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Wanderlust Wayfarer is the perfect place to find out about luxury travel and trends on a shoestring budget. If you like a five-star experience, but you have a three-star budget, I have good news for you. There are plenty of ways to experience the world on a shoestring budget. And you can look good while doing it! Each blog post features a new itinerary with the best ways to spend an amazing day—or more—in some of the most spectacular cities and towns across the globe. Each itinerary focuses on packing the most you can into your day. If you’re like me, you have limited time off from work each year, and you want to make the most of it. This means condensing a lot of action into a little bit of time.
Blog Added: December 28, 2016 10:16:26 AM
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Blog Country: Canada   Canada
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Plan the Perfect Day Trip to Windsor Castle from London

A day trip to Windsor Castle from London is a fun and easy way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city for a few hours.   Located just 30 miles from London, Windsor is a cozy community steeped in a rich royal history. Home to the largest and oldest inhabited […] The post Plan the Perfect Day Trip to Windsor Castle from London appeared first on Wanderlust...

A day trip to Windsor Castle from London is a fun and easy way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city for a few hours.

 

Located just 30 miles from London, Windsor is a cozy community steeped in a rich royal history. Home to the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world, as well as a bevy of unique boutiques and bistros, Windsor is the kind of place where you can while away the hours simply strolling the charming city streets or enjoying high tea in the afternoon.

Day Trip to Windsor Castle from London

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Getting There

Making your way to Windsor Castle from London couldn’t be any easier. Trains run every 30 minutes from Paddington Station, one of the busiest train stations in the city. You’ll find easy-to-use electronic ticket kiosks inside the doors of the station where you can purchase your ticket to Windsor & Eton Central station. If you need assistance, simply locate one of the many staff members, and they’ll happily lend a hand.

Once you’ve purchased your ticket, look for the departures boards to find out when the next train arrives and which platform to catch it on. Some trains leave later but make more stops, so be sure to look for the fastest overall route. After about 30 minutes onboard, you’ll need to transfer trains at Slough station. It’s a very small station with only four platforms, so it’s pretty easy to get around. Upon arrival, check the departures signs to find out when the next Windsor-bound train arrives and which platform it will be on. They run very often, so if you just miss one, don’t fear. Another one will come soon, and the ride from Slough only to Windsor takes only 5 minutes. The entire trip takes about 40 minutes total, including the transfer.

Day Trip to Windsor Castle from London

windsor castle

Pro Tip: If your schedule is flexible, purchase a ticket for off-peak travel. The trains will be less crowded and more affordable. An off-peak return ticket costs only about £12.

Things to Do

With of population of just over 32,000, Windsor has all the charm of a small town, but thanks to its very important royal residents, it’s got no shortage of things to do. Of course, Windsor Castle, best known these days as the site of Prince Harry and Meghan Marke’s nuptials, is the city’s main attraction. As one of the three official homes of the queen, the stately 900-year-old castle is a sight to behold.

windsor castle

When you get off the train, basically all you need to do is walk forward straight out of the station, and you’ll be within steps of the castle gates. Just follow the signs—it’s that easy. Depending on the time of year, the hours of operation change ever so slightly, but you can typically expect to find it open between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. during the peak season.

windsor castle

Though I’m born and raised in Canada, my grandma was from England, so I’m all about the royals, but I opted not to go inside. By 10 a.m., the line to get in was about a block long, and the cost of admission is hefty at more than £21 per ticket. I settled for a long-distance look from outside the castle walls. If you do intend to go inside, expect to spend between 90 minutes and three hours exploring the castle.

windsor castle

windsor castle

Shop Til You Drop

Aside from the castle, you’ll find plenty of ways to spend your hard-earned cash in Windsor. All around the castle, you’ll find sho-lined streets where you can purchase royal-themed souvenirs or one-of-a-kind gifts. The railway station itself is home to Windsor Royal Shopping. Open seven days a week, the shopping center features 40 brand-name retailers and a solid mix of restaurants and cafes.

windsor castle

windsor castle

Be sure to hit up Peascod Street, which is steps away from the train station and runs south-west from the entrance of Windsor Castle. The pedestrian street boasts a number of unique boutiques and eateries. In addition to cute side streets and alleyways, other nearby shopping streets include High Street and Thames Street.

Day Trip to Windsor Castle from London

windsor castle

windsor castle
windsor castle

windsor castle

Windsor Yards Shopping Centre is located in King Edward Court, just steps away from the central train station. A variety of well-known retailers, such as Zara and Topshop, have set up shop here.

windsor castle
windsor castle
Afternoon Tea

Before heading back to London, enjoy afternoon tea at one of the many local eateries. I highly recommend pampering yourself with a mouthwatering meal at the luxurious Madame Posh on Peascod Street. I just dare you to walk by the window featuring all of the restaurant’s decadent delicacies without stopping to try one. I can’t even tell you how long it took me to get a picture of the window without a hoard of people ogling all of the desserts inside. While the restaurant does offer a delicious afternoon tea, I was in the mood for a savory crepe, or galette. And I simply couldn’t pass up the lemon meringue tarts. I ate outside at one of the faux-fur-lined tables. Both the atmosphere and the food were to die for. It was the perfect way to top off our day trip to Windsor Castle from London.

windsor castle

windsor castle

windsor castle

Day Trip to Windsor Castle from London

Pro Tip: Plan to spend anywhere from four to eight hours roaming the city’s main attractions and another hour for travel time on your day trip to Windsor Castle from London. We left Paddington Station at around 9:30 a.m. and returned at about 4:30 p.m. 

Windsor is just one of the many great day trips you can take from Paddington Station in London. For this reason, I recommend staying in the vicinity if you’re planning to get outside the city several times during your stay. The Point A Hotel London Paddington is a budget-friendly hotel that’s only a 5-minute walk from the station. Though it has only a two-star rating by hotel standards, most reviewers give it four or five stars on TripAdvisor. The rooms are spacious, clean, and recently renovated. If you like a little more luxury, I highly recommend Hazlitt’s Hotel. Located in Soho, it’s a bit of a trek to Paddington Station, but you’ll love its haunted history and quirky charms.

Where are your favorite places to visit in Windsor? What places have you traveled to from Paddington Station? Let us know in the comments section!

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Day Trip to Windsor Castle from London

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5 Essential Things to Do in Metro Manila

Guest post by Janice Jaramillo “I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.” – Sun Bear, Chippewa   More distinctly known as the National Capital Regional Region of the Philippines, […] The post 5 Essential Things to Do in Metro Manila appeared first on Wanderlust...

Guest post by Janice Jaramillo

“I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.” – Sun Bear, Chippewa

 

More distinctly known as the National Capital Regional Region of the Philippines, Metro Manila is widely regarded as a concrete jungle that is densely populated due to its innumerable opportunities for career growth and job offers. Apart from that, the metropolis is also known to be an avenue for entertainment and a business hub of all sorts. In fact, one might say it is a cosmopolitan city of diverse offerings—culture, governance, trade, and economics to name a few. Today, it is the 11th-most populous city in the world.

5 Essential Things to Do in Metro Manila

Metro Manila is characterized by its progressive development. Unfortunately, with every growth comes with its own downfalls. As the main gateway to the rest of the Philippine provinces, many tourists make Metro Manila their main jump-off point in getting to remote areas in the country, and as it is, it has been notably exemplified for its smog, pollution, and onslaughts of traffic. However, do not let these deter you, as Metro Manila still retains some of its subtle charms if you care enough to look.

So, if you ever have the opportunity to visit or are simply looking for new ways to fall in love with this city again, take a gander at this list for some things you can do while there.



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Party at the Hottest and Most Exclusive Clubs

5 Essential Things to Do in Metro Manila

There has never been any question that Makati Philippines hosts a series of the country’s best and most happening clubs. Nightlife is never wanting in city centers such as Makati, Eastwood, and Bonifacio Global City, and if you are lucky enough, you might just even spot a local celebrity partying it up in the VIP room. If you have a streak of the wild side in you or simply have a penchant for dancing the night away, visit one of Manila’s most exclusive nightclubs and be prepared to be blown away by the unique party scenes each club has.

Observe Old and Gothic Churches

5 Essential Things to Do in Metro Manila

A former colony of Spain and also a devoutly Catholic country, one can expect to find a myriad of churches in the Philippines. In Cambodia and Thailand, tourists are known to temple hop. In the Philippines, you can church hop. Note the ancient and aesthetic architecture in each of the churches that have been preserved so well and withstood the test of time.

Explore the Chinatown: Binondo Manila

5 Essential Things to Do in Metro Manila

If you have a hankering for authentic Chinese cuisine, you are in luck. Look no further than Manila’s very own Chinese community scene in Binondo where they serve authentic Chinese dishes that would appeal to even the most discriminating palate. Established in the early 1500s, Binondo is the oldest Chinese district not only in the Philippines but the world as well. The district is rather well known for its Chinese New Year celebrations as well as its specialty stores and unique places of worship. Binondo is definitely a place of interest if you are looking to satisfy the foodie in you.

Go Shopping at Divisoria

5 Essential Things to Do in Metro Manila

In these days where prices of goods and commodities are skyrocketing, it would not only be a welcome change but a miracle to find something so cheap. Well, this is the main allure of Divisoria, a shopping district located at the heart of Manila. It is comprised of malls and markets that would sell you basically anything you need for a fraction of what you would pay at the mall. In fact, a $20 bill would go a long way at this shopping district. It is not known for being the bargain hunter’s shopping mecca for nothing after all. If you are looking to stretch your budget or simply doing your Christmas shopping, go for the more affordable alternative in Divisoria.

Let the Manila Bay Sunset Take Your Breath Away

5 Essential Things to Do in Metro Manila

For all the flak Manila has gotten for its unbearable traffic, thick fog, and pollution, it seems like all these things are well compensated for the fact that it has one of the most beautiful sunsets. If you have a rather romantic side to you, take a stroll along the bay walks of Mall of Asia and Roxas Boulevard in a good weather. Just pick any spot and bask in the breathtaking golden sunset. Do not forget to take as many photos as you can while you are at it.

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5 Essential Things to Do in Metro Manila

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Things to Do in Austin

With a mild climate and more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Austin, Texas, is the perfect place for an exciting getaway.   Located in the heart of the Lone Star State, Austin grew from a modest frontier town in the 1830s to one of the most populous cities in the United States. Today, nearly 1 million […] The post Things to Do in Austin appeared first on Wanderlust...

With a mild climate and more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Austin, Texas, is the perfect place for an exciting getaway.

 

Located in the heart of the Lone Star State, Austin grew from a modest frontier town in the 1830s to one of the most populous cities in the United States. Today, nearly 1 million people call Austin home, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.

Though best known for its lively music scene, Austin has much more to offer. Outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and foodies all rave about the amazing range of attractions and activities in Austin. Explore these fun ideas for things to do in Austin. Don’t worry if you find yourself short on time. You can enjoy many of Austin’s best sights in one jam-packed day.

Live Entertainment

things to do in Austin

Image via Flickr by Choose_Freewill

As the Live Music Capital of The World, most tourists plan to check out the live entertainment in Austin. Musicians show off their skills all over the city, from the airport to the grocery stores. There is no shortage of music festivals in the city, including the popular Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. Stop by any of the more than 250 music venues around Austin, including coffeehouses, bars, and concerts halls, to check out the local talent.

Outdoor Activities

things to do in Austin

Image via Flickr by enkrates

Venture to Pedernales Falls State Park to take a hike through Hill Country. Juniper Ridge Trail offers 9 miles of picturesque pathways through mesquite forest. For an unparalleled view of Austin, head over to Mount Bonnell. At 775 feet high, it’s the highest point in the city and a top tourist spot.

Nature lovers enjoy hiking the 809 acres of trails at Barton Creek Greenbelt in south-central Austin. The Greenbelt has loads of limestone bluffs for rock climbing and plenty of swimming spots, such as Campbell’s Hole.

Another excellent destination for nature lovers is Zilker Park. Located in the heart of Austin, the 351-acre outdoor area offers plenty of fun activities, from hiking and biking to kayaking and paddle boarding. Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, which boasts a balmy 68 degrees year-round.

Historic Sites

things to do in Austin

Image via Flickr by wwward0

Make a trip to the Texas State Capitol to witness history in action and learn about local legislature. Grab a self-guided tour pamphlet to enjoy the building at your own pace or join one of the free, 30-minute guided tours for an insider look at the site.

In addition to the Texas State Capitol, many Austin museums offer free admission year-round or on certain days of the week, including the Austin Science and Nature Center, the Texas Military Forces Museum, The Contemporary Austin, and the LBJ Presidential Library.

Eating Out

things to do in Austin

Image via Flickr by Sean Loyless

If you love to eat, Austin is foodie heaven. Join an Austin Eats Food Tour to sample some of the best restaurants in the city. Another fantastic option is to check out the more than 1,000 food trucks in Austin that offer everything from craft meats and lobster rolls to deep-fried Oreo cookies and Tex Mex barbecue.

Looking for the perfect place for a weekend getaway? These are just a few of the fun things to do in Austin, Texas.

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things to do in Austin

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Things To Do in Santa Fe, New Mexico – Museums to Markets

Located more than 7,200 feet high on the southwestern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Santa Fe is a haven for history buffs and artists alike. As the oldest and highest capital city in the United States, Santa Fe dates back to 1610 and is home to just over 80,000 people. But don’t let its small […] The post Things To Do in Santa Fe, New Mexico – Museums to Markets appeared first on Wanderlust...

Located more than 7,200 feet high on the southwestern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Santa Fe is a haven for history buffs and artists alike. As the oldest and highest capital city in the United States, Santa Fe dates back to 1610 and is home to just over 80,000 people. But don’t let its small size fool you. There are plenty of things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and lots of budget-friendly hotels to suit every taste.

From Spanish colonial architecture to Native-American arts and crafts, diverse cultures collide to create a vibrant and exciting array of tourist attractions. Nestled in a valley along a tributary of the Rio Grande, Santa Fe is surrounded by 1.5 million acres of national forest. The picturesque mountain town offers loads of outdoor fun as well as hundreds of restaurants, art galleries, and historical sites, all within walking distance.

History and Culture

Image via Flickr by sarahstierch

Steeped in rich history that’s teeming with Spanish influence and Native-American heritage, the Santa Fe Plaza is the cultural hub of the city. Built by the Spaniards at the end of the Santa Fe Trail, the National Historic Site is the perfect place to pick up traditional arts and crafts from local Native-American vendors. The square is always abuzz with activity, including markets, live music, and festivals.

Walking among the ancient buildings that surround the Plaza, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to a time when bullfights were common on the streets. In addition to notable structures like San Miguel Mission, La Fonda Hotel, and the Palace of the Governors, check out the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi just a short walk away.

Museums and Galleries

Image via Flickr by Ron Cogswell

Art lovers will want to check out the New Mexico Museum of Art in the Plaza before heading east to Canyon Road. Here, you’ll find the largest concentration of art galleries in the city. Walk for a half-mile amid adobe buildings, checking out the more than 100 galleries that feature everything from abstract to contemporary artworks by both up-and-coming artists and famous names like Fernando Botero.

Santa Fe is also home to nearly 20 traditional museums, including Museum Hill, which features four institutions in one convenient location. Other local highlights include the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. For a unique experience, check out Meow Wolf. This is an interactive collection of art installations that showcases the work of more than 100 local artists.

Outdoor Activities

Image via Flickr by Oemar

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the many ski hills and hiking trails found in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. If you’re looking for adventure, head out on the Rio Grande for an exciting whitewater rafting experience. Alternatively, take a stroll through the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, which features 12 acres of beautiful landscapes and mountain views. Tourists with a little extra time on their hands might enjoy a trip to Bandelier National Monument. Located about 40 miles outside the city at the base of Frijoles Canyon, the monument is made up of cave dwellings and stone structures that were once home to the ancestors of the Pueblo peoples.

Whether you’re looking to take in the local culture or spend time in the great outdoors, you’ll find a wide variety of things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Things to do in Santa Fe

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9 Useful Travel Gifts for the Traveler on Your Shopping List

Need to buy a gift for a traveler?   There are so many lists of holiday gift ideas for travelers, but they often include useless gadgets or kitschy trinkets. You know what I’m talking about—map-shaped necklaces and pictures with cutesy quotes. Sure, these items are adorable, but they aren’t especially useful travel gifts. If you […] The post 9 Useful Travel Gifts for the Traveler on Your Shopping List appeared first on Wanderlust...

Need to buy a gift for a traveler?

 

There are so many lists of holiday gift ideas for travelers, but they often include useless gadgets or kitschy trinkets. You know what I’m talking about—map-shaped necklaces and pictures with cutesy quotes. Sure, these items are adorable, but they aren’t especially useful travel gifts. If you want to get the travelers on your shopping list something they can really put to use on their next trip, check out these nine useful travel gifts.

Compression Socks

Flying can take a toll on the tootsies. Sitting for a long time can cause a traveler’s legs to swell. Compression socks squeeze your legs to keep blood flowing and minimize swelling. They’re a useful travel gift for anyone who takes a lot of long-haul flights.

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All-in-One Electrical Converter

There is nothing worse than electrical converters with lots of separate pieces that are easy to lose and clunky to carry around. Without fail, parts go missing or the wrongs ones get packed. An all-in-one converter ensures the traveler on your shopping list is never without the parts they need when they need them.

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eReader

Books are heavy and impractical to take on long journeys. Lighten the load for the traveler on your list with an eReader. Be sure to get one that’s got a lot of battery life. The tablet-style eReaders tend to last only a few hours. These aren’t ideal for long-haul flights or lengthy layovers. Go with a more traditional eReader, like Kindle Paperwhite (my personal favorite).

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Sewing Kit

I can’t tell you how often I’ve popped a button or got a hole my leggings while on the road. Travelers often plan on wearing things a few times per trip, so rips and tears can put a real snag in their plans. A mini sewing kit can be a true lifesaver and the ultimate useful travel gift.

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First-Aid Kit

Whether it’s a blister that cropped up on a long walk or a burn from a flat iron, accidents happen. Make sure the travelers in your life are well-prepared for whatever comes their way.

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Packing Cubes

Travelers are always looking for ways to save space in their bags. Packing cubes keep everything neatly nipped and tucked. They’re especially fantastic for those times when the TSA does a bag inspection and everything falls out all over the place.

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Toiletry Bag

Toiletry bags take a beating. Bottles and tubes burst inside causing a mess. Or they get overstuffed and rip at the seams. There are always new styles coming out that use stronger fabrics or offer more convenient ways to organize items.

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Document Organizer

In a mobile world, why would anyone need a document organizer? Travelers still need to carry around paperwork, including vouchers for places that don’t accept mobile tickets, money in all kinds of currencies, passports, visas, and proof of vaccinations. A document organizer can be a saving grace.

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Selfie Stick

From the desert dunes of Morocco to the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, a selfie stick is a great way to get the perfect picture. Selfie sticks are a particularly useful travel gift for the solo traveler on your shopping list.

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If you’re tired of buying gifts that get shoved in a box and forgotten, these nine useful travel gifts are ideal for the travelers on your shopping list.

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useful travel gifts

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3 Tips for Traveling with Medications

Are you traveling with over-the-counter or prescription medications?   If you need to take regular doses of medication, you’ll want to make sure you have everything with you when you travel. A lot of people assume they can simply put everything they need in their suitcase or carry on. But it’s not always that simple. […] The post 3 Tips for Traveling with Medications appeared first on Wanderlust...

Are you traveling with over-the-counter or prescription medications?

 

If you need to take regular doses of medication, you’ll want to make sure you have everything with you when you travel. A lot of people assume they can simply put everything they need in their suitcase or carry on. But it’s not always that simple. In fact, there are actually a lot of rules and regulations, from airport security checks to border crossings. Follow these three tips for traveling with medications to ensure you arrive at your destination with everything you need to enjoy your vacation.

1. Keep It in Your Carry-On

traveling with medications

Be sure to pack any prescription medications in your carry-on, even if you don’t take them regularly or don’t plan on taking them during your flight. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people break this golden rule for traveling with medications—even yours truly. While it’s pretty rare, bags do sometimes go missing. It’s a hassle to replace lost medications in an unfamiliar place, especially if you don’t have a copy of your prescription. There’s also the possibility that your medication isn’t readily available in other parts of the world. That could really ruin a holiday.

If you’re asked to check your carry-on at any point in your journey due to overcrowded overhead bins, be sure to remove your medications first. On a recent trip, I thought I’d won the lottery when I found out my flight offered valet service. For those of you who haven’t experienced the wonders of valet, it’s when the flight crew takes your bag as your board the plane and returns it to you as you exit. Since I knew there was no chance my bag would go missing, I didn’t remove my asthma inhaler. I only use it a few times a week, so I figured the chances of needing it over the next few hours weren’t very good. Wrong…almost as soon as I took my seat, I felt my chest constrict. Don’t make the same mistake.

2. Passing Airport Security Checks

traveling with medications

Savvy traveler or not, these days, you’d have to be living under a rock not to know the 3-1-1 rule for packing liquids and gels, like shampoo and perfume, in your carry-on. But the rules are a little less black and white when it comes to traveling with medications. Generally speaking, there are no restrictions on the amount of medication you can pack in your carry-on bag, even if it’s in liquid form. As long as the amount of medication you’ve packed seems reasonable for the amount of time you’ll be away from home, you should be good to go. And prescription medication in liquid form does not need to fit in the standard 1-quart bag. That said, you must inform security officers of any liquid medications larger than 3.4 ounces at the start of the checkpoint process so they can do additional screening.

It’s a good idea to keep all medications—over-the-counter and prescription—in their original containers. Don’t cram them all into one case to save room in your suitcase. You’ll also want to let security offices know about freezer packs, syringes, and other items related to your medications. It doesn’t hurt to have a letter from your doctor explaining the reason for your medications or medical supplies, especially if they involve injectables. Keep in mind that some airlines will not allow you to take needles onboard for security reasons. Always be sure to check with your airline just in case.

You can find a comprehensive list outlining the rules of thumb for different types of medications on the My TSA mobile site or app. Simply select the type of medication you plan to pack, and the site offers tips about what you need to do to get it through security without any hassle.

3. Getting Across the Border

traveling with medications

Just because you’re not flying the friendly skies doesn’t mean the rules for traveling with medications don’t apply to you. It’s a little-known fact that you may not make it across the border in another country if you’re carrying certain kinds of medications. Be sure to check if there are any restrictions or special requirements when it comes to bringing medications across the border into another country. For example, some countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, won’t let you bring codeine into the country without obtaining permission prior to your trip. Always check with the consulate or embassy of the place you plan to visit to see if you can bring your medications into the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website often provides links to the local authorities that can help guide your choices. All you need to do is enter the country you’re visiting to find lots of helpful travel medical information.

If you’re headed out on vacation and are planning on traveling with medications, be sure to follow these three tips to be sure you have a safe and worry-free holiday.

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