Travelling With Medications

For many years we didn’t have to bother about travelling with medicines, but as we have got older we both need to take pills daily.

Usually its not a problem travelling domestically, travelling internationally it can be a little more complicated.

Law Enforcement

Laws on drugs vary considerably between countries, particularly if you are taking a narcotic drug.

Although it’s unlikely you’ll be stopped and questioned about your medications, it is a possibility.

You never know if a search dog may pick you out.

Proof that you have been prescribed the medication will make the situation easier.

Evidence

The easiest way of providing evidence that you are entitled to the medicine is the original box, or bottle, with the pharmacists label.

If you are taking very strong drugs it may be useful to also get a letter from your doctor.

Losing Medicines

Minimise the risk of losing medicines by always having them in your carry on and taking a couple of weeks extra in case there is a delay in returning home.

Make sure you have a record of the details (such as a photo of the pharmacy tag) so you can get replacements if your carry-on is stolen.

Medical Emergencies

If you have a medical emergency, having the details of your medicines will help a doctor determine the best treatment for you. 

Bad Travel Hacks

Lets be honest this isn’t the only website that gives travel advice, there are a lot of ‘Travel Hacks’ around.

Not all of them are useful, so here are a couple I have seen, but I won’t be using:

Booking Separate Plane Tickets For A Single Journey

Yes it might be cheaper but it takes a lot longer if you have to collect your bags and then check in again.

If your first flight is late the next plane won’t wait and then you have to re-book and pay extra.

I would rather book through one airline. . . . . faster connection and if you miss the connection you will be automatically booked on the next flight, and put up in a hotel

Check All Your Bags (So there is less to carry)

Besides wasting time waiting at baggage, things aren’t going to go well if your bags get lost.

I’ve heard of people spending a week on a cruise with only the clothes they were wearing when they got off the plane.

The airlines will pay up to $200 compensation but that’s not going to go far buying clothes at the cruise ship shops.

I don’t have any problem with people checking in a bag as I occasionally do it myself . . . . but I always have a carry-on with enough clothes and other basics for 3-4 days.

What bad travel advice have you seen?

Take Different Shirts

Last year I was on a 19 day highlights of China group tour.

One of the men on the tour wore the same kind of blue lightweight shirt every single day!

I hope he had brought a few different shirts and changed shirts every night . . . . . but I wasn’t going to stand next to him to find out.

I usually travel fairly light so I only have a few shirts and wash after each days wear, but they are all different so it is obvious I am changing shirts daily.

What has a fellow traveller done that you thought odd?

Lost Luggage

I hear that Airlines performance with checked luggage is getting better.

According to a SITA Baggage Report for 2017 about one bag for every 170 passengers fails to arrive at the carousel.

Only a small proportion of those cases are permanently lost, around 1 case per 2,500 customers.

Reason for loss

Almost half of all cases of lost checked in luggage is due to the case going missing when changing planes, particularly when there is a tight connection.

I would say my experience tends to back up the figures in the last ten years and a couple of hundred flights my checked in bags have got missing 3 times.

Twice with transfer times of much less than an hour.

The other time it got held up in immigration at Los Angeles even though the transfer time was 6 hours.

Every time the bags have turned up within 24 hours.

My Travel Hacks

After 3 occurrences I now rarely check in luggage, even if I am travelling for a couple of weeks.

Even when I check in luggage I still have my carry-on with 4-5 days of clothes.

Flying to the US I aim to stay at least one night at the place where I go through immigration.

My ‘Go To’ Carry On

This High Sierra duffel has been my ‘Go To’ carry on bag for the last couple of years . . . . . . so why do I like it?

Lightweight (but No Wheels)

The whole bag weighs just under 500grams, even though it uses a heavy duty nylon fabric and heavy duty zips.

That weight saving compared with the typical wheeled carry on means I can take an extra 1.5kg of clothes compared to the standard carry on trolley bag.

Carry-on Size, Even for Smaller Aircraft

When you fly on many commuter flights the overhead bins are quite small and people with hard sided bags find they are parted from their bag.

Soft sized duffels can normally be pushed into the restricted space easily.

Single Pocket

I hate lots of pockets as they add complexity, weight, and extra zips that can break.

I just want one pocket for my liquids so they are easy to access at security scanning.

Carrying Options

The bag has two adjustable carrying handles and adjustable shoulder strap.

It means I can carry it conventionally, over the shoulder, or even as a backpack.

I can also adjust the carrying handles to hold my coat to the top of the bag.

Disclaimer

I haven’t been paid or received any benefit from this post. I have seen several bags similar to this for around $30-$50.

Make Use Of Early Mornings

Jet lagged and awake early in the morning?

Rather than trying to get to sleep . . . . why not get up and explore?

Getting Away From Crowds

The shot above of an almost empty St Marks Square in Venice was taken in the middle of August.

So where are all the crowds? . . . . . well it’s 8.30am and the day trippers and the cruise passengers haven’t arrived.

In hour later and there would be hundreds of people in this shot.

Another view not many would see is the one in this photo, from the top of the Rialto Bridge.

No one in sight at 8.00 am in the morning.

Later at midday it was like being in the middle of a football crowd.

Over the years I have visited many cities and found early mornings can be a fantastic experience.

Walking the ‘High Line’ in New York by myself, or having a Tai Chi class in a Hong Kong park, mornings can be the best time.

When do you explore a new city?