Once upon a time I went on vacation to Disney World with my Mom, my Step Dad, my 4 significantly younger brothers, my husband and my own 2 kids. Yikes! That was a lot of people to herd about for a few days. We laughed when packing up my Mom’s mini van because she had seemingly packed all of her belongings (Insert several Eye rolls from my Step Dad).
After driving from North Carolina to Florida with 6 kids in tow, we were very excited to arrive at the hotel. We hadn’t even checked in yet when my daughter Maggie, who was about 3 at the time, started to scream. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what was wrong. Turns out, she had stepped into a fire ant hill and had been bitten several times on her feet and lower legs. Once we figured this out, my Mom jumped into action pulling out a small suitcase that I think housed an entire pharmacy of first aid items. As Maggie began to turn red and puffy (she still swells terribly whenever bitten by any kind of insect), I was glad that my Mom had both liquid benadryl and a topical cream in her First Aid SUITCASE.
FYI: My Mom’s packing for this particular trip set a lot of bars for me on packing. First of all how not to overpack, but then also to make sure you are prepared for whatever might happen along the way.
Travel First Aid Kit
To keep packing simple, I like to keep a “Grab and Go” Travel First Aid kit on hand. It covers anything from a day trip to a two week adventure. If we have used it during our trip, I replenish the supplies before putting it away.
First of all you will need something to keep all your first aid items together in. You can choose a zippered bag, a hard case or something as simple as a zip lock baggie. I suggest that you consider the packability of your first aid kit. Go for something compact, but still big enough to hold everything you need. You can even start with a basic prefilled kit and then add more items to it.
It’s important to make sure to create your kit based on your personal needs. If you know that you get motion sick, include some dramamine. If you are prone to stomach distress, bring more GI meds. Frequent headaches, pack extra ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Here is a list of items that I pack in my First Aid kit
- A selection of bandage styles and sizes
- Triple Antibiotic ointment
- Alcohol wipe pads
- Topical Benadryl
- Oral Benadryl
- Ibuprofen for swelling or headaches
- Individual paks of stomach distress meds
- A strip of 4-5 sinus relief tabs
These few items cover a lot of first aid situations and fit nicely into a small bag. For anything more serious or specialized, I will pick items up locally. Although I want to be prepared for most minor issues that arise, I don’t want to carry my Mom’s Suitcase Pharmacy!
A lot of first aid items are available in travel sizes at any local store, gas station or pharmacy. Handy sized tubes with 10 ibuprofen or individual packs of benadryl, nausea and diarrhea medications are perfect for your travel kit.
TIP: Since I keep my kit assembled all the time, having smaller pack sizes means I use the items up and am less likely to waste products because they expire.
There are a lot of things to consider regarding sun protection. Read my recent post, “Lets talk about Sunscreen” to find out about sun care. If we will need sun products, I keep them in a separate gallon size zip lock bag. I pack full sized sunscreen, after sun gel, as well as my “Grab and Go” sunscreen kit.
My prescription medications always go in a separate quart size zip lock bag that will be packed in my carry on or personal bag. You never want to take a chance of having your medications get lost with your luggage!
I think it was Benjamin Franklin that once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Such a true statement. Taking the time to assemble just a few items for your travel first aid kit can end up saving your trip.
I hope you have safe and happy travels!