Travel alert
Before your trip, check for current travel alerts for your destination (incl. Israel or Palestine) – and view the government advice.

Planning an overseas trip? If you’ve got medication you’re planning on taking with you make sure you read these below tips which could save your life.

Recent baggage delays globally have resulted in many travellers being left without their luggage and in some cases their life saving medication. It’s put a spotlight on the complexities of travelling with medication and highlighted how travel insurance may be able to help.

Tip 1 – Always take your medication, or medical equipment, on-board with you 

Pack it with you: You should always pack your medication in your carry bag with you onto the plane. Not in your checked bag. Be aware in some cases travellers have been forced to check their ‘carry-on’ cabin bag at the gate so it’s best to pack it into your backpack or handbag with you if you can.

Tip 2 - Bring extra supplies of your medication in case you’re delayed or quarantined

There are so many things that can delay your return home at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic when travellers are being quarantined at short, or no notice. The situation has been compounded by COVID-19, with doctors reluctant or unable to visit travellers in their hotel rooms if they have tested positive, making getting a new prescription difficult. We suggest travelling with at least an extra two weeks’ worth of any critical medication for your health.

Tip 3 – Checks on your medication you should do before you go

It pays to plan ahead and prepare in case you run out of your medication while overseas. You should consider before you go:

  • Travel insurance: most travel insurance providers, including nib, offer 24/7 Emergency Assistance. Depending on the urgency of the situation, these teams may be able to help you find local or telehealth facilities, or get medication prescribed and couriered to you.
  • Your local doctor: if you don’t have travel insurance, speak to your doctor before you go about the options they may have to help you if it’s needed.
  • Local medical facilities: you can also attend local medical facilities and see if they are able to help. If you have travel insurance, you may be able to claim back the costs of emergency medical treatment.

Tip 4 – check your medication is legal at your destination

The rules are different overseas which means your medication might be legal in Australia, but illegal in another country, potentially leading to fines, confiscated medication, or worse… getting arrested and jailed.

  • Check your medication’s status: start by contacting the consulate or embassy of the country/ies you are heading to or through for a list of what is or isn’t legal... even if you’re transiting you must comply with local laws and that means not carrying drugs through a country where the medications are illegal.
  • Find an alternative: if you find your medication is illegal in the countries you’re visiting, talk to your local doctor about alternatives they can prescribe.

Whatever you do – do not risk taking medication you know is illegal in the country you are heading to. If that is the case and you have no alternatives, then you should seriously reconsider your need to travel there.

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