Whether traveling for business or pleasure, many people need to take daily medications or supplements with them. If you’re flying, there can be concerns about lost luggage and winding up without any of your necessary medications – and no way to get a refill. Here are a few important things to know about traveling with medication.
Traveling with Medication
Use a Carry-on Bag
Every airline has slightly different standards for what size, shape, and dimension they consider to be carry-on size. Check with your airline to get the exact details. Once you know that, try to carry your medications in your carry on bag. This avoids the concerns of lost luggage and ensures that the medications will remain at room temperature with you in the plane’s cabin. The potential swings in temperature in the baggage area could affect the potency of your medications. If your medication needs to be kept cold, most security checkpoints allow you to bring a small cooler bag to store your medications during travel.
Check the TSA rules (https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/medical) for exact instructions on how to carry your specific medication. For example, liquids need to be in containers less than 3.4oz and you must declare inhalers to TSA officials. When possible, it is best to leave the pharmacy label on all medication containers. It may help make the security check in process go more smoothly.
Use a Pill Planner
At home, you may keep your pills in their original prescription bottles. But unless you’re going away for an entire month, you probably don’t need all of your medication for your trip. Instead, get a pill planner and organize your daily meds into it. Not only will this safe space in your luggage, it also helps you remember to take your medications when you’re outside your normal routine. Depending on your medication and the TSA regulations, you may need to put the pill planner in your checked bag. It is also a good idea to keep a list of your medications with you.
At home, you may take your pills with breakfast or after your shower. When traveling, routines get shaken up and changed. To prevent any missed doses, set a reminder on your smart phone to let you know when you need to take your medications. Keeping them in a pill planner also helps you visually see whether you’ve taken your dose or not.
Traveling with medications can seem overwhelming, but with a little prep work, it’s easily done. Check with your doctor or pharmacy if you have any concerns about taking your medication with you.