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I have talked about security in the past, but I left out one very important part. Medication. When you are packing for a flight I recommend you place your medication in your carry-on bag. Always. You don’t want to have the stress of a lost bag as well as trying to figure out how to get to the medication that you may or may not need.

Recently when we were preparing to travel, it was time to get my son’s liquid medication refilled. I was able to get them to split the normally large bottle into smaller bottles so that I didn’t have to carry such a large amount since we would only be gone a few days. The pharmacist was happy to do it and let me know that if I ever needed that again they were happy to accommodate us. Doing so allowed us to get a bottle that was under 3.4 ounces required by TSA. I did this out of pure convenience. This was NOT necessary.

  • When it comes to liquid medications you are not required to follow the 3.4 ounces rule and it does not have to be in a clear plastic bag. (Although I might put it in a gallon bag in case it comes open it doesn’t leak on everything else.)
  • Your medication should be in the original medicine bottle with a clear label. You can probably get a new bottle from your pharmacy if you no longer have it.
  • When you are going through the screening process, place your medications in a separate plastic bin on the belt and notify the agent that you have prescriptions coming through.

TSA may have to do separate testing on your medication after it has gone through the x-ray machine, so always be sure you give yourself plenty of time to get through security.
As I have already said, always be sure you keep your medication in your carry-on bag. Bags are lost, flights are delayed… you don’t want to start your vacation out trying to figure out how to navigate lost medication.

Some of the regional jets require that you check some carry-ons plane side. Even if your carry-on bag meets the requirements some aircraft have smaller overhead bins and won’t accommodate roller bags. If you are on one of these aircraft, be sure you get your medication out of your bag before you leave it. Because we generally fly on these aircraft I have a smaller bag that I will be able to carry on with us and always put medication in it.  Once your bag is under the plane it is not accessible during flight.
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Also, if you know you will need to take medication when you are on the plane be sure you have water with you. During the boarding process the flight attendants can’t necessarily always stop boarding in order to fix you some water right away. They may also have not been catered yet, or not have access to their water just yet. Boarding an aircraft is by far the most chaotic time for a flight attendant.

I always carry tylenol and benedryl (liquid form) for my kids. Since it is just over the counter medication and is all in small enough bottles I put them in the plastic bags and pack them with the rest of our liquids. We have never had a problem using this method because the bottles are small enough, and thankfully we have never needed them on a vacation… but I don’t want to chance that we could need it and not be able to easily find some while traveling.

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Do you have any experience traveling with medication? Or have any tips you would like to add? I would love to hear any advice you have to share!

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Medication and Flying: Everything you need to know