Medical Travel Essentials

Travel Tips: Don’t Forget These Medical Essentials

You wouldn’t leave for a trip overseas without a passport, so why would you head off on vacation without packing a travel kit full of your medical essentials? You never know what medical pitfalls you might face, whether you’re deep in a South American jungle, enjoying the streets of Paris or relaxing on a Caribbean beach.

The ideal kit contains items to handle most minor medical emergencies — cuts and scrapes, insect bites, blisters and fevers — as well as prescription and over the counter medications you may need. Having a kit with the essentials on hand makes life a little easier than trying to find Band-Aid in an unfamiliar city.

Your Travel Kit Essentials

Prescription medicines
Be sure to pack any prescription medications you typically take in your carry on bag, then transfer them to your travel kit once you’re off the plane. This protects you from being without these in the event of a bag delay or loss! Also, depending on where you’re traveling, prescription medications for malaria and antibiotics for diarrhea should make the cut for your kit. If you have severe allergies, an auto-injector or Epi-Pen is also a must.
Over-the-counter medicines Packing a wide variety of medications and health-related supplies is a good idea, since you never know what you’ll need until you’re covered in bug bites or get a massive headache. This list should cover most common ailments, but you know what you are sensitive to, so pack according to the needs of you and your family:

  • Antidiarrheal medication (for example: bismuth subsalicylate, loperamide)
  • Antihistamine for nasal allergies or general itching
  • Antacid for heartburn
  • Antifungal and antibacterial ointments or cream
  • Motion sickness medication, like Dramamine
  • Cough suppressant/expectorant
  • Cough drops
  • Decongestant, alone or in combination with antihistamine
  • Pain relivers (such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen)
  • 1% hydrocortisone cream for itching

General Items
Keeping a supply of Band-Aids and sunscreen on hand can be a relief if you scrape your arm on coral, stub your toe on a rock, or are out during the hottest part of the day.

  • Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15
  • Bug spray
  • Eye drops
  • A variety of bandages
  • Antiseptic spray or antibacterial ointment
  • Aloe vera
  • Digital thermometer
  • Sleep aid

Traveling can be a great way to relieve stress, so don’t let minor medical issues sideline your fun. Packing smart before you depart can make medical issues less of a hassle, allowing you to spend your time away doing exactly what you want!
What are some items that are on your must-take list when you travel? Share your tips with us!

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