Travel Basics 100: What’s in my Travel First Aid Kit?

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”
— African Proverb

Sometimes when I travel, I get sick or get an upset stomach. Over the years this has taught me to anticipate those unforeseen circumstances. So, I always keep a little travel first aid kit with me that contains all the medications I may need.  

20190804_113916From left to right: anti-diarrhea pills, cold medicine, allergy pills, gas relief pills, pain relievers, bandages.

1) Pain relievers. I pack about 12 pain reliever tablets in my kit. 12 has historically been just the right amount for me. Unless I’m on a particularly long trip (longer than a month), I can usually go multiple trips before I need to restock my pain relievers. I alternate between generic and name brands, depending on what’s on sale.

2) Anti-diarrhea pills. This ended up in my travel first aid kit because it was required for one of my study abroad trips. I ended up giving away most of my pills that trip but I learned to keep anti-diarrhea pills on me when I travel, just in case. For the most part, I haven’t used these often so I just leave 2 pills in my pouch. I usually get the generic anti-diarrhea pills for a local dollar store, usually Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, or Dollar General. 

3) Gas relief pills. Heartburn, bloating, and indigestion occurs pretty often when I travel so I always travel prepared. I keep 3-5 of these gas relief pills in my pouch. I like to get the multi-purpose gas pills so they can treat gas and other stomach ailments. I bought my gas+ relief pills from Amazon, but you can find them in your local drugstore as well.


4) Ginger tea, ginger honey tea, or ginger lemon tea. Ginger tea helps me with a variety of ailments. It makes me feel better if I’m sick or if I have cramps. It soothes my upset stomach and helps me relax and go to sleep. I will typically take a variety of tea bags with me when I travel, but I always have several ginger teas with me. If I’m going on a short trip I may take 3-5 tea bags. Or, for longer trips, I’ll take a box of ginger teas. Recently I’ve been traveling with the ginger crystal teas because they are stronger than tea bags. I don’t have a favorite tea brand. I buy my teas online and in stores. 

5) Bandages. This one needs no explanation. I rarely need bandages but I still keep a few on me. I get actual Band-Aid brand bandages because they are reliable and better quality than cheaper ones. 

6) Allergy/antihistamine pills. Allergy meds are a must for any travel first aid kit. The biggest reason I keep them on me is in case I have an unexpected allergic reaction to something while I’m traveling. When I’m traveling I love to try lots of different foods, I’m potentially using different lotions and laundry detergents, and if I’m traveling with my brother, he has nut allergies. All of this means that unforeseen allergic reactions could be around the corner on any of my trips. Having 3 or so allergy/antihistamine pills in my travel first aid kit usually means I can handle any hives, irritation, or other reactions as they arise. Sometimes I buy Benadryl specifically, other times I get the generic Walgreens or CVS brand. Usually, I get whichever is cheaper. 

7) Cold medicine, pill form. (Seasonally) The winter is cold and flu season in the States, which can mean several sick passengers on a flight or train. I will add cold medicine to my travel first aid kit once September/October rolls around. In the event that I do end up getting sick while I travel, between my cold medicine, my ginger tea, and the rest of my arsenal I make it through a-ok. I prefer to get Mucinex, but I tend to just get whatever brand name cold medicine is on sale.

I move this pouch from travel bag to travel bag and I replenish my stock in between trips, or as needed. A travel first aid kit is a basic necessity for all travelers. Regardless of what you end up putting in your travel first aid kit, I highly recommend that you have one so that you’re always prepared for whatever comes your way. If you already have a travel first aid kit, let me know what’s in your kit in the comments below.

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