Travel Medications

puppies1.jpgTake your travel meds, or you might end up sick as a canine quadruped…Get it? It’s a dog!

I have a friend, who shall remain nameless, who fancies himself an adventure traveler. Let me briefly share one of his stories with you:

He decided not to bring along any travel medications with him on a big journey. After 4 or 5 days in Vietnam without pooping he decided it was time to get help. The only problem was that he didn’t speak Vietnamese and he couldn’t find a pharmacy where they spoke English. Imagine the fun he had trying to mime constipation at a pharmacy stall in a Vietnamese village. Seriously. Imagine it. Lesson learned.

We really believe in being fully prepared when it comes to taking care of our health while traveling. After all the effort and money it takes to get to your destination, you don’t want to spend the whole time in bed with a sore tummy. Lauren also happens to have a notoriously weak constitution, especially when traveling, so we make sure we’re fully stocked.

Here’s a list of all the travel meds we take with us while traveling (generic brand is fine for everything though I’ll try to put the brand name in brackets): 

Over-the-Counter

Anti-nausea meds (Gravol): We buy these in bulk (for real!), since Lauren takes them for every plane journey, and most bus journeys. And car journeys. And definitely boat journeys. She takes them a lot. 

Laxatives (Exlax): Air travel and the food of a new place can definitely put you in a position that a few ex-lax will remedy.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol): Headaches suck. 

Ibuprofen (Advil): I think it’s great to take both Tylenol and Advil, as Advil works better for muscle pain. And that happens all too often while walking around all day with a heavy pack.

Loperamide Hydrocholoride (Immodium): Diarrhea relief. No need to say any more.

Ranitidine Tablets: Acid reducer. You’re eating different things on a different schedule, so packing any meds related to food is a great idea.

Simethicone: Gas relief. Avoid embarrassment!

Tiger Balm: Small in size, great for sore backs. Came in real handy when walking around cities in India. We just put some under our noses to mask the pervasive smell of urine! Hooray!

Antiseptic ointment (Polysporin): Prevent small infections from becoming large infections.

Alcohol wipes 

Tensor Bandage

Band-Aids of different sizes

Blister Band-Aids: We take these on every trip. You’re often walking so much that you forget the effect it can have on your feet. Invaluable.

Cold medication: A double pack of generic Dayquil/Nyquil is great to take.

Cough Lozenges

Multi-vitamins: While traveling it’s often tough to make sure you’re always eating properly, so take your vitamins!

Water purification tablets: Depends where you are, but something to consider.

Insect Repellent: Make sure it has DEET. We use the Watkins products. 

Sunscreen: We really like the KINeSYS sunscreen spray. Easy to put on, and smells nice. Not greasy either. 

Sewing Kit: We keep this with the med kit just so we don’t lose it. Haven’t had to sewing anything up yet, luckily!

Tweezers & Nail clippers: We have these included with our Swiss Card, but if you don’t have one of those, these are essential. Imagine the annoyance of a hangnail that you just can’t get rid of. For a month. *shudders*

Med bag: We bought a cool bag from Mec to put all the above meds it. It’s red in color which means it’s easy to find and easily identified as medication. It’s much better to put together your own medkit than buy one with stuff you don’t need. We take this thing everywhere.

Doctor Prescribed: 

Broad spectrum anti-biotic: Take these to get rid of travelers diarrhea. Chances are you’ll get it at some point in your travel life, so be prepared.

Malarial meds: Malarone is the type we take. Find out if malaria is a problem in the region you’re traveling.

Altitude sickness meds: Helps prevent altitude sickness, which is a real drag. See if your doc can prescribe these. 


It’s essential to contact your travel health clinic (here are the ones in Canada) or family doctor in order to make sure you have the proper vaccinations as well as proper medications for the region you’re traveling in. Some places require proof of vaccination in order to travel there.

NOTE: For an incredibly extensive travel packing list, check out this one from www.onebag.com

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