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Travelling With Medication

What to do (and what not to do)

By the time were old enough and wise enough to do some serious travelling, most of us also have one or two medicines that we take on a daily basis. Here are our top tips for safe and healthy travel with those meds.

1. Dont leave home without your meds!

Travelling, even for a few days, is no reason to skip a dose
. In fact, its more important than ever to continue with your regular routine and keep your health in check when youre away from home.

. Pack extra

In the insurance industry, we
ve learned to expect the unexpected. Always pack more medicines than you need for your trip in case youre delayed and have to stay an extra day or two, or in case you lose a pill or two. It happens to all of us!

If you
re travelling for 5 days, take enough medication to last you at least 7 days. This is especially important on a cruise where you may not be able to get the medication you usually take, or if its available its likely to be very expensive.

. Keep it close

Whenever possible, keep all medication in your hand luggage
dont check it in. Suitcases go missing far too often, and while we can shop for extra clothing its a lot more difficult to replace lost medication.

If you can
t carry all of it, at least keep enough for your journey plus two extra days in your hand luggage.

Some medication can never go in your checked baggage
. Insulin is the most common example it must be kept relatively cool but if it freezes, its rendered completely useless. The hold of an airplane is usually not heated and freezing is a strong possibility.

Keep all insulin in your hand luggage, in a cooler bag and
/or with a small ice pack. Airport security staff do allow these for medical purposes, as long as theyre small and clearly marked. If in doubt, check with your airline.

. List it for your travel insurance policy

Make sure that you have listed all relevant medical conditions and medication to your travel insurer

This will ensure that you have the
appropriate cover and in case you need medical treatment, will help emergency teams and medical professionals to give you the right medication and the best possible care.

. Carry a copy of your prescription

Certain medication and equipment such as ice packs and monitoring devices may raise alarms with airport security
. Always carry your prescription to prove that you have a genuine need for what youre carrying.

A prescription is also useful in case medication is lost or damaged, and makes it a lot easier to purchase replacements while you
re on holiday.

. Check that its allowed

Some countries have different regulations regarding medication and substances allowed through their borders
. Its always a good idea to check on all medication before you leave so you dont inadvertently carry contraband headache pills across a border!

Also check the quantity of medication that you're allowed to take with you
- some countries may limit certain types.

. Speak to your doctor

Whenever you travel, give your doctor the details so he or she can advise if you need to make any changes to your usual schedule or dosage
. Even a small adjustment can make a big difference to your health.

If you
re going to a very different time zone, e.g. Australia, find out the best way to adjust your schedule accordingly.

. Planes, trains and automobiles

It can be difficult to unpack medicines while you're in a confined space
. Make life easier in the air or on the road by setting aside the medicines you'll need during a flight or in transit.

For example, if you take 2 pills in the morning and 3 every evening, put one each of the morning set into a small container, and one evening set in another
. Label them, and keep them in your handbag or a section of your cabin bag thats easy to get to! This makes it so much simpler to find the medication and take it discreetly.

. Make a list

Plan ahead and prepare a complete checklist of what you need to pack
. Make sure you have everything you need at least a few days before you leave so theres time to sort out any issues.

Hopefully there won
t be any problems, but this will give you greater peace of mind so you can focus on enjoying your travels!