Creative Labeling

Experts advise travelers to keep medicines in their original containers when they pack for trips. But what if your warehouse-size bottle of aspirin is almost as large as your carryon?

The answer lies in being creative with labels.

This 35mm film canister works great for taking my Airborne-type medicine on the road. In this case, I cut the original box apart and taped pertinent portions to the outside of the container.

This 35mm film canister works great for taking my Airborne-type medicine on the road. In this case, I cut the original box apart and taped pertinent portions to the outside of the canister.

Often, with patience, you can peel labels off of the original bottles and glue or tape them onto smaller containers. That way, you still have all the documentation you need concerning the medicine’s properties, dosages, and other important information.

But what if the label won’t peel off or it’s too large to glue onto a much smaller bottle? I faced that problem in 2000 on a trip to Nepal and India. Not only would my Space-Wise Pill Holders trick of using craft-size zip-top bags not work, but I also didn’t even know about such bags back then.

Faithfully reproducing labels using computer software and a color printer can be a solution.

Faithfully reproducing labels using computer software and a color printer can be a solution.

Desktop publishing solved my problem. I painstakingly recreated various labels on my computer and printed them on a color printer. Then I cut them to size, affixed each label to an empty Beano* bottle, and covered the entire surface with clear packing tape. Cotton balls stuffed inside prevented the pills from rattling around too much on their bumpy journey. It worked. No one at foreign airports batted an eye when they looked through my luggage and spied Beano bottles with the reproduced labels.

The only improvement I can think of would be if I’d made sure that one of the Beano bottles had actually contained Beano.

* Beano is an enzyme-based dietary supplement that improves digestion.
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Fiercely Frugal Savage Sister Diana has gathered packing pointers over the years on numerous domestic and foreign trips. Most recently, she travels in conjunction with the publication of her latest book, 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.
© 2014 The Savage Sisters

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