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- These shoes were made for walking

Shoes take up a lot of valuable packing space. Choose which shoes you will bring on your trip wisely. Think function rather than fashion.

  • A must- comfortable walking shoes that are already broken in for walking, exercising and during travel.
  • A cheap pair of flip flops to wear in a pool area, in the bathroom or shower. Best not to go barefoot anywhere. You never know what you might step on.
  • A pair you can wear comfortably that will be appropriate if you have to dress up. Make sure you can also walk good distances in these without pain.  If you know you won’t have to dress up, omit these.

While we all want to look good, find shoes that are practical, light weight and pack well and ok, look good, too.

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.

Top Travel Apps

Even if you dont have internet access you can still take advantage of these great resources. Here are some great apps to take with you when you travel.

Do you have any other favorite travel apps to add to our list?

Travel Tip Tuesday

Cell phones can be very handy when you travel. They can act as a flashlight. You can take a photo of your hotel and if you can’t communicate with your cabby, show him a picture. You can take a photo of important things, like your passport, itinerary , immunization record, medical history, medication list, phone numbers of your credit card companies international line to report stolen or lost cards, and the number of your travel health insurance company.

Hey, you can even make phone calls!

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