We are are all trying to pack lighter but at the same time be prepared for all that we might encounter on our trip. And yes, I agree having the right shoes or camera lens is a key consideration, but don’t forget to think about what should be in your emergency first aid kit. We have talked to doctors, pharmacists, intrepid travelers, and importantly, moms–to compile a list of must have items. Make sure that if you are travelling with kids you have the kids’ versions of these medications as well so you are not trying to cut a tiny little pill down while trying to remember your kid’s weight and guess for dosage.
What to bring:
- The obvious one is any prescription medications you must take regularly. You should also have a copy of the prescription or info sheet from your pharmacy showing the non-brand (generic) formulation for you medications. This is for two reasons: if you lose your prescription or it is stolen it is much easier to replace it with the correct medication that may go by a different name where you are visiting. Take a picture or scan and email it to yourself so you can access it from the web if need be. The other reason is that some medications are regulated differently in different countries and you want to be able to show that the medication has been properly prescribed for you by a doctor. This is especially important for things like narcotics or Epipens.
- If there are over the counter medications you regularly take, make sure to bring some with you, do not assume that they will be available at your destination. They may have a different formulation or you may not be able to understand the language on the packaging which could lead to some surprising/dangerous results. They may also be crazy, crazy expensive. I once had to pay $5 USD for two extra strength Tylenols.
- It is a good idea to bring a prescription strength general oral antibiotic with you, just in case you fall ill. Your doctor can prescribe something that can be useful in the case of things like bladder and sinus infections that can keep things under control until you can get medical assistance.
- A good reliable pain killer/anti-inflammatory or both.
- A anti nausea and anti-diarrhea medication – for obvious reasons.
- An allergy medication. You will encounter all sorts of different foods, flowers and bugs on your travels, you or one of your companions may have a reaction to something and having an oral antihistamine can solve the problem, or in case of a severe reaction, can buy time needed to seek medical care.
- A small first aid kit with basic bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, antibiotic cream, cortisone with pain killer and a couple of packages of gauze.
- Hand sanitizer-keep your hands clean, especially when you are dealing with cuts and scrapes.
Hopefully you won’t need to open the first aid kit on your trip, but it is certainly nice to be prepared.