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How to prepare a travel first aid kit

Don't be caught unprepared for unexpected incidents when you're trying to enjoy a holiday.

Travelling to new destinations is exciting, but one thing I always advocate for is that you can never be over-prepared. It's particularly essential to prioritise your health and safety for a more pleasant travel experience.

One way to ensure you're prepared for unexpected situations is by assembling a well-stocked travel first-aid kit. Whether you're embarking on a weekend getaway or a long-term adventure, having the right supplies can make a significant difference in handling minor injuries and illnesses.

Here's a comprehensive guide to help you prepare a travel first aid kit that meets your specific needs.

What to include in your travel first-aid kit?

1) Choose the right container

Forclaz First-Aid Kit 100 41 Pieces (Photo: Decathlon)
Forclaz First-Aid Kit 100 41 Pieces (Photo: Decathlon)

Start by selecting a durable, waterproof container to house your first aid supplies. A compact, lightweight, and easily accessible bag or case is ideal for travel. Consider clear pouches or containers with multiple compartments to help you find items quickly during an emergency.

For an affordable option, I use sturdy ziplock bags. But if you prefer something prettier...

Shop travel first-aid pouches here

Related: Anti-theft bags for travel so that you can see the world safely

2) Pack it up with essential first-aid supplies

273-piece small waterproof First-Aid Kit Emergency Kit (Photo: Shopee)
273-piece small waterproof First-Aid Kit Emergency Kit (Photo: Shopee)

After choosing a large and light enough container, it's time to fill it up with items that will come in handy.

a. Adhesive Bandages
You'll need various sizes for covering minor cuts, blisters, and abrasions.

b. Sterile Gauze Pads and Bandages
To dress larger wounds and promote healing.

c. Antiseptic Wipes or Solution

For cleaning wounds and preventing infection.

d. Tweezers and Scissors

Useful for removing splinters or cutting bandages.

e. Adhesive Tape

Secures bandages and dressings in place.

f. Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

g. Antihistamines

For allergic reactions or insect bites.

h. Charcoal pills

To alleviate tummy aches and diarrhea symptoms.

i. Personal Medications

Bring a sufficient supply of any prescription medications you regularly take.

Don't want to personalise your first-aid kit?

Get a ready-made one from Watsons

But, if you're like me, concerned about the grams (especially as an avid hiker), you might want to customise what goes in exactly into your first-aid kit.

3) Consider the emergency tools for, well, emergencies

Gear for hiking, mountaineering
Maybe we don't always need a knife or waterproof matches, but how about a torchlight or a swiss army knife? (Photo: Gettyimages)

Secondary items, but possibly good to include if you have space to spare.

a. Digital Thermometer

To monitor body temperature.

b. Tweezers and Magnifying Glass

For splinter removal or inspecting wounds.

c. Small Flashlight

Useful for examining injuries in low-light conditions.

d. Emergency Whistle or Personal Alarm

For attracting attention in case of an emergency.

Yahoo Singapore Telegram
Yahoo Singapore Telegram

4) Don't forget the personal health and hygiene products

Unrecognizable curly woman applying lip balm to protect lips. She is wearing winter outfits. Protecting skin against weather and contamination concept.
Applying lip balm to protect lips in cold environment to maximise your comfort (Photo: Gettyimages)

Occasionally overlooked, these items can maximise your comfort during travel.

a. Hand Sanitiser

Helps maintain hand hygiene when soap and water are unavailable.

b. Personal Hygiene Items

Travel-sized soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss.

c. Moisturiser and Lip Balm

To prevent dry skin in different climates.

Moisturising lip balms like this Burt Bee's Watermelon Lip Balm helps with chapped lips, which can be painful.
Moisturising lip balms like this Burt Bee's Watermelon Lip Balm helps with chapped lips, which can be painful. (Photo: Sephora)

5) Special considerations

Take out a first aid kit from the pocket of a backpack, a red mini bag with medicines, a first aid kit on a trip, a hand pulls a bag with medicines. High quality photo
You know best what kind of holiday you're embarking on, so consider what goes into your first-aid kit properly (Photo: Gettyimages)

If travelling to remote areas or countries with specific health risks, consider additional items such as water purification tablets, insect repellent, and any necessary vaccines. Miscellaneous items such as the ones mentioned below should be considered too.

a. Disposable Gloves

Protect yourself when providing first aid to others.

b. A List of Emergency Contacts

Include local emergency numbers and contacts back home.

c. Waterproof Matches

Handy in case you need to start a fire for warmth or cooking.

d. Multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife

A versatile tool for various situations, but make sure you check these in!

e. Reusable Cold Pack

Helps reduce swelling and soothe injuries.

Related: Columbia’s gear review: Taking them up Baegundae Peak in Seoul, South Korea

A well-prepared travel first aid kit is an essential companion for any journey. Tailor your kit to meet your specific needs and the demands of your destination. Regularly check and update the supplies to ensure everything is in good condition and within its expiration date. With a well-stocked first aid kit, you can navigate unexpected health challenges confidently and focus on enjoying your travels to the fullest. Safe travels!

Check airfare here: Skyscanner | | Expedia
Book accommodations and activities here: Agoda | | Klook | KKday | HotelsCombined | LuxuryEscapes
Save big, get the all-inclusive pass & explore your destination in-depth: GoCity
General info here: Tripadvisor
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And while you are at it, get your travel insurance with Alliance Assistance | Income | Prudential!

Yahoo Shopping Southeast Asia
Yahoo Shopping Southeast Asia