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AAA Traveler Worldwise | Travel
How To Pack Your Prescriptions When Traveling


As an experienced traveler, you likely know that you should always stow your medications in your carry-on luggage, but do you know the other ins and outs of flying with medications? Do you know, for example, to pack your medications in a small bag that can be easily removed from your carry-on and kept with you if your luggage needs to be gate-checked?

medicine; pill bottles, pill capsules, syringePhoto by yasonya/

Here are some other helpful recommendations, along with guidelines from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

  • Bring a few extra days’ worth of medication in case your return is delayed by weather, strike or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Bring a list of your current medications and dosages as well as the phone numbers of your doctors and pharmacies. Keep this list with your important travel documents.
  • Ask your health care provider for a note if you use controlled substances or injectable medicines, recommends the CDC. If traveling abroad, carry the documentation translated into the local language.
  • While TSA does not require that medications be in original prescription bottles, some US states and other countries may have different rules, so it is best to store the pills in their original bottles labeled with your name.
  • Since approved medications vary by country, check with the embassy websites of the countries you are visiting and any countries where you have layovers to ensure that your medications are permitted, advises the CDC.
  • Medically necessary liquids, gels and creams can exceed the 3.4-ounce (100 milliliters) carry-on allowance; however, you must notify the TSA officer at the start of the checkpoint screening process that you have these items. Label these medications and other necessary items such as freezer packs, IV bags, pumps and syringes.
  • Unused syringes may be carried on board when accompanied by injectable medication, but they must be declared to security officers at the checkpoint for inspection.
  • Let TSA know if you prefer that your medication not be screened by X-ray. Alternative steps will be taken for screening purposes.

For additional information on flying with medication, visit and

Remember, too, that’s it’s always advisable to purchase travel insurance that includes medical coverage abroad. When you purchase such a policy from Allianz Travel, for example, you’ll have access to 24/7 assistance to help with finding a doctor or pharmacy to fill a prescription or address other emergency health care needs. Contact your Travel Advisor about the best travel insurance policy for you.