Traveling with Medication

As you prepare for your trip and pack your suitcase, you often think about the weather and what you plan to wear. If the weather is cold, you will need to bring a sweater or jacket. Or, if you are traveling to a warm place, you may need your swimming suit. You may also think of your toothbrush and shampoo, along with any gifts for anyone you’re visiting. However, most people will never think about what they may need in case they get sick. It is a good idea when traveling abroad that you pack a travel health kit. Below are some tips if you are going to be traveling with medication.

While most countries will have medication to treat minor symptoms like aches and pains, it is likely that the name of the medication will be different than what you are used to, the language may be in a different language or the dosage might be different. Traveling with medication will save you the time and the trouble of trying to find the right medication when you really need to have it. Here are some over the counter medications that you should think of bring on your trip:

  • For digestive issues – Especially if you are traveling to a country that serves food you are not used to, if you are prone to indigestion or if you are traveling to country where food hygiene is low, you’ll want to bring:
    • Anti-diarrheal
    • Antacid
    • Laxative
  • For colds, fever and pain:
    • Decongestant
    • Pain killer/fever reducer such as ibuprofen
    • Cough drops
  • For minor injuries:
    • Antibacterial ointments or creams
    • Bandages
    • Aloe gel for sunburns
  • Others
    • Antihistamine for allergy
    • Hydrocortisone cream for itchiness
    • Motion sickness medication
    • Insect repellent
    • Sunscreen
    • Travel Insurance ID card

If you are traveling with medication prescribed by your doctor, make sure you have it in the original container from the doctor/pharmacy that is clearly labeled. Also pack copies of your prescriptions and preferably also a letter from your physician describing what your medicine is and what it is for. Some countries may also have restriction on certain medications, so be sure to check with your embassy before traveling.

Lastly, don’t pack these items in your checked luggage, if the airline lost your bag, you don’t want to be left without your important medications.


Posted by ahoontrakul

Originally from Thailand, Apinant grew up in the United States and has extensive international experience traveling throughout Asia, Australia, North America and Europe. He has lived, studied and worked abroad in China, England, Taiwan and Thailand. Apinant is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Masters in International Business and a Bachelors of Science in Business Management.

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