A well packed first aid kit is essential for any trip you take. You can buy one at most outdoor stores; but I find them to be lacking in some areas and including other things you just don`t need. If you have your own bag (waterproof is best) then you can make your kit from scratch! Keep reading for a list of everything you`ll need for the perfect travel first aid kit.
First Aid Kit Items
This is a general list to get you through anything you may encounter while traveling. Depending on where you’re going and what you plan on doing; you may decide to bring more or less of certain items.
Band-aids of All Sizes: If you`re anything like me, Band-aids are what you will use the most! Make sure to pack a variety of sizes and shapes. In my experience; ditch the tiny ones (who ever uses those little things anyways?) and opt for 20-30 good quality band-aids in more universal sizes.
Leukotape: If you plan to do any hiking or trekking, this will seriously be your best friend! I`ve tried moleskin, band-aids, duck tape and pretty much everything else under the sun for blisters in my hiking boots; but nothing works like Leukotape!
Tiger Balm: Tiger Balm can be used to stop the itch of bug bites, relieve sore muscles, and help with joint pain. It also offers quick relief of nasal congestion if applied under your nose.
Polysporin: This antibiotic ointment is useful on any cut or blister in order to speed healing and prevent infection. When we were in a motorbike accident in Bali; Polysporin was the best thing to use on our road rash.
Good Quality Athletic Tape: Whether its a sprained ankle or you are using it to hold gauze over a scrape; a roll of tape will help you out in more ways that one.
Gauze of Varying Sizes: A few different sizes of non stick sterile gauze will come in handy for bigger cuts, scrapes or road rash. Use the Polysporin and athletic tape to bandage yourself up so you can keep exploring and enjoying your vacation.
Tweezers: Useful for remove splinters or anything else that may get caught in your skin.
Small Scissors: Scissors are great for cutting gauze, moleskin and tape. They often come in handy for non first aid travel situations as well.
Iodine: Add a small bottle of this powerful disinfectant to your kit for cuts and open wounds.
Individually Packed Alcohol Wipes: These are always helpful to clean minor cuts and scrapes or for sanitizing a small area or item.
First Aid Kit Medications
The idea of having medication in your travel first aid kit is to get you through an emergency and give you time to get more if necessary. Its a good idea to keep the pills individually packaged and bring a minimum of 6-10 each.
Pepto Bismol: Helpful for nausea and upset stomach.
Advil: For headaches and joint or muscle pain.
Imodium: A medication for travelers diarrhea.
Ciprofloxacin: A prescription medication in the event that travelers diarrhea isn`t getting better with Imodium. If you are traveling to a third world country this is a great thing to have with you and you can pick it up in your home country.
Benadryl: Good to have in the case of an allergic reaction or severe bug bites. We`ve also used it to help us sleep on planes or when camping on uncomfortable mattresses!
NyQuil: Cold medicine can be tough to come by in some countries. We always carry NyQuil to help us sleep in case of a cold.
Asprin: Asprin reduces blood clotting which can help blood flow to the heart. If you or someone you come across is having chest pain or a heart attack; they can chew an Asprin while waiting for help to arrive.
Gravol: Great to have in case of any motion sickness.
Finally, here are a few things that I never travel without! We usually add them into our first aid kit but you can bring them separately as well.
Hand Sanitizer: No matter where you are traveling to; a small bottle of hand sanitizer is ALWAYS a must. Bring it out with you so you can sanitize before meals and throughout the day.
Electrolytes: I don`t go anywhere without these! Electrolytes are useful after diving, hiking, surfing, or even walking around all day in the heat. They can make a huge difference in your energy level and will help keep you hydrated in the event of a stomach bug.
Bug Spray or Cream: We always add a small bottle of high quality bug cream into our first aid kit.
Sunscreen: A no brainer for most trips; we like to keep a small bottle with us in the first aid kit (I`m a huge fan of Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen!)
Anti Itch Cream: For bites and small reactions