Whether you’re traveling with friends, kids, or just yourself, you never know what you’re going to encounter or what could befall you. You may have planned everything out to a T, but no one plans for injury, especially on a vacation! Sickness and injury are usually outside of our control, so it’s wise to be as prepared as possible for whatever may come your way – planned or unplanned. At the same time, you don’t want to be carrying a bunch of extra weight, so we’ve narrowed it down to the absolute necessities for your travel-size first aid kit, after you’ve hopefully gotten a travel insurance if you’re going on an international trip.
This may be obvious, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to forget to pack these! Often you can pick some up where you are, but when it’s in another language or, worse, you’re somewhere remote, it’s better to have them on you, ready to go, than to be searching around while in pain!
Make sure you get one of those variety packs that has all the sizes, from teeny-tiny ones to those huge ones you think you’ll never use. One thing I’ve also found useful while traveling is to have those thick, cushioned band-aids specifically made for heel blisters.
3. Gauze Pads
Then, you’ll have those gashes that are a bit too big for a band-aid to manage. Some tape and gauze can usually take care of you until you’re able to get to a medical professional. Really, gauze is a fantastically versatile catch-all; it can clean, be used to apply pressure, dress wounds, and more. Definitely extremely useful to have on hand!
You’ll find antiseptic in different forms, but wipes are probably your best bet while traveling. They give you no problem through security and pack pretty light. These are crucial to have on hand when you’ve got an open wound that needs cleaning before you dress it.
5. Small Scissors
Note the “small” part; make sure you aren’t carrying something so big that you’ll get stopped in security. But having some scissors on you is always handy for trimming down gauze or a bandage to the size you need.
With a lot of big gashes, you often catch a bit of debris, especially if it’s an injury that took place while outdoors. The best way to get a rock or something out of an open would is to use a pair of clean tweezers before you clean up with your antiseptic wipes.
7. Bandage Tape
You’ll have no way to get that gauze on without some tape to secure it! Keep a small roll of bandage tape on you.
8. Antibiotic Ointment
Applying antibiotic ointment to a fresh wound along with the antiseptic practically ensures no infection and also makes the healing time much shorter. It’s not always necessary, but it’s great to have on hand for bigger wounds, especially.
9. Motion Sickness Medicine
If this isn’t something that you struggle with, completely disregard this one; however, if you’re like me, a turbulent plane ride or a curvy mountain road can turn your stomach. It’s pretty hard to take in the sights if you’re also trying to hold in your breakfast. You’ll be grateful to have some motion sickness medicine with you. And remember to pack your mediation in a way that makes it easier for you to go through immigration without a hassle.
10. Anti-Itch Cream
When you’re away from home, you have no idea what organisms you may come in contact with. Whether it’s a reaction to something you ate, a branch you brushed up against, or an insect bite, don’t let unbearable itching ruin your vacation!
11. A Case
Finally, invest in a durable but compact and flexible case. You’ll want something that can withstand some wear and tear so that you don’t have to repeatedly replace it, but something that can pack easily as well – I usually prefer something soft yet strong to a hard case.
Along with this list, you can also take a few more things to help you stay healthy while traveling.