How to get where you're going—even if you get sick

Whenever you travel from home, there is the chance that you or a loved one will fall ill. From the common cold to the stomach flu, it can be a challenge to navigate what your options are, especially during the holidays. Did you know your health insurer can be a valuable resource during your travels?

Here are things to keep in mind as you prepare to head out of town.

Schedule a virtual visit

When you are away from your family doctor, but need care for a non-life threatening medical issue, the emergency room or urgent care can be a pricey and time consuming option. A virtual visit with a doctor is the perfect alternative.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a virtual visit connects you with a board certified doctor at the tip of your fingers. Often, they are available through your family doctor or insurance company. Priority Health provides access to virtual care through your MyHealth account.

Virtual care is also a cost effective option, costing around $45 or less, while a trip to the emergency room can cost hundreds.

Take advantage of travel insurance

Your health plan may offer travel assistance through services like, Assist America, which provides global emergency travel assistance services. If you become ill or injured while traveling 100 miles or more from home, Assist America will arrange and pay for a variety of services.

The services that Assist America offers include medical consultation, evaluation and referral, emergency medical evacuation where appropriate care isn't available, prescription assistance if your prescription is lost or left behind, and compassionate visits so that a loved one can join you if you will be hospitalized for longer than seven days. They also provide lost luggage or document assistance, and numerous other services both medical and non-medical. This eliminates the need to purchase additional, and often costly, medical or travel assistance coverage.

Don’t forget to pack health supplies

No one wants to be in the middle of a holiday celebration and have to run to the nearest pharmacy or convenience store to pick up an over the counter pain reliever or decongestant. Pack the medications that you tend to use most during this time of year. If you have a child, make sure to pack children's dosed medicine, too.

Are you currently taking a prescription medication? Make sure you have enough medication to get you through your time away from home. If you are flying to your destination and are taking your prescriptions in your carry-on, keep them in an easily accessible location in case a TSA agent needs to examine them.

Don't let sickness get in the way of your holiday festivities, and if it starts to, remember these tips. There are numerous resources out there, both medical and non-medical, that can help you during challenging travel moments.