Traveling is fun. But sometimes you might get injured or fall sick in the wonderful process of enjoying your travel. Thus a travel kit becomes a necessity for anyone. Another thing that makes it even more important is the uncertainty of the availability of proper healthcare in the way.
During international visits, you may or may not find good doctors on the way and so a medicine kit is quite important. Further, it becomes easier if you have a first aid kit approachable at any given time.
One can get easily fall prey to many diseases during traveling. Some common diseases that can be developed during traveling are:
- African trypanosomiasis: Popularly known as sleeping sickness. It’s a parasitic disease that is spread by an infected tsetse fly. This disease is common in areas of Saharan Africa.
- American trypanosomiasis: Popularly known as Chagas disease. It’s a tropical disease. The cause of the disease is infected species of triatomine insects.
- Typhoid fever: It’s a common disease that is developed due to poor sanitation and the consumption of unhealthy food and drinks. It’s a kind of bacterial infection.
- Tuberculosis (TB): It’s a disease that affects the lungs. It’s caused by contagious bacteria and develops very quickly.
- Measles: It’s a highly contagious disease that affects children in particular. Even worse, its vaccine-preventable which means that this disease can’t be cured by a vaccine. Adults are somewhat less prone to this disease.
- Malaria: Caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, malaria is a seasonal disease and can be quite fatal if not taken proper care of.
- Hepatitis A and B: It’s a vaccine-preventable disease that affects travelers worldwide. It’s caused by a virus that affects the liver. It makes humans more prone to cancer.
- Cholera: it’s an acute intestinal infection caused by a type of bacteria named Vibrio cholerae. It’s caused mainly by unfit water and junk food.
Essential Travel Medicine Kit Checklist
Before starting to hunt for these medicines, you must search about the area you are going into. The following kit is a basic kit planned for all the areas in general and not for a particular area. Also, consult your doctor before you go out.
NOTE: Do consult your doctor before taking any medicine. One might be allergic to any of these medicines. We are just listing basic medicine for travel not prescribing any medicine to anyone.
1. Painkillers and Antibiotics
You must pack some common antiseptics in your first aid box. For diarrhea popular antibiotics like Imodium must be packed. If Imodium is not available you can go for Florajen, Lenoxin, and Motofen. A mild laxative like Dulcolax should also be included. Alternatives like Colace, Surfak, Benefiber can also be used. Pain relievers are also a must for a safety kit. They are effective for headaches and inflammation and swelling. Pain relievers like Motrin, Tylenol are good choices.
Further antihistamines like Benadryl or Claritin are also a must if you have some kind of allergy. Be advised that they may cause drowsiness to some extent, so consume cautiously. Common cold reliefs like Sudafed, munifex also come in hand many a time. Apart from these two medicines, you should also include a decongestant nasal spray and a cough suppressant.
You should not forget to pack some electrolyte tablets for preventing dehydration. Sleep aids like Melatonin or Doxylamine succinate can also be used in case of sleep-related problems.
2. Wound cleaning gauze
Gauze is a master card. It is an essential thing to pack in a medicine kit. Not only does it clean injury but also it is used to apply pressure on a wound and also soak up the blood. It’s your savior until you get professional medication.
3. Bandage tape
A good bandage tape is yet another necessary item of any first aid kit. Although a plaster would do somewhat the same function as tape, the tape is necessary for conditions that can’t be treated by plaster. For example, a micropore paper tape can withstand some amount of moisture, so can be used on parts prone to moisture: but a plaster may not be used in such condition.
The absolute essential for any type of medicine kit. Plaster or bandage is your best friend during a cut. It’s advised to carry a handful of them. Any simple plaster would do the work. A special thing to note is that if you are on an adventurous trekking trip and are not used to such hectic exercise, you need to pack a blister plaster.
Tweezers are miniature tong like structures that are used to pull out that stuck splinter out of your hand. Also used for getting out little stones and dirt particles while treating a wound. It’s a standard must tool that must be in one’s travel kit. There are basically 7 types of tweezers. An important thing to note is that not any type of tweezers will be useful for you. Thus, it’s always advised that you buy one from a good, well-stocked medical store.
Although it’s a standard tool in any first aid kit, choosing a proper scissor can sometimes amount to a lot of time and confusion. Some people may end up buying an improper type of scissor. Also, it’s important to note the difference between a medical scissor and a trauma shear. Basically out of the three types of scissors, the one that’s used in the first aid kit is bandage scissors. Some people end up buying trauma shears, which are used by paramedics. Bandage scissors are available at every medical scissor. It comes in different sizes. Pick out the one which fits in your kit. Also, be advised that the scissors will be checked at the airport.
Basically there are 5 types of thermometers. But the thermometer that is advised to be used while traveling is a digital thermometer. They are easy to use, portable and overcome all the difficulties that a traditional mercury glass thermometer has. The reading is also digital and so it can be used by anyone.
8. Sunburn treatment
A good sunscreen with at least 4 star UVA protection and must contain at least SPF 15. Along with it, you should also have sunglass with UV protection to protect your eyes from the direct rays of the sun.
9. Insect repellent
Insect repellent is a must for anyone traveling anywhere in the world. Insect repellents are used for repelling insects like mosquitoes, ticks, flies, etc. thus it can help you to prevent diseases like Zika, malaria and West Nile virus. The most effective repellents are DEET, Picardin, BioUD, Oil of Lemon and IR3535.
10. Antiseptic creams or Lotions
Antiseptic creams and lotions are essential elements in Travel Medicine Kit. Whether anyone gets burn, get scratches or wound, antiseptic creams and lotions work fine on that.
Read More, Essential toiletries for travel
Above mentioned methods are based on the most common problems one gets while traveling. However, we still stress you to consult your doctor before venturing out. We also advise you to not to take medicines by yourself. It’s possible that one of the above-mentioned medicines may have some kind of side effect on you.