The Ultimate First Aid Kit for Travel

What an ER medical provider packs in a Travel First Aid Kit


The Traveling Shopaholic

6/22/20233 min read

I have worked as a medical provider in an Emergency Department for over 10 years...I feel like I've seen it all (and then some haha). This means I am a bit risk adverse, especially when traveling. I tend to over prepare for injury/illness because I don't know what type of access to medical care that I'll have. I prepared this kit years ago and some variation of it comes with me on all of my trips! I also bring my medication organizer in addition to this first aid kit. Both are always ready to go and easily pop into my suitcase without taking up too much space.

What's in my kit:

Most items are available at your local pharmacy or big box store (Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS etc) but I have linked what I can in green if you're looking to stock up online:)

  • Zipper pouch to hold it all (mine was gifted to me but this one looks awesome!)

  • An Ace Bandage: Great for sprains/strains if you need some compression and stabilization.

  • Bandages of multiple sizes: I also keep one or two in my purse for those minor scrapes/cuts.

  • Dressing supplies: A small roll of guaze, tape and a special dressing bandage for larger cuts or wounds (this kit has it all)

  • Steri Strips: for slightly larger cuts

  • Antibiotic cream (I prefer Bacitracin)

  • Disposable gloves: You can take the woman out of the ER, but you can't take the ER out of the woman ;) I HAVE had to use these!!

  • Thermometer

  • Pulses oximeter: New addition since COVID times, this was also interesting to see how our oxygen levels changed at HIGH altitudes (like in Quito)

  • Tweezers: This came in handy in the Galapagos when I had to remove a splinter from someone's finger in the middle of nowhere!

  • Moleskin: We've all been there...trying to wear those cute shoes and BOOM...blister time. This stuff is amazing!

  • Alcohol swabs: I use these for absolutely everything. Including this helpful tip.

  • Small single use Purell hand sanitizer for in a pinch.

  • Heat patch: I'm a tall drink of water and am getting older, I use these for my back sometimes!

  • Eye drops: Allergy drops and single use moistening drops

  • Small sewing kit: Mostly for the safety pin...but I am fully prepared to suture a wound with pink thread if we are in the middle of Antarctica (jk....sort of ;))

  • Not pictured- Hydrocortisone cream. I need to replace this!

  • Not pictured- Insect repellent bands. I wear these anywhere mosquitos are...they love me :(

If you're not interested in piecing your own kit together, this one has a good variety of items and looks super compact.

There you have it! Here's hoping this helps someone out there feel more prepared while traveling. I sincerely hope that you never need any of these items, but as my mother always said "Always Be Prepared"!

Happy (and safe) Travels!

Items from a travel first aid kit displayed on a white background
Items from a travel first aid kit displayed on a white background

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