What are Some Good Medicines to Bring When Traveling?

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  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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Packing the right travel medicines can save a lot of time and hassle on your vacation, and can even be a lifesaver in the event drugs are not available locally. But even when you can avail yourself of local markets and pharmacies, it is always more convenient and often less expensive to bring your own medicines.

First on the list are prescription drugs you may need. These will include occasional remedies such as migraine reliever plus any medications that may be part of your daily regimen. Bring extra pills as a safety precaution. Your return might be delayed unexpectedly. If taking a flight, prescriptions should go in your carry-on in case your luggage takes another flight.

Keep a list of the medications you are taking in your purse or wallet and let a traveling companion know it's there. If a medical emergency should occur, attending physicians or EMTs might require this information to avoid unwanted interactions between drugs.

If in the habit of taking vitamins, protein powders or food supplements, these should also be part of your 'travel medicines.' You'll be eating unaccustomed food and sleeping in strange quarters, so sticking to your health routine will help you feel your best.


Aspirin or other pain relievers may be widely available, but if you need them you'll appreciate having them handy. Alka-Seltzer or other antacids are also good choices.

Small plastic watertight bottles can be purchased at any drug store for bringing a few ounces of rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, good for sterilizing a needle to remove a splinter, or bathing small cuts. Various sized band-aids and a small tube of hydrocortisone ointment should be part of any first aid kit. All of these items can be thrown in a zip-lock baggie or a small zippered pouch.

For contact lens wearers don't forget the contact solution and an extra pair of contacts. If you have dry eyes, eye drops might be nice too. For allergy or asthma-sufferers reach for an antihistamine, inhaler, or relief of choice to include in your travel medicines.

Anbesol or Orajel used for toothaches is a good idea if the baby is teething or if you've had recent dental work that might cause lingering pain.

Will there be hours in the sun? If so, a lip balm and sunscreen should make the trip along with witch hazel or an unguent like Bactine to relieve burn. If you'll be outside at dawn or dusk, mosquito repellent containing DEET will help you avoid insect bites, and for hiking or camping trips snakebite kits are only a few US dollars. (Though they do not contain antivenin they do provide a way to help draw out poison until proper treatment can be had.) Ivy Block will help avoid poison ivy rash, but if you forget to apply it, Bactine will help soothe the itch.

If vacationing in heat and especially if camping with an infant or small child, Pedialyte is an electrolyte drink for quick hydration. Desitin not only helps prevent diaper rash, but can protect the bottoms of smaller children who might stay wet all day playing at the lakeshore.

Taking a cruise? Then you might want to toss some Dramamine (sea-sick pills) in your bag of travel medicines. Even if you don't usually experience motion sickness rough seas could test your limits.

For scuba diving, water skiing, snow skiing, or indulging in any strenuous activity consider bringing BenGay, Flexall or another muscle relaxer for those sore legs and arms.

If allergic to certain foods be sure the person preparing your food is aware of your dietary needs and restrictions. Other dietary "medicines" might include fiber like Metamucil.

If you're a smoker you might consider including nicotine gum among your travel medicines for long hours spent in non-smoking areas such as restaurants or theaters. And certainly if you're quitting don't leave it behind!

Serious allergies to medications like penicillin should be worn on a med-alert necklace or bracelet or be included on your health insurance card along with blood type. Remember to take along your physician's phone number and the pediatrician's, if applicable.

When traveling to foreign countries, inoculations may be required or recommended. You can check with your travel agent for preliminary information, then double-check with your local healthcare provider to make sure you're covered.

Though you probably won't need a fraction of the travel medicines mentioned here, being prepared will leave you free to enjoy your vacation with the least amount of hassle and the greatest amount of comfort. In the end, its best to ask your doctor to make sure that you remember everything.


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Post 3

I actually think that antibiotics should be taken if the trip is to a foreign country, especially one where you are not sure about the availability of health care.

Sometimes when we travel to other countries, our bodies interact for the first time with some bacteria. So it's possible to get food poisoning, or catch a cold when no one else has it. I think I would want to keep some antibiotics and maybe some medicines for the stomach and for cold and flu with me just in case.

This is in addition to any necessary immunizations for travel of course.

Post 2

When we're on a trip with the family and I'm driving, I make sure to keep a first aid kit with us. I actually have it in the car all the time. We have two little kids, so you never know when they are going to fall and hurt themselves.

We also take a thermometer, children's fever reducer, cough syrup and the like in case the little ones catch something and we can't get to a doctor right away. Of course sun block and insect repellents are a must. When you are traveling with kids, you can never be prepared enough. So we usually take everything that might be necessary for them.

Post 1

I always carry aspirin, ibuprofen, gaviscon antiacid tablets, eye drops, nasal spray, aloe vera gel and ginger candies with me when I travel.

I have to use aspirin and nasal spray in the plane itself because I tend to have problems with ears popping and circulation problems with my legs. I think everyone should travel with aspirin because we have to sit still during journeys and aspirin helps with blood circulation. It can also be used as a pain reliever.

My aloe vera gel is like a lifesaver. It is good for so many things including burns, insect bites and skin allergies. It relieves the symptoms right away.

I carry ginger candies for motion sickness. I like dramamine too but it makes me very sleepy and drowsy. Ginger candies are really good for nausea.

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