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pjwaz

Prescription medications and shoes

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We will be arriving by air from the United States to Melbourne, land tour, then boarding Ruby princess in Sydney,  going to Auckland,  followed by a back to back on the same ship ending in Auckland.  We will then stay in Auckland for 2 days, one night, before flying home.

Australia says prescriptions should be in original containers,  New Zealand says must. When do they check, at our first port or upon final departure from ship?   We have several prescriptions between us , so quite a few bottles that will take up a lot of space. Most are mail order so would be difficult to get them to put in smaller bottles.  All pills have identifying codes on them, but I understand bureaucracy.  If they check upon final land arrival, only a few pills will be left. 

Also, do they check your shoes? Is that on ship or when you get off at each port? What is the best way to clean them?

Thanks for any help with this.

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3 hours ago, pjwaz said:

We will be arriving by air from the United States to Melbourne, land tour, then boarding Ruby princess in Sydney,  going to Auckland,  followed by a back to back on the same ship ending in Auckland.  We will then stay in Auckland for 2 days, one night, before flying home.

Australia says prescriptions should be in original containers,  New Zealand says must. When do they check, at our first port or upon final departure from ship?   We have several prescriptions between us , so quite a few bottles that will take up a lot of space. Most are mail order so would be difficult to get them to put in smaller bottles.  All pills have identifying codes on them, but I understand bureaucracy.  If they check upon final land arrival, only a few pills will be left. 

Also, do they check your shoes? Is that on ship or when you get off at each port? What is the best way to clean them?

Thanks for any help with this.

The thing is you’re medicine is a controlled substance in Australia and New Zealand.

More than likely you won’t have a problem but you have to have original package and documentation.

Dont worry about your shoes.

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I also travel with a number of prescriptions and yes the containers can be bulky and take up precious space. I have traveled extensively all over the world, including Australia and New Zealand, and never once have I been asked to produce them for inspection. That being said, I do keep them in their original containers just in case. If any of your prescriptions come in more than one bottle (i.e. a 90 day supply in 3 bottles) try to consolidate just what you need for the trip into one bottle if possible. I have found most bottles are never completely full. Also, I keep a sheet detailing my prescriptions as a handy reference just in case of a medical emergency. Regarding shoes, that’s a new one for me.

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You've been given good advice about your medications, now onto the shoes issue.  When you fill out the form on the plane or ship when first arriving in New Zealand there is a section asking whether you're bringing any sporting equipment or if you've visited the countryside or a farm in the past however many months.  My hubby brought his cycling gear with him our last trip to NZ and they wanted to inspect his shoes (packed in a separate bag) to check for dirt from Canada.  You can't be too careful with microorganism's being transferred.  Our son (who lives on the South Island) had warned us about this so my hubby had carefully cleaned his shoes before packing and we were fine.  

 

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2 hours ago, Barwick Cruiser said:

You can't be too careful with microorganism's being transferred.  Our son (who lives on the South Island) had warned us about this so my hubby had carefully cleaned his shoes before packing and we were fine.  

 

NZ and Australia are Island-nations,  so they have to be very careful about microorganisms.  If you have been out hiking or walking in the countryside in shoes you are bringing, just wash the soles well before you pack them.  The inspection agents will give them a look and then you are on your way. (We had been hiking in Australia prior to our visit to NZ, so knowing the rules, we washed our soles in the hotel sink the night before we went to NZ.) 

 

Just DON’T lie about it!!!

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I have had my shoes taken away and sprayed upon return from New Zealand and USA.  It's not a big deal and only adds a few minutes to your trip.  I always put my shoes in ziplock bags to make things easier if this is needed. 

 

My medications have been asked about entering New Zealand in Auckland and on my return to Brisbane.  Follow the official advice and you'll be fine.

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If you are planning on doing any hiking in NZ or Australia pack a small nail brush so you xan clean out the soles of your shoes before packing them. I've never had them checked when disembarking from a cruise but have after flights between the two countries.

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My entire luggage was unpacked when I arrived in Christchurch from Sydney but I'd been out and about and must have appeared somewhat....clueless? I don't know. I thought they were seeking narcotics, that's what they're always looking for in New York City where I was from. Nope. Despite all my research and planning, I had missed the part about insects and parasites and fruits or anything that could cross-contaminate the flora/fauna. I was a life long city dweller and I was headed to a farm. I get it now! On the way back to Sydney from Chch, I rinsed off all my shoes and swatted down my clothes but I really didn't turn into a farm hand and kept a healthy distance from it all. Did climb a glacier (Fox) though absolutely nothing could have been alive on that ice except we freezing people, and I was wearing the crampons and unbelievably heavy boots (15 lbs!) the climbing company issued.  

 

I also had a number of RX meds, I brought with me a list printed out from my pharmacy which listed everything that matched my RXs in my bag. Ideally, have the generic names if there are any brand name meds because some medicines are not marketed under the same name internationally, or just not even sold in other countries (and vice versa) and I thought, oh agents would have access to a book with the names but someone once posted here, no, they did not. Probably the folks in the offices do, were someone to ever get invited in for an in depth interview. (Unlikely!!) But, as most have mentioned, they never asked or even checked. I put them in a clear ziploc. I sort of lay them flat so the bottles stack and then lay them flat. It's the only way to save space. I had a skin wash that was not small but it isn't a problem if it's RX and labeled. 

 

No worries, have a great journey 🙂

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22 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

If you are planning on doing any hiking in NZ or Australia pack a small nail brush so you xan clean out the soles of your shoes before packing them. I've never had them checked when disembarking from a cruise but have after flights between the two countries.

Not planning on any real hiking,  but you never know. I usually wipe down my shoes before packing, but the nail brush is a great idea. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks to all for your responses. I'll beg my mail order pharmacy to see if they can package a month's worth in smaller bottles.  I will also bring a doctor's letter.

Can't wait for our trip!

Edited by pjwaz

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What about non-prescription such as vitamins, allergy meds, intestinal meds, etc. I usually count them out and just put in a ziplock bag but have never been to NZ/Aust. I only have 3 prescription meds and can take them easily in the bottles. Should I put the big calcium, etc bottles in my suitcase??

 

Thanks, Sue

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The Australian Government website says keep them in their original packaging so they are easily identified.  

 

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The good news is the landing form has changed and they don't even have you list anything related to the medications.  That is what we experienced earlier this year compared to the year before.  We have brought the letters both years and no one looked but always good to have them and as others have said original bottles are the way to go.  Again no one looked but better to be safe than sorry.

 

Keith

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For Australia and New Zealand, are the governmental websites that list meds that might require pre-arrival permissions, or that have restrictions on quantities?

 

We found that quite easy to deal with for Japan 2 years ago, and we just submitted the docs necessary (copies of Rx's and physician letters), and within 24 hours, we had emailed permissions.

But I'm having trouble finding a link to an official Australian or New Zealand government website with the information/lists/instructions/forms/etc.

 

Help please?

 

Also, is the New Zealand Visa in effect now for USA citizens?  I can't find a working link for that, either.

We'll be traveling there after October 1, 2019.

 

Many thanks!

 

GC

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1 hour ago, GeezerCouple said:

For Australia and New Zealand, are the governmental websites that list meds that might require pre-arrival permissions, or that have restrictions on quantities?

 

We found that quite easy to deal with for Japan 2 years ago, and we just submitted the docs necessary (copies of Rx's and physician letters), and within 24 hours, we had emailed permissions.

But I'm having trouble finding a link to an official Australian or New Zealand government website with the information/lists/instructions/forms/etc.

 

Help please?

 

Also, is the New Zealand Visa in effect now for USA citizens?  I can't find a working link for that, either.

We'll be traveling there after October 1, 2019.

 

Many thanks!

 

GC

 

Thanks to another post elsewhere, I've found the information for Australia.

 

But I would still greatly appreciate information about New Zealand policies, etc.

 

Many thanks!

 

GC

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OK, so let me get this straight. Thanks for all the info but I'm still not really certain. I have 4 prescription medicines that I will pack in the original bottles.  Then I have non-prescription supplements, calcium, fish oil, Imodium, over-the-counter allergy medicines, (Coricidin, Zyrtec), multi-vitamin. I normally put the non-prescriptions in zip-lock baggies and label them, it takes up so little room. Are you telling me I have to put the big calcium, multi-vitamin, allergy, etc. bottles in the suitcase?  I'll do it if I have to but it will take up so much room. This is the first really long cruise to Australia/New Zealand I've taken and am beyond excited. I'll do whatever you tell me but I'll need a bigger suitcase if I have to take all the non-prescription bottles!!  😀

 

Thanks so much,  Sue 

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3 hours ago, bjbear said:

OK, so let me get this straight. Thanks for all the info but I'm still not really certain. I have 4 prescription medicines that I will pack in the original bottles.  Then I have non-prescription supplements, calcium, fish oil, Imodium, over-the-counter allergy medicines, (Coricidin, Zyrtec), multi-vitamin. I normally put the non-prescriptions in zip-lock baggies and label them, it takes up so little room. Are you telling me I have to put the big calcium, multi-vitamin, allergy, etc. bottles in the suitcase?  I'll do it if I have to but it will take up so much room. This is the first really long cruise to Australia/New Zealand I've taken and am beyond excited. I'll do whatever you tell me but I'll need a bigger suitcase if I have to take all the non-prescription bottles!!  😀

 

Thanks so much,  Sue 

Perhaps purchase smaller bottles/containers of your supplements and over the counter medications to take with you.

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You could look at purchasing some of your medication/supplements here.  Look for a chemist instead of a drugstore.  Some things like vitamins etc may be available in the supermarkets.  I can't seem to find Coricidin available in Australia but Zyrtec is. 

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6 hours ago, bjbear said:

OK, so let me get this straight. Thanks for all the info but I'm still not really certain. I have 4 prescription medicines that I will pack in the original bottles.  Then I have non-prescription supplements, calcium, fish oil, Imodium, over-the-counter allergy medicines, (Coricidin, Zyrtec), multi-vitamin. I normally put the non-prescriptions in zip-lock baggies and label them, it takes up so little room. Are you telling me I have to put the big calcium, multi-vitamin, allergy, etc. bottles in the suitcase?  I'll do it if I have to but it will take up so much room. This is the first really long cruise to Australia/New Zealand I've taken and am beyond excited. I'll do whatever you tell me but I'll need a bigger suitcase if I have to take all the non-prescription bottles!!  😀

 

Thanks so much,  Sue 

Sue, we went though this as well.

 

We didn't want to take any chances so we did bring smaller bottles with us in the original containers.

 

Would it have been an issue if we didn't?  Probably not but we didn't want to take a chance.

 

Even if it's not an issue for 99 out of 100 people if you are the one person it wouldn't be fun.

 

We just took a conservative approach to this between the prescription and the over the counter meds to play it safe.

 

Keith   

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This is why I love the boards, I get great advice from seasoned travelers!!  I just ordered a bunch of small containers of vitamins, etc. and will space them out between my suitcase and carryon.  I don't know why I didn't think of smaller containers, duuuuhhhh!!  😮  This is the longest cruise I've taken and I travel solo so I need all the help I can get!!  Thank you all so much!!!  😀

 

Sue

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Wow.. just read all the posts..both my husband and I take quite a few prescriptions and bringing the original bottles will take a lot of space so I will try to get everything filled in little bottles.  My concern will now be insulin pens..I travel with two Frio cooling packs for the two different insulin pens I use.  Wondering what problem this will be.  The flight time is over 23 hours and a cooling pack is necessary.  Any suggestions..we are traveling 5 weeks.  Thank You !

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19 hours ago, BRANDEE said:

Wow.. just read all the posts..both my husband and I take quite a few prescriptions and bringing the original bottles will take a lot of space so I will try to get everything filled in little bottles.  My concern will now be insulin pens..I travel with two Frio cooling packs for the two different insulin pens I use.  Wondering what problem this will be.  The flight time is over 23 hours and a cooling pack is necessary.  Any suggestions..we are traveling 5 weeks.  Thank You !

What specifically are you concerned about with your insulin pens?

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1 hour ago, BrissieB said:

What specifically are you concerned about with your insulin pens?

I don't travel with the insulin pens in their original containers..the two insulins come in cardboard boxes..,(one is 5x7x2inches and the other is 7x3x1)  For six weeks of insulin (I always travel with extra), I would need two of each box.  Also, they need to be kept cool, so I use two carrying cases that have gel in them for long hours on the plane. There is no cooling medication case that will fit the four boxes. I normally cut the prescriptions off the boxes and put them in the cases when I travel.  Will this be enough?  And will I be able to use the gel cooling packs? I always put the two packs out on top of my carry on when going through security for the security personnel to see and only once in three years has it ever been looked at.  

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36 minutes ago, BRANDEE said:

I don't travel with the insulin pens in their original containers..the two insulins come in cardboard boxes..,(one is 5x7x2inches and the other is 7x3x1)  For six weeks of insulin (I always travel with extra), I would need two of each box.  Also, they need to be kept cool, so I use two carrying cases that have gel in them for long hours on the plane. There is no cooling medication case that will fit the four boxes. I normally cut the prescriptions off the boxes and put them in the cases when I travel.  Will this be enough?  And will I be able to use the gel cooling packs? I always put the two packs out on top of my carry on when going through security for the security personnel to see and only once in three years has it ever been looked at.  

Here is a link to relevant information I could find on the TSA site.   It states travelers can call the helpline toll free 855-787-2227, prior to traveling with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.  So I would give them a call to make sure.  https://www.tsa.gov/blog/2014/04/01/tsa-travel-tips-travelers-diabetes-or-other-medical-conditions 

 

Diabetes Australian has a great section which covers a whole range of travelling  with medication..  https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/travel

 

I always take medication in my carry on too, if luggage disappears clothes are easier to replace, medication not so much. 

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Thank you BrissieB for the information.

 

 I will check out the TSA site to see what to expect. Also, thanks for the Diabetes Australia site. After reading here about the strict Australian immigration policies...I like to be prepared.  I have no problem with rules and regulation.  I am a retired school principal and girl scout....lol   

 

Six months to our Australia, New Zealand, Fiji adventure and getting very excited.

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