5 Tips for Taking Your Meds When You Travel

Traveling with prescription medications can pose some unexpected problems that can create havoc on a trip. To avoid problems, plan ahead.

  1. Bring your prescriptions in their original containers that are properly and clearly labeled. Don’t bring pill minders, mix different pills in one bottle or put them in resealed plastic bags.
  2. Take enough for your trip plus a week or two extra in case of delays so you won’t run out.
  3. Carry all prescriptions with you on the plane. Do not put them in checked bags.  They might not make it to your destination.
  4. Forget your vitamins or other non-essential items.
  5. Find out if it’s legal to bring your prescription into the country you are traveling to. Drugs like Adderall are illegal in many countries even if legally prescribed in the U.S. Over the counter preparations with Sudafed are illegal in Japan.

If you lose a prescription or run out of medication abroad, pharmacies are unlikely to accept prescriptions called or faxed by your U.S. provider.


Travel Tip Tuesday


Take the time to learn how to pack for your trip.

The bus dropped us off at the bottom of the hill from our hotel. We had to carry everything up. Some of us had an easier time than others. Umbria, Italy.

Your back, arms and neck will appreciate it! Remember that you will do a lot of walking with your bags and you should be able to lift them yourself without assistance, as help may not always be available.  You may have lug bags over uneven walkways or carry them up stairs. You can learn to take less, look good and have everything you need. It just takes a bit of practice and self-control.

Dirty Needles?

Traveling in under developed countries poses some unique challenges. What if I get cut and need stitches? What if I have a dental emergency? Get diarrhea so bad I need IV rehydration? Will they have properly sterilized equipment?

You can purchase syringe and suture kits to take with you. These are not do it yourself kits. They are to be given to a trained health care provider to use on you in such emergencies.

Typically, these kits contain needles, suture materials, IV catheters, gloves and antiviral and antibacterial wipes to close wounds and start IV’s. They can be used to administer anesthetics for emergency dental procedures, too.

To help with going through customs,  get a note from your travel clinic provider that states that these items are being used for personal use only. One kit from Adventure Medical Kits has declaratory statements about use printed on the outside in 8 different languages.

Many travel clinics, including Travel Health of New Hampshire, have these kits available for purchase. Hopefully you will never need to use such a kit,  but in countries where blood borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis are common, it is reassuring to know that if you the equipment used on you is definitely sterile.

They’re back…

Black flies, mosquitoes and ticks are upon us here in New Hampshire. Although we only have these pests seasonally, they exist year round in many places you may travel to. 
So what’s the best way to protect yourself from bites?  Covering up with clothing and tucking pants in to shoes will help.  But ticks still manage to find you. Using products with 25% DEET or higher also work but have limitations. They need to be reapplied and product duration varies so you have to check the label and make sure you comply with the directions. If you are swimming or sweating, you will need to reapply even more often. They smell and you will want to wash it off when you are no longer worried about the bugs.  
You can treat your clothing to make them insect repellent by spraying on or soaking them with permetherin. Permetherin is a man made version of a natural insect repellant found in chrysanthemums. It is inexpensive and after treatment they are insecticidal for 6 weeks or 6 launderings, whichever comes first.
Recently a new line of clothing has been developed with permetherin impregnated into the fibers that lasts for 70 washing which equals the life of the garment.  Insect shield clothing is available at outdoor clothing companies, travel clothing companies and  on amazon. The clothing is odorless and repels mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and flies. They are a bit more expensive and you will still need to use some insect repellent on your exposed skin but together they provide the most protection.  Remember to also perform a tick check every day and if you find any, remove them properly

Thumbs Up Tenderfeet

Last week I returned from a safari to Kenya with Prestige Plus , a travel club of Laconia Savings Bank. Twenty seven of us rode Land Rovers through miles and miles of some of the most beautiful landscapes, sunrises, and game reserves on this planet. The expanse of the parks and numbers of the animals made me feel quite insignificant. That is until our last day, when we were to visit an orphanage in Nairobi. Like LSB, Collette Vacations is a strong supporter of the communities it does business with and assists local efforts to improve the lives of those who need some help. It brings its travelers here to see a part of Kenya not usually visited by tourists. We brought donations and were asked to help open the new building of the Tenderfeet Education Center. On the way, we stopped at a local grocery store and bought school supplies to bring with us. Another way we got to see Nairobi up close.

We drove through a slum of 60,000 people to this small cement building that educates and feeds and gives hope and love to 80 orphans from AIDS ages 2-10. After Valerie Drouin, VP and Rodney Dyer, Chairman of the Board of Laconia Savings Bank, cut the ribbon the children sang a song about Kenya. In the chorus they sang Valerie has a friend in Kenya, and Rodney has a friend in Kenya and the visitors all had a friend in Kenya. They were so happy to have us and so very grateful for our support. And invited us to please come back.

There are many plaques throughout NH thanking Laconia Savings Bank for its help. But the one in Nairobi is quite special.

I did feel that the money I spent on safari helped the local economies. But what I left there made a far greater impact, perhaps on me more than them.

Packing for a Safari

Packing for a safari is different than packing for other types of trips. Pack light! Be able to get everything in a duffel bag or soft sided suitcase. Find out if you have a weight restriction and abide by it. Pack your essentials such as your camera, prescriptions, money, travel documents, yellow certificate of vaccination and passport in your carry-on bag. Leave your jewelry at home. If you couldn’t bear to lose it – don’t bring it. Flashy jewelry and clothes, especially red, are not appreciated by the wildlife!

Suggestions for packing

A pair of comfortable walking shoes that are broken in
A pair of closed toe sport type sandals
Underwear, socks, pj’s
Bathing suit for pools at the lodge
2 long sleeved shirts ( light colors are best)
2 short sleeved shirts
1 pair of shorts
2 pairs of long pants (consider the type that zip off into shorts)
Wide brimmed hat and 2-3 cotton bandanas
Lightweight fleece pullover
Toiletries – consider body wash that can be used as cleanser and shampoo in
one, hand sanitizer, travel size tooth brush and paste, etc. (think small and
water proof containers)
Face cloth
Day pack for carrying camera and supplies, binoculars (7 X 28 or 8X 21),
sunscreen, lip balm, hand sanitizer, etc.
Insect repellent with 30 % DEET or more
Zip lock bags in various sizes
Travel alarm clock
Small flashlight

Plan on wearing everything 3 times. Most camps have laundry service. Remember, it’s not a fashion trip, be comfortable and dress to protect yourself from the sun and bug bites.