Finally, the day has arrived. Your bags are packed, you’ve got your tickets, and your perfect holiday experience is about to begin.
The only problem is, you’ve forgotten something vital. You just don’t know it yet. You head off on holiday, the missing item sitting in your house rather than you luggage. Depending on how long your journey is, it might be days before you realise your mistake.
The most worrying thing to leave at home while you’re travelling is medication. So, in case you ever find yourself having to confront this issue, here’s an overview of your options. We’ve split this into two sections, as where you are holidaying will define what you can do to ensure you get the medication you need and guarantee you the holiday you want.
If You’re Holidaying Within The UK
You have more options for coping with this problem if you experience it while holidaying within the UK.
• Call your local GP or the specialist who prescribed the medication to you. They may be able to call a surgery where you’re holidaying and ask them to print an emergency prescription for you. This, however, is not guaranteed; it’s definitely not something you’re going to want to rely on. There is an outside chance it can work though, so it’s worth making the phone call.
• Call NHS 111. The NHS 111 advice line might be able to put you in touch with a medic who can prescribe an emergency prescription for you, which you can collect at a local pharmacy. Again, this is unlikely, and whether or not it’s possible tends to depend primarily on who the luck of the draw with the person you speak with.
• Attend a local surgery. Some surgeries will allow holidaymakers to attend on a one-off, emergency basis. Google for the name of GPs close to you and then call and ask if they will do this. You may be required to show some form of ID to obtain treatment.
• Call home and ask for help. If there is someone you know who can retrieve your prescription and use a motorbike courier to get the medication to you, this might be your quickest option. It will ensure you get the right medication without having to battle through bureaucracy to obtain it, and the courier can bring the package right to the door of your hotel.
• Use a service like PushDoctor, who provide online consultations with a doctor and can send prescriptions to a local pharmacy for you to collect. However, these kinds of services are limited in the number of medications they can prescribe. Read the terms of conditions of the site you choose to ensure that your medication is able to be prescribed prior to paying for an appointment.
If You’re Holidaying Outside Of The UK
• Attend a local clinic that accepts tourists and ask them to prescribe for you.
• Call your doctor and ask for advice. They may be able to contact a doctor local to you to request an emergency prescription be issued.
• Online services are more restricted outside of the UK. It’s unlikely online consultations will be able to help, but if you’re desperate, you could always try and ask.
• If all else fails, contact the UK embassy in the country you’re visiting. The embassy may be able to advise you further on your options.
Hopefully, you will never need this list, but if you ever do find yourself on holiday without medication then remembering these options will be very useful indeed. Happy travelling.