If you are an avid traveler, chances are that you’ve encounter situations where you are in dire need of a doctor, hospital, or specific medication. No one enjoys falling ill while on a holiday. Being exposed to different cuisines, change in weather, and time zone can cause your immune system to let you down, unfortunately.
A vital packing essential will be a traveler’s first aid kit. Whether you are traveling locally or internationally, it is important that you are prepared for common illnesses and medical conditions.
Having a few essential pills and aids in your reach will spare you all the effort of searching for a doctor in a foreign city. When you pack medical necessities, you’ll have peace of mind. It is always good to see some of the options for other travel necessities such as eye masks, dog crates, and briefcases, for you to be completely prepared for your next trip.
This doesn’t mean you have to pack the entire medicine cabinet. To help you pack the essentials without being overweight. We’ve compiled a first aid kit guideline to help you out.
What is in a General First Aid Kit?
When you have enough space in your suitcase you can pack all the essential medications. A complete traveler’s first aid kit consists of the following items:
- Gauze: Gauze is great for soaking up blood, stop bleeding, clean a wound, or apply pressure. Individually wrapped gauze pieces that are sterilized, are essential in your first aid kit.
- Plasters: For any minor cut or injury, bandages will surely come in handy. Leaving a wound open will only create extra pain and further injury, especially if you are busy using your hands the whole day. Add one or two crepe bandages into your kit, for more serious injuries.
You don’t have to pack 100’s of plasters and bandages. Take a mix-and-match of a variety of sizes types. Waterproof plasters are great for traveling to beaches and rivers.
Learn more about plasters/bandages and what they’re used for here: https://www.firstaidforfree.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-wound-dressings/
- Antiseptic/Antibacterial wipes: Together with regular baby wipes and hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes are the perfect essential for any first aid kit. You can clean cuts and scrapes in a flash with these wipes, without worrying about water.
What’s great is that these wipes come in travel-sized packs. Making them an easy and light carry. They double as sanitizing hand cleaners whenever you need to wipe your hands before eating or use a public restroom.
- Scissors, Tweezers, Nail Clippers: These might be borderline toiletries, but they can come in handy when you get injured. Especially when you are hiking or walking barefoot around the campsite, you might get a thin thorn or wood shavings stuck in your sole.Having these essentials at hand will give you all the tools you need to get rid of unwanted objects that pierced through your skin, as well as cut bandages and gauze.
- Diarrhea/Nausea Medication: Some of the most common illnesses that occur during travels are vomiting and diarrhea. If you are in transit an Imodium or Loperamide tablet can help relieve symptoms.Do remember that these pills aren’t cures, but that they only help with symptoms. It’s important that you find a resting place where you can let diarrhea and vomiting take run its course. Replenish yourself by drinking loads of water.
- Pain Medication: Paracetamol will become your best friend while traveling. Whether it’s for stomach ache, back pain, or any other minor pains, paracetamol will do the trick. No need to invest in expensive pain relief medication. Packing ibuprofens or anything similar is just fine.
- Condoms: Staying safe while having casual sex during your travels is important. To have birth control at hand will protect you from unwanted STDs. Not only do condoms provide protection during intercourse, but they can double for other functions too.They can change into nifty water carriers or emergency ice packs. Click here for other surprising uses of condoms, that don’t involve sex.
- Insect Repellents and Antihistamine Lotions: Especially when you’re hiking or camping, you need to take precaution by using an effective bug repellent spray or lotion.If you’re too late and have already been bitten, then an antihistamine lotion will help relieve itchiness and pain from unknown bug bites.
When You are Traveling Locally
If you are only going around the bend, you don’t have to pack too many different medicines. Especially if you’ve been to the area before. You will be able to locate a pharmacy and doctor pretty quickly if disaster strikes.
Pack only what is needed such as:
- Prescription medicine
- General headache and nausea pills
When You are Going Camping or Hiking
When you will be in your home country/city, but you are going hiking and won’t be close to a town or pharmacy you have to pack the following in your first aid kit:
- Prescription medicines
- Blister plasters
- Bug repellent
- Antihistamine creams
- Cut and bruise dressings
- Safety pins
- Some fully prepped ready to eat meals – or also called MREs.
- Antibiotic wipes/treatment lotions
When You are Traveling by Ocean/Plane
If you’ll be on and off of planes and boats you are going to need the following essentials, especially if you’re prone to motion sickness:
- Water-resistant plasters and bandages
- Sunscreen with a high SPF
- Water-resistant flashlight
- Anti-nausea and motion sickness medication
- Motion sickness wristband
- Pain relief medication
- Sleeping aid or calming tablet, to help you relax and doze off during a long plane ride
Remember to check which vaccines are needed for certain countries that you might visit. Make sure you pack your medical certificate that proves you’ve had the vaccines. Check whether the area you’ll be traveling to are known for certain diseases such as malaria.
If you are traveling and trekking for an extended period of time, it will be wise to get a traveler’s medical insurance. As long as you are prepared you will have everything you need to deal with unforeseen medical emergencies.