What to Pack in a First Aid Travel Kit

No one wants to get sick or hurt whilst on holiday.  Unfortunately, little cuts and headaches do occur quite regularly.  So as the Boy Scouts say, “be prepared” and take a first aid travel kit.

I have been including in my travel packing a small first aid kit since I first backpacked around Europe 25 years ago.  Today I still pack a compact first aid travel kit for emergencies on all our family vacations, whether they be luxury escapes or self-catering getaways.

The first aid travel kit is to just get you by in an emergency.  Should anything major happen, more often than not a pharmacy or doctor will not be too far away and no doubt you may want to seek expert medical attention.

So here’s what I pack in my first aid travel kit. Please remember I’m not a medical professional just a mum using common sense when deciding what first aid items to pack when travelling.

In this Article Learn How to Create Your Own DIY First Aid Travel Kit

How to create a small essential first aid kit for holidays. When you next travel use this medical packing checklist to stay healthy on vacation.
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How to Create a First Aid Travel Kit

A first aid kit for travelling doesn’t need to be elaborate.  Creating your own small quality first aid kit is easy.  There are only a few basic first-aid items you should include in your medical kit.  Start with a specific bag* just for your medical items, this makes it super easy to find in your luggage.

The Essential First Aid Items I Pack

I find it best to take just the absolute essentials for treating first aid.  Why carry more than you need, it helps you to pack light.

  • Paracetamol
    • If you are travelling with children include the children’s version as well
  • Antiseptic Cream
  • Band-aids
  • Prescription Medications
    • If you take quite a few prescriptions you may like to use a travel pill box that offers a cover and sleeve to place copies of your prescription
  • Vitamins you regularly take – don’t suddenly stop taking them as it may upset your physical well-being

Medical Packing List for Upset Tummies on Vacations

If I am visiting a developing country, I often add a few more first aid items in case of upset stomachs.

  • Imodium (to stop diarrhoea)
  • Stemetil (to stop vomiting)
  • Non-refrigerated Pro-biotic (put the good bacteria back in your gut)
  • Electrolytes tablets eg.Hydrolyte (to give you energy)

Staying Healthy Travel Kit

Finally, these last few items will keep you physically healthy.  They are an absolute must if you are travelling to a sunny destination.  You even need them if you are skiing.

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Plugin mozzie repellent

The other thing to staying healthy is water.  Tap water is not the same everywhere.  Although you may be able to drink and brush your teeth with tap water at home, you may not be able to at your travel destination.  Always, I mean always use bottled drinking water for drinking, brushing your teeth, making a hot drink, washing water bottles and sterilising baby bottles.

If you find searching for these items time-consuming or difficult to source you can purchase a pre-made travel first aid kit*.

Top Trip Tips: Packing a First Aid Travel Kit

When creating your DIY travel medical kit remember to:

  • Ensure you include a copy of your script if packing medications
  • Keep vitamins in their original packaging to help customs officers identify the items
  • Declare all medications on arrival into a foreign country
  • Be aware that some countries do not allow codeine to be brought in – check the ingredients of your headache tablets
  • Use ziplock bags to keep liquids contained and for the bandaids – the box will fall apart!
  • Put all your medical first aid kit items into a separate packing cell* or bag that can be easily accessed from within your luggage.
How to create a first aid travel kit | Tips for holiday medical kit | Holiday first aid List | vacation medical kit
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  1. Love your tips, they remind me how under-prepared I generally am first aid-wise! For my 9 months in South America I just had paracetamol, activated charcoal (which I didn’t use), a couple of band-aids, insect repellent and sunscreen. Luckily I hardly ever get food poisoning so it was fine – just the odd bout of flu here and there.

    1. I think the basics you took are good Michelle. Maybe just something for upset stomachs due to the region that you were travelling – fortunately, though you were fine. Beyond that, you can always buy something from a pharmacy or your accommodations will have an extensive first aid kit.

  2. I agree it is definitely best to be prepared for the worst. A first aid kit is a great idea. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  3. Ooh you’ve just reminded me I wanted to do this and have one in our car! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. It’s a great idea to have one permanently packed in the car, Lolo. You just never know.

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