Whether you’re going away for a weekend or for an entire month, it takes a little planning to make sure you’ll have your medications when you need them. You’ll need enough doses of each of your prescription drugs to last your trip. Plus it’s a good idea to build in a little extra margin for safety in case your return trip is delayed. Also, make sure you have a supply of your over-the-counter medications as they can be more expensive or difficult to find in vacation areas. You should also bring your doctor’s and your pharmacist’s telephone numbers with you in case you need them.
Traveling with Your Meds
When traveling, it’s a good idea to carry all your prescription medications in their original containers. This can make it easier to get a refill if you run out. If you are traveling by plane, train or bus, be sure to keep your prescriptions with you in a carry-on bag (you don’t want your prescriptions to accidently wind up at the wrong destination). It’s also important for some medications to be kept in a temperature-controlled environment (checked baggage is not temperature-controlled).
Dealing with Time Zones
Remember that your travel plans may take you across different times zones. This means that you may need to adjust the time that you take your medications while on your trip. You can work with your doctor to create a dosage schedule to help with this. If you need to take a prescription medication exactly on schedule, regardless of the time zone, you may want to purchase a multi-time zone watch or use an alarm clock or smartphone to help track your dosage times.
Documenting Your Prescriptions
While you’ll be bringing your prescription containers with you when traveling, it’s also a good idea to have your doctor sign off on a medication record form so you have official documentation of all the different medications you take.
If you run out of a prescription while on vacation it’s not always simple to get it refilled. If your prescription is at a major pharmacy chain, you should be able to have it temporarily transferred to your new location and have it filled. However, if you are out of the country or not near your regular pharmacy chain, you will probably have to pay the full cost of the prescription and then file a claim form for reimbursement when you get back. Don’t forget to save receipts and other documentation to submit your claim. In some states, pharmacists are permitted to issue emergency refills for a 72-hour supply of medicine without contacting your doctor. So it’s worth asking if you need your medication without delay.
Few things are more enjoyable than a nice vacation. So don’t let an issue with a prescription medication spoil what you’ve been looking forward to all year – be prepared!