PillsAs we get older our medicine kits start to take up more and more space in our luggage. We know we are not as fit as we used to be and are more susceptible to injury and illness.

There is nothing worse than getting sick or running out of your medication while on holiday.

Here are some reminders about what to do before you go away and while you are on your travels.

International Travel

* If you are travelling internationally make sure that any medication you are taking with you is legal in the country you are visiting. This includes non-prescription meds.

* Make sure that all prescription medications are clearly labelled with the person’s name and details of the prescription. Each person should carry their own medication because if you are stopped at customs and are separated from your family for an inspection you can get into trouble if you have medication that is not yours.

* Have copies of all your prescriptions and make sure you know the names of the various Generic options. These can change from country to country.

* Get a prescription for a broad spectrum antibiotic to use in case you get an infection. Chat to your doctor.

* Have sufficient meds to cover you for the whole holidays. I use those handy little containers that have 7 compartments for the days of the week and, if necessary, divided into morning, lunch and evening for each day. 

* Make sure you have all the necessary innoculations in plenty of time before you depart so that you can sort out any negative reactions.

* Ensure you have a Medic Alert bracelet, if necessary.

* Have plenty of medical insurance. Most countries will not allow you in if you do not have sufficient insurance.

General Travel

* Have your doctor’s contact details handy in case you lose your medication or run out and need to arrange a script while you are away.

* If you are diabetic make sure you have sufficient insulin, needles, testing kit and strips and a way of keeping your insulin at the right temperature. Travel can cause your sugar levels to go unstable. Make sure you have some way of treating an unexpected low sugar episode.

* My medical kit also contains: Paracetamol, plasters, antiseptic cream, antihistamine cream, pills for diarrhoea and nausea, water purification tablets, safety pins and even a tiny sewing kit.

* Don’t forget about mosquitoes, bee stings and other allergy meds and travel sickness pills if you or your family suffer in this way.

* Never, ever offer your medication, even over the counter medication, to anyone else unless you are a qualified medical professional who is able to make an unqualified diagnosis. It is something that we are frequently tempted to do as part of our nature of being good citizens. They may have an unexpected reaction and you could end up being sued or worse. For example you might unwittlingly give some cough medicine which contains alcohol to a recovering alcoholic, or Codeine to a Codeine addict.