What medicines should you take on holiday?

When preparing for a holiday, we often overlook the medicines that might prove invaluable if we encounter unexpected health issues whilst abroad.

When preparing for a holiday, we often overlook the medicines that might prove invaluable if we encounter unexpected health issues whilst abroad. Here is our list of the key medications to consider taking on your next holiday.

Going on holiday abroad can be a wonderful experience, as well as a much-needed escape from the stresses and routines of daily life. But amidst all the excitement of preparing for a holiday, it can be easy to overlook certain things that should be on your packing list. Along with clothes, toiletries, and sunscreen, you might want to consider which medicines you need to take with you too. While no one wants to think that they’ll encounter health problems whilst abroad, it is best to be prepared so that you can treat any issues quickly and easily and reduce any impact to your much needed time away from it all.

From antacids to antibiotics, we've put together a list of the important medicines you might want to consider for your next holiday…


When heading into unfamiliar environments and exotic locations, it difficult to know for sure what you’re going to encounter, and how your body might react to the things around you. Even if you’re not generally prone to allergies, it’s worth having a pack of antihistamines on hand. Some varieties of antihistamines can cause drowsiness, which might not be ideal when you’re sight-seeing or trying to take in the local culture, so we recommend a non-sedating option like Cetirizine.


Painkillers are an obvious choice as they can be used to treat headaches, muscle pain, sore throat, and a host of other things you could easily encounter whilst abroad. Don’t assume that you can find these medications easily abroad as in some countries they may be few and far between. Even in France, you can’t buy painkillers in a supermarket or local shop as in the UK and will have to find a licensed pharmacy instead. Headaches can strike at any time regardless of location, and muscle soreness is a consideration if you're going to be doing lots of walking, hiking, climbing, or simply after dragging your suitcase around. There are several options, but we recommend Aspirin as it relieves pain and can also treat fever, inflammation and even reduce the risk of heart attack.

Anti-Malaria Tablets

Malaria can be found in over 100 countries, including large parts of Asia, Africa and both Central and South America. When traveling to these areas, you can certainly take steps such as putting up a net when you sleep and using DEET sprays to deter insects from landing on your skin, but you can’t guarantee that this is going to protect you 100% of the time. We certainly don’t want to deter you from visiting these places, but you need to be extremely careful as Malaria is a very serious illness. Early signs and symptoms are high fever, abdominal pain, profuse swelling, diarrhea, and vomiting. We recommend Quinine Sulphate as a treatment should you suspect Malaria whilst away, but you should also seek medical attention immediately.

Nausea medication

There are many reasons why nausea could affect you whilst you're away or traveling. The long list includes migraine, motion sickness, food poisoning, and vertigo. Whatever the cause, nausea, and vomiting can be extremely unpleasant – especially when you're on holiday and supposed to be enjoying yourself. It's best to be prepared and we suggest Buccastem as an effective treatment.

Hydrocortisone cream

Hydrocortisone cream is another sensible item to have on hand, especially in more tropical locations. This mild steroid cream is used to reduce the itching and inflammation caused by insect bites, plant stings, and many skin rashes. There are steps you can take to avoid being bitten or stung in the first place of course, so be sure to do your homework on the particular destination, but packing some hydrocortisone is nonetheless a sensible precaution.


A natural choice for anyone prone to heartburn, indigestion, and reflux, but also advisable in a general sense as we can all react to changes in our usual diet sometimes. This is an especially important consideration if you are traveling to a country that is known for very spicy, or very fatty food, and also if you think your level of alcohol consumption will be significantly greater than it is when you’re at home. Acid indigestion can be much more uncomfortable and unpleasant than you might realise and can put a real dampener on eating out abroad if you’re not prepared. Zantac is a great option for providing instant relief from acid reflux symptoms.


Antibiotics are an invaluable form of medication for those having to deal with any sort of infection whilst abroad, but also one that can be challenging to reliably secure. There are many different types of antibiotics, of course, so you need to make sure that you use the right ones in a given situation. For example, Amoxicillin is a fairly broad use antibiotic that can be used to treat urine, bowel, chest, ear and tooth infections you might encounter whilst abroad. If you’re allergic to penicillin though, you’ll need an alternative like Erythromycin. Doxycycline is a great choice for sexually transmitted infections, and Azithromycin is the perfect choice for killing off the bacteria responsible for travellers' diarrhoea. We’d also recommend Gentamicin drops for the treatment of ear and eye infections.

But How Can I Get A Prescription For Antibiotics Online?

You might be wondering how you can get a prescription and buy antibiotics online in advance of the need. Well, Anytime Doctor is able to provide you with a prescription for antibiotics for travel purposes because these medications can often not be trusted as the genuine article when abroad – especially in more exotic locations. This arguably applies to many of the medications listed above in fact, which is why it’s sensible to plan ahead and take them with you.

The Anytime Doctor Prescription Travel Pack

We want you to enjoy your holiday, but we also want you to be prepared for unexpected health problems whilst so far from home. That’s why, in addition to detailing the best medications to take with you, we’ve put together a convenient travel pack to arm you and your family with all the essentials. The Anytime Doctor Medipac contains all of the medication listed here, together with medical supplies such as dressing, gauzes, sterile gloves and even local anaesthetic. If you want peace of mind while you soak in the sights and sounds of your next holiday destination, consider adding our traveller's Medipac to your suitcase.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article is general travel health advice only. It should not be considered as a substitute for a consultation with your GP or a travel health specialist.

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