10 First Aid Items to Have on Hand When Traveling


On this year's Christmas family vacation, our 17 year old son came down with the flu. Yes, it was an inconvenience, but, since I was prepared, we made the best of it. Following are 10 things I have with us at all times when we travel. In some locations it may be hard to find medications you need, particularly if there is a language barrier involved, so I recommend bringing medications and first-aid items with you from home. Some I keep in the hotel room and others (indicated with an *) I keep in my backpack/purse so I have them even when we are out and about.

  1. Thermometer - This is one item I will not be without. When our kids have temperatures I typically know what they need and what to do.

  2. Puffs Plus Lotion facial tissue* - The added lotion makes all the difference when you are blowing your nose a million times an hour.

  3. Tylenol & Advil* - These help with minor aches and pains and keep temperatures down.

  4. Throat Lozenge* - Some hotel rooms and different climates can make your throat dry and irritated. Having these on hand help when you need a bit of relief.

  5. Claritin* - Our daughter gets hives every now and then. This medication treats the symptoms and keeps them at bay.

  6. Benadryl* - For an unexpected case of allergy symptoms, this product works best to give our family members the relief they need.

  7. Tums - We prefer the Chewy Bites for minor relief of heartburn, upset stomach or indigestion.

  8. Band-Aid Bandages* - You can find decorative bandages to make just about any "boo boo" more manageable. FUN FACT:  Band-Aids jingle, "I am stuck on Band-aid brand 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me." is the #1 corporate jingle people like most. 

  9. Hydro-cortisone Cream - From insect bites to unknown allergic reactions this has come in handy for our family many times.

  10. Lysol Wipes - When a family member gets sick it is all I can do to keep the germs away. These wipes, which come in handy travel size packages, are fantastic for cleaning and disinfecting services and are safe to use on electronics including smartphones, tablets and remote controls. 

Starting our son on medications right away was the key. I did run out to a local pharmacy and grab some over-the-counter medicines specifically for flu symptoms. Keeping him on a strict schedule (administering meds every 4 hours - yes, even in the wee hours of the morning), making sure he had plenty of water/food (do popsicles count as food?) and allowing him to sleep at his leisure were all factors in making him as comfortable as possible. Plus, adjusting all of our expectations and attitudes turned what could have been a huge setback into a few days of watching movies, reading and truly relaxing.

What do you keep with you "just in case"?

Pam Smith