Tips For Traveling With Medication

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“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.”  -Unknown

Sometimes, travel means that you don’t get the rest you normally get at home, you might be eating foods that might upset your digestive system, you aren’t drinking enough water at higher altitudes, or your body might not handle jet lag well. No matter the trigger, it is possible that you won’t feel like yourself while you’re traveling. So, traveling with medication might be a good idea or, depending on your health, even necessary. These are some tips and tricks that I use when we travel.

Don’t forget to take what you need

We love to travel by any mode of transportation! When we hit the road in our RV or wander off on a road trip, it’s easy to grab some over-the-counter medication at the corner pharmacy if I forgot to pack something. However, when we travel abroad or sail away by cruise ship, I am careful to make sure that I bring everything or anything that we might need.

I am usually a walking pharmacy when we travel! I always pack the basics such as pain relievers, antacids, anything for stomach upset, and allergy medication. As a chronically ill patient, I make certain that I pack my prescription medication as well as the medications that help me to manage my overall health or any symptoms that might pop up as we travel. I also make it a practice to bring more of my medication than I need in the rare case that there are any hiccups in our travel plans (i.e. no plane in Salt Lake City!). Since my illness can be unpredictable, I go prepared for anything. I would rather bring home unused medication than not have enough to manage on the road.

My best advice for packing medication

My number one piece of advice for traveling with medication is this; never, ever put medication that you absolutely have to have in a checked bag! Be sure to reserve space in your carry-on for the most necessary medication. No one ever wants a checked bag to go missing but if or when it does, keeping your essential medications with you is a must.

Getting through the security checks with your medication

One of my drugs needs to be kept cool.  That is not usually a problem but on the rare occasions that I fly with it, I have a small insulated container with a tiny ice pack to keep it cool.  It drops right into my carry-on.  Of course, despite my drugs being clearly labeled and passed through x-ray, this arrangement guarantees questions and a visual inspection from TSA officers, every time.  As a result, if you travel with prescription drugs, I would always recommend making yourself aware of the ever-changing requirements for flying. 

According to TSA guidelines, it is not necessary to present your medication to or notify a TSA officer about any medication you are traveling with unless it is in liquid form. If your medication is liquid, be sure to check up-to-date TSA requirements before you head for the airport.

TSA also allows you to bring your medication in pill or solid form in unlimited amounts as long as it is screened. However, it is advised that medication remains in its original packaging or with prescribing information on the bottle when crossing international borders. I also recommend that you understand the security requirements for flying internationally with your medications.    

I know there are other fellow sufferers out there that love to travel.  If you have any tips or tricks that you use before and during your travel that you feel comfortable sharing, I’d love to know how you manage. 

I hope that if you suffer physically in any way, you can enjoy the love of travel in whatever capacity you are able. 

I always wish you safe and healthy travels, where ever you might be heading.  

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