Spring break can be a great time to relax, recharge, and take a break from work or school, especially if travel is involved. According to vacation rental management company Vacasa, 56% of Americans planned to take a trip last spring, with 37% of Americans planning to travel specifically during spring break. Of those planning to travel, three-fourths planned a domestic trip while nearly one-fourth opted for a staycation.1 Whether travel plans involve a warm beach location, a cool mountain retreat, or a road trip down the interstate, it’s important to not stray too far from routines to keep your health on track.
If you’ve been taking any kind of vitamin or medication for an extended period of time, you’ve likely got your specific routine down by now. But what happens when your daily routine is changed—like when you go on vacation?
Staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and bringing sunscreen for sunny locations are important things to remember to help you stay healthy as you travel, as dehydration, sleep deprivation, and sunburn can quickly ruin vacation fun. But keeping up with your medication or vitamin intake is important when you’re traveling, too, to keep your health on track.
If you’re taking any vitamins or medications abroad, make sure to check on requirements of the country you’re visiting. Since other countries may have different laws regarding medicine, the Centers for Disease Control recommends to check with your destination’s embassy to ensure your medicines are allowed in that country. It also suggests to keep medicines in their original and labeled containers and bring copies of all written prescriptions.2 However, when you’re staying within the country, you likely won’t run into trouble getting around with medicines.
While traveling with those medications may be easy, remember to take them on time might not be as easy with the departure from your regular routine. You probably already have your vitamin or medication routine down when you’re at home. Maybe you’ve got alarms to remember to take your medications, or leave them sitting in a convenient location that’s in line with your daily routines, or large, handy pill organizers to help you remember whether you’ve already taken your vitamins for the morning or the day.
When you’re in your day-to-day, you’ve got it down. This time of year, as spring break comes around, don’t let traveling and an altered schedule be the reason that you get off track of taking your medications or vitamins. If you’re considering how best to travel with your medications, consider these options.
- Use disposable pill pouches. Smaller than bringing your hard-sided pill organizer, these plastic bags pack up nice and small. Their size allows you to pack them inconspicuously into a pocket, purse, or beach bag if you’re going out for a day. You can write the name of the day on them and note whether you should take it in the morning or evening. The spill-proof and moisture resistant bags have an air-tight seal. They’re large enough to hold dozens of small pills, but easy to fold down to as small of a size as you need.
- Opt for reusable individual containers. Made specifically for on-the-go needs, the lids of these small, portable containers snap shut to keep your pills secure—even when dropped. Made with colors that aren’t transparent so they’ll be easily found in the bottom of your bag and allow you to carry things discreetly.
- Three-compartment pill organizer. If you’d prefer more of the style you’re used to with a multi-compartment and soft touch open container, this is for you. They’re also handy if you’ll be gone for exactly three days or if you need to take pills three times a day. Lids snap shut but open with the touch of a button.
The convenience and simplicity of taking medications in the comfort of your home can easily be taken for granted. When you’re traveling, other necessities may not be as easily accessible to you on the road. Keep in mind these tips when you’re packing for your travel.
- Make sure the pills you are taking are labeled or organized at a time you need to take them. If you need to take them every morning, put them in a travel case labeled “a.m.” or write exactly what they are on the bag or container you choose to put them in.
- Keep them easily accessible. If you’re flying somewhere, keep them in your carry-on luggage instead of checked baggage, in case any baggage gets lost. If you’re on a road trip, keep them in a purse or bag that will stay near you in your seat and at most other times.
- Bring extra for additional days, in case your trip gets extended, whether because of weather delays, if you’re just having too much fun to go home yet, or any reason in between.
- Always keep a full water bottle on hand for when you need to take your pills so you’re prepared. Not everywhere you travel will have a clean, reliable, or easily accessible water source.
- Bring along healthy snacks—protein bars, nuts, or dried fruit, for example—for those pills that you need to take with food.
- Bring hand sanitizer or hand wipes. Though washing your hands is the best way to keep your hands clean, if you’re in an area where that may not be an option—at the beach or in a car in the middle of the road trip—using one of these options is a great back-up to keep your hands clean before taking your pills.
Traveling can be an exciting adventure, but the preparation and packing can be stressful when trying to remember all of your necessities. Remember to keep up with your medication or vitamin intake during your spring break or other travel by keeping your pills organized and easily accessible. Sticking to your medication or vitamin routine while traveling may not be as easy as it is during your normal routine at home, but with these tips you can remember to take them and stay on top of your health.
- Vacasa: Spring Break Travel Trends 2022. https://www.vacasa.com/discover/spring-break-travel-trends-2022
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Traveling Abroad with Medicine. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/travel-abroad-with-medicine