🩹 Tips for Packing your Traveling First Aid Kit

Our first aid kit.
Our first aid kit.

One thing you should never travel without is a well packed and personalized first aid kit. Also, a first aid kit is something you should never skimp on in attempts to “pack light”. In the long run, a well packed first aid kit will save you discomfort and sometimes even money.

Below we have compiled a list of items and tips to help you pack your own personalized first aid kit. Our tips should be used as a guide to help you evaluate what goes into your first aid kit based on the individual needs of the members in your group and the type of trip you are taking.

I stress personalized because everyone has varying needs that may arise while traveling. For example, in our family, my daughter is prone to bloody noses, my husband sinus infections, and myself reflux. Also, the amount and type of supplies you pack may depend of the style of trip you are taking. These recommendations are made assuming you can get to a drug store within a few hours and you have access to medical care should a serious situation arise.

For the Adults

What's inside our first aid kit.
What's inside our first aid kit.
✅ Antacids
Even if you don't usually use antacid, they are great to have on hand. I know someone who paid $20 for Rolaids on a resort because they were so desperate. Our diets are never the same while traveling and that can mess with your stomach. Antacids are key!
✅ Your preferred pain reliever
Ibuprofen, Tylenol or Advil are good options
✅ Benadryl
My husband and I got stung by ground wasps once on a bike trip. We were so thankful to have Benadryl on hand!
✅ Antidiarrheal
Travelers diarrhea is a thing and when you need this medication you will want it immediately! The last thing you will want to do is hunt down a drug store.
✅ Cough Drops
Even if you don't usually use cough drops there is nothing worse then having a sudden coughing fit on an airplane or in a museum. I always keep one or two on hand even though they are rarely used.
✅ A sleep aid
I try not to use anything to help me sleep while traveling. In the long run it is better for my body to adjust naturally. If I do take something, I will take a half dose of ZzzQuil. Anything more and I will be too groggy the next day. I do not take melatonin because it gives me headaches. I have never given our daughter any sleep aids. She is usually so worn out she has no trouble falling asleep even when traveling across multiple time zones.
✅ One or Two Packs of Emergen-C
To take if you start to feel a cold coming on.

For the Kids

✅ Children's Benadryl
Our daughter has never been stung by anything so I don't know what her reaction will be. It gives me comfort to have Children's Benadryl on hand just incase.
✅ Children's Chewable Ibuprofen AND Tylenol
Yes, I pack both of these. Kids can spike high fevers. When this happens, alternating between Ibuprofen and Tylenol helps a lot. Unlike my other medications, I like to leave these in their original bottles. This prevents them from crushing. You will also have access to the dosing directions which constantly change as kids grow.

For Everyone

✅ Hand Sanitizer
The first line of defense to most illnesses is clean hands!
✅ All prescribed medications for the number of days you will be gone plus a few days extras.
A few extra in case you experience any travel delays. If you are required to quarantine due to COVID, this could add up to 10 extra days to your trip.
✅Tiny sewing kit
One needle and one string of thread are sufficient in an emergency.
✅ Nail clippers and tweezers
These two also become pretty good multi-tools in a pinch.
✅ Adhesive Bandages (Band-aids)
Having a few in different sizes and the blister specific ones is always a great idea. I also now travel with butterfly bandages after an incident with a wine bottle.
Helps with wound care, chafing, and dry spots. It also helps those sensitive areas after using rougher toilet paper while traveling.
✅ Nasal Saline
This helps with the dry air on the airplane and my daughter's tendency for bloody noses. It is also helpful if you feel an upper respiratory infection coming on.
✅ Thermometer
I personally like to know right away if one of us is running a fever. And most importantly, when it starts to come down.

Other Items to Consider

✅ Baby wipes
These are even necessary on adult only trips.
✅ Nighttime pain relievers (i.e. Tylenol pm)
If you are someone who uses these, I'd recommend bringing them with you. A lot of countries do not sell them in their pharmacies.
✅ Extra contact lenses
✅ Blemish Patches
I'm obsessed with these Acne Pimple Patches. They are so helpful when pimples show up.
✅ Feminine products
Pack a few even if you don't expect to need them.
✅ Lip Balm
✅ Sunscreen
I always pack sunscreen even when we aren't necessarily going to the beach or pool. I always keep Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen on hand. It goes on easy and light. It is not oily and works great under and over makeup. Everyone in the family loves it.
✅ Bug Spray & Anti itch cream
If going somewhere where bug bites are even a small possibility I pack Babyganic Travel Bug Spray. Kids are pretty resilient, until it comes to a bug bite. Everyone will know and everyone will suffer!
✅ Daily Vitamins
If you take them at home or you don't eat as well while traveling we recommend bringing some along.

Other tips

First aid items in my day bag.
First aid items in my day bag.
Small traveling pill box for my day bag.
Small traveling pill box for my day bag.

⇨ Have a smaller version of your first aid kit that you take around with you in a day bag while touring. Mine always includes: Ibuprofen (children and adult versions), antacids, benadryl (children and adults), cough drops, bandages, tissues, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer.

⇨ Against popular opinion, I do not travel with Shout Stain Remover Wipes. Theses always dry out on me before I need them. I also have just as much success when treating a stain immediately with cold water and hand soap.

⇨ We do not travel with cold or sinus medication (unless prescribed). In the rare case we need it, Ibuprofen will get us through. If it does not fully do the trick it will at least sustain us until we can get to a pharmacy.

⇨ To save space, we pack almost all of our non-liquid/non-chewable medications in Pill Pouches. Don’t forget to label them with the contents, recommended dosage, and expiration dates. I also use these to hold hair bands, jewelry, and my sewing kit.

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