Traveling Internationally with Medication: Ten Things You Need to Know

For some of us, there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as going somewhere far from home, a foreign place you’ve never been before. Or maybe for others, it’s just a necessary hassle – you travel frequently for work, and getting through airport security is just another one of your griefs to bear in order to pay the bills. Whether you travel for business or pleasure, planning a trip can take some time and consideration. You planned everything right but you don’t want to find yourself pulled aside at security just twenty minutes before your flight takes off because you packed your pills incorrectly. Here are a few tips to ensure any traveling you do with medications and prescriptions is done with ease.

1. How to Take Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs on Planes

Traveling with Medication

Even if you’re just carrying vitamins or supplements, keep them in their original, labeled containers. If you must, you can also have them in Ziploc bags, but make sure they are clear so that what’s inside is easily discernable and not at all suspicious. However, don’t try to save space by consolidating multiple, different drugs into one bag or bottle.

2. Bring a written prescription

Nowadays, with everything being digital, it’s rare for our doctors to write out physical prescriptions. However, you may want to take the extra precaution of requesting one from your doctor to bring with you in order to further prove the medicine is yours. You could go even further and get a written and signed copy of your medical records from your doctor if you want to be extra careful.

3. Match Names

You’ll want to be sure that the name on your passport matches with the name written on your bottle and on your written prescription. If it doesn’t, you’ll have some trouble holding onto your medicine; most likely, it will be confiscated!

4. Plan Ahead

Make sure you think through the length of time you will be gone and the possible extension of your trip if anything comes up. Tell your doctor about your travels and have him provide enough medication for the entirety of your travels. You could even ask for one or two spare prescription forms in case your prescription drug gets stolen while you’re far from home. And having good travel insurance will be a backup plan for any emergencies.

5. Hold onto any receipts or paperwork

Tips for Traveling Internationally with Medication

If it comes down to you having to fill a prescription while abroad, it’s possible and even probable that you will have to pay the full amount. Make sure you hold onto any receipts or paperwork so you can file a claim with your insurance company once you’re back home.

6. Keep medications with you

You’re allowed to take all your necessary medications with you on the plane, so even if you don’t necessarily need the medication while you’re flying, try as much as is possible to keep them with you. Thieves are always on the lookout to cop some drugs. Remember, though, that in liquid form it must be 3.4 ounces or less.

7. Illegal Medications

You’d be surprised at what drugs – even over-the-counter ones – are actually illegal in other countries. Do some research on the country you are visiting to ensure you won’t have any problems entering the country with your medication.

8. X-Ray

Traveling Internationally with Medication

If you’re worried about your medication being x-rayed, you can request for it to be examined in an alternate method, but you must make this request before it goes through the usual screening.

9. Time Change

Be aware of any time change you’ll be experiencing and how that will change your medication schedule.

10. Keep up to date

The rules are always changing, so before you fly, always double check the current TSA laws and regulations regarding medication and be sure to know our tips on how to stay  healthy while on travel.

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