So you’re planning a trip abroad: you have your tickets bought, your tours booked, your wardrobe planned out… So what’s going into your travel health kit? Here is a list of a few go-to items you should always pack in your travel health kit because you never know what the pharmacies are going to be like wherever you go—pricewise, quality wise and availability wise.
Take a moment to evaluate what you’ll need according to where you’re going, how you travel and your own personal health. And one more thing before you go: take your SkyMed membership with you, because it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!
For starters, always visit your doctor before you leave.
Whether you’re in great health or have a few issues, it always pays to visit your doctor before you go, especially if you’re headed overseas. Vaccinations may be needed or highly recommended—your travel agent will be able to help you with what you might need, depending on your destination. Your doctor will also be able to fill any prescriptions to make sure you have enough of what you need before you go.
Speaking of prescriptions.
Before you go, make sure your prescriptions are legal wherever it is you’re going and find out about any restrictions (such as for quantities). That goes for OTC (over the counter) medication as well. You might also need a copy of your prescription as well as a letter from the doctor stating why you need it. You can consult your travel agent as well as the State Department’s Country Specific information for your destination. Check out the Traveler’s Health Information from the Center for Disease Control website—it’s very informative and easy to follow. Also, pack your prescription meds (and copies of your prescriptions) in your carry-on. The last thing you need is lost luggage and lost meds.
Some OTCs you might want to consider.
Aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen.
Cough suppressant, cough drops.
Antibacterial hand wipes.
Think about your own particular health needs and pack accordingly.
Do you suffer from frequent heartburn? Are you prone to yeast infections or UTIs? Do you get migraines? Are you allergic to pollen and dust or do you have any severe allergies that might need an EpiPen? You get the drift.
Take a few supplies.
Band-aids, antibacterial gel, blister strips, alcohol, cotton swabs, a few cotton pads, gauze, medical tape… And scissors—blunt tip will do very well.
Think about space.
Tablets over liquids and creams. Sample sizes are great (your doctor might be able to help you with prescription ones). Don’t take loose pills unless they’re IN their prescription bottle, which is where blister packs can come in handy.