Don’t Forget Your Medicine when Traveling

A friend of mine called me recently to let me know that he was packing for a trip to Europe for some much needed R&R. He was pretty excited and soon the conversation turned to the typical, “I always over pack”.

I naturally move towards the more sensible part of packing for vacation. Whether its summer or holiday visits, packing your medication is important. You may forget that one pair of argyle socks that you thought would be great to have, chances are, you will find them at a local retail shop near the place you are visiting.

Now some practical advice on packing relative to what you need as ordered by your physician.

  1. Plan ahead. Take a look at what you have been prescribed and see if you have enough to bridge the gap while you are away. If not, give your pharmacy a call and get those meds ordered immediately.
  2. My mother kept a list of what she was taking. I always thought this was a little much but in the end it helped serve as a checklist when making the final packing efforts. Make sure you know what medications you are taking, when you are supposed to take them and what’s the dosage and strength.
  3. My mom had a pill box, which for me, took up too much room in a small suitcase. However, they are quite useful, but its best if you keep your medications in the original medication bottles. When you get to Aunt Millie’s house or at the 4 Seasons in Bali, then separate them if that keeps you on track. There is a small risk that the sorter could break causing a big mess and confusion.
  4. My mother also taught me to keep my medications in my carry-on bag and NOT checked in my luggage which could wind up in Australia rather than in Dallas.
  5. Filling a prescription used to be a tricky thing to do across state lines, but in today’s information age, you can probably head to the nearest pharmacy and they will work with your local pharmacy to get something filled.
  6. Make sure that the medication is allowed in the destination state/country. This really helps underscore to keep all your prescribed medications in their original containers for quick identification.
  7. Keep your insurance card with you. You may need to head to an urgent care clinic or emergency room for treatment. Having your card with you will give you the peace of mind that your claim will be processed without much delay.

I wish I could be with my friend as he makes his way through some really great places, but I feel a little better that I was able to participate with him in a very small part of his journey. Not the most glamorous phase, but it helped him sort his medication’s journey a little more.