Pack Smart! Avoid those pesky holiday ailments!

It is not uncommon to get to your holiday destination and realise you have forgotten something… shoes, hair dryer, sunblock.
But what about the things you don’t realise you need until it comes to the crunch? Suffering from chronic headache, weird itch or mouth full of ulcers?
I have many a traveller roll into my pharmacy on a daily basis stressed and upset because their minor irritation has just gotten so damn annoying. It is not at all out of the ordinary for us to suffer from conditions we never normally suffer from when we are travelling especially internationally, usually caused by stress and exhaustion. Long flights with recycled cabin air, disrupted sleeping pattern and junk food are usually the culprits of your ailments.
Usually when we suffer from something on our holiday so bad it brings us to tears we never forget it. Ever.
The first trip I took outside of Australia was to Bangkok, Thailand and I had a blast of a time, however, I remember having a mouth ulcer so bad I wanted to cry. I spent HALF my day trying different shops to get something to help. Other then the fact there was a clear language barrier, I had to put my faith in items that simply don’t exists in Australia, never heard of nor could I read the instructions. After spending an awkward 10 minutes typing things into google translate and showing them my mouth I finally got something that worked a charm but I will ALWAYS that day… forever.
It’s a good learning curb and a good story for your friends but when I comes down to it, we don’t want to waste our holiday time hunting something for a stress headache that could turn nasty. So this is a list in order of the most commonly asked for products by travellers that you should seriously consider getting BEFORE you leave on your trip and why you need them!
It really doesn’t matter which brand you buy, Just make sure the box lists Paracetamol 500mg as the ingredient. Because if you don’t normally suffer for random ache and pains or headache you may very well get them while travelling! I know many people who try to “rough it out” and not take pain killers while experiencing general pain or headaches but the reality is that it can very well ruin your day. Paracetamol is the safest of all painkillers and can even be taken during pregnancy, not to mention you can basically take it into almost every country with no issues at all.
SM33 Gel
The dreaded mouth ulcer! A combination of stress and being run down can be the cause of these! I usually suggest to travellers to grab one if you are taking flights longer then 7 hours as they are more likely to cause jet lag. Mouth ulcers can become extremely large and painful and can even cause trouble eating comfortably for up to a week! So let’s just avoid it all together.
Hydralyte Effervescent tablets
Take these in your bag ON THE PLANE! If it could say it slower to people… I would. Dehydration is really important to avoid, it can cause us to feel all sorts of weird. I usually take an empty 1.5 litre bottle through security so I can fill it up on the other side, flying long haul is a pain in the ass and it’s really bothersome to have to call the hostesses often for water top ups (WHY are bottles so tiny!) if you a flying 7 hours or more you should go through at least two effervescent tabs to keep up a decent level of hydration. It is an electrolyte that will replenish your system to avoid headaches and other sickness bought on by dehydration.
Promethazine based antihistamine
*Allersoothe or Phenergan*
The beauty of this gem is that it has a range of different uses. Travel sickness, sinus allergy symptoms, skin allergy symptoms (including itching mosquito bites) and it can also be used as a sedative to help with sleep. This particular product in Australia is schedule 3 medication which means you can get it WITHOUT having a prescription but it will need to be dispensed by a pharmacist or dispense tech. There are different doses according to what exactly you are wanting to treat so make sure you read the instructions on the box carefully! You can save yourself from buying three different products by investing in box of 50 tablets (around $11.99 AUD) so I highly suggest to pack this one on your next trip!
Fluconazole Thrush tablet
Humans with lady parts listen up! Travelling can cause imbalances in the bacteria that naturally occurs in our bodies and the longer the trip – the more likely you are to become unbalanced. Another case of exhaustion and most likely eating food you don’t normally eat will throw you off. Unless you work in a pharmacy in the city you have no idea the amount of people who come in for a Thrush treatment and half of those are travellers. Save yourself the time and discomfort by getting yourself the single dose treatment before you go! Although there are a few different forms of treatment the single dose tablet will be the way to go while travelling as it is easy to use and transport.
Anti-Diarrhoea Tablets
Many people don’t forget about these BUT they are just a must have so I’ll remind all ya’ll just in case. Ain’t no one want to waste time of their holiday in the bathroom! Just remember food poisoning or bugs will usually only last 24 hours and if it lasts longer it’s best to speak to your tour guide to organise to get you to a doctor. If travelling independently contact your hotel/hostel team members to help you with making an appointment or directing you to your nearest doctor
Depending on the length and destination of your trip you might be seeing a doctor for various immunisations and a general check up, it is not uncommon for people to receive a script for antibiotics to take travelling with them, which is great in case you end up with a urinary tract infection or you’ve cut your leg and it starts to look a bit nasty but I try to stress to people not to take them for sniffles or cold and flu symptoms. Your antibiotics will not help you with this and you’ll just be killing off any bacteria in your system regardless if it bad or good. So be smart with any prescription medications the doctor gives you and try not to share them around with friends just in case you kill one of them… We don’t want that shit.
It’s not always a mission to get your hands on these items in other countries depending on your destination but it will defiantly save you time and possibly even money buy stocking up before hand. But you will be able to treat your symptoms within a matter of minutes rather then hours or possibly days depending on hour full on your travel itinerary is!
Get on it friends!
Love – The Travelling Cat 💕


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