Hitting the road? Take these steps before you go.
Wallet? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Enough pairs of socks? Check. Medication?
According to a survey from Consumer Reports, more than half of Americans take at least one prescription medication. And when they travel, those meds usually need to come along with them.
If you’re planning a trip and regularly take medication, a little bit of advanced planning can save you from hassle, high costs and even avoidable health risks. Here’s what you should do before you go.
- Learn the medication laws of your destination.
If you’re traveling internationally, ask your pharmacist or check the foreign embassy of the country you’re visiting to learn about possible restrictions on the medication(s) you currently take.
- Make sure you’ll have enough for your trip, and then some.
If you won’t have enough medication on-hand to last the duration of your trip (and, ideally, a few days more), talk to your doctor about getting an early refill. If your prescription drug coverage doesn’t cover an early refill, see if you can save money by purchasing your medication through Blink Health.
- Have prescription documentation easily accessible.
Carry documentation of all your prescriptions. This will not only prove that the medication is prescribed to you but will also allow you to access the information if you need a refill.
- Consider time zone changes.
If you’ll be traveling across time zones, the CDC recommends asking your doctor about how that may affect when you take your medications each day. You may need to consider taking your next dose relative to when you took your last dose, instead of according to the local time.
- Pack your medications in your carry-on or an easily accessible bag. Don’t risk the possibility of not being able to access your meds if you need them immediately, or — worse — having your medicine in a checked bag getting lost or stolen.
- Keep medications in their original, labeled bottles.
The TSA recommends keeping pills in their original, labeled containers. Liquid medications can exceed the usual 3-ounce limit, but the TSA asks passengers to alert the officers of the medication before screening.
- Pack a pill box.
If you normally organize your pills in a daily pill container, pack an empty one with you to sort your meds upon arrival, so you can stay on track during your trip.
- Download the Blink Health app for free. Having the Blink Health app on your phone will let you easily find an in-network pharmacy near you — anywhere in the U.S. — in case you need an unexpected prescription while you’re away. If you need to fill a prescription while traveling in the U.S., just look up the medication on the Blink Health app to find the discounted price and the closest in-network pharmacy to fill at. With more than 35,000 pharmacies in our network, you likely won’t have to travel far.
Having the medications you need while traveling means one less thing to worry about, and helps you stay safe (and have fun!) on your journey. Bon voyage!
This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911. Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 536 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10012, (844) 366–2211, www.blinkhealth.com