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First Aid Kit for Travelers

Topic Overview

What you pack in your first aid kit will depend on where and how long you plan to travel and the medical care available there. Here is a general list of items to include.

  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30 to 50) and lip screen
  • Thermometer
  • Oral rehydration solution packets
  • Basic first aid items (adhesive bandages, gauze, elastic bandage, antiseptic, tweezers)
  • Antibacterial hand wipes
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses or contacts

Talk to your doctor about which of the following medicines to include and how to take them:

  • Antibiotic for self-treatment of moderate to severe diarrhea
  • Antihistamine, decongestant, and cough suppressant, alone or in combination
  • Motion sickness medicine
  • Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), aspirin, ibuprofen, or other medicine for pain or fever. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Antidiarrheal medicine, such as bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Antifungal ointment
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • 1% hydrocortisone ointment
  • Medicine to prevent malaria, if you are going to a place where malaria is a problem

Other items that may be useful in certain circumstances:

  • Mild sedative
  • Antianxiety medicine
  • High-altitude sickness preventive medicine
  • Water purification tablets or water filtering system

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Last Revised March 27, 2013

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