Medications on business trips

After my post about packing toiletries yesterday I got a question about how I pack medications. I get it—they can also be tricky to tylenolpack! Which ones? Liquid or pill version? Keep them in the original container? Where in your suitcase? Etc. Obviously how many medications to pack is very dependent on one’s situation, but here is how I do it.

Keep the basics on hand. I always, always have ibuprofen (or Tylenol if I’m pregnant) and Pepto Bismol. Two small containers of those basically live in the bottom of my work purse. If I’m feeling super organized or bringing extra meds I’ll stash them in a cute, small, toiletry bag.

Add seasonal meds. In the winter I will keep Sudafed or Zyrtec to help with potential allergies or congestion.

Keeping it contained. I recommend bringing the pill version for every medication where it’s available. Some people like to use pillboxes, which can work great if you only travel domestically. I travel internationally regularly enough that I prefer to keep pills in their corresponding bottle all the time. What I usually do is buy a very small travel container (like this one) and keep it refilled from a larger bottle at home.

The extras. When I’m not feeling well I will bring medication for that specific ailment, like when I took Afrin to Manila when I had a sinus infection. For international flights I bring my Tylenol PM to help me sleep. In addition to medication, I always have tissues and Emergen-C .

Readers, which medications do you always keep on hand?




  1. One handy hint for prescription meds is to ask your pharmacy to print out an extra (sticky) label that you can affix to those tiny ziplocks they sell at pharmacy for meds.

    Just explain to pharmacy that you want it to put on a tiny box/ziplock for travel and they are happy to do it.

  2. I keep a very small make-up bag with key medical supplies–Advil, Tums, Pepto, Halls, Benadryl, a few bandaids, etc. Whenever I have to go on a trip, I just grab the bag and throw it in my suitcase. If I happen to use any of the meds on my trip, I just refill it when I get back so it’s always ready to go.

  3. I have a change purse with blister packs of Benadryl, Imodium, pepto-bismol, claratin. Blister packs are nice because the drug name is stamped on the pack. If the medicine gets smashed it doesn’t matter. The medicine stays in the pack and you can lick it out if needed.

  4. I always have a little bag with ibuprofen, pepto bismol chewables, benadryl, and a few bandages. A few bags of chamomile tea are nice for calming the stomach as well.

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