This past summer, more clients than ever escaped from work and enjoyed some sort of get-away. Hooray! I’m a big proponent of taking time off from work in order to relax and recharge because that helps improve your health and productivity. The whole reason I wrote my fourth book, The Great Escape: A Vacation Planner for Busy People Who Want to Take a Real Break from Work & Life, is to address all the fears and worries that clients would express as their reason for not taking time off from work.
As we’ve moved through August and now into September, it’s been wonderful to hear from so many who followed my recommendations and not only prepared to be gone, but also to not start their first day back completely frazzled and behind. But one question that did keep cropping up was, “What is the best pill organizer to use?”
Many of them have to take medications or supplements or both. They had their routine set at home, but when they were away on vacation, they fumbled a bit keeping track of their pills. So, to address their questions, I’ve gathered a few examples of what to be on the lookout for when you need to purchase a pill organizer.
I’ve only listed a pill organizer on here if it’s marked as BPA-free.
I really like the compact size and large writing. It’s also helpful that one larger container keeps all of your daily pill containers together. There are detachable individual containers for each day so you can carry around only what you need and leave the rest behind. Each daily holder is divided into AM and PM sections, in case you take pills at specific times. Bonus: It’s moisture proof, which is especially helpful if you’re planning to spend time in a humid area or near the pool or beach. The drawback of this one is if you struggle with hand dexterity, the unsnap-to-open feature might be a bit difficult.
This holds slightly more than the one above and is rectangular (if you prefer that over round). The drawback compared to the prior one is that you can’t separate the individual days, so you need to carry this entire container around. It’s great if you won’t need your pills while out and about.
This container is similar to the pill organizer above, but it holds twice as many pills since it has two rows. You can’t detach the individual days, but you can detach the rows into AM pills and PM pills. Reviewers report that this has a better locking mechanism than many others.
I love the idea of a decorative bag (it comes in various colors and patterns) that you can set on your lap and open discreetly if you have to take your meds in a public place. The individual containers hold only half as many pills as the other pill organizers above.
This bag caught my eye because of its title. I felt shady, like a drug mule. Or perhaps cunning, like a spy. None of my pills have an odor that I’m aware of, but then again, I’m not a contraband-sniffing drug dog. If you’re not familiar with a country’s herb or supplement laws, and you don’t want to be hassled at customs because a dog alerted on your bag, you might look into this one. Note: This does not include pill containers. Disclaimer: I don’t condone breaking any laws or regulations.
I’m listing this bag to let you know that there are medicine bags with TSA-approved locks. However, I personally would never check any piece of luggage that contains something I can’t easily replace if it gets lost, so this would not make it onto my purchase list just because it’s checkable. Note: This does not include pill containers.
This has been my choice for travel. I know, I know. These are sooo not hip. They’re dreadfully boring. But they do what I need: spill proof, moisture proof and large enough for one “serving” of my supplements. Plus, if I need to be out and about when it’s medication time, I don’t have to worry about hauling my entire pill inventory or finding a bag or smaller container to transfer my “serving” into while I’m on the go; instead, I can just grab one of these and shove it in my purse. I use these whether I’m traveling for 36 hours for work or 17 days for a summer vacation. I put all of my individual serving bags into one sandwich (quart) baggie, so it’s easy for me to see what I’m pulling out. These also take up less space than plastic containers.
In the end, decide on:
*How many pills do you need to take in one “serving”?
*How many days will you be gone?
*What kind of access will you need to your pills while you’re out and about?
*What are you willing to carry around with you throughout the day?
*How much packing space do you want to use for pill organizers?
Once you answer these questions for your situation, you’ll be able to narrow down your shopping choices for travel pill organizers.
Want more advice about time management to create the time to take a vacation? Check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.