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How to Make A First-Aid Kit: A Complete Traveler’s Guide


Traveling around the globe is an unforgettable experience. When you travel, you get to explore new countries, discover different cultures, and enjoy breathtaking views.

However, activities like walking for long hours, trekking, and sunbathing can cause minor injuries. At one time or another, you’re likely to need a band-aid, face mask, or alcohol to disinfect a wound.

That’s why today we’ll share how to make a first-aid kit for your next trip.

Ready? Let’s go!

How to Make a First-Aid Kit?

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially while you’re away from home. Here’s what we recommend you include in your first-aid kit:

  • Daily medications
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Hand sanitizer and lotion
  • Face masks
  • Bandages and alcohol wipes
  • Sunscreen and after-sun lotion

Daily Medications

Are there any medications that you need to take regularly? If so, we advise you to carry enough for your planned trip and a bit extra, just in case your flight home is delayed.

Plus, we recommend:

  • Packing your medication in its original container
  • Carrying a doctor’s prescription

A prescription could help you to:

  • Restock if you run out of medication
  • Prove that you’re taking this medication under a doctor’s supervision

This latter point is especially important if you’re carrying a substance that’s regulated at your destination. For instance, CBD oil.

Over the Counter Medication

Sometimes, what you might get over the counter in your homeland, might not be sold without a prescription somewhere else in the world. Plus, in some cases, you may also find that common medicines cost more abroad.

This is why we advise you to take some over-the-counter medicines in your first-aid kit. Especially, if you take them on a regular basis.

You may want to pack:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Antihistamines to relieve allergies
  • Antacid medicine
  • Cough and cold medicines
  • Diarrhea medicine
  • Antinausea or motion sickness medicine
  • Altitude sickness medicine is also recommended if you’re traveling at high altitudes.

Hand Sanitizer and Lotion

COVID is not yet gone. Additionally, there are multiple respiratory viruses currently circulating around the world. Hence, we recommend you take hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes with you. To be effective, these products should have a concentration of 60% alcohol, at least.

Face Masks

Several airlines require passengers to wear masks during flights. This is especially the case for international flights. Moreover, some countries (such as Germany) still adhere to daily mask-wearing.

When it comes to flights, airlines only allow medical-grade face masks.
We recommend you pack:

  • Single-use disposable maks (the standard blue ones), for everyday use
  • KN95 or N95 masks to wear during your flights

Bandages & Alcohol Wipes

Minor wounds are part of everyday life. How often do you find yourself looking for a band-aid in your bathroom cabinet?

Considering that during your trip you’re likely to be walking for long hours, we recommend you pack band-aids and bandages of all sizes. However, if you’re exploring nature, it’s of utmost importance to have a good kit to address minor injuries.

We recommend:

  • Bandages of various sizes for minor cuts and scrapes
  • Bandage closures, for securing the edges of minor cuts (e.g. Butterfly bandages)
  • Elastic wraps for wrapping injuries in your ankle, knee, elbow, and wrist
  • Gauze, whether in rolls or pads, for dressing larger cuts and scrapes
  • Adhesive tape
  • A pair of scissors with rounded edges
  • Safety pins to fasten bandages
  • Instant-activating cold packs for cooling injuries, burns, etc.
  • Calamine lotion to address bug bites and poison ivy
  • Hydrocortisone cream to treat rash irritation
  • Insect repellent

When taking care of a wound, remember to disinfect:

  • The wound itself
  • Your hands
  • Scissors or any other utensil you may use

Remember to pack:

  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Disposable rubber gloves

Additionally, we recommend including a pair of tweezers in your first-aid kit. Tweezers are great for removing small splinters, foreign objects, bee stingers, and ticks.

Sunscreen & After-Sun Lotion

Everyone has experienced sunburn at some point. It can be very painful and it can disrupt your plans.

Hence, it’s always good to use:

  • Sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher
  • After-sun lotion

Want to learn more about how to take care of your skin under the sun and treat sunburns? Take a look at our sunbathing guide.

Key Takeaways

As much as traveling can be fun, it can also be stressful. Especially if you come across basic health problems while you’re away from home. Plus, visiting the doctor or a pharmacy can take up valuable vacation time. And, if you don’t speak the local language, it can be particularly distressing.

It’s always good to be prepared, and assembling a travel first-aid kit can save you a lot of trouble.

In this guide, we shared the basic elements any first-aid kit should include. Nonetheless, bear in mind that each destination will likely require different equipment. Visiting Australian beaches doesn’t pose the same risks as hiking in Romania. So don’t forget to customize your kit accordingly.

Want to get tested before your next adventure? No matter where you are, or what type of test you need, find testing locations near you with our international directory.

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