Travel First Aid Kit: Advice from a Wanderlust Doctor



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Grab a coffee and settle in with a good read.


How to ensure that you are TRAVEL SAFE???

A well equipped first aid kit is your answer!

Who doesn’t love travel and adventure?

But, sometimes our wanderlust can land us into unavoidable situations. Most common ones being travel accidents, illnesses or other medical emergencies.

A good first aid kit ensures that you are ready to handle any injury if they happen to arise.

A Doctor recommended Essential Travel Medical First Aid Kit Checklist. Learn all the details on how to prepare a small yet comprehensive first aid kit for your next adventure

I am a doctor and a wanderlust one at that and here are my tips for your trips!! Stay Safe!

A good Travel First Aid Kit should include some MUST HAVE items along with some items which depend on the destination, the climate there and your personal health needs.

Take for example the various places in India. Rajasthan tends to get very hot in summers and Cold in winters.

Many places in Leh Ladakh and Spiti are so high are that you may get Acute Mountain Sickness. 

The Dos and Donts of Travel First Aid Kit.

Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind while preparing your travel first aid kit :

  • Preferably use a plastic zip lock pouch.
  • Avoid carrying glass bottles.
  • Avoid carrying liquids.
  • Keep your over the counter (OTC) medicines and generic medicines separately.
  • Ensure that you keep the prescription for your generic medicines handy, just incase any authority would like to check it.
  • Before we move on to the detailed list, let’s get to know a little more about first aid and its importance.

Why do we need a First Aid Essentials Kit?

What is the importance of a first aid box?

First aid is promptly helping people who are suddenly sick or hurt,until they receive medical treatment.

A person does not need much equipment to provide first aid, but, it can surely help transform a serious injury to one that can be controlled.

How good is that?

You must also be aware of the goals of first aid to be able to judge whether what you are doing is going to be helpful or not.

They are also known as the 3 P’s :

1. Preserve life : try to prevent the person from dying 

2. Prevent further injury : that can mean knowing whether you should help the person or call for medical help immediately 

3. Promote recovery : try and heal the injuries of the person

First aid can be done just about anywhere . In places far from hospitals, first aid may be the only help possible until the person can be taken to a hospital or clinic.

A package of things that can be useful to provide first aid, form a first aid kit.

God forbid, if things do go wrong, stay motivated and stay calm. 

But, what exactly should you carry in your first aid kit while travelling?

Let’s learn first aid kit contents list and their uses

But, what exactly should you carry in your first aid kit while traveling?

Now, let’s move on to the most important part and help you assemble the perfect travel first aid kit!

An updated first aid manual : pocket sized ones are available and really helpful at critical times.

Band-aidsBand-Aids are an absolute essential while traveling. Can be used for covering minor injuries like scratches or grazes or cuts.

You can carry band aids of different shapes and sizes, so you can use them effectively at the site of injury.

Gauze: small and big size squares. Multiple packets of a single gauze would be a better option. So that you don’t end up wasting the extras and use up only how much you require.

Can be used to apply pressure to a bleeding wound, clean an injury and even form a part of the basic dressing for small to medium wounds.

Crepe bandages : you don’t need to carry many of these. Just one big and one small sized roll. It can be used when you sprain your foot or hand, to hold and support the joint.

Incase you do not know how to use a crepe bandage, you can always learn the technique from your family physician.

Small scissors : can be used for trimming the guaze pieces or cutting the medical tape during the dressing of a wound.

Just be careful that in case you do pack scissors, you would have to keep it with your checked luggage or else the airport security will take them from you.

Tweezers : Tweezers can be used to remove thorns or ticks and other insects or dirt and stones from a wound.

Antiseptic wipes : are perfect for cleaning up small wounds, cuts and grazes. The Antiseptic Wipes can also be used prior to dressing of small to medium wounds.

Medical tape : You will need medical tape to secure gauze pieces during the dressing of wounds.

Antibacterial creams: can be used for the cuts and grazes. It will prevent the wounds from developing any further infection.

A tube of Soframycin / Neosporin / Betadine should be enough.

Antihistaminic creams: is a useful addition to help control the swelling and itching locally, when you get bitten by an insect.

Should always keep them handy when you are on a tropical jungle trek, during outdoor camping or while hiking in the mountains.

Pain relief medication: a strip of basic paracetamol is all you need. Avoid combination pain relief medications to avoid the unnecessary side effects that would follow, especially when you do not have access to emergency medical help.

Ibuprofen: It is an anti-inflammatory drug. Can come in handy in case you experience a sprain or if you are having a body ache or a backache.

Consult your family physician to check for an allergy to the medicine before to plan to carry it along.

Antihistaminic tablets: are very useful for keeping allergies and rashes temporarily in check.

Diarrhea and vomiting medicines: an absolute must. Consult your family physician for the perfect medicine and dosage for you.

Don’t forget to stock on Electoral or ORS sachets as well.

Though antibiotics are a must in such cases, carrying a few tablets of Loperamide (useful for stopping diarrhea for short periods) and Domperidone (useful to control vomiting temporarily or for motion sickness) would turn out to be a savior in desperate times. 

These medications must be taken as advised by your physician. So, don’t forget to ask about it before you leave for your trip.

Burn relief creams : are also an essential item especially when you have an outdoor camping or barbeque in mind. They might come handy in case of accidental burns as well.

Antibiotics : Again, feel free to discuss with your family physician the appropriate antibiotics that you need to carry with you, according to the place you are travelling to. Don’t forget to carry the prescription for it as well.

A digital Thermometer: A digital thermometer is very easy to use and helpful to monitor the fever and to determine when you should seek medical help.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer: Alcohol-based hand sanitizer are a great alternative to washing your hands IF you have no access to soap and water and if your hands are not visibly soiled. You must understand that it does not kill all germs such as MRSA, Salmonella, E coli, and Norovirus.

Sunscreen lotion : A good Sunscreen Lotion should have UVA and UVB protection. Preferably choose one having a spf greater than 15.

Mosquito repellantBuddsbuddy Mosquito repellant patches are DEET free, natural and effective. Alternatively, Goodnight fabric roll on could be used. It has eucalyptus and citronella oils and is quite effective in keeping the mosquitoes away.

Your personal medication: don’t forget to carry an appropriate quantity of your personal medications and their prescriptions (Hypertension / Diabetes / Cholesterol/ Birth control pills, Asthma, etc).

Travelers Diarrhea is a threat to all travelers – Read causes, symptoms, how to avoid and recommendations by a Doctor on if infected how to treat the Delhi Belly.

Medicines may make you feel dull so may be some Hindi melodious songs will pep you up!!

What do you think of this first aid kit checklist!? Can you remember the first aid box items names? Let us know in comments as to what are your Essential First Aid Kit Items. 

Motion Sickness

You get motion sickness when there are conflicts among your senses. Your brain can’t take in those mixed signals. That’s why you end up feeling dizzy and sick.

Anyone can get motion sickness. But, it is more common in children and pregnant woman.

For most people the symptoms don’t last long, once you get used to the movements.

Simple techniques to get rid of motion sickness :

• Relax. Try to fall asleep. Take deep breaths or try counting backwards from 100.

• Eat lightly before travel.

• Avoid reading.

Incase you suffer from severe motion sickness, you can take a tablet of T. Phenergan (Prometazine) / Cap. Domstal (Domperidone) 15 mins before travel.

You can discuss the same with your physician.

first aid kit items Items allowed on the airlines.

Here are the first aid box items names.

Let’s also make a list of items allowed on the airlines, so you know what to set aside when you check in your luggage. 

  • Gauze pads
  • Bandage scissors (blades less than four inches)
  • Roller gauze
  • Tape
  • Gloves
  • Triangular bandages
  • Elastic bandages
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Pain relievers

Now, let’s take a look at the things that are allowed to be carried, but in limited quantity :

  • Hand sanitizers
  • Antibiotic creams
  • Insect bite swabs or creams 

None of these liquids or gels can be in a container larger than 100ml and all liquids and gels must fit into a single resealable Bag.

First-Aid Kit Travel Tip (for Parents)

When travelling with children, don’t forget to carry paediatric doses of the above mentioned medications.

This list might feel like a lot of items but if you keep the right amount of items and refill after every trip, a first aid kit like this might not take any space at all.

Happy packing! 🙂

The odds are that you might not even use it.

But, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Important Note :

Hope these tips help you in making your own DIY First Aid Kit.

  • When carrying any generic medication, it is essential that it is kept in its original packaging when you are traveling in case the officials need to check it.
  • If you have never taken any of the above medications before, check with your physician, before you do, as you may have a specific medical history, condition, or allergy that general advice cannot cover.

Drugs and more Drugs! What to pack in your Medical Kit. A detailed video on First Aid Kit Items.

You should always bring a basic first-aid kit with these essentials with you on your travels. 


The information provided here is for general travel health advice and information only.

It is not a replacement for a personal consultation with your Physician who can tailor advice to your individual medical history and needs.



If this is your first trip to India you will find these posts helpful:-

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  3. 15 Most Popular Festivals in India (with 2020 dates).
  4. Visiting India? Here’s What should tourists wear in India?
  5. Should you tip in India? Read when, whom & how much to tip.
  6. 13 tried and tested Safety Tips for Train Travel in India
  7. Curious about Indian Culture? Learn how to drape a perfect Saree – Step By Step Tutorial.

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41 thoughts on “Travel First Aid Kit: Advice from a Wanderlust Doctor”

  1. Wow, that’s one hell of a list! I must admit, I don’t carry nearly as much stuff with me, mostly sunscreen, mozzy spray, sometimes painkillers (just in case) and plasters. But truth is that even though I didn’t need it before, I will only realize how important these things are when I actually need them and they’re not around. Thanks for your tips!

  2. Great list for a first aid kit! We carry almost all of these in our bags- I usually have a small kit in my purse for carry-on and a larger kit in my checked bag. It’s saved us a number of times!!

  3. Great! This are really helpful for parents traveling with kids, and same with the travelers. I usually just have ointment and band aid, that’s it. 🙂

  4. This is a great list, and it reminded me that I really should put a travel first aid kit together, just in case. I usually carry hand sanitizer, band-aids, and antihistamine cream with me, but it’s a smart idea to make a kit with all of the basics.

  5. Great list! I have a first aid kit at home but to be honest I never thought about making a travel version. But better to be safe than sorry!

  6. oh this article is really good. I use to travel with my 33 month daughter and I don’t use to travel with any Medical Kit. I always think that if something happens we can buy something later, in the destination but that is right. I need to start doing it, Thanks!!!

  7. That’s a really good list. I mean to be this organised when i travel but usually just carry band aid and ibuprofen. I love the challenge of doing charades in pharmacies when I need something stronger lol.

  8. This is such a great post to inform people about the things they dont really pay attention to! Sometimes its very easy to get sick and not have access to medication or simple supplies.

  9. This is a great list! As a parent who travels with my babies a lot, it’s super important to have all of these things handy! Our travel first aid kit definitely needs a refresh. I will look to this list when I do so!

  10. Wow I don’t cary nearly this much first aid! One thing I always have is bandages, especially big ones for blisters. I will have to add a few more things into my suitcase next time around.

  11. This is a very well thought out list! My mom (also a doctor) usually packs my first aid kid when I travel and everything that you mentioned here is included 🙂
    I also like to add some melatonin gummies/pills in case I have trouble falling asleep on the plane or at my destination!

  12. Certainly a topic nobody likes to think about when travelling – whereby it’s crucial. I’m hardly taking any medication with me when travelling since if I’m sick, I prefer to see a local doctor – they are familiar with mishaps that happen in their region, e.g. my medication against food poisoning was a joke in Africa, the local doctor helped me right away.
    What shocked me a couple of days ago in Sri Lanka was that some guest had given the owner of the guest house some headache pills that he just popped like candy without knowing what it was. As I warned him, he intended to throw them….in the trash.
    We should really be more considerate carrying medication around and most of all not just handing it to other people.

    • Which is precisely why I have mentioned that should consult your family physician before carrying these meds with you. These meds are for temporary and emergency relief only when you have no access to a local doctor or till help arrives, these are in no way to substitute a personal consultation with a doctor!

  13. I’m glad that I get the chance to read something like this as I rarely read something like this. Truly, First Aid Kit is very important, and for travelers, this has been just disregarded for some reason. I hope that travelers around the world would get to read this and they would embrace the importance of bringing a First Aid Kit. Thank you so much for sharing about this Doc.

  14. I liked what you said about how it would be smart to have some gauze pads and bandage scissors in the kit. That is good for me to know because I want to get a good first aid fit for my car soon. It seems like I might want to look into getting an already made kit.


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