No one likes to think about getting sick or injured while on vacation, but it never hurts to be prepared for the worst situations. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, they say. In that spirit, here is a list of the essential items you should always carry with you in your travel first aid kit. Whether your trip takes you around the globe or around the corner, these items can be lifesavers for your or your traveling companions.
1. Bandaids– An obvious inclusion, and for good reason–scrapes and cuts can happen anytime, anywhere. For travel purposes, make sure to purchase the kind that are pre-treated with an antiseptic right on the pad. This will keep your cuts clean and your pack light.
2. Hard candies– This might seem like a weird item to include, but hard candies have a myriad of uses. They can help soothe a sore throat, assist a person with low blood sugar, and just plain perk up your spirits.
3. Pain relievers– Whether you have a headache, a sunburn, or achy joints or muscles, having some form of pain relief is essential. Ask your doctor which is best for your purposes.
4. Anti-diarrha pills- Nothing ruins a trip faster than traveler’s diarrhea, and if you are in a very arid climate, you can become dangerously dehydrated.
5. Latex gloves– Useful for any situation in which you need to observe universal precautions.
6. Rubbing alcohol- Cheaper than commercial hand sanitizer, but just as effective. You can use a 3 oz. travel container to carry a small amount on board a plane (but make sure the container is leak-proof). It can also be used to sanitize knives or tweezers, and can even be used to start an emergency fire due to it’s high alcohol content.
7. A bandanna or pashmina– A length of cloth has tons of uses when traveling, from a sling to a dust mask to a splint. You can even wrap your entire first aid kit inside of the fabric to keep your luggage lightweight and compact.
8. Your First Aid Master List– You should always have a list of your relevant medical information, including your doctor’s phone number, the phone number for your pharmacy, a list of medications/vitamins/supplements you are currently taking, any known allergies to foods or medications, and any other pertinent medical information that someone should know before treating you.