Checklist for your first aid travel kit
Of course, no one wants to get sick, injured, or even have to go to see a doctor while on a hard-earned holiday. So it’s wise to always have a well-sorted travel first aid kit including the most important drugs with you during your travels. Even if it only gives you a good “gut feeling”!
The size and content of your travel-pharmacy can vary largely depending on your destination, type of travel, and individual needs. Find out here what belongs in your luggage and what precautions you can take before your journey, no matter what your destination and personal needs may be.
A quick moment of carelessness, an encounter with Medusa or just taking the wrong step in a rocky bay – in no time you could have a small or large wound with no doctor nearby. Besides, injuries take longer to heal on the coast or in warm weather. That is why you should always have these essentials in your luggage:
- Skin disinfectant
- Wound and healing ointments
- Aluminised bandages (for burns)
- Elastic bandages
- Normal bandages
- Wound Dressings
- Medical tape
- Disposable gloves
- Scissors and tweezers
You can’t wait for the summerly 30°C and dress accordingly once you reach your destination? But beware! Air-conditioners and the dry air in the car or plane can quickly become a threat to your health during your arrival. This is because your body is exposed to various strains during long journeys. Take some early precautions and support your immune system with vitamins and especially the trace element zinc.
It is also recommended that you keep the mucosa in your nose and throat moist with a nebulizer with sea salt during your travels. With regards to your clothing, try out the “onion-look” – in other words, wear several layers of loose clothes and consider using a cloth or scarf.
If you still suffer from a minor cold despite all if the precautionary measures, pack the following products in your travel pharmacy just in case:
- Coughing and a cold
- Mouth and throat inflammations
- Eye complaints
- Fever, headaches, pain, flu
and a thermometer
It is not uncommon to have digestive problems while on vacation. Exotic dishes with even more exotic spices in foreign countries can be quite demanding on our digestion. On top of it all, the change in our daily rhythms and stress during arrival can lead to problems such as constipation or even diarrhoea.
However, not only a change in surroundings and cuisine abroad can cause complaints in the intestines and painful stomach cramps. Often enough, bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, or Salmonella may be the root of the problem. Such germs enter our bodies through uncooked food or contaminated water. If you succumb to diarrhoea, make sure to compensate for the loss of minerals with electrolyte drinks.
To make sure it never even gets that far, prepare your intestines against the new surroundings at home: High-quality probiotics support your intestines with countless helpful symbionts. A healthy and versatile intestinal flora can protect itself more effectively against foreign intruders and drives out harmful germs before they can damage our bodies. Best start a week before your trip by taking a multispecies probiotic such as OMNi-BiOTiC® TRAVEL.
A real classic – up to 92% of all visitors without probiotic intestinal protection come back from their Nile river cruise with diarrhoea.
Even the most beautiful hotel can’t protect you against Salmonella. Practise basic hygiene, and wash your hands often and thoroughly!
Many types of Campylobacter lurk in the northern Italian lakes, so keep your mouth closed while swimming!
Mediterranean countries and Eastern Europe
Never drink tap water! Shigellae might decide to say hello.
The Far East
Pay attention to the “plop” when opening water bottles. If you don’t hear it, then it’s an old water bottle filled with tap water – in other words: Keep your distance!
Only eat well-cooked and hot food – no raw meat or fish! Ask your hotel whether you can brush your teeth with the tap water.
Central and South America
Beware of stagnant water and moist sand. Don’t walk around barefoot because worms lurk in wet and damp surroundings.
Besides probiotics, a targeted diet can also have a preventive effect. A healthy diet is generally a desirable goal and plays a huge role in preparing your intestines for a big holiday.
The emphasis here is to eat a large variety of veggies and fruit. Try to reduce your intake of sugar and white flour products, as well as meat – instead, try beans, lentils, peas, and brown rice. Alcohol also does more harm than good when preparing your intestines. Try changing your diet 2 weeks before your trip.
If you also follow some of these rules in addition to the above-mentioned preventive measures while on holiday, nothing can stop you from having a good time:
„Cook it, peel it, or leave it!“
This should be your no. 1 rule concerning food while on holiday. Keep your hands off raw food. Meat, fish, and eggs are an excellent breeding ground for harmful germs, especially in warmer countries. Always peel fruit and veggies before consumption. But this doesn’t always help – for example, be aware of watermelons! Producers sometimes inject water to make them heavier and more profitable. Be careful with salads – they often have high levels of bacteria because of fertilisation. Rather stay away!
No tap water!
Although drinking tap water is completely normal for us, be careful in foreign countries. Only quench your thirst with water from originally sealed bottles. And no matter how unbearable the heat may be, don’t add ice-cubes to your favourite drink. You should even be careful when brushing your teeth! Rather rinse your mouth with bottled water.
Hygiene is of utmost importance!
Many germs are transmitted via smear infections. Doorknobs, toilets, and, of course, other hands are teeming with bacteria. Wash and disinfect your hands more often than you would at home.
If you still caught the “stomach bug” despite your preparation and following the “golden rules”, we recommend packing the following products for your travel pharmacy:
- Electrolyte blends
- Special travel probiotics to restore the intestinal flora
- Papaya-products against complaints such as heartburn or constipation
- Drugs against travel nausea
- A strong antidiarrhoeal for long bus trips
- Plenty of hand disinfectants
Contrary to popular belief, pretzel sticks and coke is not a proven household remedy and is not recommended medically. The high doses of sugar in coke and other soft drinks can worsen diarrhoea. Furthermore, caffeine increases the loss of potassium. Eating pretzel sticks can’t compensate for the loss of salts such as potassium or magnesium. The best solution is an electrolyte blend from the pharmacy.
Skincare for the summer holidays
Not only our digestive tract can suffer while we are on a relaxing holiday. A sunburn can be an unwanted side-effect of sunbathing. That is why you should definitely include these products on your list:
- Sunscreen products with a high SPF
- Special UV-lip-balms
- After-sun products
- Thermal sprays
Not only the sun but also annoying bugs can affect your skin at night. Don’t forget to bring the following products with:
- Insect repellents
- Ointments or gels for itchy rashes
- Malaria medication (should always be a part of your travel kit in tropical areas)
Don’t forget to also pack all other long-term medications and remedies that you usually take (i.e. the “pill” or antihypertensives).
One final tip:
Never leave your travel first aid kit in the car! Direct sunlight can quickly increase the temperature and make some medications ineffective. Make sure to transport certain drugs in the recommended way. If, for example, a medicine must be stored in a fridge, buy a cooler for your car.