What Should Be In Your Travel First Aid Kit
When it comes to ‘Travel First Aid’, how do you know if you are getting it right?
Depending on your destination and activities, you might need to bring very little with you in terms of first aid. A standard small travel pack might just suit you fine.
If you are planning a more adventurous holiday, or are expecting different hygiene levels or limited access to medical aid, it is worth kitting out beyond basic necessities to help you out in a pinch.
Basic first aid kit
A basic first aid kit should at least hold some clean bandages, porous tape, sterile wipes, painkillers, plasters, small scissors and tweezers. This will help you with most minor injuries such as scrapes and cuts.
Other things to consider would be anti-diarrhoea medicine, rehydration packets and travel sickness medication.
If you are on (prescription) medication, you need to make sure you have enough to last you through your trip. Some medicines are restricted in certain countries (for example, codeine-based painkillers), so make sure that you check on beforehand that your medication doesn’t get you in trouble. Make sure you have a doctors note for your medications and if you need to bring sharp objects such as syringes or EpiPens through customs.
Also make a list of your medications, brand name, purpose an active agents, that you can keep handy in case of emergency. They might not have the same brands, but if you have the active ingredients and original packaging with you most hospitals should be able to help you.
For some illnesses, such as allergies or diabetes, consider getting medical jewellery if you do not already have them. If you are going to a country where they are unlikely to know the English terms, print out a sheet with standard questions in the native language.
Mountain climbing, hiking, jungle treks, sailing. There are many ways to enjoy an active holiday. Whether you are going solo or with an organised group, make sure your first aid kit is up to par with your activity.
On top of the basics, adding items such as sports tape and elastic bandages will help you in the event of a sprain. If there will be no access to cool streaming water, you could add an instant ice pack. Double up on blister pads if walking is on the menu. Depending on the climate make sure you have enough insect repellants for the duration of your trip.
For more dangerous activities you should consider to branch from a first aid kit to a proper survival pack. Items such as a knife or multitool, string, and mini torch are not staples in standard first aid kits, so make sure you add these if necessary. If clean water could be a concern, make sure you have water purification methods at hand, so that in an emergency you can purify water and keep hydrated.
No one expects to get hurt on their holiday. Prepare yourself with a first aid kit adjusted to your activities to enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.