What’s in your travel medical kit?
When traveling, it is important to prepare for your health and safety. We brought the basics. Benadryl, Pepto Bismol, immodium, mucinex, Spongebob bandaids, advil, itch cream and bug spray.
To be honest, we barely used some of these and had to buy a heap of medical stuff while we were away! We didn’t anticipate stitches, or sandfly attacks, or extreme food poisoning, but hey, it happens and we will be prepared for next time and hopefully, you will be too with this ultimate medical kit for travel!
The Perfect Travel Medical Kit:
BUMPS AND SCARS
Neosporin – We can’t believe how stupid we were to forget Neosporin, especially me. I later regretted that when I had to buy heaps of scarring cream for my stitches scar on my face, and Jack would have needed it for a bacterial infection that scarred his face he got after Asia (from a bacteria in Asia)!
You never know what kind of botch job they can do, and the last thing you want is a huge scar from it!
Burn relief gel – Ever hear of the “Farang Tattoo”? or the “Bali Kiss”? or even the “Vietnamese Flower”?
These are the burn marks on the calf on almost every other traveler. This injury is specific to those who ride motorbikes, when people accidentally put their leg against the hot exhaust. Ouch! Be very careful on motorbikes, but hopefully with some burn relief, it can help relieve some pain!
The burn relief cream comes in a small bottles or handy little satchels. We were lucky that this was something we didn’t encounter (but most people we met did!).
First Aid Kit – You do need the essentials. We brought spongebob and princess bandaids thinking it would be really funny if Jack got hurt and had to use them. So what happens instead?
The one time we really need bandaids, was when I had the stitches, smack in the middle of my face. So walking around Vietnam with princess bandaids didn’t really do me any favors. Normal bandaids, antiseptic cream, alcohol wipes, and surgical tape–that is all you need for cuts and scrapes. This first aid kit is handy for little things like that!
*Please be careful with any cuts and disinfect anything you have. We have friends that had little scrapes and didn’t do much about them and ended up going to the hospitals from it, with insane infections!
Blister Pads Kit– When exploring a city, you tend to walk a lot and walk everywhere. What better and cheaper way to explore than by walking around and seeing what a city has to offer?
But without the proper shoes, your feet hurt, are sore, and you end up with some nasty blisters, so these blister pads really help avoid these (especially in new shoes!).
Sunscreen – OK, everyone brings sunscreen, but bring as much as you can! We brought two and ran out within a month.
In Asia, sunscreen would cost up to $14 (which was more than what my stitches cost) because no one uses sunscreen- oddly enough, they use whitening cream! It’s something to do with social class or wealth.
Anyways, bring heaps of sunscreen instead of buying it while you are there, you will save a ton of money.
*It is probably cheaper to buy it at a Rite Aid or Walgreens instead of Amazon.
Aloe Vera – The sun can be strong, but sunburn pain is stronger. Bring a small bottle of aloe vera to relive sunburns AND help with your motorbike burns as well!
Plus it helps as an anti itch, alleviate the blue in bruises, moisturizes skin, and fights athletes foot. Aloe Vera seems to be an all in one remedy!
*It is probably cheaper to buy it at a Rite Aid or Walgreens instead of Amazon.
The itching sucks when bitten by mosquitos but nothing itches more than a sandfly bite. Protect yourself with coconut oil against the sandflies, a mistake we suffered badly in Koh Rong!
We thought insect repellent would work, but nope, big mistake! Insect repellent is better for mosquitos and spiders.
Motion Sickness Pills – Has anyone been on one of those boat rides that you have no idea how you got off in one piece?
We are not one to get sea sick, but we were caught a few times in Southeast Asia riding the boat and really feeling the movement. Motion sickness pills really helps put your stomach at ease on those nasty moving boat or bus rides!
Imodium – There is this fun little thing called travelers diarrhea (or even “Bali Belly”). Yea, super fun. Plus there is nothing worse to get this with your partner right next door (sorry Jack!).
Imodium helps relieve stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach pressure. When you are traveling, it is always good to carry some of these. You never know what you might eat and how your body will react!
Cold and Flu Tablets – It’s a basic need and it happens to the best of us. Cold and flu tablets are necessary just in case you get sick, because there is nothing worse than a cold sneaking up on you and ruining your trip.
Trust us, I got sick on our trip to the Great Wall of China… do you know awful it feels to be achy while climbing all these insane amounts of stairs!? It sucks.
Avoid getting sick and be healthy and get yourself some cold and flu tablets.
Water treatment tablets – These are great for those with sensitive stomachs or even the tad paranoid on drinking water abroad.
It is preferred and definitely recommended to drink bottled water but in case you forgot or like to risk it, bring these water treatment tablets to help purify the water.
It can clean out the bacteria and there is no added taste with the tablets as well.
Baby Powder – Everyone knows our obsession with baby powder. Bring some anywhere you go.
It actually is the cure for most things! Itchy scalp? Baby powder. Greasy hair? Baby powder. Itchy toes? Baby powder. Oil Stain? Baby powder. Smell a bit? Baby powder. No deodorant? Baby powder. Clothes stink? Baby powder. I think you get it, baby powder is everything.
Ear plugs – Ear plugs are an essential, maybe not a medical need, but it sure saves you from a headache! Earplugs are just a smart thing to have because you never know how loud some place might be.
Who knows, maybe you have roomed with the snorer, or maybe you are in the biggest party area of the town, or your busses motor is super loud. Ear plugs are your friend.
Purell – Hand sanitizer, we can’t speak about it highly enough! When traveling, you are constantly touching door handles, kayak rows, your backpacks, trains and busses.
It is best to just always sanitize (I used to sanitize my phone once in a while…that’s not too weird right?) often to avoid bacteria and diseases and sickness. Uh oh. Now, I sound like my mother.
Anti fungal creams – Fungus can come in all different shapes and sizes in all different weird places- like your toes, fingers, private parts…It can happen from an infection, from the dirt, the humidity or even from going into a fresh water river.
It happens and they are unbelievably itchy, so take care of yourself by keeping some anti fungal cream on you just in case!
Berocca – If you like to drink when traveling, you need some Berocca. Berocca has been every drunk mans hangover cure in Australia and we strongly abide by it.
All you need is a cup of water, a Berocca tablet, and the stomach to swallow the drink to eventually make you feel better.
You could also get Airborne pills that have the same effect as Berocca. These both help with upset stomachs and most importantly, hangovers!
Mini emergency kit – A mini emergency kit is great because it has a taste of everything inside it, they’re stylish and it is so small that you can carry it anywhere! It’s not just medical goods, but more practical things.
It has antiseptic wipes, bandaids, deodorant strips, sewing kit, buttons, mints, advil, lip balm and much more. It is great to have with you just in case because you never know when you’ll need something!
Antihistamine – Antihistamine or Benadryl are always great to keep with you just in case. You may have allergies, or swelling, or inflamed bug bites, but any antihistamine will help you bring the discomfort down.
Special Note on prescription meds:
– When packing prescription medications, pack them in a carry on in original containers along with all the copies of your prescription and medication names.
– Make sure you provide the physician note for any needles or injectable medications.
– There is always a chance you run out, so leave a prescription copy with friends or family.
– Check the vaccination requirements before you enter the country. Each country have different requirements and health regulations.
– Pack enough of your prescription medications to last you the entire trip- it would be bad if you ran out and the country doesn’t carry it!
Something that can be over looked, is travel insurance. It costs money, and you just think “well, If I am careful, there is no point to buy travel insurance.” Yea… that is not true.
Things happen and it is good to get all that covered. We signed up for World Nomads insurance, which cost about $250 for the three months. While we were in Asia, I got stitches, had to stay in a hotel for a few extra days, bought scar cream and bandaids, and had my phone stolen-all of which my insurance covered and paid me back for!
I made $330 back from my losses, even though the stitches only cost a hefty $10 (come on, America!). We highly recommend World Nomad Insurance- they were cheap, had plenty of benefits, and had great customer service when filing claims, not to mention the world coverage.
World Nomad also have an awesome safety guide that you should check out before heading off on your travels! You can also use the tool below to estimate how much your travel insurance may cost for your trip.
Know someone about to leave on a big adventure? Be a life saver and share this with them!