Must Have Travel Medications

“Go and see all you can see! But be safe.”

Travel, but travel smart! When you’re packing for a trip, clothes, shoes, and toiletries are not all you have to think about, especially when traveling with a family. The savvy traveler remembers any and all regularly taken prescription medications,  a good selection of over-the-counters, herbal remedies, and supplements. This detail can make-or-break your trip, and can be the difference between having an amazing family adventure and one ruined by cranky jet lagged family members or someone who picks up a tummy bug.

Medicine - Travel Medications

We have put together a list of the most common travel ailments and what we believe to be the best medications to take along on your journey:

Motion Sickness

For those of you who suffer from this, you know the level of discomfort it provides, so be fully prepared for your trip in order to avoid the ickiness. Motion sickness is mainly caused by the irregular and abnormal motion that takes place on boats, planes ,or cars that disturb the organs of balance located in the inner ear.  As these poor organs spiral out of control, nausea, dizziness, headaches, and cold perspiration set in.

-Dramamine and Bonine are two of the most common over-the-counter motion sickness remedies available. Grab a container for your carry on for adults, and in children’s strength if you are traveling with the family.

-The Scop patch is another option, and is often easier and more convenient, especially for children. It is placed behind your ear to reduce nerve activity, and in turn reduces motion sickness.

-Ginger is great for motion sickness and nausea, and can also as an anticoagulant for those who need to be concerned with clotting during long flights.

-A more natural approach for those who want to avoid medications are the wristbands that work by stimulating acupressure points on the wrists that are believed to control motion sickness.

Sleep Medications

I can not say enough about the importance of this, and I learned my lesson the hard way when my youngest daughter couldn’t sleep and spent 11 hours straight watching TV on the plane. She missed an entire night’s rest, and was cranky for the next week because she just couldn’t catch up, between that and jet lag. Do I believe in medicating my kids for better sleep?  Yes, yes I now do.

Sleep Medications

  • Ambien is a popular prescription strength sleep aid.. You must see your doctor for this one.
  • Many have successfully chosen over-the-counter options such as Bonine and Dramamine which double as sleep aids and anti-motion sickness drugs.
  • Antihistamines such as Sominex and Benadryl contain diphenhydramine HCl, which can excessively cause drowsiness, especially for those who do not have allergies.
  • Melatonin is a natural approach to inducing sleep. Rather than acting like a sedative, it acts more like a sleep trigger, initiating relaxing and calming feelings. A bag of dried cherries is a good source of melatonin, zzzzzzz and makes for a great airplane snack.

Jet Lag

Here’s a big one. I never knew this, but it definitely rang true with my family: A general rule of thumb for jet lag is the 1:1 ratio. One day to recover for every hour of time difference that you experience. That could translates to 7 days of recovery for a 7 hour time difference! There are ways to prepare for this:

  • The most effective way to combat jet lag is to take good care of yourself when you are traveling. Stay hydrated with non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated fluids. Water. Water. Water. You don’t even have to pack this, just ask your friendly flight attendant!
  • Bring neck pillows, eye masks, ear plugs, and what ever else you may need to induce sleep.
  • An available homeopathic remedy popular among flight attendants and frequent fliers is called No-Jet-Lag.
  • A supplement that has been recognized as helping with jet lag is Co-E1 NADH, an over-the-counter vitamin B complex.

Traveler’s Tummy

Ok, this one is also known as traveler’s diarrhea, no way to sugar coat it any other way, and it’s extremely common when traveling, because your body just isn’t used to the foreign food and water. Imodium or Pepto-Bismol may work, but I prefer all natural charcoal tablets available at any health food store, great for upset tummies, food poisoning, and diarrhea. Tums or antacids are another wonderful remedy to bring along.

Travel Medications

Painkillers and Allergy Meds

It’s always a good idea to pack these.  Although they are readily available everywhere, most people have their preferred brands they like to use. It’s best to stick to those.

When you travel, travel prepared, and  be ready for anything. Remember, every drug has potential side effects. Do not start taking anything new on your vacation that you haven’t taken before or that hasn’t been preapproved by your doctor. Test out sleep aid medications, see  how your body reacts, or if you even can tolerate the taste of ginger! Don’t let preventable conditions ruin your trip. It is even recommended to get immunizations for many destinations that carry diseases we may not be immune to.  Be proactive and ahead of the game so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest. But most of all, have fun!!

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