In the middle of cold and flu season, it is a struggle to stay healthy, especially when you are far from home. Time is so precious when you are on the road. You may be on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Antarctica, but you won’t fully enjoy your trip if you are sick. When illness strikes, having a medication “pharmacy” bag can make all the difference.
This is a true story. I was on a beautiful Mediterranean cruise. The ports were amazing. The ship was magical (actually, the Disney Magic).
One day, I was on a ‘beach day’ excursion. Walking along the sand in only knee-high water, an excruciating pain shot through my foot. Something venomous had stung me. I never saw what it was, but it caused extreme pain and swelling.
I saw the ship’s doctor. He gave me crutches and recommended applying heat to break down the toxin. With severe pain and swelling, I could not walk on the foot.
The next day’s port was Rome. My tour was not wheelchair accessible, but I wasn’t about to miss my first visit to Rome! I hobbled along on crutches.
While it was not ideal (I can’t remember most of what I saw that day in the Vatican Museum), I was glad for good friends, and the medications I had brought along with me…my personal “pharmacy.”
There’s a lot to be said for packing light, but I come prepared with my medications bag. I tell people that I travel with a pharmacy. It is compact, but effective. And it is much easier than finding medications while on the road. (Believe me, I’ve been there!)
Your medication ‘pharmacy’ bag should be with you, in your carry-on bag, at all times when traveling.
Your medications should never be in your checked luggage. You never know when you might need a medication, and meds may be very difficult to replace if lost.
On what I call ‘moving days’ — days of flying, train rides, switching hotels — have this bag with you, and not checked in.
Gather your prescription medications.
All your essential prescription medications are your first priority. Whether you’re going away for a weekend, or a month-long adventure — bring your medications!
It is a good idea to bring a written copy of your prescriptions, or at least a medication list. This is helpful in case meds need to be replaced, or in case of an emergency.