Topic Overview

What you pack in your first aid kit will depend on where and how long you plan to travel and the medical care available there. Here is a general list of items to include.

  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30 to 50) and lip screen
  • Thermometer
  • Oral rehydration solution packets
  • Basic first aid items (adhesive bandages, gauze, elastic bandage, antiseptic, tweezers)
  • Antibacterial hand wipes
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses or contacts

Visit a travel health clinic or talk to your doctor about which of the following medicines to include and how to take them:

  • Antibiotic for self-treatment of moderate to severe diarrhea
  • Antihistamine, decongestant, and cough suppressant, alone or in combination
  • Motion sickness medicine
  • Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), aspirin, ibuprofen, or other medicine for pain or fever. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Antidiarrheal medicine, such as bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Antifungal ointment
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Hydrocortisone ointment
  • Medicine to prevent malaria, if you are going to a place where malaria is a problem

Other items that may be useful in certain circumstances:

  • Mild sedative
  • Antianxiety medicine
  • High-altitude sickness preventive medicine
  • Water purification tablets or water filtering system

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease

Current as ofNovember 20, 2015