What should you bring in a travel first aid kit?


People like to just sit back and assume their next vacation is going to go off without a hitch. If you're going to a tropical island, you're probably planning excursions, making dinner reservations and dreaming of sipping drinks while lying on a beach - you're not thinking about what happens if it rains for a day or two or if you get a sunburn and have to nurse yourself back to heath in your hotel room, out of direct sunlight. While plenty of individuals are definitely planners and like to have backups should things go wrong, that's not always the case when making travel arrangements.

That said, these particular people are usually the best prepared and can ensure they have a good time anywhere. They also tend to be good packers, making sure they've got whatever they could possibly need should things go wrong. These are the types of individuals who bring first aid kits along.

You might be thinking, "Well, won't the hotel have amenities? Can't I just run to the doctor or a pharmacy if I need something?" The answer is inevitably "maybe." Maybe places nearby will have what you need. But what if they don't? What if you're not feeling too well and you just want to rejuvenate in your room before heading back? This is why it's good to plan ahead and make sure you've got your own travel kit personalized to your needs.

Your medical documents

First things first - you should talk to your doctor and see what he or she thinks you'll need to bring. This might include specific medicines, over the counter aids and so on. But, more than that, you should bring the proper documentation. If you have prescriptions with you, make sure you've got the papers that denote that these belong to you. Also, it might be good to have a printout with some basics on it - like what medication you're currently on, a brief overview of your medical history and a list of what you're allergic to. Don't forget your travel insurance information as well - policy number, contact information - in case you need emergency medical or even if you need to cancel your trip early.

Regular medication you might need

What good are those documents if you don't have the actual medicine to go along with them? Remember to bring any pills or liquids you might need while you're away. And don't forget to pack some over the counter aids if you feel they're necessary, such as headache pills, pain relievers, allergy medicine and so on to make yourself more comfortable or stave off pain if you get any bumps and bruises. Sunscreen should also be in these packs as well, if you're going outdoors. Make sure to check all expiration dates before you go. And if you're carrying liquids, put the first aid kit in any checked luggage or in the proper container to get it through security.

Another reason why it's crucial to speak to a medical professional before you go: Your care provider might suggest that you bring different things, depending on your destination, such as high altitude medicine or pills that can prevent region-specific ailments.

Crucial supplies

Individuals tend to remember to bring their important pills and things they take every day, but medical supplies are another thing altogether. Your travel first aid kit should always have a good stock of the basics - think band aids for scrapes, gauze if you need to clean a wound or require extra dressing, ointment to keep any cuts clean and antibacterial hand sanitizer, not only to keep germs away but to make sure you don't potentially infect a cut you're trying to seal.

Important gadgets

A few other crucial things to any good first aid kit include tweezers so you can extract things like splinters, a thermometer to monitor your own health, safety pins, disposable gloves, elastic bandage wraps and small scissors - again, check regulations to make sure these make it through security at the airport. These are sometimes the hidden gems of crucial health kits, because they're things that are very often left off even the most savvy travel packer's list.

A sturdy case

Finally, make sure you're putting your important medicines and supplies in the right bag. There are things you need to think of, like having enough room in your suitcase and making sure there are separate containers in case something leaks. Durability should also be considered - you don't want the bag falling apart when you're far from home.

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Please note that travel insurance products are currently not available to residents of the Province of Quebec. SVP prendre note que nos produits d’assurances voyages ne sont pas présentement offerts aux résidents de la province du Québec. *Coverage as low as $20 is an example based on a 29 year old traveller purchasing the Gold Emergency Medical Single Trip Plan for a 6 day trip with no deductible; actual cost of insurance is $19.98. Prices vary based on individual needs.

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