Building a Travel First Aid Kit
The contents of your travel first aid kit will differ significantly depending on your potential activities planned during your travels. If your travels are limited to urban centres with readily available medical personnel and equipment, then your travel first aid kit will be much less than that of a backcountry hiker. We recommend that you either make your own travel first aid kit or purchase a pre-made first aid kit and add (or remove/upgrade) to it as to your needs. Do not just purchase a travel first aid kit and never open it as it is good to familiarize yourself with the contents prior to actually needing it.
Basic First Aid Kit Contents
What do you need to put in your travel first aid kit? The contents of a basic travel first aid kit need to be enough to satisfy your day to day requirements for problems that travellers often experience.
Zip-Lock or other resealable transparent bags make excellent travel first aid kits as you can see the contents inside and they can be molded to fit into your luggage or day pack. Use a thicker plastic bag (such as a freezer bag) to reduce potential splits or holes in your travel first aid kit. We recommend the following items as a start to your homemade first aid kit and all of these items should be available at your local drug store or pharmacy. Adjust the quantities to what you feel is necessary for your travelling party and the duration of your trip.
- 1. Pain relief tablets
Commonly known as as Acetaminophen ("Tylenol") or Ibuprofen ("Advil" or "Motrin").
- 2. Anti-nausea tablets
Known as Dymenhydrinate (e.g., "Gravol"). Be aware that Dymenhydinate often has a sedating effect.
- 3. Anti-Diarrhea tablets
Such as "Immodium". Many types of travellers' Diarrhea is caused by bacteria that is picked up on food/water and is best treated by prescription medication recommended by your doctor prior to your trip.
- 4. Extra Prescription Medication.
If you require prescription medication always bring extra (at least one week's worth), packed separately from your main supply in case you are away longer than expected or your main supply is lost or stolen.
- 5. Bandages
An assortment of different size bandages to cover various sores, both large and small.
- 6. Anti-infective ointment
Such as "Polysporin". Applied to wounds to prevent/treat skin infection.
If you plan to be travelling to more remote areas or away for longer durations, we recommend adding additional items to your basic travel first aid kit by building an advanced travel first aid kit. Please visit the link below for more information on your travel first aid kit add-ons.
Written by Kim Romaine