On-the-Road Travel Tips (part 7)

By Randy Keck
This item appears on page 30 of the October 2020 issue.

In this issue, we continue our series of reader-submitted On-the-Road Travel Tips (each followed by my own comments) that make the travel experience work better for you while actually traveling. Have one to share? Write it up in no more than 125 words (OK, the rules can be broken once in a while) and send it in. See the end of this column for where to write.

Janice Schock (Bend, OR) — For my trips, I put my pills in small plastic bags, one for each day. I bought a pack from the jeweler when I needed many for a 9-week sojourn. Laying them out by the day on a counter does not take long, and they can be conveniently tucked into my suitcase.

This is a popular topic, Janice, as you’ll see below. — RK

Steve Piccolo (Seattle, WA) — I’m enjoying the series on travel tips (Braces wax? I never would have guessed), but I have a comment about an idea mentioned in the August 2020 issue, page 31. A reader suggested placing prescription drugs in more size-appropriate containers to save space. However, I have always heard that medications should be kept in their original containers to minimize potential hassles from authorities suspicious of illegal drugs. 

The only drugs I carry are for malaria prevention (when needed) and for typical travel-related contingencies (e.g., broad-spectrum antibiotics). I’ve never had any security person display any interest in my medications, but a slight space-saving benefit doesn’t begin to compensate for the hassles that could result from accusations of drug smuggling.

After the August edition came out, I also began to think that in some destinations, I would not be comfortable traveling with prescription medications that were not in officially labeled containers. Keep reading, below, to learn another subscriber’s solution to this issue. — RK

Joyce Renee Lewis (Camano Island, WA) — As an avid backpacker, adventure traveler and all-round travel junky, I have found…

• To hold pills, buy plastic packets especially made for prescriptions. Your pharmacist will print labels you can attach to the packets. Much better than traveling with pill bottles, which take up space.

• Wax works great when you’ve lost a crown (Aug. ’20, pg. 31)… for a while. I have always carried Dentemp Recap-it Cap & Crown Repair — $2.99 most places. A surgeon I worked with used this, and it stayed in so long, he never went to the dentist to get the crown redone. (That’s how the rich stay rich!)

• Also in the August issue, a reader suggested quieting a barking dog by pretending to wind up and throw a rock at it. Any kind of stick, if available, will also dissuade most dogs. Even a firm “GO HOME” might do it. It’s the tone of voice, not the language, that matters.

Thanks, Joyce. As for traveling with prescription medicines, following is another reader’s strategy. — RK

Guadaloupe Allen (Cerritos, CA) — When preparing to travel, I place all of my prescriptions, vitamins and supplements into small, 2"x3" plastic bags. I remove the prescription labels from the bottles and affix them to a sheet of paper, which I place inside my luggage. Then, if I need a refill, the pharmacist has all the information needed.

I label each bag by the day of the week and “AM” or “PM.” Then I fill each bag with the pills according to when I will be taking them.

While on the trip, at the start of each day, I take out the two pill bags needed, AM and PM. I take the AM pills with breakfast and put the PM pill bag in my purse or pocket. In the hustle of moving about, I can later tell if I have taken my pills for the day. (If I still have a full pill bag at the end of the day, I take them then.)

Also, it saves room in my luggage — no bottles.

Thanks for the wise advice, Guadaloupe. — RK

Linda Stoddard (Laughlin, NV) — I always buy wallets, eyeglass cases, e-book covers, etc., in the brightest colors I can find. (I even have a yellow wallet.) It makes it much easier to find your case if you set it down, and if it’s lost, it makes it very easy to describe at the Lost & Found.

As of this moment, I am searching for a yellow or similarly ultrabright cover for my smartphone. It shall not blend with anything anywhere so will be impossible not to see. To the end of achieving said benefits, I am willing to tolerate any second childhood/teenagehood-type stares from fellow travelers. (Not sure if teenagehood was a word, but it is now.) Let a smile remain your umbrella, and at least mentally keep your bags packed. — RK

Contact Randy at 80 America Way, Jamestown, RI 02835; 401/560-0350, randykeck@yahoo.com.