When you’re packing up to travel, one of the most important items to remember (and one I’m guilty of forgetting) is to bring all of your medicines. While your medicine may be such a part of your daily routine that you don’t even think about it, you do need to take certain steps to prepare for your trip.

Steps to Manage Your Medication on Vacation

1. Make a list

On a regular day before you begin packing, keep a list of what you take, when you take it, and other information such as if you need to take with food. This list will become a reference for when you’re packing to prevent one from being overlooked, and you will want to bring the record on your travels.

2. Be overly cautious

If your medications include more complicated or more sensitive types other than a simple pill, then you should bring as much information as possible. In case of an emergency, this will allow medical staff to know exactly what you’ve been prescribed so everything goes smoothly. Or, if you’re flying it will help prevent issues getting through airport security. In addition to your handy list of prescriptions, bring a copy of the prescriptions or a letter from your doctor confirming what you are bringing. This is especially important if you need to fly with liquids over 3.4 ounces.

3. Keep it close

Whether you’re in the car or visiting TSA, make sure all your medications are nearby. Keep them in your closest bag – not the one that will be checked or left in your trunk. Not only will this keep them from getting separated from you, but it will also keep them in a safer, more climate-controlled area. Also, if you have left your luggage in your hotel, you’ll still have the freedom to make spontaneous plans without needing to worry about getting back in time.

4. Beyond the bottle

In the rush of packing, sometimes we feel pretty accomplished that we managed to grab all the bottles we need. However, don’t forget that when you’re on the road your routine isn’t the same as usual. If something needs to be taken with water or food, be sure to keep a reusable water bottle and some snacks handy in case you aren’t able to eat on your regular schedule when you need to be taking your medicine.

5. Stay on time

If you’re changing time zones, things can get a little complicated. It may seem obvious to take medicine an hour before or after you usually would, but between being off your usual routine and distracted by seeing the sites, hours can go by before you realized you’ve missed a dose. When you travel, set alerts on your phone for your usual dosage time so you have a reminder exactly when you need to take it.

Do you have any tips to share that can help others keep track of their medication on vacation?