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Wow! Your vacation is getting near! You’ve worked at saving money on travel so you have a little extra to really enjoy your trip. Of course, as a savvy traveler you’ve not only been looking forward to this trip but planning like mad as well. Travel reservations - Check! Outfits for dining, lounging, swimming, etc - Check! Passport and travel documents - Check! Lots of those little travel sized toiletries and so forth - Check, check, check! Sports gear - Check! That novel you’ve been meaning to get to - Check!

In all the excitement of packing, planning what you’ll do, and so forth, don’t forget to check whether you have enough medication to get you through your trip. And we’re not just talking about your prescription medication either.

Be sure that you have either enough of your over the counter medications to see you through your journey or that there’s a source to get more of them near where you’ve set up your home exchange or other accommodations.  Another great idea is to find out the names of your over the counter medications in other countries. For example, in the UK a common pain reliever is known as Paracetamol. But in the US it’s known by the brand name Tylenol or the generic name acetaminophen. To help find out more about this, here are a link and an app for your smartphone which might help you look up international drug names.

With regard to you prescription medications, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure you have enough medication on hand. The first and easiest is to see if you can get a prescription written for enough medication to see you through. This will involve checking with your physician to request the prescription and with your insurance to make sure they’ll permit it to be filled. Sometimes insurances, especially in the US will have requirements that prescriptions for more than a 30 day supply be ordered from an online or mail order pharmacy. If that’s the case, you’ll need to be sure to plan to get the order in well ahead of your departure date.

If you’re not planning an extended stay, see if you can get your medications refilled early. In some cases you can get a refill some 7 to 10 days before the current prescription is exhausted. The trick here is to check with your pharmacy first. Each one can have different rules about refill schedules. Again, a bit of planning ahead can really save a lot of scrambling at the last minute.

So whether you’re looking to do a holiday home exchange to get away from it all in sunny Antigua or on the slopes in Sun Valley   make sure that your trip stays happy and healthy by checking on those other essentials. 
Thank you to the MA Scott writing team for this blog post.  

vacationing couple image courtesy of  paracetamol image courtesy of   pharmacist image courtesy of


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