Over the years airline regulations have changed. These days there are restrictions on liquids that can be brought onto a plane as well as rules for prescription drugs and other items.
If you’re planning an upcoming trip and need to take medication with you, here are 6 tips you’ll need to know to ensure your travel plans go as expected.
6 Tips for Traveling with Medication
Check Your Supply
Before heading out, it’s important to make sure you have enough of all of your medications to make it through the entire trip. Since travel delays happen unexpectedly, be sure you have extra doses available just in case your flight gets cancelled or delayed.
Ensuring you have enough medication makes your trip much easier. Having to worry about filling prescriptions and dealing with insurance coverage in a new place can be a huge headache (especially if you don’t speak the language). So before you hop on a plane and jet off to your destination, double check your prescription supply.
If for some reason your insurance company denies providing extra doses, consider the option of filling your prescription while traveling. In which case, you should research local GP’s, hospitals and doctors before traveling.
To save money, know which local pharmacies are available. In some cases you may also be able to lower your costs by finding discount coupons in advance.
Properly Store Your Medication
While it may be easier to divide your medications for the week using a weekly or monthly pill dispenser, when traveling, it’s best to bring all of your prescription medications in their original container.
During airport security checkpoints, you may have to prove that the prescriptions are yours. The easiest way to do this is to bring the prescription bottles that have your name on them. From there security agents can match the name to a form of personal identification.
If you use a pill dispenser, bring it with you and set it up once you’ve arrived at your destination. Though this takes a little time out of your vacation, it’s well worth the peace of mind of having to deal with proving that your medications are in fact your own.
Another tip for safely storing your prescriptions is to pack them in your carry-on bag. This allows you to know at all times where your medications are. Otherwise you risk them being stolen or lost in the shuffle of baggage. Packing medication in your carry on also eliminates the risk of storing your drugs in an improper temperature.
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Sign Up For a Medical Notification Card
Do you suffer from a certain health condition that requires access to specialized medical equipment? If so, having a TSA medical notification card can make the screening process much easier for you.
While the card doesn’t exempt you from security screening, the card is a quick way to let TSA agents know that you may have more than the allowed carry on items.
Update Your Dosage Schedule
Will your travels take you across one or more time zones? While traveling across the United States or to a whole new country is sure to be a worthwhile trip, you’ll need to pay careful attention to when you take your medication.
If you’ll be traveling to a different time zone, chances are that you’ll need to adjust your medication schedule to make up for the time difference. Be sure to discuss changes with your doctor to ensure that you’re not at risk of too low or too high of a dosage.
Since it’s hard to keep track of different time zones on your own, keep your phone handy. Most of today’s phones allow you to check times in various time zones. This will help you stay on track with taking your medication, especially if you’re on a precise drug schedule.
Be Aware of Restrictions
Understanding prescription drug restrictions is important, especially if you are traveling outside of the United States. For example, in Japan, it’s illegal to bring Adderall, Sudafed, and prescription amphetamines into the country.
If you’re unsure about drug restrictions, call the country’s embassy to ensure that you aren’t breaking any laws. You’ll also want to look into any restrictions on medical devices like oxygen tanks, syringes, CPAP machines, and more. Some countries require certain forms to be filed before medical equipment can be brought into the country.
Even if you plan to travel with your prescriptions in their original bottle, it never hurts to bring extra documentation with you.
If you can, bring the written prescription from your doctor or a copy of your medical record as proof that the prescription medications belong to you.
Traveling with prescription medication can be a bit of a headache if you don’t know the rules and regulations. Before heading off to your vacation destination, be sure that you’ve followed all of these tips to prevent any issues with your prescription drugs.
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