10 Health Items to Take with You on Vacation
Whether your summer vacation plans involve staying close to home or crossing the globe, you'll want to put as much thought into protecting your health while traveling as you do choosing your destination. A new report, "Healthy Travel: A 10-Minute Consult" from Harvard Medical School, provides the information you need for a safe and healthy trip, including this list of important health-related items to take along:
1. Your prescription medications. Take at least a week's supply in your carry-on (in case your luggage is lost). Any nonperishable or unbreakable items beyond a week's supply can be packed in your checked luggage. However, when it comes to insulin and other liquid meds, storing them in your carry-on is the safest way to go. Checked luggage may endure extreme temperatures while it is in cargo and glass vials are also more susceptible to breakage while in transition.
2. Destination specific products. Depending on your destination and personal medical history, consider asking your doctor about taking along antimalarial medications and an antibiotic for self-treatment of moderate to severe diarrhea. Don't forget the insect repellant and sunscreen with an SPF at least 15 with both UVB and UVA protection.
3. Gastrointestinal medications, such as antidiarrheal medication (for example, bismuth subsalicylate or loperamide), a mild laxative, and an antacid.
4. Allergy medications, such as antihistamine and 1% hydrocortisone cream for mild allergic reactions. If you or a traveling companion has a history of severe allergic reaction, bring an epinephrine auto-injector (such as EpiPen). This is a prescription item, so if you don't already have one, talk with your doctor.
5. Cold-symptom medications, including a decongestant and throat lozenges.
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...