I’m prone to blisters, and I don’t think I’ve ever gone on a trip anywhere that I haven’t needed to search out a pharmacy for Band-aids and antiseptic ointment. And there was that one trip to Thailand when I needed to actually use the antibiotic medication prescribed by the travel doctor for a tummy upset. Luckily, that’s been the extent of my first-aid emergencies when I’ve traveled, and—believe me—I realize that I’ve been lucky.
One thing I’ve never gotten around to doing is putting together a travel first aid kit. Don’t ask me why…I’ve just never done it. But I’m not always going to have ready access to a pharmacy, so I’ve made up my mind to make this a priority before my next trip (definitely before I go on the Tanzania safari in 2017).
While the items in my travel first aid kit may vary depending on the destination I’m traveling to, there are a few basic items I’ll include every time.
Travel First Aid Kit Packing List
- Adhesive bandages of varying sizes, gauze and adhesive tape.
- Some kind of antiseptic wipes—useful when cleaning wounds—as well as antiseptic ointment.
- Blister pads or moleskin—going back to that whole blister issue.
- Alcohol hand sanitizer—this is something that I have already begun carrying with me. It’s nice to be able to clean your hands, particularly when there’s no water available.
- Hydrocortisone cream for treating insect bites.
- A few basic medications such as Tylenol, an antihistamine, an anti-nausea and anti-diarrheal. Just remember to carry them in original packaging or you may run into a problem with airport security.
- Tweezers for removing splinters and ticks.
- Safety pins and scissors.
It’s also important to carry a copy of your eyeglass prescription (if you have one) and copies of any medication prescriptions (in case you lose them and you need a re-fill). These items should be carried in your carry-on.
Again, depending on your destination, you may want to include: insect repellent, sunscreen, aloe gel and water purification tablets or a filter such as a SteriPen. I leave the final decision of what to include in your kit to you, but at least this is a start!