Traveling with Medications How to Keep Them Safe and Secure
When it comes to taking medications with you on holiday, there are several things you need to consider. Firstly, you need to ensure that they are kept safe and out of reach of children or pets who may be travelling with you.
You also need to ensure they are stored safely so they do not become damaged. Lastly, you need to confirm that you are legally allowed to take your medication into the country you are travelling to, and what documentation you might need.
Here is our guide on travelling with medications, how to keep them safe and secure, and how medication bags for travelling can help.
What to do before you travel
First, make a list of what medications you intend to bring. You should list details of what the medicine is, what it looks like, dosage, when to take it, its effects (including side effects or allergies), and details of the doctor or specialist that prescribed the medicine.
In addition, visit your local GP or travel clinic at least a month before travel to discuss any possible additional medicines you need to take for your trip or vaccinations against diseases such as malaria.
If possible, keep your medications in their original packaging, and pack each type of medication separately in marked medication bags for travelling. Finally, let any responsible parties you are travelling with know where they can find information on your medication in case of an emergency.
Safe storage during travel
Make sure that your medications are well packed and stored away in your medicine bag for travel and are unable to be accessed by children or pets during the journey.
It is also important that you store your medicine bag in a temperature-controlled environment. Medpacs are insulated to help to keep medication at a regulated temperature, but it is advisable that you’re mindful of where it is being kept.
If possible, keep your medicine bag near the car’s passenger side to keep it safe. If travelling through border security on your way to a flight or boat, keep your medication in a clear medicine pouch for travel with your carry-on luggage and declare them to the border security officer. The officer will screen the medicines by X-ray or alternative means if you request it.
Once you arrive at your holiday accommodation, continue to use your Medpac as you would if you were at home. If you are staying with a host, discuss with them any safe locations where you can keep your medicine. See our range of travel medicine bags.
Travelling with medicine outside the UK
Before you travel, you must ensure that you comply with the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and that any controlled drugs in your possession are for personal use only. You can prove this with a letter from your doctor or a recent prescription. Make sure you have one of these items on hand before you travel.
If you are planning on travelling for three months or longer, you will need a personal licence from the Home Office to cover the amount of medication you need for your journey.
Also, keep your medicine in its original packaging to avoid suspicion from border security officers. Keep in mind different countries have their own rules regarding types of medication, and what might be legal in the UK could be controlled or even illegal elsewhere.
Medications that contain codeine or tramadol, for example, could get you arrested in Thailand or the UAE. Always check the laws regarding your medication before you travel to another country to avoid any issues and make alternative plans if necessary.