So that you don’t completely lose your head in the ointment-cream-spray-tablets-chaos, I have put together a short but effective first aid box checklist. This way you will be well-equipped for your next holiday.
First aid kit checklist – what do you actually need?
City breaks & western destinations | Exotic travel | Overview
Where are you travelling to?
First of all, it depends on whether your destination is a city in Europe in the western region, or whether you’re packing your rucksack for an exotic location.
Travelling to Europe
If you’re flying to a country which meets the Irish medical standard, you won’t have to equip your first aid kit with every type of remedy possible. In case of emergency, you’ll be able to buy many things while you’re there. But what I’m going to recommend to you is a basic survival kit, which contains all the important things you’ll need for a city break:
- Nasal drops: if possible, you should keep these in your hand luggage, if you have problems with the pressure compensation in the aircraft. If you do not have these with you, the cabin crew can help you in case of emergency.
- Painkillers: headaches or backaches can come on very quickly. Therefore it makes sense to always have painkillers close to hand, particularly if you have to walk for a long time through the city in hot temperatures.
- Blister plasters are essential when you are on long sightseeing tours. Your feet cannot withstand even the best shoes rubbing against them for such a long period.
- Suncream is also an absolute must – yes, even on a ski holiday in the mountains. Never underestimate the power of the sun. (Yes, yes Mum…) But she’s right. Sunburn looks stupid and also damages our skin – so get rubbing that lotion in.
- Individual medication, which you cannot buy over the counter or in a pharmacy, should be carried with you at all times. Preferably keep it in your the hand luggage, in case you need it urgently.
Long distance travel
If your journey takes you a bit further than Europe, then your first aid box should, of course, be better equipped. I’d recommend packing the following things in your rucksack, as well as the items already mentioned:
- When you’re travelling, it often happens that you cut yourself, by something as simple as trapping your finger, or treading on some coral in the ocean. So that your wound doesn’t immediately become infected and you don’t pick up a tropical disease, you should definitely pack some disinfectant spray and some wound ointment.
- Waterproof plasters: these are very useful if you have a small injury, but will be spending a lot of time in the water, be it bathing, swimming or just cooling off.
- Insect spray should also be purchased beforehand, particularly if you’re entering a country where malaria or dengue fever is rife. Although, many people tend to purchase the spray from the country they are visiting. It is believed that the active agent in the spray is better there. However, I prefer to rely on tested products from the pharmacy.
- Once again: suncream!
- A fever thermometer is small and handy and fits in any first aid kit. If you really feel that bad, it would make sense to monitor your fever. This way you can determine whether you have caught malaria or something similar.
- Ointment for insect bites: the sleepless nights and itchy limbs will thank you.
- If you are travelling to a country where you have never been before, or which isn’t known for its excellent cuisine, you should also pack medicine for diarrhoea. Once again, many people say it is better to buy this medicine while you’re out there. But I don’t think that the journey to the nearest pharmacy will be the most pleasant, if you don’t already have the medicine beforehand. It could really help you out in an emergency.
- Alternatively, you can also pack some aftersun if your skin is particularly sensitive (however, see the previous point regarding sun cream: be aware and orientated when rubbing your lotion in).
- If you tend to have joint or back problems (remember that some of you may be staying in hostel beds), perhaps you should take some form of pain relief gel with you.
- If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the water, for example, you’re learning to surf, then alcoholic ear drops are recommended. This will help get the water out of your auditory canal (jumping on one leg doesn’t always do the trick).
- Anyone who tends to suffer from travel sickness should also have something to prevent nausea, so that no mishaps occur on the bus or the boat.
Please don’t forget: with regard to long-distance travel, it is also particularly important to be well informed about any necessary travel vaccinations in advance. But make sure that this is completed in good time! Some vaccinations consist of more than one injection, which have to be completed within a certain time frame.
First aid kit checklist – an overview
Below you will find a list of all the important medicines and utensils, which you should always have with you on your travels. If there is still something important missing, then please leave a comment below.