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3 travel medications you can’t leave behind! | Don't Ever Look Back

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3 travel medications you can’t leave behind!

3 travel medications you can’t leave behind!

Working in a pharmacy, I’m starting to see more people coming in seeking advice on the ‘must-have’ medications to take with them while traveling. I could easily give them a list a page long but based on my travel experiences, these three medicines should be the first things in your backpack or suitcase.

Electrolyte Replacement Supplement

Travelers Diarrhoea

Keeping hydrated and diarrhoea tablets will help you avoid a repeat of this situation!

Keeping hydrated is essential for everyone, especially travelers. There are plenty of situations where a traveler can experience dehydration, including:

  • Traveler’s Diarrhoea
  • Air Travel
  • Travel in Air-Conditioned Buses or Trains
  • Heat/Humidity – Perspiration
  • Sport/Exercise
  • Excessive Alcohol Intake

An oral rehydration solution will help replace lost electrolytes and speed recovery.

All-In-One Antiseptic Cream

An all-in-one antiseptic cream works not only as an antiseptic, it also contains an anaesthetic to help numb any pain and an anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation. It’s great for cuts, bites, stings, itches, sunburn and minor burns – things that seem to occur quite regularly when you’re out on the road. Personally I would describe it as a magic cream and travelers can use it for multiple purposes which makes it a must-have!

Diarrhoea Tablets

Traveler’s diarrhoea is many traveler’s worst nightmare but it’s one of the most common conditions experienced when in a foreign country. When we get diarrhoea, our bodies are telling us that we’re trying to flush something out whether it’s food poisoning or a dreaded bacteria.

An electrolyte replacement supplement keeps you hydrated during a bout of traveler’s diarrhoea, but diarrhoea tablets are a must if you need to relieve or stop the symptoms. It may not cure the cause, but if you’ve got a plane/train/bus to catch or some place to be, you definitely don’t want to be fighting traveler’s diarrhoea while doing so.

There are obviously plenty more medications that you should bring with you when you travel including aspirin/paracetamol/ibuprofen, motion sickness tablets and antihistamines. But these are three that I would class as the ones you definitely can’t forget.

And people, please don’t forget your sunscreen!

What are the first medications you put in your suitcase? Add to Amy’s list in the comments!


  1. Posted May 25, 2011 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    I learned about the electrolytes the hardway when I ended up in the hospital. You’d think I would have learned but its actually happened twice. Oops.
    Michael recently posted..Travelling Alone – What I’ve Learnt

    • Posted May 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      I remember reading this on your blog – hopefully it doesn’t happen a third time! Perfect example of how bad things can get!
      It’s easy enough to overlook keeping hydrated while you’re traveling but by the time you’re feeling thirsty, your body is already dehydrated and it’s about 2 hours too late!

  2. Posted May 25, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The first thing I buy when planning a trip is motion sickness tablets. Even if I’m not planning to be out on water, I take them in case of especially winding car rides or bumpy flights. And they take up virtually no room in a bag, which is great. The worst is getting the unsettled feeling in your stomach when you know it’s preventable! I never take the chance, as getting seasick or carsick can ruin a day, or even a whole trip.
    Amanda recently posted..Music and Travel

    • Posted May 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Great advice Amanda! Motion sickness tablets are definitely in our Top 5 and probably something that I should have taken more often after experiences of vomiting in a car in Bali and then again on a boat in Thailand.
      The latter definitely ruined the day trip for me… everyone was up taking photos while I was just sitting on the front of the boat praying we would reach dry land soon!

  3. Posted May 26, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I’ve been traveling for 7 years and never taken medications. You don’t need it. Believe it or not, there are better pharmacies in developing countries.
    Roy | Cruisesurfingz recently posted..The Tallinn Report

  4. Posted May 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    The traveler’s diarrhea things is probably one of my biggest fears. The thought of being on a bus or some from of transport I’m not in control of and being sick (also nausea) is so scary to me. When I plan on being in transport for a long time this will be the first on my list!

    I always have extra strength headache meds (Exedrin from the States or equivalent) because I get bad headaches increasingly often, especially if I have been drinking!
    Annie recently posted..Enjoying Italy to the Last Drop

    • Posted May 29, 2011 at 1:24 am | Permalink

      Yep – I can speak from personal experience that being on a bus when being struck by traveler’s diarrhoea is not fun! Happened to me in the middle of the Nevada desert in summer… and you’re right, headache meds definitely make it into the top 5!

  5. Posted May 29, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The one and only medication I ever really needed on the road? Tiger Balm. Oh Tiger Balm, how I love thee =) I had over 50 mossy bites (thanks to an unexpected day time ‘jungle stop’) and antiseptic cream didn’t touch the pain or inflammation at all! But half a tub of balm and a fish spa later, I was getting my sanity back.
    I guess your medications will all depend on where you go in the world but yep, I have to agree with you, if you could only travel with 3, they would definitely be the ones I pick =)

    • Posted May 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      We’ve heard of Tiger Balm – I think it would work similar to the all-in-one antiseptic but the heat in the Tiger Balm might have helped more with the pain! Glad to hear you agree with our list though, we’re amazed by the amount of people who overlook these things!

  6. Posted May 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for these suggestions! And your comment about sunscreen reminded me of this awesome (scary?) article detailing the issues with most American-sold sunscreens. There’s also a tab at the top with “best sunscreen” suggestions, so if you’re gonna protect your skin while you travel (and you should!) get one of those. 🙂

    Christy recently posted..Pole- Pedal- Paddle

    • Posted May 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much for sharing that link Christy – selecting the right sunscreen is vitally important! Amy’s a big believer in using sunscreen at all times and looking after your skin and I know she’s got a post planned about it all in the near future. 🙂

  7. Posted June 1, 2011 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Good list! haha and yes, definitely sun screen. I always bring sleeping pills too 😀
    Seattle Dredge recently posted..6 Ways to Save Money While Traveling

  8. Posted February 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    We do a lot of hiking when we travel and we carry a small first aid kit along just for that.

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