I keep meaning to write about this particular topic but somehow feel that it might not be relevant for the Camino de Santiago. However, we live in a day and age where a good proportion of people are taking medication for one or another condition. For me, it matters, as I take prescription medication on a daily basis and I don’t think I would be about to operate without them. Since my first Camino in 2011, I have been packing my medication while, at the same time, trying to save space in my backpack. The blister packs are large and I’m glad I haven’t walked the full Camino as I’m not sure that carrying a full month’s supply would be possible!!
So there are number of pieces of advice I can give if you do take medication on a daily basis and are planning to travel:
- Carry a copy of your doctor’s prescription with you in case you either need more or are stopped at customs. Just in case.
- Make sure that prescription medications are in their original containers with the prescribing pharmacists label on it. Once you are on the Camino, you can dispose of the boxes safely and put the tablet strips (or whatever) in resealable bags. Ziplock bags are perfect.
- It would be no harm to tell your doctor that you will be spending a month in Spain in a hot climate.
- Carry enough for the period of your trip with an extra day or so in case of delays.
- Put them in a checked in bag, rather than in carry on bags.
- For sharp objects such as diabetes medications, I would get a letter from your doctor to advise these are life saving medications.
- Another way to save space would be popping your tablets from the blister packs and put them in a small plastic bottle with a screw cap. Then take the sticker off from the original packet and stick it on my plastic bottle. Unfortunately, my meds are big and bulky that this option is a no-go for me.
Spanish pharmacies (farmacia) are one of the many places that pilgrims frequent and the assistants there are very helpful. They are impossible to miss in towns with their flashing green crosses, displaying the time.
I hope the above helps you in any way, but if you have any tips to help others who carry meds and are looking to save space, please post them in the comments.