A first aid kit is like a pair of fat-pants. You hope you never have to use them, but it is nice to know that they are there in case you need them.
Traveling exposes your body and mind to experiences that you are not used to. It should, otherwise what is the point of traveling? When things do not always agree with your body, you need your first aid kit.
I have had a first aid kit since the first time I traveled abroad. I have used something from it on every single trip. When you live in India you do not realize how cheap and accessible medication is. We have a drug store on every corner in any major town.
To state the obvious, pack your prescription pills and carry your prescription. Carrying your prescription is important especially when you travel abroad. It might be illegal to posses the pill you have with you and without a prescription you will get into a lot of trouble.
Emergency First Aid Kit
- Band-aids: Buy them in various sizes. I like the traditional Johnson and Johnson fabric band-aids. The PVC band-aids come off easily from my skin.
- Antibacterial and Antifungal cream: I have a tube of Betadine. I have used this on every trip. Its useful to clean cuts and wounds and lasts forever.
- Surgical tape: Another lifesaver. I use this in places where band-aids are ineffective. For example, if your sole is cut from a swimming pool, band-aids will peel off easily. I would clean it first with soap and warm water and then apply some Betadine and then cover with surgical tape.
- Fever medicine: I pack Dolo 650 paracetamol tablets. Ibuprofen is a popular choice in the west. Must have for any first aid kit.
- Medicine for acidity and gas: I pack Digene. Even if you have strong stomach, sometimes you need to pop one of these pills to feel better before bed. I also have Zinctac 150 for acidity.
- Antidiarrheal pill: To stop diarrhea when you need it. I try to buy a pill named Roko when its available.
- Oral rehydration salts: I keep a few of these all the time. Its very useful when you are thoroughly dehydrated by walking in the sun or after an episode of loose motion or diarrhea.
- Cough relief tablets: A few Strepsils should do.
- Pain relief balms: You know when to use it. I carry a small jar of Vicks vaporub.
- Vaseline: For moisturizing skin and lips when you travel to cold areas.
Apart from these, I also carry a few more pills just in case. I never really had to use any of them thankfully.
- Avomine: For dizziness, motion sickness and vomiting.
- Combiflam and Brufen: Ibuprofen as a pain killer.
- Albendazole tablets: To kill parasites and tape worms in the digestive system. If you have never used one of these, consult a doctor. I was advised not to use more than one in a period of 6 months.
I am not doctor, so if you have pills on this list that you have never used before, ask your doctor about it. Especially if you have other medical conditions or if you are pregnant.
Remember that no pill can be a substitute for good nutrition and adequate sleep.