Skipping on your itineraries because you have to find good doctors or drug stores in a foreign city can ruin your experience. Not to mention that finding an open pharmacy on weekends can be a real challenge in a country you have never visited before. So make your own travel first aid kit!
This will help not only you, but also any people you might potentially find in distress.
Let’s start with the annoying part first:
1. Do Your Research
Keep in mind that in some countries you are not allowed to bring some specific meds.
For example, in UK you are not allowed to bring Metamizole (painkiller and fever reliever).
Do a little research about the country’s regulations about what medication you can bring with you. Usually, I search this kind of information directly from the official sources by looking up a Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website or so. They update their Travel Advisories section often, so you can always check the latest changes.
Also, have a list ready with the alternative names of the most important drugs you will need during your trip. For instance, what is internationally known as Cipralex, in the U.S you can find under the name of Lexapro.
TIP! Look for a good dentist in the cities you will spend most of the time. If something unexpected happens, you will know where to go since you have already checked the reviews and the pricing (if displayed).
2. Destination-Specific Meds
Again, you will need to research this a little bit.
Will you need a vaccine before leaving the country for diseases such as Diphteria, Typhoid fever or Yellow fever?
Also, take into account the meds for high-altitudine sickness or Malaria.
3. Anti-Motion Sickness Meds
In some cases, traveling by bus is budget-wiser than taking the plane or the train.
But are you prepared to spend many hours (5-6, sometimes more) on the road? If so, don’t forget your anti-motion sickness meds.
4. Anti-Diarrhea Meds
5. Your Usual Meds Prescribed by the Doctor
Not only will you protect your skin from premature aging, but you will have to worry less about those harmful UV rays, sunburns, or red veins eruptions.
Even if you go to a sea resort or take a hike through the mountains, don’t forget to pack this with you.
Don’t make the same mistake I did in Spain.
In July (one of the hottest months in Spain), we traveled for 2 weeks around the country. I had sunscreen with us but I did not use it. Why? I thought my skin could handle the sunlight.
Spoiler: It didn’t.
7. Insect Repellent
Being in a foreign country also implies that, sometimes, you will come across different bugs – especially when the climate is more different than back home. This means that if you get bitten by an insect, your body will react differently since it is not accustomed to such insects.
I never knew how important this item is until we explored Italy and I’ve been bitten by bugs so many times. My left leg was almost twice as big as the right leg.
If you don’t think it’s useful, then this is what you have to look forward to:
- sometimes even death
8. Usual Medical Supplies
9. Hydration Tablets and Salts
This is a useful tip that came from these guys – AdrenalineRomance!
If you ask us, exploring the streets of Madrid in full summer, in a temperature that easily reaches 42°C should be considered an adrenaline activity. You never know how much you will have to endure – especially when having to deal with the lack of shadow at noon.
Although hydration tablets and salts are usually used by elite athlete, if you put your body at work in unfriendly climate conditions (humid or hot and dry climates) or hard terrain conditions (long hikes on mountains), you risk getting dehydrated much easier.