Whether you are planning to go on a short weekend jaunt or a 3-month long backpacking trip it is always a good idea to have a travel first aid kit. You can consider purchasing one, but packing your own means you can purchase items relevant to the part of the world you are going to, such as malaria tests or re-hydration packs. We wanted to make it easy for you and share some of the basics every kit should have, as well as some region-specific items you should add to your kit.
Bandages (various sizes including ones specifically for blisters)
Elastic Bandages (one or two)
Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (also known as Paracetamol, Panadol, Tylenol and Advil)
Loperamide Blister Pack (Imodium)
Antihistamine Cream and tablets (Benadryl)
Antibacterial Cream (Neosporin or Polysporin)
The reason these are essentials is that they will help to take care of some of the most common illnesses and injuries. The most common being cuts and grazes. The various tablets and creams are for allergic reactions, preventing infection, and nausea caused by being seasick or carsick. You can often purchase a good starter first aid kit and then add the various medications to it. Just be mindful to keep the medications in their original container should you be stopped at security so that they can see the ingredients list and know what each blister pack contains. Amazon has a number of affordable ones which come with a wide-range of bandages and accouterments listed above.
Malaria Test Kit
If you are heading to a zone where malaria is endemic and are taking anti-malarials you will want to take a malaria test kit with you on the off-chance you begin to experience symptoms. These are simple finger-prick tests that can determine within 15 minutes if you have malaria or not and need to seek medical attention.
Water Purification Tablets
If you spend a lot of of time camping, hiking, or going to areas where water-borne parasites and diseases are common then these are very good to have on hand. If you are unsure about the safety of your water and unable to boil it, you can simply throw one of these in and know that you are drinking clean water which can prevent some pretty nasty illnesses later on.
For anyone who has an allergy that causes anaphylaxis this will already be included, but sometimes you do not know you have an allergy or someone close to you has one. If you are in a remote area then this can be a life-saving device. Better safe than sorry!