Although nobody wants to get ill or injured whilst away, it is better to prepare for the worst than find yourself in a difficult, uncomfortable, and potentially harmful situation.
Many travellers would agree that having at least a basic first aid kit with you when you travel is essential. Depending on your destination, and the availability of supplies when away, there may be additional items that you want to carry as well.
Many popular tourist destinations have local pharmacies close to hand, but, in all reality, if you’re injured or feeling rough, the last thing you will probably want to do is go off in search of medical supplies. Having your own first aid kit handy can be comforting, not to mention very convenient and useful if you do actually need anything.
If you’re planning a trip, be prepared with a basic first aid kit. Here are some essentials to include:
Essential for cutting gauze to size and trimming bandages, a small pair of scissors has many uses.
Got an annoying splinter? No problem if you’ve remembered your tweezers! They are also useful if gauze is stuck to a wound but you need to change the dressing – use your sterile tweezers to help remove the stuck dressing. And avoid putting your fingers near your cut when you apply the fresh gauze with tweezers.
It is always helpful to take a couple of bandages of different sizes along with you on your adventures.
Dress any cuts and scrapes to prevent further damage and lower the risk of infection.
Keep your bandages comfortably in place with safety pins. They are useful for many other things too, such as split zips, tears in clothes, etc.
Use surgical tape to affix small patches of gauze to cuts when a bandage isn’t necessary, and give extra stick to plasters.
You always need to clean any cut, puncture wound, animal bite, or break to the skin. Antiseptic wipes help to clean your hands, before touching the wound, as well as the skin around any damage and the wound itself.
These are highly recommended if you will be spending a lot of time outdoors and may not be able to clean your hands adequately in case of a mishap. Disposable surgical gloves add an extra layer of protection when dealing with breaks to the skin.
Plasters are ideal for covering small cuts and scrapes, and are also crucial if you get blisters when walking lots.
Make sure that you carry enough prescription medications to last for the duration of your trip, along with some spares in case of unforeseen changes. It also pays to have a copy of your prescription with you in case of loss or damage to your medication. Don’t forget things like inhalers, epi-pens, and birth control / contraceptives.
Of course, travelling can induce a variety of aches and pains. Painkillers are an effective way to soothe such pains.
Insect bites and stings, bedbugs, contact with certain plant species, dust, furry animals, different washing detergents – there are many things that can bring on allergies. You’ll be grateful you packed the antihistamines if you come into contact with an allergen!
Twisted ankle? Sprained wrist? Swollen knee? There are many situations in which you’ll be thankful for your anti-inflammatories in addition to your pain-killers.
New and different food can sometimes wreak havoc with your digestive system. Be prepared!
Whilst it is often better to simply let nature take its course in the case of diarrhoea, there are times, such as long bus journeys and days hiking, where this isn’t really practical.
If you have severe diarrhoea or heatstroke you run the risk of becoming dehydrated. Fluid replacements help to minimize this risk.
Motion Sickness Tablets
Motion sickness affects different people in different ways, but all have one thing in common – it can make you feel pretty miserable! Carry a few motion sickness tablets to enjoy your entire trip.
Dust, dirt, and other small particles may trouble your eyes whilst travelling. Having eye lubricant drops can provide comfort and relief.
Depending on where your travels will take you, you may be advised to take anti-malarial medication.
Sanitising Hand Gel
While you are on a tour, you may not find soaps or hand wash at many places. Also, just using sanitising hand gel before eating, drinking, and smoking can help to keep your hands germ-free and stop that hand to mouth transfer of baddies.
While traveling you are open to environment. A bug bite can cause itchiness, irritation, redness, and swelling, as well as a number of potentially lethal infections. Lower your risks of being bitten by covering up with insect repellent. Prevention is better than cure!
Apply sunscreen regularly to avoid short-term and long-term damage due to exposure to the sun.
After sun lotion, lip balm, medical alcohol, sleeping tablets, and throat lozenges are amongst other things to may find useful to have with you on your travels. Depending on your destination, having a sterile needle kit or water purification tablets may also be advised.
Before any trip, knowing your blood type, having comprehensive travel insurance, and making a list of emergency contacts, as well as being up to date with all recommended travel vaccines, is also almost essential.
*** Main Image By www.flickr.com/photos/aleksiaaltonenTags:First Aid, Health, Planning, Safety, travel tips