Looking to make your own…the best travel first aid kit? In this post, we provide you with a Free Emergency Travel Checklist created by a full-time travel expert.
Has a medical problem ever occurred to you or someone else while on vacation? Have you ever suffered from a severe allergic reaction? Were you forced to shorten your trip due to sudden illness?
Well, if yes, then all of this might have been avoided by having certain items with you, which could have saved the day. If no, then you are lucky, but such a situation might happen with you on any trip, and trust me, it’s better to be prepared than sorry.
However, you don’t need to worry about figuring out all such emergency items because I have got you covered. In this post, I’m sharing tips that I follow while I travel around this world and, furthermore, I have listed down all of my go-to items that are necessary to have in your travel emergency medical kit. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
- 1 Tips for Staying Healthy
- 2 Travel First Aid Kit Checklist: Emergency Items
- 2.1 Plasters (Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid)
- 2.2 Sterile Dressing (Medline Curad Sterile Non-Adherent Pad)
- 2.3 Crepe Bandage (Mighty-X Elastic Bandage Wrap)
- 2.4 Surgical Tape (Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Tape)
- 2.5 Small Scissors (Singer 4-1/2-Inch ProSeries Detail Scissors)
- 2.6 Tweezers (Tweezer Guru Tweezer)
- 2.7 Pain Relief Medication
- 2.8 Loperamide Caplets
- 2.9 Antihistamine Tablets
- 2.10 Antihistamine Cream (Puriya)
- 2.11 Antibacterial Cream (La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Relief Eczema Cream)
- 2.12 Thermometer (Goodbaby Ear Thermometer)
- 2.13 Signature Cotton Travel Pill Case
- 2.14 Insect Repellent (Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion)
- 2.15 Insect Bite Treatment (Murphy’s Naturals Insect Bite Relief Soothing Balm)
- 2.16 Re-Hydration Sachets (TRIORAL – Oral Rehydration Salts)
- 2.17 Water Disinfectant
- 3 Disinfecting Items
Tips for Staying Healthy
Below, I have discussed a few points that you should keep in mind before, during, and after boarding a plane in order to stay healthy while traveling.
- Viruses usually take a toll on people whose immune systems aren’t strong enough to fight the diseases caused by them. You can save yourself from this trouble by taking multivitamins and immune boosters in advance. They will strengthen your immune system, which will then fight against any bacteria or virus which might enter your body, especially upon contact with infected surfaces.
- Ensure that you have taken all of the necessary shots before you start your journey. Some of the essential ones include the Tdap, MMR, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningococcal disease, HPV, chickenpox, polio, and flu vaccines.
- You can also take probiotics to strengthen your health. These medications are basically those types of bacteria and yeast that are good for your digestive system. I personally can recommend the Natural Papaya Digestive enzymes which is a great aid for healthy digestion.
- Always sanitize surfaces that you’ll frequently come in contact with on the plane. Also, ensure that your hands are clean, and that you have a sufficient supply of hand-cleaning products. If you require product suggestions, then consult the next section in which I have shared my go-to items.
- Stay hydrated on the plane. Negligence in this regard might result in headaches, or even temporary shock, which could damage your internal organs.
- Don’t stay seated throughout your plane ride because this can result in the pooling of blood in your legs, which might lead to blood clotting, a condition medically termed as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). I personally use compression socks, especially as an essential during my long haul flights.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages while flying, because, in the air, the oxygen availability to your blood is low, which speeds up the dehydration process.
- Try to get sufficient sleep during your flight; this will help you to reduce jetlag. A Natural Aid that helps you relax and more easily fall sleep is Melatonin.
- Don’t negate your exercise routine when traveling. This is important during vacays because, as we explore new cuisines and such, our body requires some movement to adjust to them.
- Never forget a mosquito net; specifically, if you intend to go for camping or other outdoor activities. Mosquitos are carriers of numerous diseases, for instance, dengue, and none of us wants to get sick while enjoying the best days of our life.
- Avoid touching your face while flying, or even when in the airport, without having thoroughly cleaned them first. This is because viruses and bacteria come in contact with our hands from various infected surfaces and, when we touch our face, they enter our bodies and wreak havoc.
- If you are out sipping a martini on a sunny beach, then don’t forget your sunscreen and your hat to avoid sunburns. Don’t over do it!
- Dehydration can completely devastate your system, and thus your vacation, so make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water.
- Cans/bottles pass through numerous hands before they reach us, which means they have had multiple chances of getting infected with viruses; therefore, it is always better to clean them thoroughly before drinking from them.
- If you don’t want to spend a major chunk of your holidays in the restroom, then make sure that you take your fiber-rich food and/or supplements!
- During vacations, we utilize more energy than during our routine schedule; therefore, make sure you maintain a nutritious diet to keep your health in check.
- Always avoid tap water because it contains numerous contaminants starting from bacteria to radioactive particles, depending upon the source and level of drinking water treatment. In foreign lands, bottled water is always the best option!
Travel First Aid Kit Checklist: Emergency Items
Below, I have discussed a few emergency items that can save you from immense trouble in almost any health-related situation. Make sure you compile a travel medical kit comprised of these items before you start your next adventure!
Plasters (Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid)
Injuries while traveling shouldn’t be ignored because, at times, minute scrapes and scratches might turn into something more serious if not properly attended. My go-to band-aid to cater to all such issues while traveling is Johnson & Johnson Band-Aids.
Each of these packets contain 100 band-aids made from memory-weave fabric, which makes them flexible, so that you don’t have issues while bending, stretching or flexing the area where you have used it. The mid of the band-aid has a hurt-free pad, which ensures that the wound doesn’t stick with it. You can buy water resistant ones but, regardless, you can keep them on for about 24 hours.
Sterile Dressing (Medline Curad Sterile Non-Adherent Pad)
A bandage or plaster is useless unless you have sterile dressing to take initial care of the wound. There are multiple options available, but my pick is the Medline Curad Sterile Non-Adherent Pad, an item that can always be found in my backpack too.
As the name suggests, it is a non-adherent pad, which means it won’t stick to your injury. I usually choose the packet that contains 50 of them with the dimensions of 3“ x 8“. It’s comprised of two layers: The topmost one allows passage of air, whereas, the inner one is a cotton/polyester pad that allows the collection of fluids. Yes, they are versatile and must-have’s for any kit!
Crepe Bandage (Mighty-X Elastic Bandage Wrap)
Have you ever tripped and/or slipped only to sprain your ankle while traveling? I hope that your answer was “no” however, statistically, this is a common injury for travelors. Regardless, it is always better to be safe than sorry, which is why I recommend having a crepe bandage in your backpack. The question is, which is the best one out there? My answer is the Mighty-X Elastic Bandage Wrap!
The package contains 4 bandages: Two 3” rolls and two 4” rolls. These bandages are made from polyester and thus, have more elasticity, which in turn provides more compression to the muscles. Each bandage is individualy wrapped in order to keep them hygienic, extends up to 15 feet and has two elastic bandage clips. Did I mention that the package contains 4 extra clips as well?! (NOTE: It will also help to have disposable instant ice packs, they definitely come in handy, and remember to raise your ankle above your heart for the swelling to come down).
Surgical Tape (Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Tape)
Any travel emergency medical kit is useless without surgical tape. Choosing one from thousands of options can be rather tricky, so I’ll share my go-to item: The Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Tape.
As the name suggests, this surgical tape is waterproof, which means you can participate in water-related activities without the concern of getting your wound wet or infected. You can use it to secure almost all types of dressings and, furthermore, you won’t get blisters after using them because it provides cushioned protection.
Small Scissors (Singer 4-1/2-Inch ProSeries Detail Scissors)
Another essential item that comes in handy during medical emergencies when traveling is a pair of small scissors. I’d suggest the Singer 4-½ inch ProSeries Detail Scissors for your med kit alongside the numerous other products discussed in this post.
The shears of these scissors have a Nano tip point that allows precision, which is a key while dressing a wound. Furthermore, they have a rubberized grip that ensures your hands don’t get bruised, which is the problem with most of the scissors that are made completely out of metal without any protective covering. Just be mindful not to keep them in your carry-on luggage or they might be confiscated.
Tweezers (Tweezer Guru Tweezer)
At times, minute objects get stuck inside your skin, such as a splinter which, if neglected, might turn into a major issue. One tool that could assist you to remove it, while also being a beauty-related item, is a tweezer. I would suggest you get your hands on the Tweezer Guru’s Tweezer, one of my must-have’s while traveling.
The Tweezer Guru’s tweezer is made completely from stainless steel, which means it is long-lasting and you won’t have to worry about it rusting, and the manufacturer has made sure that the tips are accurately aligned (so that you won’t face any issues while tweezing). They also offer a 60-day moneyback guarantee.
Pain Relief Medication
Whether it’s needed for a hangover or foot pain after a long day, pain relief medication will always come in handy. In this section, I’ll brief you a bit about different types and when it should it be taken (of course, always be mindful of any allergies you may have).
As the name suggests, pain relief medication helps in reducing common pains and aches. They are also termed as Over the counter (OTC) medicines. There are two types of OTC:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol): This type is used to temporarily relieve common pains and aches such as backache, headache, muscular cramps, cold, premenstrual and menstrual cramps, and minor pain of arthritis. It also helps in the reduction of fever.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): At times, our body produces prostaglandins, a chemical that escalates healing; however, it also increases inflammation, which results in fever, pain, and other side effects. You can counteract them through Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which block the production of prostaglandins. The most common types of NSAIDs include Aspirin, ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac, Celecoxib, and Voltaren.
Do you get sick while traveling? This can sometimes be attributed to sleep loss and stress during traveling, which leads to the weakening of our immune systems. The best way to fight this is to always have Loperamide Caplets in your backpack. These tablets provide relief in case of sudden diarrhea by reducing the gut movement.
This is specifically designed for people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). According to the Alpha ImpactRx ProVoice Survey conducted in June 2019, it is the top peppermint oil recommended for IBS by gastroenterologists. Furthermore, patient-reported outcomes show that it starts countering digestion issues in just 2 hours.
Imagine coughing or sneezing on an airplane, especially in the current climate of Covid-19; the staff would probably want an emergency landing. Well, fun aside, every sneeze doesn’t mean that you have, God forbid, Covid-19, it could be due to an allergy. Antihistamine Tablets, such as Kirkland Allergy Medicine, can help reduce your reaction to most allergins.
These tablets will counteract the following symptoms:
- Sneezing and runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Fever symptoms
- Itching of nose or throat
Each package contains 600 Diphenhydramine HCI 25 mg tablets. You’ll thank me later for having had it in your kit!
Antihistamine Cream (Puriya)
Alongside tablets, you should also keep the Puriya Antihistamine Cream for skin-related allergy issues.
This cream is specifically designed for people whose skin is sensitive and gets rough, dry or patchy rather easily. Each bottle contains 4.5 ounces. This moisturizing product is reviewed by various dermatologists and has been clinically tested. It is completely free from paraben and petroleum and forms a film over your skin so that irritating agents won’t have an effect on it. Furthermore, it has botanical oils that restore the irritated skin.
Antibacterial Cream (La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Relief Eczema Cream)
Coming in contact with harmful bacteria while traveling is a regular occurrence, and this can only be avoided by keeping an antibacterial cream in your travel emergency kit at all times. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Relief Eczema Cream is an excellent choice.
La Roche-Posay is the top acne skincare brand in European pharmacies. Apart from this, it also won the 2018 Allure Best of Beauty award. This item is not just limited to adults, you can also use it on children 3 years or older. It is steroid, paraben, and fragrance-free. Furthermore, it is non-comedogenic and allergy-tested. In addition to this, it has been accepted by the National Eczema Association.
Thermometer (Goodbaby Ear Thermometer)
Keeping your temperature in-check is necessary in times of Covid-19 because fever is one of the major symptoms of this virus. For this, you’ll definitely want a thermometer, and my pick is the Goodbaby Ear Thermometer.
The Goodbaby Ear Thermometer checks temperature through ear and forehead by simply pointing and pressing a button. This is achieved via the use of superior-quality infrared technology. You can even check your temperature in the dark, thanks to its HD LED screen. It shows temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
Signature Cotton Travel Pill Case
A travel must have to add to your list is a travel-sized pill case. I personally like to organize my supplements by day so I do not miss any. It is easier to bring with me on my carry-on bag and to remember my pill schedule while I am traveling.
My Favorite one is Vera Bradley Women’s Signature Cotton Travel Pill Case, since it is big enough, the right size, but at the same time is cute/stylish.
Insect Repellent (Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion)
Does your traveling involve a lot of camping and other similar outdoor activities? If yes, then you should get your hands on the Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion to save yourself from insect-transmitted diseases.
This lotion repels mosquitos, ticks, flies, chiggers, gnats, fleas and deer flies that are bearers of the Sika Virus, West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, and other such multiple diseases, which can even be fatal. It achieves this through a concentration of 34% DEET that forms a protective barrier and repels insects.
Insect Bite Treatment (Murphy’s Naturals Insect Bite Relief Soothing Balm)
Another essential item for outdoor enthusiasts is an insect bite treatment cream, and there isn’t a better option then Murphy’s Naturals Insect Bite Relief Soothing Balm.
This cream is entirely composed of natural ingredients, and thus, provides a side effect-free, quick relief. Its ingredients include:
- Brazilian andiroba oil
- Cocoa seed butter
- Eucalyptus oil
- Olive oil
- Peppermint oil
- Sunflower seed oil
- Tea tree oil
Each tin contains 0.75 ounces of product and can be carried anywhere in a small pocket.
Re-Hydration Sachets (TRIORAL – Oral Rehydration Salts)
Do you often get headaches and feel lethargic when traveling? This can happen due to dehydration, which is a condition in which more fluids leave the body then your intake. You can counter this by carrying TRIORAL – Oral Rehydration Salts in your travel emergency kit.
These salts have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is manufactured in accordance with Pharmaceutical GMP regulations. It is also free from all sorts of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. You can use it to recover from a hangover, food poisoning, stomach flu, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting as most of these diseases are either caused by, or result in, dehydration.
Getting bottled water everywhere is not only challenging, but it also takes quite a toll on one’s pocket. The best way to save your health and bucks is using a water disinfectant such as the Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets.
Each bottle contains 50 portable water purification tablets, each of which removes bacteria from water within 35 minutes. In addition to bacteria, it also kills Giardia Lamblia, which causes small intestine infection. It is a must-have travel and camping accessory, which is trusted even by the military and emergency organizations.
In this section, I have discussed a few disinfecting items which are a necessity to keep yourself and loved ones safe from all kinds of viruses and bacteria.
Hand Sanitizing Spray
Dirty hands are a magnet for harmful bacteria and viruses, which enter our bodies if they aren’t sanitized. Access to soap and water is not always readily available everywhere, but you won’t need them if you have this Outdoor Hand Sanitizer Spray by your side.
This small bottle is an excellent soap and water alternative because it provides up to 24 hours of protection. In addition to cleaning your hands, it moisturizes them, refreshing them after each usage. All you need to do is spray it on your palms and rub them together. You can also use it on children too.
Waterless Hand Cleanser (Welmedix No-Rinse Adult Gentle Cleansing Foam)
Another option to keep your hands clean in the absence of water is the Welmedix No-Rinse Adult Gentle Cleansing Foam.
This cleanser is specifically designed for people who have fragile skin due to advanced age or disease. One of the major issues of such products is they leave your hands very dry after usage, but you don’t have to worry about this with the Welmedix Hand Cleanser because it contains calendula, a moisturizing agent. Furthermore, it is pH balanced.
One of the major reasons for the rapid spread of Covid-19 is its transmission through surface-contact, which can only be countered through the use of disinfectant. This property of infections is not limited to the new coronavirus; in fact, most of the bacteria and viruses spread in a similar manner. Kids are specifically prone to develop diseases because their immune systems are still developing. If you intend to keep your children from such transmittance, then you should get your hands on the Shibari Advanced Antibacterial Toy Cleaner.
This toy cleaner is a steal at its price because it provides 8 ounces in each bottle at a rather low cost for it’s size. It is triclosan, alcohol, paraben, and glycerin-free. Its usage is quite simple; all you need to do is spray the toy with the disinfectant and rinse it with warm water. Furthermore, it is scented so your kids will definitely approve and love it!
Another item that is extremely essential to ensure a virus-free life is disinfectant wipes. There are thousands of options available on Amazon, but my all-time favorite are the Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes and the Lysol Disinfecting Wipes.
These hand wipes are a convenient cleaner because they ensure that 99.99% of the germs die when they come in contact with them. Its services are not just limited to killing bacteria, but it also provides skin-conditioning thanks to the ingredients present in them.
An emergency medical kit is incomplete without antiseptic wipes, and one of the best available is the Saltousa Antibacterial Detergent Wipes.
The manufacturer promises that it kills 99.99% of the viruses and bacteria. These wipes are quite thick and moisture-rich, which allows them to efficiently clean almost any type of surface. In addition, each wipe has a pocket technology, which ensures that only the necessary amount of moisture leaves the wipe; thus, making it long-lasting. You can also use it to clean electronics.
If during this time, those are not available, you can always get this one.
Face Wipes (Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes)
A lady’s travel pack is incomplete without a face wipe. Choosing a makeup remover is rather tricky; wanna know which ones are my favorite? Well, it’s none other than the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelette!
Each package contains 25 makeup wipes, which not only remove the makeup, but also the dirt and oil that compiles on the skin after a long and tiring day outside. In addition to the normal makeup, it also efficiently removes the most stubborn forms of waterproof products. Furthermore, it is also safe for contact lens wearers.
Just a few last minute take-aways!
I am sure that by now you have completely understood how to compile an emergency travel medical kit, your own travel first aid kit.
While I prefer to make my own first aid kit for travel, you can also find some pre-done for you on places like Amazon. If I have to choose one, this will be my choice.
My last three tips are: (a) You should always wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace if you have a specific medical condition, (b) I also carry a list of any prescribed medication, if I’m taking anything at the moment, in case I need to replace it (name and mg) and (c) Always purchase insurance for your travel.
This compilation will not only help you in keeping yourself and others safe from Covid-19, but it will also offer protection from other viruses, bacteria, and health-related issues. After all, when you get the chance to go on vacation, the last thing you want is to get sick.
Did you find this post useful? Save it for later on Pinterest!