Keep A ‘Mobile Medicine Cabinet’ Packed In Your Suitcase For Travel Mishaps

Keep A ‘Mobile Medicine Cabinet’ Packed In Your Suitcase For Travel Mishaps

I do a good bit of travel writing, which means I spend a lot of time on the road. After a few “emergency” trips to the local chemist, which can often be difficult to find, I took a small cosmetic bag and created a bag of medication for my suitcase that I always have with me because I leave it packed.

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This bag is different than the medication that I take daily and is instead a mobile medicine cabinet of sorts with a small amount of a number of things that I might end up needing when I travel.

Inside my bag:


    -Allergy Medication


    -Pepto Bismol





This past week during a trip to a remote part of Mexico, either I or my travel companions needed them all (minus the epi-pen, thank goodness). Where we were we actually didn’t have chemist at all, so without my trusty bag, I would have been SOL.

The goal here isn’t to pack craploads of meds, just enough to get you through a dicey situation until you can find more of what you need.

That Ibuprofen in my bag is a 50-count because it gets used more than anything else, as is the allergy medication, just because I got a deal on a two-pack a few months ago and threw one in my bag.

Everything else is just a few packets of travel versions of things. I have a few small rolls of antacids, and four doses of Pepto pills and Dramamine.

Most people aren’t travelling somewhere without a drug supply store on the regular. That said, when you’re sick away from home the last thing you want to do is figure out where the nearest chemist is and in the case of something like a Pepto emergency you might not really be mobile enough to make that happen even if you could, especially if that issue arrises at 3AM.

The same can be said for when your friends decide to go on a last-minute boat tour of a new spot or you wake up in the morning with a killer hangover from the night before. It’s nice to have what you need in your suitcase rather than having to search it out while you’re not feeling your best.

What’s inside your bag will obviously vary depending on who you are and what medical situations you find yourself in. That said, I highly recommend a pain killer of some sort as well as some tummy medication, and that travel sunscreen has paid off in spades.

I also highly recommend creating something you just pack away with your suitcase so it’s always there when you need it (be sure to check expiration dates if you don’t travel often). You might not need it at all on some trips, but when you do, you’ll be forever thankful you have it.


  • Might also be worth double checking where you’re travelling to make sure they don’t have different rules on medicines. While most over the counter type drugs are probably fine, it’s still worth checking. And it’s definitely worth talking to your doctor and carrying a note about prescriptions. You’re not likely to wind up in jail over a packet of panadeine forte but it could be an annoying discussion with customs.

    Another useful item to add is something like imodium if you’re travelling somewhere renowned for stomach bugs.

  • This is a very bad piece of advice. I assume the author has never travelled further than her nearest neighbours.

    Some countries will imprison you for having medication we take for granted in Australia.
    So, as suggested by skrybe, always check first.

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