26 Travel First Aid Kit Essentials every Traveller must have While on the Road! Most are Normal or Kitchen cabinet staples!
What’s in your Travel First Aid pack? Okay, mate we always over deliver so you get to have 26 awesome natural and some not so natural contents instead of 20, happy? 🙂
While we all love to travel, some things simply join you without invitation, and they are not always welcome guests. Some of these things demand immediate mama or papa action in some destinations. Esp. if you are off the beaten track with no medical facilities or doctor nearby.
Now Paul’s mom is a Nurse so she gives us lots of tips. Over the last 17+ years of traveling, we have also built up a list of things we pack, depending on where we are heading. Mind you a store bought or Amazon travel first aid pack usually is more than enough. So don’t get all panicked and go buy the whole pharmacy! But….
Indulge me for a moment because this information could save a life in a foreign land esp if travelling solo! I’m gonna paint some really dire pictures here so if you are queasy look away now lol!
- You’ve just gone against your mama’s advice and drank the Dominican Republic water. Worse still you booked a catamaran day trip to go scuba diving and guess what, your tummy flips and you start to run like a train! I am talking diarrhoea! 🙁 Every 5 mins. You take ownership of the boat bog! You’re trapped on the catamaran, you also feel sea sick and that diarrhoea owns your arse…! By the time the boat stops you feel like someone scraped your innards with a blunt knife…Note to self Boy I should write a book…Oops I am! 🙂 Have I got your attention now? Okay next…
- You are hiking up those Hawaii Pill Boxes or is it Machu Pichu, could even be on a Himalayan trail… You’re enjoying the views so much you don’t look where you are heading and bam your foot hits a rock and you topple over. Your ego is bruised but worse, you have a bruise on your shin the size of Oahu! You don’t know if its life threatening…But it hurts like a bugger!…I am on a roll here
- Your child or room mate wakes you up at 3am with tummy rumblings like a volcano about to erupt, in fact it does! Hello holiday tummy. Or they are scratching like a dog with fleas and have blisters so red a baboons backside cant compete…Bug bite or food allergy reaction who knows. Worse, in a Hotel with no resident doctor. They are crying like a baby…It could be you as well or your boo…! Do you have a Travel first Aid Kit? Whatcha gonna do? You won’t be calling the ghost busters…
Okay enough gory stories, just know that…It’s especially important to have a travel first aid kit as part of what to pack, for any unwanted health issues while away from home & your trusted medical facilities! So as #travellovers…
We have had some interesting Travel First Aid Bag contents over the years! Today we share some natural kitchen cabinet staples, and some over the counter remedies for uninvited ailments while traveling!
Caution: Always double check on destination regulations with regards to medication and drugs. We don’t want you ending up in some Dump of a cell because you carried your quite legal over the counter pain killer to a country that considers it a “Drug” you know what am saying…” Drug Dealer” wont sound great on your CV ever trust me on that!
So let’s get the basic bits that you should have in your travel first aid kit irrespective of destination:
- Band Aid and gaffer tape (not for kinky stuff) 🙂
- Eye Drops (we love Boots brand)
- Advil (ibuprofen) & Child Paracetamol (May not be allowed in Abu Dhabi)
- Pepto-Bismol – Upset tums
- Sudo Cream – or any base soothing cream
- Lip Balm (cracked lips) & Lavender Oil – (A life saver for a sprain)
- Sun cream and after sun spray.
- Bug spray (deet free for children & sensitive skin)
- Small roll of Gauze, Saline pods, small tweezers, and safety pin!
For the above, all you need is 100 mls tops of these items. And now to the less known:
“I am not suggesting you pack the whole pharmacy and kitchen spice rack… 🙂”
Recommended Resource: Smart Travel Guide!
Your Travel First Aid Kit Unique Essentials:
- Turmeric is a great natural antiseptic, and found in most kitchen cupboards. Have it with warm milk. If you have an injury it will heal it really well and quick! We also use it to keep our skin zit free, soft and supple…at home! 🙂 Keeps those panda eyes at bay when mixed with coconut oil as a paste put under eyes leave for 20 mins while you sun bathe, wash off, bye eye bags! These buggers are a given after a 38 hr flight!
- Tea Tree Oil – Works amazingly well as an insect repellent as well as Disinfectant! Tea tree oil is one of our essential travel items. We use it to treat rashes, disinfect cuts, and as a mosquito repellent. Only if you have ever had these buggers have a party on your skin leaving huge itchy blisters would you appreciate tea tree. We also use it as an emergency deodorant. Again we love this brand you will too, grab yours!
- Oil of oregano is great. We take it once a day on travels as a preventative measure. Much better that taking antibiotics when you get a stomach bug or a case of mild flu or both! That’s a bitch right! It happens though! You can Buy some on Amazon via this link!
For women who suffer from painful periods, you can totally get this; oil of oregano should be a fixture in your travel first aid kit or even handbag. It can be used to relieve painful menstruation! Bliss!
Oil of Oregano helps to fight colds, influenza, zaps fungal infections, can help bring down mild fevers, and can help to demolish intestinal parasites. It also makes a fantastic topical antiseptic
Anyhow, back to tummies, recently on our Dreamtrip to Punta Cana Dominican Republic, we learnt that the water is not good for you. To avoid any tummy mishaps, and most travellers #1 gaffe, I ensured we had a bottle of this essential oil.
Another solution to Stomach problems or reactions to foods or water, is to crush a clove of garlic and drink it with honey (if available) or water to take the heat off the garlic! Take a couple of oregano pills. Trust me this is way more effective than antibiotics.
Alternatively, prevention is better than cure so we take…
- Charcoal Tablets:
My oh my how many times have you gone away to an exotic location and the food was too rich for your system…So everything goes downhill for a couple of days. Or does it? Not on our party! This travel first aid kit staple is a life saver. Take a tablet or two before any meal and you are good to go! Its found in any drugstore, Boots, Superdrug etc!
- Arnica aka Arnica Montana:
Arnica Pillules (edible) or it comes in cream form (not edible). It’s a homeopathic product used for the symptomatic relief of sprains, muscular aches, bruising or swelling after contusions! They are found in some drugstores
We never go anywhere without these little tiny balls! They are great for mild sports injuries too or if you are out in the jungle and have no other meds to keep a bruise or swelling down. Moreover, they work from the inside out because you gotta eat these lil beauties! 🙂
- Ginger Root or Powder:
Remember that diarrhoea described above…well ginger should be your go to natural remedy! Plus it makes great tea right! Specially so if you boil the root in water and drink it. Bye bye upset tummy, welcome exotic food. 🙂
In fact, we use ginger as a natural remedy even at home to alleviate the irritation of sore throats, cold, flu, cough etc. If you catch a cold, to sooth and help reduce the puffiness make or ask for hot ginger tea with lemon and honey from the hotel staff or your mama. 🙂
16. Coca Leaves:
Ever travelled to areas of High Altitude? You might be lucky enough to be happily conquering Kilimanjaro and bam, you feel really ill. Aaahhh bad luck or is it…! Well enter natural remedy- Coca leaves. Or coca cola leaves.
They have been turned into the enemy by those that created and branded cocaine as a drug!
Coca leaves have been known to alleviate altitude sickness for centuries in Asia, Africa and South America too (You aren’t allowed to take them out of Peru.)
They help to keep your energy levels up and farewell altitude sickness, Hello Kilimanjaro!
- Travel Sweets:
Aaahhh man, do you get motion sickness, airsick, water sick etc…Well you are not alone…! Lots of people go through this but it has never stopped us travelling, or flying! So enter travel or motion sickness sweets or tablets! Usually we take 2 per adult at least 2 hrs before the journey and all is well! Bliss, no painful ears, no feeling meeeggrrr. We love these, esp. the ginger Fruit Drops , at only $3 they are a life saver. You can grab yours on amazon here. Whatever we did without Amazon lol! Sweet tooth, don’t judge! 🙂
- Comfort Bands:
Similar to Travel sweets above, without the ingesting. They are arm bands you wear on each wrist. These are our travel medical bag staples! If you have motion sickness, get car sick, or air-travel sickness, don’t go anywhere without these. You too can get yours, use this link!
They have a magnet inside and are homeopathic too! Put them on 30mins -2hrs before traveling or flying and they stabilize your blood pressure and help counteract the motion effects…
19. Kana or Sceletium:
NOTE: We share this with a lot of CAUTION! But in many countries its okay to have and use. Its a natural plant grows wild anyway. So if you suffer from flight anxiety, or stress. Well I am gonna go out on a limb here and recommend a herb that is legal in many countries and is sold in Home foods too in USA.
In Africa, you can get kana in tea bags so you may not have to bring it in your travel first aid kit! Add the tea bag in a chilled bottle of water and enjoy as normal. There is no taste so it’s all good. The beauty is it will help to calm you down and enjoy your Flight, Cruise or travels! It’s been known to help with anxiety.
Thing is others use it as a recreational drug for: yoga, meditation, trance parties and THIS IS WHERE WE part company …We aren’t party poopers, whatever floats your boat, just not for us in that way!
In Africa Kana is called bushman’s ecstasy go figure…
Needless to say, growing up in Africa we’ve sampled a variety of ethnobotanicals, including kana above for medicinal purposes, and have had various experiences (Some not too pleasant, but when mom says swallow to get that pain gone, you do).
So like most other medications, I suggest you try them before your trip, if at all!
Not suggesting that you should give yourself tummy aches, bruises or whatever to test these out lol!
20. Travel Pillow:
Okay seriously while not a medicine and definitely wont fit in a standard Travel First aid kit, our travel pillows have saved us from lots. Stiff necks, back pains, awkward stranger necking on a long bus/train journey and flights…
They improve your travel sleep routine, So they qualify right! Well we keep them right next to our travel first aid bag so there! 🙂
I highly recommend that you buy them in the off season i.e. not in summer or spring. Amazon has a great deal right here!
We got our cool travel pillows from Hawaii at $10 for 3. They are branded with “Aloha State Hawaii” and have inbuilt powerful speakers that are stored in a zipped pouch on the pillow (See speakers on image above!) So now we never have to fork out for earphones on some really low cost flights! Or stuff hard earphones in our ears!
21. Coconut Oil
We use this wonder oil as a lip balm, toner, eye bag suppressor, skin cleanser, makeup remover. Only 100% will do, works on all kinds. Its great as a soother when you forgot and overstayed in the sun, it can be added to other things including eating it if constipated! You must have coconut oil in your beauty and travel first aid kit!
22. Bicarbonate of Soda
Found in any food store or supermarket! You might not like to travel with ginger or whatever. Also if you are into healthy living as we are, and like bright white teeth which we do…Then this is your travel first aid kit must have! Bicarbonate can be added to a glass of room temp water every morning, gulp it down. Great for alkalizing, which is awesome for keeping our bodies free of those free radicals! We use it as an emergency toothpaste, not too keen on taste…Eiikkk! Beauty knows no pain right! 😉
And of course if you got some trapped wind, well don’t let rip. Simply zap it with this miracle powder. One teaspoon in a glass of water, hold ya nose, bottoms up!!! It stops simple tummy aches due to indigestion or constipation or simply overeating. A common occurrence on vacations esp. all inclusive ones lol!
23. Instant Ice Gel pack
(It doesn’t need freezing) – Simply jiggle it about and activate when needed. Very handy when camping in the boonies and have a swelling or bruise to deal with.
24. Sterile wipes, Saline pods and Anti Bacteria Gel:
Not just for cleaning hands to eat some bush-meat, you can use to clean wounds. The saline is great to wash sand out of eyes or wash a cut and stop the bleeding with a piece of gauze or cloth cant be choosy here can we!
25. Sealed Sterile Needles & Syringes – If Going to Developing Country!
Make sure to check these in. No need for the Spanish Inquisition then. Yes you may think adding these to your Travel fist aid list is OTT. But they can be a life saver and you save yourself the worry about cross infection in case of medical emergencies in remote areas with basic facilities. And you guessed it no Syringes or needles you would care to be used on anyone!
In many parts of Africa, we wouldn’t trust that the equipment like needles and syringes are properly decontaminated and safe to use. With Hepatitis, AIDS, etc. You can never be too careful!
26. Antihistamines a travel first aid essential!
If you suffer from allergies like my children do, then you can relate.
I once sneezed all the way from Orlando to Tampa from a Disney trip due to a wipe I borrowed off a woman to clean my table on a Delta flight. I don’t know what it had, it smelt awesome, but it got me good!
I immediately grabbed my Antihistamine tablets and had a better flight from Tampa to UK!
You might also eat something, get bitten, go hiking and some plants affect your skin, an antihistamine can slow the allergic reaction down or get rid.
Bonus Travel First Aid nice to have – Teething Gel and…!
This is not jut great for calming a fretting baby growing their fangs, its great for soothing any bruise for any human. If you have a fall and have a little bruise grab your lil tube of teething gel and drop a pea-size rub it on. It immediately numbs the place. Great for children who may be very upset after a fall.
And finally this may make some people go waaaa…Women sanitary pads are great for stemming a bleed from a deep skin cut or gash! You betcha it is. Hold it with any tape you got until you get to a medical facility!
Well we always like to give extra esp. for our readers who spend the moment reading the whole post! 🙂
Travel First Aid – Its a Wrap!
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Always consider that many countries have strict quarantine rules on what over the counter drugs and organic materials you can bring in or out of the country. Also we usually check in most of these contents or split them among ourselves to be able to take them in hand luggage!
And finally – check out erowid.org for detailed information on drugs or similar substances. Even though they focus on recreational usage, Erowid is a respected source for factual info on drugs!
Well hope you have learnt some new bits n bobs you can add to your travel first aid pack and go rock that vacation! Don’t get yourself in unnecessary trouble with your travel medical kit though. Be a Smart Traveller and do your research! Talking of which…
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