Dr. Donnica's Top Tips for Healthy Travel, Part Two
One of the greatest travel-related health risks lies with our luggage. Over-packing
and then incorrectly lifting suitcases is a significant risk for back or other
orthopedic injuries. Try to buy suitcases that come with rollers. Healthy rules
of thumb for packing are that less is more and two lighter bags are better than
one heavier bag. In fact, many airlines are now enforcing weight limits for
luggage with hefty fines for overweight baggage.
Your Travel Medicine Kit
On airplanes, how you pack may also impact your health. Bring any prescription
medications with you in your carry-on luggage, even if you only anticipate a
short flight. If you take injectable medications like insulin, carry a copy
of your syringe prescription. It is also advisable to carry copies of all prescriptions
in your carry-on and in your luggage in case they need to be replaced
during vacation. Keep these with copies of your other travel documents, including
your insurance card, passport and credit cards.
Most travelers remember to pack their toiletries, shaving kits, and make-up
bags, but few consider packing a well-stocked medicine kit. This should be
in your carry-on bag. It is also a great idea to keep a well-stocked kit in
your car. One way to think about what to put in this kit is to remember any
unfortunate events that you or a companion have experienced on a trip and include
what you wish you had with then!
This kit should include basic first aid supplies and pain relievers (adhesive
bandages, topical antibiotic ointment, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and
hydrocortisone), as well as any of the following categories which apply to you
or your trip: products to prevent or treat various gastrointestinal upsets (nausea,
constipation, indigestion, hemorrhoids, or diarrhea); allergy products; cough/cold
preparations; motion sickness aids; sleeping aids; contraceptives; vitamins
and supplements; all prescription medications; sunscreen; and an index card
with contact information for your various healthcare providers. A pen and blank
index card are helpful for jotting down any supplies that need to be replaced
or added. With a well-stocked medicine kit, you are not only prepared for many
medical symptoms you may experience, but you are also prepared to assist others.
Created: 10/4/2004  - Donnica Moore, M.D.