11 Essential Items for Any Travel First Aid Kit

I’m sure that just about anyone who has traveled even a little bit has encountered a time or two when something has happened and we were either instantly thankful that we had our first aid kit, or we immediately wished we’d packed one. I’m sure that all of us would rather be “thankful” in this situation.

Either way, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so I no longer travel without a first aid kit and it’s actually one I put together myself made up of things I know I want to have with me in the event of a mishap or situation.

I typically grab stuff from the dollar store to make up my kit, such as bandages, gauze, medical tape, etc. My local dollar store even carries mini-tubes of name brand pain meds such as Advil and Tylenol that are the perfect size for my kit and contain plenty of tablets to cover anything I might require until I can get to a pharmacy if needed.

So here’s my list of essential things for any traveler’s First Aid kit:



Lemme tell ya,If I had a nickel for every blister, cut, or scrape that I encountered while traveling I could probably retire with a hefty income. These are the first thing I pack in any first aid kit. They are light and you can easily pack several sizes with using minimal space.


I love this stuff because it’s come in handy so many times for me. (I must be accident prone or something.) It’s just got so many good uses. Since it’s sterile, it can be used to clean a wound, apply pressure, soak up blood and even be used as a dressing for some wounds. One time in Paris I wore new shoes that actually friction-burned the soles of my feet. I applied antibiotic cream to my soles and used gauze and medical tape to wrap my feet while I slept. Worked like a charm. (FYI…socks wouldn’t have worked as well on my feet with the cream because they would have soaked it up and I needed the ointment to stay on the skin. By morning, I had new feet.)


Medical/Surgical Tape

Bandages are good, but medical tape is better in my opinion because it just holds better and has a larger “sticky” surface area. Thankfully it’s easy to tear to size and comes in different materials.



The enemy to any splinter, I make sure to always have a pair of tweezers. They come in handy when you need to remove any small debris from a wound and are a definite must in my opinion.



These are handy for many reasons like needing to cut clothing to access a wound or even just cutting bandages or gauze if need be. Travel tip: make sure you pack these in checked luggage though, otherwise they may get confiscated at airport security.

Antiseptic wipes

I don’t know about you but I’m crazy about cleaning any cut or wound, especially if they occur on hands or feet, simply because they come in contact with so much dirt and bacteria throughout the day (especially if wearing sandals or flip flops). Having these wipes handy are your first step to cleaning a cut or wound quickly and easily.


Sandwich baggies

These baggies make great ice packs when in need of something to apply a cold compress. I learned to carry these when on a trip and hurt my ankle whilst teetering on a rock to get a better view of the beach. Needless to say, my footing slipped and I twisted my ankle. We were able to get some ice from a nearby vendor and used the baggie I had in my purse from airport security. And that’s when I realized how valuable these baggies are and to put them in my first aid kit. Didn’t someone say that “necessity is the mother of invention”? That proved it that day.


Related post: How to Survive Long Haul Flights


Antibacterial creams or sprays

I guarantee you that as sure as the sun rises on each day, I also make sure that I don’t leave the house for any trip without having antibacterial ointment. It’s come in handy on so many occasions and really helpful when traveling with kids who tend to get nicks nearly every day.


Pain relief medication

Something as simple as a headache can ruin any vacation day so I make sure that I always have some sort of pain relief medication in my kit (or in my purse, really). I really like to pack one like Ibuprofen that helps reduce swelling in the event of an injury, and then something like acetaminophen for it’s fever reducing capabilities. Naturally, I don’t pack a lifetime supply of these, just enough to get me through until such time as I can get a pharmacy or the problem is better on it’s own.


Related post: Wellness Products Every Traveler Must Pack

Antihistamine cream or tablets

When in Trinidad several years ago, I woke up one day looking a lot like Frankenstein. My forehead and eyes were swollen beyond belief. Thankfully, we had access to a car and were able to drive to a pharmacy (I use the term “pharmacy” loosely because they sold everything from tarot cards to edible underwear.) Thankfully I was able to get some antihistamines into me and my face eventually returned to normal. Now I make sure I always pack a few in the event of a strange bug bite or reaction to something environmental. (No idea if I was bitten by something or if it was a reaction to the sun that cause my face to swell but thankfully I was okay.)

Anti-diarrhea tablets

There’s nothing worse than being in transit when diarrhea strikes. And having fear of this happening is exactly why I carry anti-diarrhea meds with me whenever I travel. I should point out that these should really only be taken in dire situations, when you absolutely need to take them.


And there you have it, my travel first aid kit in a nutshell.


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Are there things that you put in your kit that I should too? Let me know below in the comments!

Ciao for now…







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