What should be in a travel first aid kit?

18 October 2018

A first aid kit should be on your list of travel necessities when you’re packing for a holiday – wherever you’re planning to go. It means you have what you need to hand immediately and saves the hassle of trying to find a pharmacy, or trying to fathom what’s what in another language!

GPs from our Doctor@Hand service have compiled their top 10 travel first aid kit essentials, giving you one less thing to worry about on holiday.

  1. Painkillers - paracetamol or ibuprofen, for treating headaches and minor aches and pains.
  2. Plasters - in various sizes will come in handy for covering any cuts and grazes, protecting you from getting an infection.
  3. Antiseptic wipes - these are great for cleaning cuts or abrasions, or for sterilising your hands.
  4. Tweezers - exactly what you need for extracting a splinter, or removing grit from a wound.
  5. Bandages and gauze pads - a small roll of bandage and a few gauze pads can be packed for treating more serious cuts and wounds.
  6. Scissors - these can be used to trim down a gauze pad, to cut bandages to size, to snip hair from around a cut, and for countless other purposes. Make sure to pack these into your checked luggage though!
  7. Antiseptic creams - another essential for helping to treat infection or preventing it from spreading further.
  8. Anti-itch cream - ideal for helping to soothe and take the heat out of insect bites and give some relief from a rash or itchy skin.  
  9. Diarrhoea relief - an upset tummy can be all too common when you’re on holiday.
  10. Antihistamines - you never know what you might be allergic to in a different country!

Have you ever needed to speak to a GP when you were away from home? The Doctor@Hand GPs are available over the phone or video between 8am and 10pm, UK time. They can provide medical advice and information about what to purchase over the counter in a different country and, depending on where you are, prescriptions can be sent to a local pharmacy or delivered directly to you if deemed appropriate. Find out more about the Doctor@Hand service.

Further reading:

Dehydration – are you at risk?  

Sun damage: the risks and how to protect yourself  

Preventing plane pain – best ways to prevent back ache when travelling