Tomorrow you leave on holiday and what should you put in your suitcase first? You probably just had “clothes”, “pants”, “make-up” or something else in mind. But what you will not have answered is “a travel pharmacy”. Most people don’t think of that first, even though it is so important!
Your travel pharmacy should not only contain a first aid kit, but should be tailored to your personal needs and the country you are visiting. Sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly what to put in it. Luckily, we have drawn up an easy checklist for you to use. Handy, right?
What should you include in your standard travel pharmacy?
Checklist: standard travel pharmacy
- Medicines for
- stomach ache
- Intestinal complaints
- Diarrhoea (such as Immodium, Norit and ORS)
- fever (such as Ibuprofen, paracetamol)
- muscle pain
- Insect repellents
- Ointment for
- Insect bites
- Allergic reactions
- (Blister) plasters
- Sterile gauze bandages
- Pressure bandage
- Needle-nose pliers
- Safety pins
- Sun cream
- Blood type chart
- Disposable gloves
Your personal needs in the travel pharmacy
In addition to all these standard items, it is also important to equip your travel pharmacy with supplies for personal needs. For example, if you always suffer from migraines, you should take the appropriate medication. In some countries you cannot get that specific medication and if you suddenly get a migraine attack, it will be a less pleasant holiday.
Checklist: travel pharmacy with personal needs
- Do you have to take medication on doctor’s prescription?
- Do you often take a certain kind of medication?
- Do you feel easily travel sick?
- Do you have glasses or lenses? Don’t forget your lens solution!
- Do you have children and do they need special medication?
- Are you flying? Then don’t forget a pack of chewing gum.
- Contraceptives (if you use them)
- Condoms (if needed)
What activities to do when travelling?
Planning on spending whole days lying in the sun by the pool? Then don’t forget to include sun cream and after-sun lotion in your travel kit.
Do you have a slightly more active holiday ahead of you? Then make sure you take some plasters, disinfectants, etc. with you. You never know what can happen!
Where are you going?
Are you going to Africa or Asia? Then you will need to include malaria pills in your travel pharmacy. Not sure what medication to take to your holiday destination? Ask your doctor for advice. Sometimes there are also some vaccinations required or other things that have to be taken care of.
Important administrative matters
If you are travelling to Europe you will need to take an E111 form with you. This shows that you are insured. But for different countries you may also need another form or even nothing at all.
Medicines prohibited in certain countries
Do you take anti-depressants or medication for ADHD? Then don’t forget to include them in your travel pharmacy. But did you know that in some countries these medications are not allowed to enter just like that? You have to have a statement confirming that you really need this medication. Without a declaration, this can have very serious consequences.
A medication passport = your lifesaver
A medicine passport is essential when travelling. A medicine passport can be obtained from a family doctor or pharmacy. What is it exactly? Well, it is a document that states which medicines you are taking and/or if you are allergic to something and what to do in case of an emergency. This can help others, should you need it.
Some smart tips to prevent infectious diseases
- Boil all your food thoroughly until it is even a little too soft. Better that than getting a tummy ache.
- Watch the water you drink! Never just drink tap water.
- Never eat raw fish or meat.
- Wash your hands regularly and brush your teeth several times a day.
- Always use clean bath towels, hand towels and dish cloths.
- Be careful with frozen products that are not packaged, they can easily harbour bacteria.