As a financial planner and media personality traveling on business, Joe Wilson has much experience under his belt in being prepared for unforeseen medical emergencies. However, as the father of a toddler, he recently upped his game to ensure the same peace of mind on family trips.
Wilson says a good first place to turn before finalizing a family destination is the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website. The site provides details on various vaccinations for different diseases and determinations on if they are safe for children. In his case, the recent Zika epidemic prompted him and his wife to reconsider their family travel destination. The site also features indispensable information about travel insurance, as well as emergency translation services, and medical centers and assistance in other countries.
“As I travel quite a bit, and have an excellent relationship with my doctor, I am often able to have him write an emergency prescription for antibiotics to have on hand,” says Wilson. “When you go for a check up, and you would take that opportunity to refill a prescription on something you take on a regular basis, you may also want to be sure to alert your physician of travel plans so you can have antibiotics or other essential medications on call as well.”
The practice should also extend to your children. He strongly advises parents to consult their child’s pediatrician for access to refills on the road first. “I don’t have the same kind of health frame of reference for my daughter as I do for myself,” he says. “When I get sick at different times of time of year, I generally know what it is. On the other hand, I don’t have that with my daughter, so this is where assistance from the pediatrician who sees your child regularly and even some of the Doctors on Demand online service’s pediatricians can be helpful.”
The Doctors on Demand service allows an individual to get a diagnosis for himself or a family member free of charge via Skype or video conferencing in the privacy of a hotel room when the unexpected hits. While the service will help save some money on the front end, it can also provide an extra layer of safety and may help families avoid sitting in a waiting room with other sick people or the necessity of hiring nanny services last minute.
Wilson says the next step if Doctors on Demand can’t provide sufficient direction is to head to a mini clinic inside the nearest CVS or comparable pharmacy chain. Rather than pay high emergency room fees for minor situations, the mini-clinic charges a nominal fee and you get to see a doctor as well as get what you need for treatment on the spot.
Wilson suggests incorporating a variety of items on pre-vacation shopping lists that hotel gift shops substantially mark up in price. “Having a kit in your bag with Advil, prescriptions, and antiseptic will save money as well as prevent inconvenience. Also, pack plenty of hand sanitizer, as you will ultimately be coming into contact with even more people directly and indirectly than you would on a daily basis. Be sure that if you or your child touch something many other people have touched, such as escalator rails, elevator buttons and things on airplanes, use the hand sanitizer to mitigate exposure to harmful germs.”
And finally, Wilson states the obvious: Get a good night’s sleep and get to the airport early. “Anxiety, stress and fatigue all reduce one’s resistance to illness and immune system, especially when you come across all of those people in travel situations,” he says.
An ounce of prevention, according to Wilson’s tips, are not just worth a pound of cure. It could also stave off a world of frustration.
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