If you are going on holiday you like to be well prepared. If you are also taking medication, it is extra important to take care of a number of things. On this page you will find useful tips and facts to enjoy your holiday without any worries.
Preparations at home
- Make sure you have enough medicine to last the entire journey plus a few extra days in case of a delay.
- Check the best-before date.
- Get a medicine passport at the pharmacy. The medicine passport is not a travel document, but a medication list in English. This is useful if you need medical help abroad
- Make sure you have a medical certificate if you are taking medicine contains a controlled drug. Check if your medicines are on the list of controlled drugs. Check the list here for the UK. You should think of heavy painkillers, ADHD medications, certain sleeping pills, sedatives and medicinal cannabis. You need to apply for a special personal license, a doctor's prescription or a medication list from the pharmacy is not enough.Click here for more information. For more information, please visit: government / medicines on a trip or watch the information video of the CAK Please note: You have to check yourself if you need an explanation. Without a personal license, customs can see your medicines as drugs smuggled into the country illegally. Requesting a personal license can sometimes take up to 4 weeks. So check on time!
- Contraceptive pill on the road. Remember that the contraceptive pill is less reliable if you take it less regularly due to, for example, a time difference, long air travel, etc. Also severe vomiting and passenger diarrhea can reduce the reliability of the pill. Just to be sure, bring an extra strip and condoms.
- If necessary, bring an extra prescription If your medications are lost or damaged, you can use it to get new medicines.
- Distant journey: vaccinations. Are you going to a distant destination? Then you may need vaccinations against Hepatitus or tablets against Malaria. Check with your gp or mental health officer in good time before you travel. For more information, please visit the website of the NHS travel vaccinations.
- Recognize the medication. Take medicines with you in the original packaging of the pharmacy with label. You can also put your medicines in a Medimee case where you cut the leaflet and the front with label from the original packaging and visibly add it to the drug. This saves a lot of space and protects your medicines better than the original paper boxes.
- Watch the temperature. Are you going to fly? Put your medicines in your hand luggage – it can freeze in the luggage compartment of the aeroplane. Do not wear medicines directly on the body (e.g. in a pocket), which can be too hot. A medicine case with insulating foil or cooler can keep medicines well in the car, caravan or tent. Please note that for some medicines, a cool element is too cool. Never keep medicines in the glove compartment of the car, as it is often too hot.
- Take medicines in your hand luggage. If your suitcase gets lost, you still have your medication to hand. In addition, it quickly becomes too cold or too hot in the luggage compartments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take pills in sorting boxes abroad?
In general, you are not required to bring medicines in the original packaging. So you can take your pills in sorting pill boxes. The only exception to this are medications for which you must have a personal licence. These are for example heavy painkillers, ADHD medications, medicinal marijuana or certain sedatives. These should always be taken in the original packaging. You can check at the embassy of the country you are going to if you need a personal license. By the way, it is not recommended to take pills in sorting boxes. Due to the shaking, the lids often open unintentionally and the medicines are less well protected from heat and cold. In addition, in case of any questions from customs or doctor abroad, you cannot specify which pill belongs to which prescription.
Is a medicine passport mandatory?
A medicine passport is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. It is a paper summary with your name, your medication, your allergies and hypersensitivities listed in English. The drugs are not only mentioned by their brand name, but also the substance name. Abroad, you can easily be helped at a doctor, pharmacy or hospital. It is also useful at customs to indicate that your medication is prescribed to you. You can pick up your medicine passport at your pharmacy. This is usually provided free of charge.
What is the difference between a medicine passport and a personal licence?
A medicine passport is a paper overview of your medicines in English and is provided by the pharmacy. This is not mandatory.
Does your heavy painkillers, medications for ADHD, medicinal cannabis or, for example, sleeping pills? A medicine passport or a prescription with your name on it is not enough. These medicines cannot be imported into the country without an official personal license. Without a personal license, travelers risk severe punishments. After all, they are forbidden to possess. You can check here if you need a personal license. Please note that it will take a few weeks before you have the personal license in. Request it in time.
Can I bring liquid meds on the plane?
Yes, you can. For liquid medicines, the rule is that you can take as much as you need. That may be more than 100 ml. The condition is that the liquid is taken in the original bottle with a prescription label on it. Please note that this does not apply, for example, to lens fluid or cooling gel. For these items you can take up to a max. of 100 ml per item and offered to customs in a transparent bag of 1 litre at most.
Can I bring needles and syringes on the plane?
In general, passengers may bring on board medicines and associated supplies (such as needles, syringes and injection machines) for the treatment and control of their medical condition. It is recommended to transport the syringes and injectable drugs together and to provide (leave) clear labels with your name and the medicine OR to bring with you a medical certificate or cover letter from your doctor stating your name and medicine. Used needles and syringes should be disposed of in special waste containers for needles or other sharp waste. Please note that cabin crew is not allowed to assist you with injecting.
Which medicines should be kept cool?
It is best to ask your pharmacist. He or she knows your medicine best. For all medications, they should not be kept too hot. This can have a detrimental effect on shelf life. Especially eye drops, suppositories, creams, oints and insulin are sensitive to heat. However, some medications should not get too cold. Pay attention to this when using cooling elements. For some airlines it is possible to store small amounts of medicines in the refrigerator. However, this is usually not possible and you are forced to protect your medicines well from temperature differences.