Traveling is one of the best things you can do. It offers you many new experiences, you learn new things, you meet new people, and you see the world. However, when traveling you need to be prepared for injuries and potential health problems. This is especially important when you are traveling to foreign countries, backpacking, hiking, or going into areas with tropical diseases. Your first step to ensuring your good health is to find out if you need any vaccinations to visit your destination countries. The second step is to make yourself a travel first-aid kit.
Your first aid kit should be made of a durable material like plastic and should have compartments. The size will depend on the length of your trip and whether you need more or special medications of some sort. You can use a standard first-aid kit and customize it or you can start it from scratch and build your own.
Your first-aid kit should include the following items:
Strip bandages of different sizes. You will most likely get some scratches and scrapes and a normal strip bandage is best for those. Different sizes prepare you for different sized scrapes and different parts of your skin, for example, finger versus leg.
Antibiotic ointment. This is a handy addition to make sure that wounds don’t get infected. You should always wash and sterilize any wound before adding dressing or a bandage, but this ointment is just an extra precaution.
Antiseptic wipes. This is good to help clean wounds. If you don’t have water or cleaning equipment with you, these wipes can help clean a wound before putting on a bandage. You should, however, try to wash it properly soon.
Scissors. Scissors are always useful in a first-aid kit. You only need a small pair for cutting medical tape, bandages, gauze, etc.
Gauze. You will need some gauze in case of larger wounds than cuts and scrapes. Choose larger pads of gauze that will be suitable for your leg. You can always cut these smaller when needed.
Tweezers. Tweezers are great for removing splinters and other foreign things from your skin. Keep them in your kit just in case.
Medical adhesive tape. The tape is used to secure gauze, dressing, and normal bandages. When the weather gets hot or wet, bandages tend to stop sticking. This tape will help secure them.
Painkillers. Take a bottle of painkillers with you for those inevitable headaches, bumps, bruises, or muscle aches.
Oral rehydration powders or syrups. In foreign countries, you might pick up a stomach bug or diarrhea. This could cause severe dehydration. If you are not used to very hot or humid weather, you may also experience dehydration. Dehydration can be deadly and you need to make sure you have some oral rehydration options other than water.
Cold medicine. When you are exposed to a new environment, you might catch a cold as your body is adjusting. Have some cold medicine to prevent it from getting out of hand and spoiling your trip.
Insect repellent, anti-itch ointment, nausea medicine, and water purification tablets are also good options to round of your kit. Add any chronic medication that you take and you are all set for your adventure.