Continuing on with our Tips for Travel series, we come to what I would consider two of the most important topics when traveling: legal matters, and medical matters.
The first thing I want to stress, and I cannot stress this enough, is make copies of all your important documents. Email a copy to yourself and store them someplace safe. You may also want to consider emailing your documents to someone you trust for safe keeping. If you get into trouble, and you’ve lost your documents, or the physical copies are not easily accessible, at least you’ll have a record of the documents to use. Making copies like this is also good, as it allows you to lock your documents in a safe if you have access to one. This means when you go somewhere, you won’t have to dig around for the documents, and there’s less of a chance of these items being lifted from you.
Something not a lot of people think about when traveling is the local laws, specifically if you’re heading to another country. Certain things might be illegal in a foreign country that are quite legal on your home turf. A prime example of this, at the time of this writing, is marijuana. In Canada, marijuana is legal country wide. For domestic flights, we can actually carry it with us from one side of the country to the other, but if we try to cross the border into the United States, it can carry some pretty harsh punishment at the border with some states trying to impose a full felony drug charge.
This can prove diffucult for those who use prescription marijuana for underlying health conditions, which is a great segue into my neft, and final point for this section. Medical issues.
As far as I’m concerned, medical issues are one of the most important things to take into account when traveling. It ranks pretty high on my list of things to consider when picking a destination, or finally traveling to a destination. This can have a huge impact for a lot of people, and I don’t feel like enough people give medical issues enough consideration when out and about. It is not uncommon in this day and age to have medical concerns or upkeep that one needs to take care of when away from home, and this is no more true now than it has been with the current pandemic we find ourselves in.
With the world being in the grips of a global pandemic, and a vaccine now being available to help stave of some of the more serious effects of the viral contagion (yes, you can still get Covid-19 with the vaccine, the side effects are lessend with it, and it helps reduce the risk of death and serious issues requiring hospitalization), there are now a whole host of countries requiring vaccination before they’ll admit you within their borders, and they require proof. That being said, the list provided is constantly changing, and the list is not exhaustive.
Something else you may want to keep in mind is that even before the global panini, certain countries still required vaccines to be obtained before admission. I managed to find a list from the WHO and a variety of countries and diseases.
When traveling, one also needs to be wary of prescriptions they may carry. Medications for daily use might be fine in your home country, but not all countries have the same allowances for medications as other might. For instance: I’m Canadian. I have ADHD. I’m a student of academia, and my area of focus right now is Japan. In Canada, I was prescribed Vyvance for my ADHD which allows me to concentrate and focus on things I need ot do, and it allows me to think clearly.
According to Japantravel.com, the medication that i need in order to function properly from day to day is strictly prohibited, and is actually illegal to bring into Japan. Their website states “Travelers face prosecution if in possession of them, even if those medications come with a foreign prescription or a customs declaration form – there are no exceptions.” The Associated Kyoto Program echoes this statement.
The Government of Japan website has useful information for travelers when it comes to admittance of certain prescriptions within their borders, including a list of controlled substances, and a variety of application forms one might need to fill out when preparing for a trip within their country.
If you find out that you’re allowed to bring your medications, prescriptions, equipment, or what-have-you, into your destination country, it’s always helpful to remember to carry a list of the medications you have on you, and also to carry them in their original packaging/bottles. Along with this list, I would highly recommend noting how much of each prescription you are taking. This is not only good for you incase you forget how much of each medication to take, but it’s extremely handy for those who might be needing to assist you in case of a medical emergency (healthcare workers, emergency service workers).
Make sure to carry this list somewhere easily accessible. On the off chance that something happens (we all hope it doesn’t but things do happen, and emergencies do arise from time to time) and you are incapacitated for what ever reason, the list can be found and documented for appropriate treatment actions to be taken. On the chance that you should need medical attention, and you’re coherent, it’s also a lot simpler to just hand the list over to the attending medical workers instead of having to recall what could be a long list for some people, and it helps reduce the risk of you accidentally forgetting to list one off.
Anyways, that brings us to the end of this post. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all next week!
See you on the road!