How to Make Your Own Travel First Aid Kit

February 22, 2017

If you have ever had the misfortune of becoming ill or hurting yourself in some way while you’re traveling, you know how much discomfort this can cause.  Even something as seemingly minor as a tiny scratch can soon become a major problem, depending on the cleanliness of your surroundings, and the medical supplies at hand.

Why You Need a Travel First Aid Kit

Often, you have our own preference when it comes to what medical products and supplies you wish to use.  There are brand names that you are used to and that you rely upon to do the job of getting you back to health.  When traveling, particularly overseas, it may be difficult to find similar products, and if the language on the package isn’t English, your chances of getting what you’re looking for won’t be a simple task.  You don’t want to end up with hemorrhoid cream…when what you actually were looking for was aloe cream for sunburn :-).

Depending what part of the globe is your destination, your travel first aid kit will require specialized items for specific climates and for specific activities.  For instance, if you’re going on a ski trip, you’ll want to pack some muscle reliever for those aching muscles at the end of a full day on the slopes, and something to alleviate a headache when your apres-ski partying carries on into the wee small hours of the morning :-).

Basic Travel First Aid Kit

first aid kit must-haves

Your first aid kit must-haves!

For your travel safety, there are basic items that your travel first aid kit should contain no matter if you’re traveling near or far from home.  These will include:

  • Prescriptions (a list of all prescribed medications traveling with you). A letter from your doctor if you require needles to inject your medicine (diabetic).  Research that your medicine is legal in the country to which you’re traveling.
  • Your health insurance card, plus documents regarding travel insurance if you purchased additionally.
  • Bandages (for makeshift slings and ankle wrap), cotton swabs and pads, Band-aids, gauze
  • Medicine to reduce fever or bring relief from aches and pains (such as Acetaminophen or Tylenol).  Remember to pack children’s strength tablets if you’re traveling with little ones.
  • Moleskin – For those inevitable blisters you’ll get walking or hiking.
  • Anti-bacterial ointment – For minor scrapes, cuts, and scratches.
  • Diarrhea medicine and laxatives
  • Antacid – To relieve the discomfort of testing out all those unfamiliar foods you know you’ll want to try.
  • Sunscreen and sunburn relief medicine
  • Get any required vaccinations well enough in advance when traveling to specific regions and/or countries.
  • Anti-nausea, motion sickness medication
  • Insect repellent
  • Tweezers – For plucking out splinters and slivers, or bee stingers (ouch!)
  • Cough suppressants and lozenges to relieve a sore throat
  • Antiseptic wipes

Some items listed in the Basic Travel First Aid Kit are mentioned again in the following lists.  Repetition for emphasis – these are items that you’ll really be glad you packed!

Cold Weather Travel First Aid Kit – (the Basic Kit plus)

  • Hand cream – Make it a rich, concentrated cream to prevent chapping and roughness.
  • Pocket hand warmers – To slip inside your gloves and keep your hands toasty as you’re swooshing down the hill, or trekking in the Alps.
  • Lip balm and sunscreen – The wind and sun can wreak havoc on your skin and lips.  Opt for a with a lip balm with a high SPF content.  Apply sunscreen and lip balm liberally and regularly when you’re out in the elements.
  • Waterproof matches and a thermal blanket (also known as a space blanket) – If you’re hiking in sub-zero temperatures or skiing the backcountry,  these items could save your life if you become lost, stranded or injured.
  • Waterproof/warm gloves – To prevent frostbite.


Apply sunscreen and lip balm liberally and regularly when you’re out in the elements.

Desert and/or Tropical Weather Travel First Aid Kit – (the Basic Kit plus)

  • Sunscreen and lip balm –  with a high SPF factor
  • Sunburn relief medication
  • Oral rehydration solution (ORS) – contains electrolytes ‘salts’, carbs, and purified water.  This mixture should be taken if you experience dehydration, particularly as a result of diarrhea.
  • Insect repellent – Both the tropics and the desert have more than their fair share of hungry little critters.
  • Topical steroid – (such as Hydrocortisone) for relief from insect bites or minor infection
  • ADDITIONAL ITEM – Mosquito netting – If your travels will take you to an area where mosquitoes spread diseases such as malaria, yellow fever or Zika virus.

Road Trip First Aid Kit – (the Basic Kit plus)

  • Motion-sickness medication (such as Gravol or Dramamine)… don’t forget the bucket or bag to go along with it :-).

Motion Sickness Medication

Bring in motion-sickness medication, just in case!

Headache relief (Aspirin or Anacin) – Constant chatter from your kids in the back seat, the GPS’s nagging voice ‘Turn right here’; ‘As soon as possible, make a u-turn’, even those favorite road trip tunes blaring while someone sings along….badly….oh, it’s you :-), can all combine into one throbbing headache before too long.

Additional Health Items to Include When Packing for ANY Travel:

  • Water bottle – Keep yourself hydrated (not part of your medicine kit, but an absolute necessity….in any climate really).
  • Sunglasses – The sun glistening off the tropical ocean or the winter sun reflecting off the white snow – both look so amazing – but both can do damage to your retinas.  Protect your eyes!

If this all sounds like just too much time and effort to put one of these travel first aid kits together, there are companies who have done all of the work for you….no muss, no fuss :-).  Just head on over to a website like this one:

Northbound Train First Aid Kit

NorthBound Train First Aid Kit | Source:


select the kit that works for your own travel safety, and voila….you’re ready to take on the world…and stay healthy doing it!

Written by Emma Ghattas