This is a Hipmunk guest post from Jodi Ettenberg.
Part of being a savvy traveler is knowing what to pack. I recently wrote about some useful and fun USB travel gadgets, but I wanted to go back to the basics: a first aid kit.
(photo credit: mwichary)
I rarely leave home without mine, and it’s been the subject of some gentle (and not so gentle) mocking. But the travelers who split their calf open on a rusty nail in the middle of a Dominican Republic national park (true story) or fell down the stairs and got bitten by a blood-sucking cockroach in the Philippines (also a true story) didn’t laugh: they were just happy I had something to help make it better.
Many of these can be purchased and/or replaced from the road, but if starting out in a more remote destination, it’s a good thing to have a more thorough kit from the get-go.
For general travel:
- Neosporin or a similar triple antibiotic cream
- Anti-itch cream
- Benedryl or other anti-histamine
- Small sutures/stitches
- Burn gel
- Diclofenac (anti-inflammatory cream sold over the counter)
- Sewing kit
- Safety pins (large size)
- Duct tape
- Moleskin for blisters
- Diflucan (for the ladies)
- Anti-mozzie spray
- Alcohol wipes
- Leatherman Micra (mini and awesome multitool)
For travel to developing countries, I add the following:
- Ciprofloxacin (if you get food poisoning/stomach infections, you will want some of this), though self-medicate at your own risk. I’ve done so in the past, but only when I’m nowhere near a clinic or doctor and really ill.
- Metronidazole (for giardia or amoebic dysentery; I’ve picked these up for reasonable prices in Thailand or other parts of Southeast Asia)
- Immodium, but only to take if absolutely necessary since trapping whatever bacteria you’ve got in your intestine is a bad idea. I only use it if I’m about to board a bus for 8 hours and know that I’m not going to make it without copious bathroom breaks.
- Anti-malarials if you are heading to a malarial region.
- Oral rehydration salts
What’s in your first aid kit?