First aid items to carry when traveling

First aid items to carry when traveling

Before leaving home for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, it's important to have a first aid kit ready for minor health issues that may occur.

Make sure to also visit a physician before you travel to identify any health issues. If you're traveling abroad, some doctors specialize in what's called travel medicine.

For your first aid supplies, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recommends the following items:

  • Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. The basic medicines to relieve headaches, pain, fever, and simple sprains or strains of the body.
  • Antihistamines. Carry this in case you suffer from allergies or need to curtail inflammation.
  • Motion sickness medication. Enjoy the ride when you travel by preparing beforehand.
  • Bandages. Bring assorted sizes to cover minor cuts and scrapes.
  • Bandage closures. Use these to tape the edges of minor cuts together.
  • Triangular bandage. Wrap injuries and make an arm sling if injuries occur.
  • Elastic wraps. Ease wrist, ankle, knee, and elbow injuries with these wraps.
  • Gauze and adhesive pads. In case of larger cuts or scraps, take these along for treatment.
  • Adhesive tape. Bring this along to keep gauze in place.
  • Scissors. Useful if you need to cut tape, gauze or clothes.
  • Safety Pins. Keep splints and bandages fastened.
  • Antiseptic wipes. Take this with you to disinfect wounds or clean hands, tweezers, scissors, and thermometers.
  • Antibiotic ointment. The necessary product to prevent infection in burns, cuts, and scrapes.
  • Hydrogen peroxide. Keep this on hand to disinfect and clean cuts and wounds.
  • Cold packs. Soothe any injuries or burns.
  • Tweezers. Bring along to remove small splinters, foreign objects, bee stingers, and ticks from the skin.
  • Rubber gloves. Protect your hands when treating wounds.
  • Thermometer. Make sure you can take your temperature to ensure you don’t have a fever.
  • Calamine lotion. Itching and irritation from insect bites, stings and poison ivy can ruin a getaway. Bring this along for quick relief.
  • Hydrocortisone cream. Help relieve irritation from rashes.
  • Sunscreen. Bring SPF 15 or higher to prevent potential burns.
  • Insect repellent. No one wants to be pestered by creepy crawlers on vacation. Keep them away with this spray.

If you're flying, you won't be able to bring some of these items, at least in your carry-on luggage. Check the Transportation Safety Administration web page for the latest list of items.

For any emergencies that occur or complex medical problems, contact a highly rated doctor.


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