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Travel Tips when Traveling with Medications

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

As you go off to different parts of the country and even other countries, travelling with medications can increase stress levels because travelling with medications requires additional preparation and planning.



Airplane window view showing the wing of the airplane and sunset.


When going out of town and you are on medication, you may need to get an early refill of your medication, so you do not run out of your medication while you are away.

 

Sometimes this can be a two- or three-step process:

1. The first step involves talking to your doctor to ask them to write a prescription for an early refill.

2. The second step involves calling your insurance company to approve the early refill. If you plan to be gone for more than 30 days, note that some insurance companies will only pay for a 30-day supply at a time.

3. The third step involves working with your pharmacy to make sure they have the medication in stock to fulfill your prescription.



Pharmacist filling out paperwork prior to filling a prescription.

 

When traveling with your medications, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  •  Pack your medications in your carry-on luggage. If you place them in your checked luggage, you will not have access to them during the flight, train or bus.

  • Pack your medications in their original, labeled containers with your full name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage.

  • Bring copies of all prescriptions, including the generic names for medicines.

  • Ask your doctor for a note if you use controlled substances, or injectable medicines, and insulin.


If you are travelling internationally, here are some additional considerations:

  • The International Narcotics Control Board provides general information about narcotics and controlled substances for countries that have information available.

  • If your medicine is not allowed at your destination, talk with your doctor about alternatives and have them write a letter describing your condition and the treatment plan.

  • Some countries require you to carry a copy of the prescription for your medication and/or a medical certificate from your doctor.


I hope this information helps with your travels less stressful. One of the things that makes travel easier is having an advocate. If you are searching for a doctor to treat your chronic pain, request an appointment on my contact page and see how I can help you get back to doing the things you love, including travelling to your next destination.

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