Top 5 Tips for Traveling with Hepatitis C
When you first begin to think about treatment, it’s hard to imagine yourself enjoying a vacation. If you have chronic liver disease, it may seem impossible. However, I think it’s important to get out of town, especially when you are dealing with the burden of hep C. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or off to an exotic location, keep my top 5 tips for traveling with hepatitis C in mind:
Keep it cool
The right temperature is important. Most medications need to be kept between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter or colder, and they can lose their potency. If it’s a liquid or cream (like miracle mouthwash or skin cream), the ingredients can separate in extreme temperatures. If you’re traveling in a warm climate, consider ways to cool things down. If you’re traveling by car, an ice chest works. There are even small gel packs that can be frozen and slipped into a water-tight liner. In my family, we’ve learned to get inventive and use a large styrofoam cup of ice from a truck stop.
Keep it small
Trying to take the full-size prescription bottle is inconvenient. Some trips (such as by plane) limit the amount of luggage. I’m in a habit of saving small glass and plastic jars from make-up or lip balm. A little bit of antibiotic cream goes in one container, a larger one holds an ointment. Be sure and choose one with a tight lid for liquids. Plastic pill containers are great for putting a couple of weeks worth into one package. Keep it on your person at all times. Then you can still pack the full size of the RX in your luggage or a carry-on.
Keep it dry
Remember to put your meds in a zipper-type baggie first to prevent moisture from getting in. Saving and using silica gel packs (like from vitamin bottles or new shoes) can also help to reduce humidity in the baggie.
Keep it with you
When driving, it’s easy to have everything with you. There may be restrictions for other types of travel. A zipper-type pouch filled with small bottles, tubes, and jars are easy to throw into your purse or backpack. There are several advantages to the personal sizes: It will make it through most airline baggage checks. You can take it into restaurants and pits stops. Everything is always in one place. Temperature is easy to control.
Keep it legal
If it’s not in the original packaging, keep a copy the prescription with you – a picture on your phone or the original works well. If you have trouble getting a refill, or getting through security, you always have proof that your meds belong to you.
Whether you are traveling by car, bus, train, or plane, you want to get there safe and sound with all of the medications and supplies you need. You can always visit the local pharmacy with any questions. By having your liver disease items on-hand, you can increase the joy in your journey. By being prepared, the travel portion of your trip can be just as relaxing as the destination.