Yes, a kit will take up quite a bit of room in your luggage, but you could save yourself a lot of stress and misery by having it along — especially if you’ll be traveling to a remote destination.
Many of us automatically buy prepackaged first aid kits and don’t check to make sure that it truly has everything that we need as travelers. The fact is, many first aid kits are packaged more for sports enthusiasts or in the case of on-the-job accidents. You can start out with one of those kits, but there will be things you need to add to it.
So here’s what belongs in your travel medical kit:
- Bandaids of all sizes
- gauze, and one stretch bandage
- medical tape
- an extra bottle of hand sanitizer (in addition to what you should be carrying around with you at all times)
- anti–motion sickness medication, or ginger root
- pain medication (of course)
- a cold compress
- insect repellant wipes
- antifungal and antibacterial ointment
- hydrocortisone cream
- antidiarrheal medication (bismuth subsalicylate, loperamide)
- a mild laxative
- cotton balls
- lubricating eye drops
- cough suppressant/expectorant
- cough drops
- Ziploc bags and Q-Tips
- rubber gloves
What looks like “overkill” to be shoving in next to your toiletry bag could save your day abroad — or someone else’s.