My Experiences of Medications and Travelling
I am always impressed with senior travellers, who can manage with just a backpack on their journeys for a few months. Medications and travelling consume a lot of my thoughts these days. It seems I need a carry-on just for my medications.
By now, most of us know that you should take any of your meds in original containers, and sometimes, it’s a good idea to carry your prescriptions with you.
Unfortunately, doing so could take up a lot of room, depending on where you’re going and how you’re travelling.
If you are away for over three months, you must make arrangements with your doctor or pharmacist. Most prescriptions only allow for three months of disbursement at a time. This isn’t much of an issue as so many people travel now. My pharmacist just needed to put a note on the file.
Since we were only gone for three months on our 85-day global tour last year. This was not an issue. It did become also spending four months in New York City. First of all, I miscalculated one of my medications. Fortunately, my brother could pick it up from the pharmacist and bring it down on his visit.
The big challenge on this trip was that I was on a new medication that required refrigeration. Now this wasn’t a problem. I kept a cool pack around on the flight down and put it in the fridge when we got here; however, this would not have been not possible on our World trip. Yes, the medication could be at room temperature for eight weeks, but that would not account for times when it needed refrigeration, and we weren’t in places with a fridge.
Medications and Travelling as You Age
Then there are many things you don’t worry about when you’re young. You probably have these things in your medicine cabinet at home that you might want to take with you.
These include Imodium, headache medication, allergy pills, muscle and back pain medication, and ointment.
Then, of course, there are things like sunscreen. You probably think I could buy these things, which is true, but certain things are a little tricky to find.
In addition, you don’t want to be in large amounts in large containers. Small travel items will cost you a fortune on the road. It’s much easier to set this up before you leave.
I haven’t even discussed bringing your own toilet paper, and this is all in addition to the regular thing, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, brush, deodorant, and on and on,
And what if you insist on bringing a universal blow dryer or a sleep apnea machine?
It’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before travelling to ensure you have the necessary medications and understand any special precautions or considerations specific to your medical condition.
Tips for packing medications and travelling
- Make a list: Before you start packing, create a list of all the medications you’ll need during your trip, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and any supplements.
- Check travel restrictions: Research the regulations and requirements for transporting medications in the countries you visit. Some medications may be restricted or require additional documentation.
- Carry prescriptions and medical documents: Keep a copy of your prescriptions, including the generic names of the medications, and a letter from your doctor describing your medical condition and the need. This can be helpful during security checks or in case of any emergencies.
- Use original packaging: Pack medications in labelled containers to avoid confusion or issues at security checkpoints. The labels should include your name, the name of the medication, dosage instructions, and the prescribing doctor’s information.
- Carry a sufficient supply: Pack enough medication to last your entire trip, including any unexpected delays. It’s a good idea to bring extra doses in case of loss or damage to some medication.
- Divide medications between bags: Distribute your medications between different bags and carry-ons in case one gets lost or stolen. This way, you’ll still have access to your essential medications.
- Keep medications in your carry-on: Always keep your medications in your carry-on luggage rather than checked baggage. This ensures easy access and prevents loss or damage due to mishandling.
- Store medications properly: Ensure medications are stored in a cool, dry place to maintain their effectiveness. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.
- Pack a pill organizer: Consider using a pill organizer to sort your medications by day and time. This keeps them organized and makes adhering to the medication schedule easier while travelling.
- Research local medication availability: If you are travelling for an extended period or to remote areas, check the availability of your medications at your destination. If necessary, arrange for a supply or consult a local doctor.
- Pack necessary medical supplies: In addition to your medications, don’t forget to pack any necessary medical supplies, such as syringes, inhalers, glucose meters, or insulin pens, along with their respective prescriptions.
- Keep medications easily accessible: Place your medications in a separate, easily accessible bag or pouch within your carry-on. This allows quick access during security checks, or in case you need them during the journey.
- Set reminders: If you’re travelling across time zones, set reminders on your phone or watch to help you stay on track with your medication schedule.
- Inform travel companions: Make sure your travel companions are aware of your medical condition and know where to keep your medications if they need assistance in an emergency.
- Check expiration dates: Before you pack, check the expiration dates on your medications. Discard any expired medications and obtain a fresh supply if needed.