What To Do If You Get A Minor Illness Or Injury On Vacation

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Getting sick on vacation can be a real challenge but it doesn’t have to end your fun. I’m so happy to be partnered with CVS to share all about their MinuteClinic and how it can keep you healthy before and during your travels. Disclosure: I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy for their 2017 influencer relations program. All opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at or with the appropriate manufacturers.

What to do if you get sick on vacation. Tips to save for later.

Summer vacation season is right around the corner.

We normally hunker down when everyone else is traveling because we enjoy our vacations more with fewer crowds. However, this year we have so many places we want to see that we are not slowing down anytime soon. Since we started traveling more than 150 days a year, we have experienced some pretty awesome adventures and had a few curve balls thrown our way. Mainly we have had to seek medical care in multiple states while we were on vacation. These situations could have really put a damper on our fun, but thankfully we have learned some lessons early on that kept the good times going even when one of us wasn’t feeling our best. 

what to do when you get sick on vacation

The best lesson we learned was to not get sick in the first place. 

This seems so basic and not something you can control, but there are definitely things you can do to achieve this. Since we travel internationally often we love that we can visit a MinuteClinic with our itinerary in hand and their practitioners can provide us with a  Pre-Travel Consultation including Malaria prevention medicines, help with motion sickness, Traveler’s Diarrhea prevention & Care, Typhoid vaccine and evaluation for Zika after we have traveled. 

Tips for how to help your family if they get sick on vacation.

But what happens if you do get sick on vacation or need to see a practitioner? MinuteClinic has you covered there too. 

Before we leave we make sure we have the CVS Pharmacy App downloaded on our phones. It’s easy to locate a MinuteClinic near you to stop in when you’re away from home with the app, and when someone isn’t feeling their best, you need everything else in your life to be easy. 

I love that you can also use the app or go online to see wait times and hold your place in line so you’re not spending all day waiting. We tend to have one person go in and the others wait in the car so this is a much-appreciated bonus for us.

After forgetting my medication at home while we were across the country in Pennsylvania for a couple of weeks, and then again in Florida for almost a month, we also learned that you can easily use the app to easily transfer prescriptions to a CVS location near wherever you are traveling. This took so much stress off my shoulders at the time and gives me a lot of peace of mind when we are on the road. Since Ash and Em both have asthma, I am always worried that I will forget one of their medications, run out of it, or it will be lost when we are traveling. Knowing that I can transfer their scrips to a local CVS Pharmacy and pop in to pick it up is priceless!

tips for illness on vacation

We have experienced both urgent illnesses (hello kidney stones in Palm Springs,) and minor illnesses and injuries (Emmy alone- ear infections, pink eye, infected bug bites) on our trips, and for the minor illnesses and injuries, MinuteClinic has been a less expensive, faster and more convenient alternative to an ER visit for us. 

Since MinuteClinic is a retail medical clinic inside more than 1,100 CVS Pharmacy and Target locations, there is a really good chance there is going to be one where you are traveling. They offer walk-in care seven days a week with evening and weekend hours too. 

Before your next vacation, or if you need to see a practitioner while you are away, be sure to visit a MinuteClinic to keep your vacation as fun-filled as possible!

Have you ever had to deal with illness on vacation?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • Thankfully no. But one of my poor Aunts *Always* ends up with some kind of medical crisis while on vacation, we keep telling her she should just give up and stay home at this point! LOL 🙂

  • We have used Minute Clinic several times before. They have always worked well for us.

  • We’ve used Minute Clinic on several occasions. It’s a great way to have minor things checked out without having to wait in a doctor’s office. I think it’s a great idea to know if there is one in the area while traveling.

  • I have had a few occasions to use Minute Clinic and it really was wonderful. I would hate for any of my family to get ill or injured while we are on vacation but I would rest easier knowing where the nearest CVS is located.

  • i always bring my first aid pouch during traveling! this is a great tips! interesting article

  • I’m so thankful that CVS offers the Minute Clinic to help out when you can’t get in to see your regular doctor. We’ve used them a few times and have been quite impressed with the care and service we have received.

  • This is amazing advice. My poor husband got the flu at a wedding we were at and it was awful. This advice will surely help if that happen again!

  • This is such a good tip/ Wish we have this service where I lived. I remembered that was once I had a terrible food poisoning when I was in Asia. It was quite an experience.

  • I have heard some great things about Minute Clinic, but I have never used them. I travel quite often, so it would be handy to know that Minute Clinic is there when I need them.

  • I was down for 2 1/2 days on an international trip once. It was no fun at all. It’s good to know there are places like Minute Clinic for when you are out and about on the road.

  • I wish CVS minute clinics were available worldwide. I’ll never my husband forget getting sick while we were vacationing abroad. It was by far the worst experience of EVER,

  • Oh I love this! So great to know the options because it’s no fun being sick on a trip! Thankfully it’s never happened to me – definitely will keep this in mind though!

  • It’s good to be prepared for vacation especially when it comes to your health. I think it’s great that you have this app to rely on if ever anything goes wrong!

  • Great tips! A must read for travelers especially for first timers. Will share this at my page too!

  • It’s important to be prepared especially if you’re leaving the country. A check up at the doctor is a must! I think it’s awesome that CVS has an app to help you as well.

  • I was on a trip with twenty-five six graders and got pink eye. Ugh! So frustrating. Would have been awesome to get help quickly and not have to spend all day at the doctor.

  • If there is a MinuteClinic around, I am there. I go to the one at home all the time and they are great.

  • Thankfully have never experienced anything major, just a few cuts, bruises and sunburn. Great tip to download the app so you can easily locate a MinuteClinic and I love that you are able to transfer scripts if you forget a medication at home.

  • Thankfully I’ve never had any illnesses or injuries while traveling (touch wood) but it is so important to be prepared as you never know what can happen

  • Never knew about Minute clinic. Thanks for this post and for making your readers aware of it. As much as possible we don’t wanna be sick during vacation.

  • One of the tricks i did before travelling is visiting my doctor and have my vaccine shot to make sure am healthy along the way. And also saving the nearest pharmacy located in my destination, just in case of emergencies.

  • We won’t be doing a whole lot of traveling this summer because we have an infant now. I am so glad to learn about MinuteClinics if something does come up (as it does with babies and kids). That will put my mind at ease.

  • MinuteClinic sounds so convenient! I once came down with a horrible case of food poisoning the night before Disneyland and spent the entire day sick inside our hotel room while my husband hit the park with the kids. This was almost 4 years ago and I am still not over missing that precious day with my babies!

  • We’re quite lucky in the UK in that we can get health cards that entitle us to treatment around Europe if we get sick. Not sure about America, but I’ve no plans to visit there for the next 4-8 years anyway, lol!

  • Having an illness or injury while on vacation is not fun at all. I have gone through a few and it can be scary sometimes.

  • I’ve been lucky enough not to go through anything too terrible on my travels. The worst thing that happened to me was when I split a tooth when eating a pretzel in the airport. To this day, I can’t eat a pretzel with Kosher salt. I love that MinuteClinics exist.

  • These are all great tips. Last year when we went on vacation my youngest got ill and we were freaking out and didn’t know what to do.

  • Great stuff!!! When we were visiting our family in Southern California last month our middle daughter developed an ear infection and we were seriously worried to get on a plane to come back to Colorado. We found a Minute Clinic about 15 minutes away and were seen almost right away. They prescribed exactly what was needed and we were back on track. She still had the infection the day before we were to leave and went back to visit them to ensure we would not injure her by traveling and they saw us for free and gave us great advice for what to do. Truly an innovative and awesome company. Thanks for the post and we highly recommend them!

  • I didn’t know about the MinuteClinic, but I do like CVS. I’ll download the app before my next trip. Thanks for the advice!

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