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View Full Version : How do you pack bottles of Vitamins & Prescriptions in carry on??


Lake Erie Boaters
March 21st, 2007, 11:49 AM
Hi, I'm counting on some help here we leave Sat. I take 4 prescriptions and my DH has 2, also I take about 6 different kinds of vitamins, I don't want to risk getting my checked luggage lost so really want to put in our carry on- can I we? :confused: I hope not in my 1 quart bag, they wouldn't fit, the vitamin bottles are big (Costco size vitamins) I did look at the tsa website but wasn't really clear what they meant, no jokes because I'm blonde ;), also what about lipstick (not gloss) and eye liner (pencil kind) does that go in quart bag also? Its not liquid so not too sure, also, I bought the 3oz travel size containers, can I just pour my hairspray in one, pour creams into another, perfume in on etc or do they have to be in the labeled original container which would then be checked bags. Which I could risk getting lost. What about travel size wipes too? I looked in the travel size dept. but they don't sell the things I use in those sizes :( I'm sorry if this has been asked, but I'm getting nervous because we leave in 3 days! I did look at the TSA site like I said so if you have had these situations please relate what you did, thank you very much!!! I'm sure this will help a lot of cruisers!

isujim
March 21st, 2007, 11:52 AM
Yes you can.........you always take your medications in your carry on for the reasons you mentioned............I take 4 prescriptions and always take them in my carry-on and have never had a problem

glgolfer
March 21st, 2007, 11:56 AM
It's best to keep your prescriptions in the original bottles in case they do check them. You just need to put liquids and gels in the quart zip lock and show that ot them separately.

Lake Erie Boaters
March 21st, 2007, 11:58 AM
Wow that was fast! :D So just put each bottle in my carry on not in a bag of some sort? The vitamins too? Don't worry about them not in the quart bag? One of the vitamins is Omega 3 which is a gel type pill, and one is a plastic coating with a powder in it, is that is ok you think (vitamins)? Thank you so much in advance! :)

Lake Erie Boaters
March 21st, 2007, 12:03 PM
I want to clairify, the vitamins won't fit in a qt bag. too big, so if they have to go in a qt bag I guess I have to put them in a smaller container so they have to fit? They won't be allowed unless they are in the one only allowed qt bag? What about pouring from original containers to the 3 oz size that is ok? Thank you!:)

MariTenor1
March 21st, 2007, 12:05 PM
Between my husband & I, we have 6 different medications to take. I place all of them, in their original containers, into a bag in our carry on. No need to be pulled out if all are in pill form. Lipstick and other makeup that is not liquid may also go in your carryon and not be pulled out.

I've resorted to placing the shampoo/conditioner/hairspray in our checked luggage. All I carry in my ziplock is eyedrops, a small hand lotion, my contact case (as it contains liquied solution) and my makeup base. I pull it out of my backpack and throw it in the bin with my shoes. Never had a problem.

reallyitsmema
March 21st, 2007, 12:10 PM
Leave the pills in their original containers so they can see what they are, they won't take your word for it that it is a vitamin if you put it into a different container. My husband travels two weeks out of the month with a decent amount of prescriptions and vitamins. They are all in one bag by themselves. The 3/1/1 applies to toiletries and stuff like that. One quart size ziploc per person with 3 ounce bottles of your shampoos and stuff like that.

KAJOKG
March 21st, 2007, 12:10 PM
You can carry all your meds and vitamins, etc. in your carry on bag....in fact that's exactly what you should do. Never pack meds in checked luggage. As for vitamins, I count out the number of pills I will need and put those in some type of a smaller bottle or case. I never bring large bottles if I can help it. I put all my meds, including aspirin, tylenol, etc. in plastic bag and keep them all together in a drawer in the cabin.

dixieva
March 21st, 2007, 12:12 PM
I take a lot of vitamins each day and some of them are in huge bottles. I use snack size zip lock bags and put my daily vitamins in there. Sort of like using those pill boxes at home but these bags take up less space and each day's dose is already counted out.

Hope that helps.

Fam_Cruise
March 21st, 2007, 12:15 PM
Prescriptions that are liquid are not included in the allowable allowance of 1 1-quart clear ziplock bag required for liquids.

Do not check your prescriptions! Always bring the prescription container that has the prescription label with your name on it on the outside. Failure to do so could result in numerous problems.

If your prescriptions are liquid, make sure they are closed tightly and put them into a plastic bag. Note: this is NOT for TSA, but for leaking caused by the air in the container expanding at altitude and causing liquids to leak. The plastic bag protects the items in your hand lugagge from possibly getting wet on those cases. If the bottle is flexible, I also open the container, squeeze the container until most of the air is out and then tightly close the container which leaves space for expansion at the lower pressure at higher altitude.

Each of your Non-prescription liquids must be in containers of a size no larger than 3 oz. and all liquid containers must fit in 1 quart size plastic ziploc type bag for TSA inspection. Note: a 4.5 oz tube of toothpaste that is half used is still a 4.5 oz. container in the eyes of TSA and is NOT allowed.

Larger non-prescription liquids in checked luggage. Also remove most of air from container if possible and close tightly, and then place all liquids in plastic bag so if they leak they will not damage contents of luggage. Do not place them near outside of bag as baggage handlers and machines throwing your luggage may result in containers being broken. I always put my liquids, usually sun screen and moisturizing lotion in a large sealed ziplock bag in the very center of my checked luggage.

Lake Erie Boaters
March 21st, 2007, 12:25 PM
So a little ziplock for each type of vitamin, then label it? I would love to bring the bottles but they are from Costco and are of course big! :p But putting them in baggies labeled will fly with the TSA, the vitamins I mean, my prescriptions I will leave in the bottles just in case I get sick and they need to see what they are. So to be sure:

1 ziplock qt bag with toiletries 3 oz size, can be bought clear 3 oz travel size filled at home with preferred sprays, liquids but marked and chapsticks, makeup etc.

1 gallon ziplock with snack size ziplocks with labeled vitamins, and original bottles of prescriptions

Sorry to be so precise but just want to be sure! Thanks all you've once again saved a newbie CCer :D Gosh I love this site!!!
Lori

Lake Erie Boaters
March 21st, 2007, 12:39 PM
Fam-cruise- thanks for your precise tips! Pill vitamins will be safe then just in the carry on in any size clear bag? When you said in the checked bag to squeeze air out, like opened shampoo and such? I would think leaving air in it would make it not explode, but I'm not a frequent flyer by any means, so I will do what you say, so to be sure - open the bottles and squeeze air so the liquid is to the top and the bottle is kind of sucked in right? With all my creams/shampoos in bottles right? What if they are not opened yet? Are glass perfume bottles ok? Thank you so much, I just want to make sure I'm doing everything correctly and would hate to hold people up with the carry on. I have heard horror stories of peoples things getting thrown away because their checked bags are already checked when you walk in the airport. So I just want to be sure of carry on especially, I could just pack the vitamins in the checked but I'd hate to lose the luggage and not have them. Thanks again CCers! I love reading the responses! :)

songster2
March 21st, 2007, 01:31 PM
If you want to take just the amount of Rx meds you'll need plus a couple extra days' worth just in case, ask your pharmacist to label smaller bottles for you. Most pharmacists are very willing to do this for you. Always carry on your meds.

WeirdEyes
March 21st, 2007, 01:37 PM
I have a weekly pill sorter that I use. I used it when we flew to the UK also with no problems. I'd hate to have to pack all of the bottles. I guess I'm taking a chance. :rolleyes:

michael123
March 21st, 2007, 01:45 PM
I am not flying, but will they check my pills in my carry on at the dock? I only want to take the amount for the total number of days and was wondering if it was ok to put a mix in the same bottle. I won't be going into any airports, dock only. Thanks!

la_croisiere_s'amuse
March 21st, 2007, 01:49 PM
I am not flying, but will they check my pills in my carry on at the dock? I only want to take the amount for the total number of days and was wondering if it was ok to put a mix in the same bottle. I won't be going into any airports, dock only. Thanks!

You do run the risk of being checked at customs. It doesn't happen terribly often, but yes, it would be running a risk.

reallyitsmema
March 21st, 2007, 01:55 PM
I have a weekly pill sorter that I use. I used it when we flew to the UK also with no problems. I'd hate to have to pack all of the bottles. I guess I'm taking a chance. :rolleyes:
The TSA isn't very consistent from my husband's experiences. He has had vitamins taken away, unknowinly carried a small swiss army knife through security in Boston to have in then confiscated while making a connection in Denver and also had a major problem with a leg brace going through security in Boston. We had specifically looked up TSA rules concerning braces after my husband had an injury and had printed the rules out just in case. A screener in Boston told him he had to take off the brace and he refused because that is not what the rules state. After some discussion, he was able to have a supervisor confirm that he was correct. He had to have the brace swabbed down and tested for explosives but he was able to continue on with his trip. Another reason to allow for tons of time getting through the airport. So he now carries smaller bottles of vitamins that we have purposed for traveling and he fills them with the BJ mega bottles to save money.

Micki Dee
March 21st, 2007, 01:58 PM
Between my DH and myself, we take around 12 different RX medications. I always bring them in their original containers in my carry-on bag. Yes, they are bulky and they take up alot of space, but you never know when TSA officials or Customs officials are going to want to inspect them. If they ask to see them and they are not in their original containers, they can be confiscated. I've never been asked about them, but it's better to be safe than sorry as I would hate to be without my meds.

WeirdEyes
March 21st, 2007, 02:01 PM
The TSA isn't very consistent from my husband's experiences. He has had vitamins taken away, unknowinly carried a small swiss army knife through security in Boston to have in then confiscated while making a connection in Denver and also had a major problem with a leg brace going through security in Boston. We had specifically looked up TSA rules concerning braces after my husband had an injury and had printed the rules out just in case. A screener in Boston told him he had to take off the brace and he refused because that is not what the rules state. After some discussion, he was able to have a supervisor confirm that he was correct. He had to have the brace swabbed down and tested for explosives but he was able to continue on with his trip. Another reason to allow for tons of time getting through the airport. So he now carries smaller bottles of vitamins that we have purposed for traveling and he fills them with the BJ mega bottles to save money.
Wow! Good thing you printed the rules out. I know I'm taking a chance, but my script bottles are so big....I get a 3-month supply.

Micki Dee
March 21st, 2007, 02:08 PM
Wow! Good thing you printed the rules out. I know I'm taking a chance, but my script bottles are so big....I get a 3-month supply.

My bottles are huge too, but I'm just so afraid that the one time I don't pack them in their original containers will be the one time they decide to check...so I will continue to haul the "medicine cabinet" with me every time I travel.

lorr
March 21st, 2007, 02:19 PM
To those of you that want to mix your meds in one bottle or put a few in one other small bottle, please don't. Keep them in their original containers (you of course can get a smaller Centrum bottle to replace that big Centrum bottle). Someone (a nurse or Dr) just might need to know what med. you are taking. What if unfortunately you became lost, fell & became unconciuos thus couldn't tell them about your medicine & your spouse wasn't around to help? You may laugh but it's possible.

Fam_Cruise
March 21st, 2007, 02:23 PM
My bottles are huge too, but I'm just so afraid that the one time I don't pack them in their original containers will be the one time they decide to check...so I will continue to haul the "medicine cabinet" with me every time I travel.TSA or Custom checking the containers is not the only reason. More importantly if something were to happen to you then doctors/EMTs can see the medications and dosages you are taking in the unlikely event an emergency occurs where you are unconscious. This is especially important if they put you on other medications for your new condition without considerign what medications you had been taking.

FunCruiser56
March 21st, 2007, 02:30 PM
My husband and I also have the large 90 supply of our meds, mailorder, so I doubt we will get a local pharmacy to get us a smaller labled bottle for something they did not fill.
What we have done the past few times we flew/cruised was to save one bottle for each of us with the original lable on it count out the amount of pills of each script plus 3 extra (incase of delays) and put all the pills in the one bottle. Never has anyone asked us to open the bottle. We do keep the 2 bottles, DH's nasal alergy spray, and other assorted OTC meds in a gallon bag in the carry on. NEVER pack any of these in our checked bags

As far as lotions, sprays and such I do pack full size in our checked luggage again in a gallon size bag, if our bags were lost I can replace these at our departure port so not worth lugging them in the carry on.

Bev

SandyShores
March 21st, 2007, 02:37 PM
I use the photo film see through plastic round small containers with the lid that you buy new film in, for our vitamins. I have a few of those and they make excellent containers for a few pills eg head ache and then I just label them. I also just count out how many we need for each day.

I also use them to hold creams in. They are not spill proof ( put them in a see through small plastic ziplog bag) , as they might open with heavy handling on airports.

Fam_Cruise
March 21st, 2007, 02:46 PM
Pill vitamins will be safe then just in the carry on in any size clear bag? When you said in the checked bag to squeeze air out, like opened shampoo and such? Yes to those questions.

I would think leaving air in it would make it not explode (see below), but I'm not a frequent flyer by any means, so I will do what you say, so to be sure - open the bottles and squeeze air so the liquid is to the top and the bottle is kind of sucked in right? YES With all my creams/shampoos in bottles right? YES What if they are not opened yet? Then there is not much air in them anyway, and while the small amount of air will expand it should not create the problem of a container that is half air and half liquid. Are glass perfume bottles ok? They should be OK as long as the top is on very tight. But they still could leak. There are 3 states: Solid, liquid and gas. Air is gas. When we fly the air caught in our ear canal expands as we gain altitude and compresses as we descend. This does not happen with solids or liquids. Have you ever taken a bag of potato chips from sea level up a mountain? By the time you get to the top of the mountain that bag is about ready to burst. Since there is less pressure at higher altitudes, then there is less pressure being exerted on whatever gas is contained in a container and as such the gas expands. Generally containers do not explode when flying, instead they leak because of the pressure caused by the expanding gas forcing the liquid (or gas) out of an opening that canít hold back the pressure.

FWIW, this is the stuff you learn in HS physics or during scuba certification. Hence the reason a tank of air will last much longer in shallower water than in deeper water.

Micki Dee
March 21st, 2007, 02:47 PM
TSA or Custom checking the containers is not the only reason. More importantly if something were to happen to you then doctors/EMTs can see the medications and dosages you are taking in the unlikely event an emergency occurs where you are unconscious. This is especially important if they put you on other medications for your new condition without considerign what medications you had been taking.

That's a great point to bring up. I do think about this and I do carry a list of all my meds and dosages in my wallet because I take so many different medications. It's always a good idea to get a print-out from your pharmacist of all the meds you're taking along with the dosages in case of an emergency.

dramaqueen4lyfe
March 21st, 2007, 04:01 PM
That's a great point to bring up. I do think about this and I do carry a list of all my meds and dosages in my wallet because I take so many different medications. It's always a good idea to get a print-out from your pharmacist of all the meds you're taking along with the dosages in case of an emergency.

I wouild like to add that duplicates of your prescriptions signed by your MD are a good idea so that you can have them filled if you lose the medicine somehow. Generic drug names not brand names if you're travelling abroad.

ken_nyc
March 21st, 2007, 04:02 PM
I have a weekly pill sorter that I use. I used it when we flew to the UK also with no problems. I'd hate to have to pack all of the bottles. I guess I'm taking a chance. :rolleyes:
I agree with WeirdEyes. I have 2 weekly pill sorters, that have 7 separate containers for each day. I also take a lot of vitamins and medications, so I separate them for each day using the organizer and have a few days extra with me for the unkown factor. Since I do not take my prescription bottles with me I take extra scripts with me incase the meds get lost or something and can get them filled. I keep a list of meds in my wallet incase I have an emergency that a doctor needs to know what I take and the dosage. This way I do not have to carry all of those containers.

gator582
March 21st, 2007, 04:19 PM
Remember each person is allowed one quart size bag for the 3 oz and under liquids.

I've been packing my vitamins in our checked luggage because I don't want to carry the huge bottles in the carryon. I do put the prescription meds in a large ziploc. So far, they haven't asked me to pull it out to check it. In fact, once I put it in the basket and they told me I didn't need to do that.

Lake Erie Boaters
March 21st, 2007, 04:29 PM
I get a 3 month supply in the mail also, so as long as they don't have to fit in my 1 qt ziplock I'm ok, I'll just lug them in my tote bag I'm bringing that will have my camera's purse, docs etc. but do you think the vitamins will get tossed if just in a pill dispenser? Isn't it a shame how innocent people have to suffer for terrorists actions. Such a shame :( I sure appreciate all the help, and it looks like this is a thread that may help other people also! Thank you all so much! :)

Lake Erie Boaters
March 21st, 2007, 04:36 PM
Yes to those questions.

There are 3 states: Solid, liquid and gas. Air is gas. When we fly the air caught in our ear canal expands as we gain altitude and compresses as we descend. This does not happen with solids or liquids. Have you ever taken a bag of potato chips from sea level up a mountain? By the time you get to the top of the mountain that bag is about ready to burst. Since there is less pressure at higher altitudes, then there is less pressure being exerted on whatever gas is contained in a container and as such the gas expands. Generally containers do not explode when flying, instead they leak because of the pressure caused by the expanding gas forcing the liquid (or gas) out of an opening that canít hold back the pressure.

FWIW, this is the stuff you learn in HS physics or during scuba certification. Hence the reason a tank of air will last much longer in shallower water than in deeper water.

Wow, you explained that so clearly, I wish your were one of my kids teachers :) Thank you so much! So I guess I will be squeezing a few shampoo bottles :p and put in gallon size bag just in case!

karena1
March 21st, 2007, 04:45 PM
I always use a pill sorter. My husband takes 5 different prescriptions, plus vitamins. I put his in one sorter and my vitamins in another. He carries a card in his wallet with all his prescriptions/vitamins and their strengh/dosage amounts and when to take them - morning/night. I sort his pills by morning/night so all he has to do is take them. I don't want to pack all the bottles Orgainizer works great for me.

cathylovescrusin
March 21st, 2007, 05:09 PM
Hi -

I apologize if I am going to repeat information....I didn't read each and every post.....but I have an easy answer.

I am a diabetic and travel for work...2 or 3 trips a month on occassion.

TSA does not require you to carry the original bottles of meds - just the labels. I clip the prescription label from each current prescription and include a letter from my physician. This is all tucked in a snack-size zip-lock bag and then into a clear plastic travel bag (you can find them at Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, etc.)

My pills are divided into the weekly containers and go into the clear-travel-bag with my plastic disposal container for syringes.

The big plastic case (apx. 4" X 6" X 10") travels in my carry-on bag - NEVER check your meds. My two liquid Insulins are placed in my quart-size zip-lock bag with other liquids (perfume pencil, Tide stain stick, etc.)

I always alert the TSA agent that I am a diabetic and traveling with syringes. On occassion a TSA agent will double-check my prescriptions....but very rarely.

I traveled to Alaska last summer for over two weeks and it all squeezed into the plastic-travel-case ---barely. I generally carry 1 1/2 times the meds. I will need for a trip (I was traveling during 9/11 and learned THAT lesson!).

Many places will allow you to dispose of your syringes. I stopped by the Medical Center on the Radiance of the Seas and disposed of my used syringes without any problem.

It really is absolutely NO problem at all to travel with meds. Between my oral meds, and vitamins, I take 6 pills in the morning and 2 at nighttime....and everything fits easily into my carry-on.

Another travel tip.

You can carry TWO bags onto most aircraft. 1.) Your 22" rolling bag/duffel bag AND one personal bag. or your "personal bag" -- airlines say a purse or laptop for example.....Take a tote bag, tuck your purse inside, your book AND meds. It will leave a little extra room in your suitcase for more.......SHOES!!!

Ok, ok, one more FINAL tip.

Be sure to carry your prescription labels. I had to refill a precription on the road and it made life FAR more easy. Your health is FAR too important!

Finally....the end of my ramble other than to say....have a fabulous trip!

Cathy

Lake Erie Boaters
March 21st, 2007, 05:19 PM
Cathy, you mentioned you took vitamins also, what did you put them in? :confused: Do they have to go into the 1 qt ziplock? Or just with the prescription meds? Thats where I'm confused, the vitamins now. Thank you so much for all your help!
Lori :)

reallyitsmema
March 21st, 2007, 05:37 PM
There is a thread discussing this same issue in Ask a Cruise Question also. Don't know if this will help or confuse more but here is the link:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=520365