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Traveling with Medications

Traveling with medications graphic of suitcases

Every year over 100 million people travel globally. Many are visiting their families and loved ones and some just want to get away during their time off work. Wherever you may be traveling this season, make sure you have everything you need, and that includes your medications.

Plan Ahead

When it comes to your packing list, make sure you include your regular prescription medications as well as any over-the-counter medications that you may need while away.

1.    Pack the Bottles

Instead of a pill planner or container, keep your medications in their original bottles. Do not put pills into another medication bottle. Original prescription bottles may not be required, but traveling with the originals can save you hassle in some areas where laws are more strict. Also, the original bottles have appropriate safety features that will protect you from accidental misuse or overdose.

2.    Pack Enough

In order to ensure you have enough of your necessary medication, pack enough for your trip as well as at least two extra doses. If you don't have enough, contact your doctor or pharmacy before your trip to obtain what you need for the time you'll be gone.

3.    Keep a List

Before you leave, ask your doctor's office to print your medication list so that you have it on your trip. Store it with your medications so that authorities will see what you are legally prescribed and for what purpose.

4.    Meds on Planes

You can fly with your medications as long they make it through security. It's best to store necessary medications in the carry-on bag in case your luggage is detained for some reason. Liquid medications can be stored in the carry-on and can be carried on the flight as necessary. Let your security officer know you have medications in your bag when you reach your checkpoint to speed up the process for everyone.

5.    Know the Law

If you're leaving the country, it's a good idea to learn about your destination. Believe it or not, there are some medications that are legal in America, but illegal in others. For more information about your health while traveling and to check for travel warnings, check out the Traveler's Health page provided by the Centers for Disease Control.

6.    Check Your Insurance

You may not have insurance coverage if you leave this country. Check your policy and call the company if necessary. Many companies offer affordable options for travel insurance that may cover medical emergencies while overseas. Keep in mind that your insurance also may not work out of your home state. Medicaid beneficiaries may not realize that coverage is limited or nonexistent while out of state. Similarly, Medicare does not work outside of the U.S.

While you're planning your holiday fun, do not forget the details that keep your life moving comfortably and healthily. Your medication is one of the most important things to your health, yet it is often forgotten while packing for a trip. Make sure you have everything you need before you leave so you can fully enjoy your holiday travels.

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