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It is impossible to prepare for every situation you might find yourself in while traveling. It wouldn’t be any fun if we could predict every scenario, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare a little for the unexpected.
Accidents and sickness do occur on the road, and if you travel enough it’s impossible to avoid these situations altogether. What you can do is have a few items on hand to guide you through the tiny bumps you might run into while traveling. Here are some things to include in you travel first aid kit list!
Travel First Aid Kit List
Written By: Niki Landry
Travel Fashion Girl help! A reader asks:
“Do you guys take a “walking pharmacy” bag with you when you’re traveling? What are your go to items for this?”
Even if you prefer to pack light, it’s a good idea to bring a few essential pharmacy items and create your own travel first aid kit. The last thing you want is to feel ill and not have the medicine you need. Searching for an open pharmacy at eleven at night is never fun.
How much to take in a first aid kit partly depends on where you’re traveling and for how long. First, longer trips will require more items. You likely don’t need a first aid kit for weekend trips, but you may want a small one for a week-long trip, and a larger one for longer trips.
Additionally, if you’ll be in a big city, it’ll be much easier to find a pharmacy and the items you need. However, if you’ll be in a small town or remote area, you’ll want to pack more as it will be harder to find what you need when you need it.
As one reader says, “What I pack depends where I’m going. I frequently stay in Paris and the pharmacies there have more medications available than in US and usually have English speaking staff. If I’m hiking in Peru or similar I take much more, including antibiotics, antiemetic, anti-diarrheal, antihistamine, pain meds, pepto bismol, bee sting topical stuff, cortisone cream, bug spray or wipes, sun block, diflucan for yeast infections, and more.”
Follow our ultimate guide to creating the perfect travel toiletries list and master the art of packing!
Squeeze Pod TSA Approved Clear Toiletry Bag
Travel First Aid Kit for Short City Trips
For shorter city trips, you can easily find a pharmacy if you need to. However, it’s still nice to bring a few essentials so you don’t have to interrupt your trip and don’t have to spend money on things you have at home.
Several of our readers take a few first aid items they tend to use. One reader says, “I alway take some cold meds and an antidiarrheal – very basic first aid. The cold meds are what I have used the most over the years,” while another reader brings, “Bandaids, Advil, Imodium, Tums, allergy meds and eye drops, and Advil cold medicine.”
Don’t forget to pack items for your feet if you plan on walking a lot. One reader suggests bringing, “moleskin and bandaids, to attend to blisters as soon as they start happening, and a friction stick (also for blisters).”
You can keep these in a small clear bag in your purse so they’re always on hand without taking up too much space in your luggage.
Learn how to downsize toiletries in a carryon bag following these tips from our readers!
Eagle Creek Pack It Quick Trip Toiletry Organizer
Travel First Aid Kit for Extended City Trips
If you’re traveling for more than a couple weeks, plan on bringing a larger first aid kit – even if you’re in a big city. Make sure you have all prescription medicines you normally take, as well as items to tend to an upset stomach, any basic sicknesses, and small injuries.
One reader says, “I have a little zippered pouch with my first aid stuff (wipes, bandages, tweezers, and antibiotic ointment) and then another pouch for my asthma meds, which includes allergy meds and non-aspirin pain reliever.”
Another reader brings, “Bandaids, eye drops, cough drops, calming tea, my pocket essential oil pharmacy from Saje, a small refillable container of Tylenol, Naproxen, Imodium, and Rolaids.
When traveling I take three different antibiotics. I’m a nurse and know when to use them.
I have a clear plastic container where I keep everything so I can easily see everything.”
Read our article rounding up the ten best toiletry bags!
eBags Pack-it-Flat Toiletry Kit
Travel First Aid Kit for Rural Trips
If you’re backpacking, hiking, or visiting small, rural towns, it’s best to bring a first aid kit, regardless of how long your trip. It can be very difficult to find medicines in small towns, and they can be very expensive, too. And if you’re out on a trail, there’s nowhere to stop for these items.
One reader shares, “We have antibiotics for anything that could go wrong. We bring Cipro for traveler’s diarrhea, Senokot to undo its effect, Cysto and yeast stuff for a UTI, cold medicine, lice comb, wine opener, and feminine products. We do Habitat builds in the developing world so you need all this stuff just in case something happens and there’s not great medical care.”
Another reader also packs a variety of essentials, including, “Bandaids, cushioned plasters for blistered feet, Advil, Tums, Pepto Bismol, Senokot (or other gentle laxative, just in case!), neosporin or bacitracin, Claritin, and small tools like tweezers and nail clippers. I suppose I would also consider Benadryl for unexpected allergic reactions and a small tube of AfterBite if I was going to be in a more rural area.”
Here are the best hanging toiletry bags for travel!
Tampon | Panty Liner | Wet Wipe | Hand Sanitizer
These are my in case of a bathroom emergency. You can add a small packet of tissues if it fits in your bag. So many bathrooms don’t have toilet tissue, or depending on your location an actual toilet.
I normally have another set of these items in my purse as well, because it never hurts to have extras. Here’s a list of purse essentials for vacations!
Bobby Pins | Hair Tie | Safety Pin | Chapstick | Solid Sunscreen
Hair emergencies may not be life threatening, but they can be super frustrating. I stash a few bobby pins and pony tail holders in every pocket, so my first aid kit is no exception.
The solid sunscreen above is small and easy to carry, and it’s important to always have some on hand to reapply during the day.
Most of these items will work for a normal traveler. If you are participating is sports or more risky activities then a professional kit may be needed.
What lifesavers do you add to your travel first aid kit list? Share and comment below!
For more tips on travel toiletries, please read:
- 10 Best Travel Toiletry Bags
- The Ultimate Guide to Travel Toiletries
- Ways to Fit All Your Toiletries into Your Carry-on
- The Simple Guide to Essential Travel Beauty Products
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Author Bio: Niki is an interior designer and artist from Louisiana. In addition to her design work, she writes for local and online publications sharing her experiences and passion for travel. Niki is currently adding stamps to her passport while building her design practice, Niki Landry Designs.
Good info! Packed all my meds in pill pouches to save space. I have put all my medication names along with dosage info in the notes section of my iPhone in case I need to reference.
Great post! Packing all my prescriptions in pill pouches to save space w/info/instructions in the notes section of my phone. Also packed just in case meds – naproxen, anti diarrheal meds etc with dosage info on phone in case I need to reference.
Don’t forget aspirin for unexpected cardiac emergencies! You may save your life or someone else!
Hi Sydnie, thank you for sharing your first aid lifesaving essential with us! ?
i travel with a travel size lysol, paper towels, and a baggie with clorox wipes,and in my travels to the dollar store i found a package of charmin travel size toilet paper . which always comes in handy. i am a bonified germaphob.
Hi Marie, thank you for sharing what you include in your travel first aid kit! Happy and safe travels!
I rolled a few feet of duct tape onto a pill container I already had–voila! No additional bulk!
Great post! i already travel with most of the same stuff, but some are new and definitely add to my bag. For example the activated charcoal, how can I use it?
Hey Karla 🙂 Glad you like the post! The Charcoal tablets are great for food related illnesses such as IBS as it is said to bind up unwanted substances.
Great list, I always pack painkillers, anti nausea tablets, electrolytes, bandaids and gauze. The one thing I never leave out is spare inhalers, I always carry one in my day pack and keep a spare in my kit.
….And tissues! I always seem to need one when I don’t have any on me.
Yes tissues! We wrote an article devoted to tissues too: https://travelfashiongirl.com/tissue-packs-for-travel/
How much of this would you actually carry around in the city though?
It varies. For a city trip you might just want one tablet of each and a bandaid but for a more adventurous outdoor trip you might need a few more essentials. Adjust accordingly 😉
I love this post! I always bring a medicine/first aid kit when I travel. This post gave me some ideas about things I might want to bring on my next trip! Thanks
A small roll of duct tape! A great quick fix for so many things!