Any of the following items may be useful in a first
aid travel kit. You can mix and match according to your needs.
Pain relief - acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin), ASA (Aspirin)
Nausea, motion sickness - Gravol, Bonamine, transdermal patch
Topical antibiotic - Polysporin, Bactroban
Colds, sinus, rash - antihistamine, decongestant
Sunscreen - 30 to 60 SPF
Insect repellent - 25 to 30 per cent DEET product (even for kids)
Diarrhea - Imodium, Pepto-Bismol
Antibiotics for diarrhea - discuss with your doctor
Anti-malaria medication - discuss with a travel health
Constipation - Senokot or a mild laxative
Rehydration salts - Gastrolyte
EpiPen - for serious allergies
Asthma inhalers - asthma may flare in big cities with heavy pollution
Altitude - Diamox - discuss with your doctor
Antifungal creams - Canesten, Monistat
Any prescription medication and non-prescription drugs you use regularly - take extra supplies in your carry-on in case your checked luggage gets lost
Adhesive bandages - (BAND-AID), gauze, tape, moleskin (for blisters)
Latex gloves, sterile needles, suture supplies
After Bite or cortisone cream for itchiness and rashes
Antibacterial hand soap and wipes
Nail clippers, tweezers, a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool - these items must be packed in checked luggage
Alcohol or Betadine wipes - to clean wounds
Toilet paper and tissues (Kleenex)
Skin cream - moisturizer, sunburn relief
Water purification kit
Mosquito net, permethrin spray
First aid manual
Common sense - dont leave home without it!
Look in your medicine cabinet to see what you normally use to deal with minor problems. When you walk down the drugstore aisle, imagine what you might run out to buy at 10 oclock at night. These supplies may not be available or recognizable in another country. Product names will be different and, depending where you are, labels may not be written in English.
You must be particularly careful when purchasing first aid supplies in a developing country.
Be realistic. You must carry what you pack. It is not possible to anticipate and provide for all medical problems. At some point, it may become necessary to seek local medical care.
Some stores sell packaged first aid or emergency kits that are worth a look. Certainly, if one seems to fit your needs, buy it. However, it can often be cheaper and more practical to make your own.
If you are taking needles and syringes to treat a condition like diabetes in a foreign country, bring along an explanatory letter from your doctor. Any medication you carry should be in its prescription bottle (with the label) or the manufacturers box. A doctors note is not usually necessary for these unless you use narcotics for pain control. Narcotics may cause problems at customs, even with a doctors note, so if possible try to travel with an alternate medication.
With advance preparation, your travels can be worry-free. Bon voyage!