More than one-third of Americans take a family vacation each year to a destination that's 50 miles or more away from home. That's according to a survey conducted by AAA.
But what should you do if you’re not feeling well or need medical attention while you’re gone?
Gwen Verchota, lead nurse practitioner from virtuwell.com, offers a few tips to help you get back to enjoying your vacation faster. virtuwell.com is our online clinic, available day and night.
- Get rest. Do your best to get rest. Wearing your body down can leave you more susceptible to illness and just not feeling like yourself. So, aim for at least seven hours of sleep.
- Plan ahead. When you’re packing, put your insurance card in your wallet. (Some insurances like HealthPartners also let you access your card right on your phone.) If you’re in a different city, having your insurance number handy can help get you in and out a little faster.
- Pack smart. Throw a few basics like Ibuprofen in your purse or suitcase. And consider a thermometer. One of the first questions you’ll be asked regardless of where you go is whether there is a fever.
If you do get sick or need medical attention, try to think about what you need and what venue will get you in and out the fastest.
Typically, emergency rooms (ERs) can take a while and they really have to help the most critical cases first. So, if you have a non-emergency need, try your best to locate other care. Your insurance company can recommend options in the area.
Urgent care is good for things like sprains or minor breaks or cuts if you need stitches.
Another option is convenient care. Some are in retail locations, and some are online like virtuwell.com. They can treat things like the flu, cold, bronchitis, bladder infections and sinus infections and other illnesses that have the potential to ruin a holiday or vacation but aren’t so serious you need the ER.
A lot of people do think about heading to the ER if it’s late or they’re in a different city, but online care like virtuwell.com can be a good place to start.