Travel: What to Pack & What to Know

Travelling can be a fun adventure. But it requires a bit of planning to make sure you have a safe and healthy trip. Check off these healthy tips to help prepare.

General tips

Emergency contact information:
  • Doctor, pharmacy, family member/friend
  • Your hotel abroad
  • Canadian embassy
Proof of medication:
  • A letter from your doctor on his/her letterhead
  • A copy of your prescription(s), including:
    • Generic name of the medication
    • Correct dosage
 
Proper storage container(s):
  • A cooler bag to store medication(s) that require a constant temperature e.g., insulin
  • Original labelled containers for prescription and non-prescription medications
Always keep:
  • A copy of your passport kept separately from your passport
  • Proof of travel insurance coverage
  • Your medications in a carry-on bag, if you are flying
 

Over-the-counter and natural health products

  • Pain/fever medications:
    • Acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen* (as recommended by your pharmacist or doctor)
  • Stomach:
    • Anti-diarrheal* medication
    • Oral rehydration salts to treat dehydration that may be caused by diarrhea
    • Anti-nausea/anti-motion sickness* medication
    • Antacids
    • Mild laxative
  • Cough/cold/flu/allergy:
    • Cold medication*
    • Antihistamine/allergy medication* **
  • First aid/insect bites:
    • Water-resistant adhesive bandages
    • Antibacterial ointment/cream
    • 0.5% hydrocortisone cream*
    • Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    • Tensor bandage
    • Insect repellent*
  • Sun care:
    • Sunscreen*
  • Vitamins and minerals:
    • Multi-vitamins (as recommended by your doctor)
    • Vitamin and mineral supplements (as recommended by your doctor)
* The Pharmacist at Walmart can help you select safe, effective medications and other health products and can recommend adult and pediatric formulations (if required and available) of the medications/health products that you may require while traveling.
 
** For severe allergies (anaphylaxis), carry an epinephrine auto-injector; wear medical alert jewellery.
 

Prescription medications/products

  • Ask your pharmacist about possible food-drug interactions at your destination
  • Ask your pharmacist about how to take your medications(s) if you are traveling to a different time zone
  • Be sure to have enough prescription medication for the time you are planning to be away AND to cover possible changes to travel plans, e.g., if you plan to be away for seven days, carry enough medication for 10 to 12 days

Special needs

Consider all of the tips above as well as:
  • Infants and young children
    • Be sure infants and young children drink enough fluids as they become dehydrated more easily than adults
  • Pregnancy
    • Your pharmacist or doctor can advise you about medications that may be safe in pregnancy
  • Speak with your doctor 4 to 6 weeks before travel to be sure you are well to travel and have the medications/supplies you need for health and safety.
  • If you are pregnant, ask your pharmacist about taking anti-malaria medication and about possible drug interactions with antibiotics used to treat travelers’ diarrhea.

Chronic conditions: lung & heart

Lung disease
  • Keep inhaler(s) on your person
  • Carry extra medications with you
Heart disease
  • Keep well-hydrated, drink plenty of fluids
  • Pace yourself
  • Carry a summarized medical history

If you are at risk of blood clots, ask for an aisle or bulkhead seat on a plane; wear support hose; do calf exercises and walk around when possible; ask your pharmacist or doctor about low-dose aspirin

For these, and all other chronic conditions, speak with your doctor 4 to 6 weeks before travel to be sure you are well to travel and have the medications/supplies you need for health and safety.

If you are taking medication for a chronic condition, ask your pharmacist about taking anti-malaria medication and about possible drug interactions with antibiotics used to treat travelers’ diarrhea.

Chronic conditions: diabetes

Diabetes medication and supplies
  • Blood glucose meter, supplies for testing, log book
  • Oral diabetes medication(s)
  • Insulin and insulin delivery supplies; insulin adjustment instructions, if required; cooler bag to maintain temperature of insulin
  • Glucose tablets
  • Medical alert bracelet
 
For these, and all other chronic conditions, speak with your doctor 4 to 6 weeks before travel to be sure you are well to travel and have the medications/supplies you need for health and safety.
 
If you are taking medication for a chronic condition, ask your pharmacist about taking anti-malaria medication and about possible drug interactions with antibiotics used to treat travelers’ diarrhea.
 

Important information

The Pharmacist at Walmart can help you and your family get ready for your next trip. Just ask!

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.

Legal
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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