A first aid kit is an essential piece of equipment on any gap year or round-the-world adventure, but most travelers aren’t sure exactly what they need to take with them. So here is a guide on how to pack a first aid kit and what to include in it.
While there are plenty of pre-made first-aid kits available out there, these kits typically lack a lot of the items your family might need–and are often full of items you’ll never use.
The best first aid kits are simple but varied and will have a variety of dressings and equipment to deal with the absolute basics. More importantly, they can be used with little or no training.
Pack the following items in your carry-on bag and keep it with you at all times:
Essentials in Your First-Aid Kit
- Band-Aids: Make sure you have Band-Aids of varying sizes.
- Gauze: Sterile gauze pads make great travel companions for a variety of injuries.
- Tape: Surgical tape is one of those essential emergency items for when you need to apply and secure gauze or a bandage to a wound.
- Small scissors: are obviously useful for trimming gauze or bandages to size.
- Tweezers: can be useful for pulling out splinters, getting out little bits of stone or dirt when cleaning a wound.
- Antibacterial creams: Creams like Neosporin will help heal any cuts and scrapes faster as well as prevent any possible infections.
- Pain relievers: Make sure you have both Ibuprofen and Tylenol in liquid form for kids. If you don’t want to pack extra for the adults, then they can always use these in double dose.
- Loperamide tablets – This is useful for stopping diarrhea for short periods when you need to catch a bus or train. Remember, these are for those emergency moments only when you are actually in transit, as they do not cure diarrhea .
- Anti-itch ointment: You’ll want to pack a hydrocortisone cream to deal with any bites that itch.
- Antiseptic wipes: antiseptic wipes are an absolute essential in any good pack. No one wants a cut or wound to get infected, and antiseptic wipes are perfect for cleaning it before applying a dressing.
- Condoms: these handy little items can be used as emergency water carriers or even filled with ice as an emergency ice pack.
Don’t forgot to check your first-aid kit before every trip. Check expiration dates of the supplies and remove anything you’ve never used or that is duplicated in the kit. Also make sure to add things that you may have used up on your last vacation.