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Managing Medications Whilst Travelling

Posted on January 04, 2017

Taking regular and prescribed medication can add a whole new level of stress and anxiety to travelling – what if the airline loses your luggage with your medication inside? What if disrupting your routine affects your health? Are you even allowed to travel with ‘drugs’?

Don’t panic – thousands of people travel with medication every day, so as long as you’re prepared there shouldn’t be an issue. Below we’ve written a quick guide to help anyone travelling with and managing medication whilst abroad.

When Booking your Trip

Different countries have different rules on what counts as a ‘controlled substance’, how much is allowed and how it needs to be declared, so it important that you check before booking your trip (even if you’re only passing through the country).

To be sure, the best thing to do is contact the UK embassy for the country you’re visiting, as they should be able to advise on the exact rules and regulations. Remember, even over the counter medicines form the UK could be banned abroad.

medical pill on blue

Before you leave

About two months before you’re due to depart make sure you visit your GP, they can tell you whether you need any additional jabs or medication for your trip, and how those and the trip in general may affect your health and regular prescription.

You may also need to travel with a letter from your GP detailing your treatment and the necessity of the medicines, but this will depend on your destination as above. You should also ensure you have an original copy of your prescriptions (plus back up photocopies, just in case).

Pharmacist Giving Medicine to Customer


Again, you should always check your airline’s regulations on travelling with medication before you leave home, but broadly speaking you should always carry any medication or medical equipment (including needles, pumps etc.) in their original and correctly labelled packaging.

Always keep a supply of medication in your hand luggage (just in case the airlines loses your luggage), and then a backup supply in your case (along with another copy of your prescription).

Check that your medication won’t expire during your trip, and whether it needs any special preparations, for example some medicines need to be kept at room temperature or refrigerated, which may mean to you need to store it using a cool bag, ice pack, thermos or insulated patch.

Insulin Pen

Travel Insurance with medical conditions

The final thing to remember is to invest in quality travel insurance before you leave home. As you are taking regular medication you will most likely need to complete a medical screening to ensure you are covered for your exiting medical conditions.

If you don’t declare everything to your insurer and then face a reoccurrence, flare up or related condition you could find that they won’t cover the cost of your treatment, leaving you severely out of pocket.

Medical History Declaration

In summary…

Top tips for your managing your medicine supply whilst travelling

  • Make sure you have enough. Think about taking enough medicine with you to last double the length of your trip.
  • Travelling can be a lot of packing and unpacking. It’s always safest to have a medicine supply in your checked bag on planes as well as your carry on.
  • Keep medicine is properly labelled bottles. Your pharmacist will be able to give you an extra labelled bottle if you request one nicely.
  • Check before you travel for controlled substances/medicines which may not be allowed into certain countries.
  • Pill boxes are great to take abroad, they make sure you don’t miss out a day or forget to take your medicine when you are travelling. They are available in shops and online (buy one that suits your schedule)

Visit for more tips and over 65s travel insurance.

Safety Tips for Senior Travellers

Posted on March 18, 2016

The number of senior travellers is growing every year, but some seniors risk their health and safety by not following some simple travelling rules and guidelines. Here are our top tips for senior travellers;

Senior Couple With Snorkels Enjoying Beach Holiday

  • Always research before you book anything, check our ‘Know Before you go’ page, the climate, the facilities and the resorts available.
  • Buy a guide and phrase book for your chosen location.
  • Always photocopy your important travel documents and prescriptions before you travel, and keep them in a separate location to the originals, just in case they are damaged, lost or stolen. Also make a note of important phone numbers.
  • If you need a wheel chair or walking aid, make sure you arrange transportation around the airport, and that they are waiting for you at your destination.
  • Always invest in quality travel insurance, and make sure you have declared any pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Before you depart, it might be worth having a check-up with your doctor.
  • If you use prescription medication make sure you have enough for your trip. Also make sure that you are allowed to carry your prescriptions into your chosen country, and how much you are allowed to carry in.
  • Remember that there are restrictions on what you can carry in your hand luggage and checked cases, check with the airline or travel company before you travel to avoid delays and fines.
  • Try to move around and stretch during your flight or journey, if you are going on a long journey, make sure you walk around or exercise at least once an hour.
  • Just to be safe, drink bottled water.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash around with you. Do not wear expensive jewellery.
  • Carry your change in a small purse and your notes in a money belt under your clothes; this should avoid flashing your purse and cash too often. Plus, if you are mugged you can hand over the coin purse as opposed to all your cash.
  • Do not travel with valuables if you can help it, if you have to bring them along keep them, your travel documents and cash locked in a safe.
  • Always lock your luggage.
  • Only get in licensed taxis.
  • Try to avoid walking alone or in small groups at night or down small streets.
  • Always keep your bag close to you, use a bag which zips up or locks, and use a strap that goes across your body as opposed to on your shoulder. This should prevent anyone stealing your bag or pickpocketing you.
  • If you’re travelling somewhere hot, make sure you wear a high factor of sun protection, drink plenty of fluids and take regular breaks in the shade.

Cruise Your Way Through Retirement

Posted on

Imagine drifting away on a calm and crystal clear sea, you are lying in the sun, drink in hand, taking in the sea air in true relaxation. You dock only to explore exotic and beautiful places that you could only dream about in your youth; Hawaii, Australia, Asia, South America, Greece, Africa, the Bahamas and many more.
Now imagine spending your entire retirement doing this!

It has been reported that spending most of the year sailing on a cruise ship could prove cheaper than paying to live in a retirement home in the UK. To add to this, in recent years nursing homes have fallen out of favour, with undercover journalists discovering bad treatment and poor hygiene in several nursing homes across Britain.

Senior Couple On Shore in Front of Cruise Ship While on Vacation.

Why not spend your retirement in total relaxation? Cruises can offer;

  • The option to explore several beautiful countries during your journeys, and lets face it, cruising your way there in utter luxury seems a lot more fun than facing the airport
  • The chance to meet new and exciting people every time the ship dock.
  • Sumptuous food served all day in a restaurant or directly to your room
  • Nightly entertainment, rather than rubbish TV
  • You will be treated as a valued customer rather than a patient (and almost certain to receive big discounts for repeated custom)
  • A doctor on board, so you and your family can rest assured
  • Clean sheets and towels, plus a clean room, everyday
  • A choice of which cruise route you want to take every time.
  • Most cruises offer swimming pools, planned activities, a gym etc., so you will never be bored
  • Your family can visit you for amazing holidays and family time

So why not book your first retirement paradise adventure now. Just remember, before you travel, it is vital that you invest in specialist Cruise Insurance before you travel. Holidaysafe’s Cruise Extension provides standard travel insurance cover for cancellation, curtailment, baggage etc. plus ship to shore repatriation and loss of pre-paid shore excursions if you fall ill on your cruise and are confined to your cabin and much more.

What are Grey Gappers?

Posted on

The newly coined term ‘Grey Gapper’ describes people who are 55 and over, and who have decided to take a gap year. Gap years are normally associated with young people and students, who are taking a break from education to backpack around the world, staying in hostels and partying a lot. However, according to a survey by the Post Office, ‘grey gappers’ are now on the increase, with 25% of people aged 55 and over taking a long break to travel the world.

This is actually not a shocking statistic; this age group is typically in an extremely comfortable position to partake in an extended adventure. They are mature people with savings, grown up children and empty nests, years of hard work, stress and pressure behind them; so why not shed some responsibility and indulge? This generation saw the birth of the package holiday, starting in the UK and rapidly expanding to places such as Spain and France. Therefore, many ‘senior citizens’ choose to visit the places they could only dream of when they were young; countries such as India, Australia, New Zealand, France, China and America are begging to be explored.

Cheerful senior couple taking picture with smartphone

On the other hand, the information that these grey gappers are partaking in some extreme activities during their adventures is a bit more surprising! In fact, 13% said they had tried;

  • Bungee Jumping
  • Water Skiing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Surfing
  • Parasailing
  • Rock Climbing

Travelling the world and Experiences such as theseare normally on everyone’s ‘life to do lists’, so why not treat yourself now? The statistics prove that they are by no means limited to the young, and given the state of the economy your savings probably aren’t gathering much interest in the bank.

Unfortunately, further research has found that a quarter of people who are 50+ find it hard to find travel insurance, as many are turned down by companies simply because of their age. Therefore, the Post Office found that 13% of the people they surveyed were travelling and partaking in adrenaline pumping activities either without adequate cover or without any kind of insurance. This is not the sensible and mindful behaviour you would normally expect from this mature generation.

Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
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