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Whether you’re going on a road trip, a hiking holiday, backpacking, or even if you plan to be sitting poolside in a 5-star resort for a week, it always helps to be prepared and a well-stocked first aid kit is so important for your travels. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to try and quickly locate your nearest supermarket or pharmacy, especially when you don’t speak the language. What’s more, if you plan to be spending a lot of your time in remote locations then a pre-packed first aid kit is even more important.
Even if you’re not going away anywhere, it’s important to have this stuff in your cupboards at home just in case. And if you package it up right then it can be super easy to take it out of the kitchen drawer and pop it straight in your suitcase if you do venture further afield.
While you can buy first aid kits already made for you, they often contain only the very basics, sometimes even things you’ll probably never use. So, by making your own (or adding to an existing kit) you can make sure you’re prepared for every scenario! Here are some top tips and a packing list for your First Aid Kit at home…
Choose the Right Bag
You need to start by choosing the perfect bag or container to keep everything in. In order to do this, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Firstly, you need to think about size, material and compartments you need. If you’re going on a long trip which involves lots of moving around or living out of a backpack, then you want something durable and likely made out of plastic so it doesn’t get squashed. Tupperware from your kitchen cupboard is great!
Alternatively, if your kit is mostly going to be used on one to two-week holidays you can choose something a bit more stylish like these adorable makeup bags – I love the furry purple one!
You also don’t want anything that is going to take up too much room or that ends up only being half-filled. You might want to choose a box or bag that has compartments in it so you can easily organise and store all your medication and other essentials like these handy packing cubes which are fab for accessing the things you need like your first aid kit quickly.
Start with the Basics
Once you’ve bought the right bag it’s best to start filling it with the basics. This means buying the essentials like plasters, wipes and painkillers. Below is a list of all the basic items you need to buy to start your kit:
- Plasters and bandages – the most likely injury is going to be a cut or scrape, so having plasters and bandages of various sizes is a good idea
- Antiseptic wipes – for cleaning any wounds
- Gauze pads – these are useful for taking care of bigger wounds
- Adhesive tape – you can get a variety of different tapes but these are perfect for securing gauze pads or bandages in place
- Small scissors – for cutting bandages, plasters or tape to size
- Painkillers – stock up on the necessities such as paracetamol and ibuprofen for aches and pains – just remember to always read the label and consult with your doctor if you’re unsure about what you can take.
- Burn Treatment – These gauze pads are fantastic for healing burns.
Now you’ve got your first aid kit essentials in place it’s time to go a little deeper. We’re all different and some of us are more susceptible to bugs or perhaps suffer with allergies or specific illnesses. For this reason, you need to take into consideration your personal needs when filling your kit.
Here are some additional medications that can be helpful:
- Allergy Tablets – essential for those who suffer with allergies and/or hay fever
- Motion Sickness Medication – for those who suffer with motion sickness when travelling, whether that be in a car, plane or boat
- Cold and Flu – for those if who are always the first to catch a cold no matter what the weather. Throat lozenges can also be helpful for this
- Moisturising Cream – for those who suffer with dry and irritable skin, pack your cream of choice
- Acid Reflux and Heartburn Relief – if you suffer with acid reflux or heartburn choose tablets or medicine to combat this
- Eye Drops – drier climates, allergies or being prone to conjunctivitis are just some of the reasons you might want to pack eye drops
And of course, don’t forget to pack any medication that you use on a daily basis such as contraceptives, anti-depressants or insulin. Be sure to consult your doctor ahead of time and make sure you have enough of this medication to see you through the duration of your trip.
You also need to make sure you’re prepared for every eventuality, even if you’re usually pretty healthy. At this point you need to take your destination into consideration so you can stay prepared.
When travelling in foreign countries, particularly in poorer or developing countries you can be more susceptible to bugs and illnesses. You might also be exposed to new insects that have the potential to bite. As such, there are some location dependent medications you should also consider taking:
- Bug Spray – if you know you’re going somewhere with lots of midges you can reduce the risk of being bitten
- Bite and Sting Cream – for countries where you the wildlife aren’t so friendly it helps to have bite and sting cream on hand
- Anti-diarrhoea Tablets – this can be a life saver if you catch a stomach bug, particularly if you have to keep on travelling at the time
- Rehydration Tablets – if you find yourself vomiting or suffering with diarrhoea these can help you to quickly rehydrate as dehydration can be very harmful and make you feel even worse
- Laxatives – if things go the other way you might end up feeling a little irregular. There are a number of over-the-counter laxatives you can buy to alleviate this problem
- Butterfly Stitches – these are a great idea in case of a deeper wound, they can help you to heal faster
- Malaria Medication – if you’re going somewhere that is affected by malaria you may choose to take preventative medication. Doctors can often recommend or prescribe what you need.
Hopefully this first aid kit packing list will help you stay prepared at home and when travelling – now you just have to decide where your next adventure will be…