I need to take my medication on holiday, will this be a problem? What should I do?

In most cases, taking medication shouldn’t stop you from going on holiday. There are, however, a number of precautions you should take before you set off on your travels.

It may be essential to have a letter from your doctor stating your need for the medication – in case you lose your medicine and need more, and particularly if you're visiting a country with strict drug controls.

You should always be ready to show this letter to customs officers. You should make sure that you have enough medication with you to see you through the holiday and allow for any possible delays. Generally, you should not take a supply of medication for considerably longer than the length of your holiday as this could be interpreted as drug smuggling. 

ABTA tip
The medication you take may contain ingredients that are illegal in some countries. Check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for the relevant restrictions.

Always keep clearly labelled medication and any medical documents in your hand luggage or in a place you can easily reach.

Think ahead
If you've got diabetes and are on medication or have a dietary restriction, you and your doctor should work out an individual schedule for meal times, taking into account the length of your journey and change in time zones.

If flying, ask your doctor if your impairment makes you vulnerable to circulation problems.

ABTA tip
It's a good idea to carry a travelling letter – this gives a brief description of your impairment and, if appropriate, details of any difficulties that could occur and what assistance you might need.

  • Medical and disability