Going on a trip? Here are the medicines experts say you should pack in the event of illness.

Packing medicine for a trip
Experts share tips on being prepared in the event you get sick while traveling. (Getty Images) (petrunjela via Getty Images)

Preparing to take a trip is always easier with a checklist. But while extra underwear and a phone charger are probably high on your list, doctors say it's important to think ahead about your health.

"There's no guarantee that the medicine you'll need will be accessible when you're away from home," Dr. Angela Tucker, family medicine physician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells Yahoo Life. "If you need medicine in a particular moment, you may not have time to try to get [it] if you're not feeling well."

If you have a chronic medical condition, it's important to pack carefully. "Depending on the type of medication you take, it could be harmful and dangerous to abruptly stop it or go days without it," Christina Inteso, clinical pharmacy specialist at Corewell Health, tells Yahoo Life.

Since it's important to pack light— especially given the high baggage fees these days — taking along your entire medicine cabinet doesn't make sense. So what should you pack and what can you skip? Doctors break it down.

Prescription medications require extra planning

Prescription medication can be tricky, especially if you're due for a refill while you're gone. That's why it's a good idea to speak with your prescribing doctor or pharmacist about getting a supply that will last for your entire trip, Dr. Lewis Nelson, chair of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, tells Yahoo Life.

"For most medications, this should not be difficult, but for some that have specific regulatory or insurance requirements, it may require a little extra effort," he says. (If you can, get your prescription medication sorted out a few weeks in advance to allow time to get through inevitable hurdles, he says.)

Your pharmacy is usually able to shift your refills so that you can pick them up before your trip, Tucker says. "But it's much more difficult if it's something controlled, like a stimulant or pain medicine," she says.

Another pro tip for the just-in-case: "Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor, especially if you're traveling internationally," Dr. David Cutler, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., tells Yahoo Life. If something happens to your medication while you're gone, this should help you to get more.

TSA will let you carry some medication on the plane

The Transportation Security Administration has several requirements for traveling with medication. All medicine must go through the screening process, and the TSA recommends that your medicine is clearly labeled to help with screening.

While carry-on liquid items are usually limited to 3.4 ounces or less per item, TSA says that you can bring "medically necessary liquids, medications and creams" that are larger than 3.4 ounces (or 100 milliliters) in your carry-on bag. The language around this is a little vague, which is why it may be helpful to bring a note from your doctor stating that your medication is medically necessary or to have prescription medication in its original bottle with the pharmacy label attached, Nelson says. Just keep this in mind, per Inteso: "Medically necessary' means that the medication is being used to treat a medical condition, disease or symptoms and there is no other appropriate substitute."

If you're checking baggage, Nelson recommends putting important medications in your carry-on in case you get separated from your other luggage. "Medications should be stored in their original containers, with labels, and put into a plastic bag in case the bottle opens," he says.

When you go through screening, TSA says these medications will be removed from your carry-on so that they can be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

Doctors recommend traveling with these essentials

A lot of what medicines are considered "essential" depends on who you are and where you're going. "If you use those items regularly at home, then I would definitely bring them with you," Inteso says. "If you never use those things and are traveling to a non-remote place, you could probably skip it and just get it where you are if you need something."

But if you're going someplace remote or will be doing a lot of strenuous activity where there's a risk of scrapes and cuts, Inteso suggests taking a first aid kit along. "Some good items to include would be hand sanitizer, wipes, a cold pack, tweezers, pain relievers, medications for your stomach — antacids, anti-diarrhea medications, constipation medications — cold medications, allergy medications, Band-Aids and safety pins," she says.

If you want to pack lighter than that, Tucker suggests having a few Band-Aids, antibiotic swabs and ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Kids medication is important too

If you're traveling with kids, doctors recommend planning in advance for their medications. "Because many children's medications are in liquid form, be sure to declare them at TSA, and be prepared to declare that they are medications," Nelson says, emphasizing that they should be in their original bottle or you should have a doctor's note on hand.

If you have larger quantities than the standard 3.4 ounces, you'll also need a doctor's note or prescription bottle, Nelson says.

Overall, doctors say taking the extra effort to bring the right medications is important. "It's better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it," Tucker says.