TRAVEL ESSENTIALS: What to pack in a travellers first aid kit

Author: Travel Essentials   Date Posted:20 September 2017 

There’s a never-ending debate amongst travellers about what medicines to pack for your travels and whether to pack anything at all (with the view of picking it all up on the road as and when you need it). Being a little bit accident prone, and falling prey to the ‘run down’ feeling, I always pack and small kit of essentials and the follow list is my top five must-haves.

Packing first aid supplies makes me feel so much better, especially in places where medicines, pharmacies and experts are in limited supply!

Anti-sickness pills

Getting from place to place to discover local hot-spots normally involves a bumpy local bus ride or a turbulent boat trip. So pack those anti-sickness pills just in case, which are also handy for when you might be experiencing the after effects of a good night out!

If you don’t like taking oral medication, acupressure bands are also available and sit neatly over the anti-nausea pressure points on your wrists. I’m not sure these are the best hangover cure though!

Rehydration solution

Whether you’re trekking in the Chiang Mai jungle, climbing Everest Base Camp or cycling through China, some kind of rehydration solution should come in useful – it’s one of the things I use the most. It can be mixed with water and will help keep your salt and sugar levels in check, particularly if you’re exerting a lot of energy during the hottest parts of the day. It can also ease dehydration caused by sickness and diarrhoea and should keep you feeling well. Royal D is a popular brand I have found in many places, and I normally find it easily in Cambodia and Thailand.

Bandages and plasters

There are many different types of bandages and plasters available these days, from waterproof to transparent, to ones medicated with antiseptic cream, so find a product to suit you! While the waterproof variety will let air in and keep germs out, hypoallergenic dressings are easy to remove making them ideal for sensitive skin. Haemostatic plasters can also help to stop bleeding and promote clotting of blood, but if you have blisters a high-quality cushioned bandage could be just what you need. I have a selection but have often shared and swapped with other travellers when needed, including ones with cute pictures on.

Painkillers

Whether you make up your own or purchase a ready made First Aid Kit, (which I did as it was more cost-effective) you can find it online, travel stores, in your local pharmacy or even at the supermarket. Most will contain an extensive array of items, but if you need specific painkillers or medication for your trip you might need to pack it yourself. I always pack ibuprofen and paracetamol (which can be bought from most pharmacies) and my other essential is antibiotics, which I request from my doctor prior to my trip. If you are going away for a while and have an ongoing prescription, take enough medication to last the duration of your travels – specific medication is very hard to find if not travelling in Western countries or is very pricey!

Tweezers

If you’ve ever had a splinter or glass stuck in your foot, you’ll know how painful it can be. Fortunately, tweezers can remove foreign objects from your skin and could save you an unwanted trip to an unfamiliar doctor’s surgery. Always remember to clean the tweezers and the injured area thoroughly and when the item from the skin is removed use some antiseptic cream to prevent infection.

A few simple items, making up a compact first-aid kit, could save you from a lot of pain and the hassle of paying out more than you should for the most simple of medical gripes… so stock up before you leave on your travels. It’s a bonus if you don’t have to use it, but a relief that you have things handy if you do.

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