the ‘hajj cough’ can rarely be avoided due to the proximity that you share with your fellow pilgrims. This van be minimised by taking extra care to ensure that you are sanitary. Avoid touching too many objects in bathrooms, be careful when handling items and food, and make sure that you take an aggressive approach to vaccinations by consulting the information circulated by consulting government recommendations on the area and acting accordingly.
All too often, pilgrimage groups leave all the responsibility for group to one person. This can involve making sure that every member of the group has a first aid kit or blister kit, or rotating who is responsible for carrying water, food, or helping co-ordinate the group for the day. Remember that travelling in heat can cause muscles to stretch, aggravating old injuries or threating to cause new ones for slightly older pilgrims. If certain members of your group are at risk, rotate the role of support for them and make sure they are comfortable and carry their belongings if they are struggling, or be responsible for seeking out a wheelchair for them.