No matter where you’re traveling, it is always a good idea to bring a first-aid kit. One of the main issues with those you can buy is that you might not need some of the things in them, and they might be missing something that you really need. The option you can always choose is to create it all by yourself. This way, you’ll have things that are essential for you and your traveling destination.
While there are some items that should be in every medical kit, there are some that you might not need at all. For example, you might suffer from altitude sickness, and if you’re going to a high location, altitude medication is something you should definitely pack. Otherwise, this might be the last thing you need if visiting the Netherlands.
Essentials in First-Aid Kit
The first-aid kit is a compilation of “what-if” items. As we mentioned, a lot of them will depend on the location you’re visiting. But there are several that you need to carry regardless of the destination.
Bandages, Gauze, and Plasters
Every first-aid kit should have bandages. One of the most common injuries are cuts, blisters, and grazes. While this may be an everyday item for many, you should have one of these to keep your wound clean.
Furthermore, if you have less than comfortable shoes, you might need plasters to avoid being in pain for the rest of your vacation. So always keep a band-aid with you.
Antiseptic or Alcohol Wipes
Antiseptic wipes are sterile and alcohol-free. They are perfect for small cuts, abrasions, scrapes, and even minor burns. If you are without access to water, these wipes will help you keep the wound clean before putting a bandage.
Alcohol wipes are perfect for cleaning the surrounding area. Alcohol will stop bacteria spreading, but it might sting a bit. The best option would be to use both antiseptic and alcohol wipes because you’ll keep the wound clean, and you will stay pain-free. Well, as much as possible.
This might be one of the options which can help your wound heal faster. Furthermore, it might help you keep your skin clean and bacteria-free. Because it can also help with skin infection, it is a good idea to keep one with you.
“Something for pain” is one of the most important items, even in small first-aid kits. Depending on your choice, you could get an aspirin, ibuprofen, Tylenol, or something else. Most of these can treat both fever and pain. Whether you get a headache, toothache, or suffer from a fever (not the kind that Elvis sings about), you should keep them close.
Besides pain relief medications, you should consider other types as well. If you are allergic to something or have asthma, you should undoubtedly put the medications in question in your emergency first-aid kit. Of course, if you have asthma, you probably already have the medication by your side. But it is worth mentioning it once again. Antibiotics, antiallergics, and any additional medication you might need or might use are more than welcome in your first-aid kit.
Not-So-Essential First-Aid Kit
While we won’t say that these are useless, they are a bit less essential and sometimes dependent on the situation. For example, motion sickness medication is not targeted for everyone, unlike bandages and such.
If you have stomach issues, or if you are traveling to a location where it is likely that you’ll suffer a bit, you might want to consider carrying diarrhea in your kit.
Similar to the diarrhea medication, if you have an allergic reaction to something, especially if it is a strong one, you shouldn’t leave without antihistamine.
Medicine for Treating Cold
It might be a good idea to pack some medication for treating cold. You can never know when you might get sick. One of the things that can really ruin your vacation is getting sick. Even if it is a simple flu, you should try to avoid it. Travel health is one of the most important aspects which will ensure that you have a pleasurable experience.
Tools and Instruments
Now, this might be in the previous part as well. Depending on the tools, it can be both essential and optional. You should carry a pair of scissors, pliers, tweezers, and others.
Adhesive tape is useful for securing bandages, and for many other things. Carrying one will never be unneeded.
There are certain things that you should undoubtedly carry with you, but those are not exactly first aid. Carrying condoms and tampons is more a matter of personal hygiene. And sunscreen is applied only if you are going somewhere where you’ll be exposed to the sun.
What is important to remember is that you have to think of all “what-ifs,” but you shouldn’t overstuff it either. There is a fine balance between the first-aid kit and a large bag full of medications. Try sorting everything, labeling it, and putting it in a water-resistant bag. A basic first-aid kit is also available in stores, but it might not have all the things you might need on your journey.
Of course, you could always get one of the basic ones, and for additional cost, add the things that are missing. You should try to optimize and carry only things that you might need (no reason for sunscreen if you’re going somewhere cold and without the sun). Try not to carry an entire pharmacy as your travel medicine. Finally, if you get serious injury or condition, you should seek medical attention instead of trying to fix it with duct tape and alcohol wipes.