Assembling A Medical Kit

Thank goodness we don’t have to take along anything like this 19th century travel kit!

During the next couple of months, Brett and I will be gathering together various items for a small medical kit to carry along on the Big Adventure. We both take prescription medications and have those covered, and we also take a multivitamin every day, but we’ve come up with the below list of various other items we think it would be wise to carry along, just in case.

  • Neosporin
  • bandaids
  • alcohol wipes
  • Aleve
  • Sudafed cold tablets
  • hydrocortisone cream
  • Bonine (for motion sickness)
  • Pepto-Bismol tablets
  • Tums
  • laxative tea bags
  • sunscreen
  • (extra) medicated lip balm
  • hand sanitizer

All will be in regular-sized packages that hopefully will not take up too much room or be too heavy (i.e. nothing will be Costco-size), and hopefully we can get it all into a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Other than the hand sanitizer, nothing is a liquid so that it can go into one of our backpacks and not cause problems at security.

I know many of the above items can be found in the cities where we’ll be staying, or at least something similar, but if we’re not feeling well I also know we’re not going to want to have to hunt for a pharmacy or try to figure out how to ask for something in a different language.

I feel like we’ve covered most every scenario that won’t require seeing a doctor, but what are we forgetting? I’d love to have your suggestions for any other items you think we should carry, or that might be necessary.


16 thoughts on “Assembling A Medical Kit

  1. Funny, I’ve been doing the same thing! I’m taking a trip to Europe this summer and have been putting together a list of items to bring. Like you said, I don’t want to be in a country where I don’t speak the language and have to try to communicate to someone what I need.

    A couple of things I like to bring are ginger candies and peppermint. I buy the ginger at TJ Maxx. This is a link to the candies on Amazon, but I didn’t pay anywhere near the price they’re selling it for. I paid around $3. I’m only including an Amazon link because I couldn’t find it on TJ Maxx’s website. Ginger is great for settling your stomach.

    I also bring special band-aids they make just for blisters because I always do a lot of walking on vacation and always get blisters. I’ve used them before and they work well. Another item to consider are these perspiration wipes. (Another link to Amazon but you can probably find them cheaper locally).

    I also bring a spare pair of glasses and a copy of my prescription just in case my main pair gets lost or broken.

    Looking forward to seeing what others recommend…


    1. We buy Chimes brand ginger candy here – it’s locally made and I won’t travel without it now (for settling my stomach). The product you linked to looks similar. And those perspiration wipes went on my Amazon list! We’ll be cool the first part of the trip, but we’re expecting the weather to be very hot when we’re in Australia and New Zealand.

      I have an extra pair of glasses and my prescription “just in case.” I don’t plan to buy many, if any, souvenirs when we’re traveling, but may treat myself to a pair of European or Japanese frames to have fitted out after we’re done – they are so stylish!


    1. If I can find a small enough bottle (so it goes through security) it’s certainly something worth considering since it can be used to treat so many things. Thanks!


  2. We bought bug dope wipes so we didn’t have a can or bottle with us on our last trip. We were pleasantly surprised not to need them, but they fit well into the same zip lock as our Purell wipes.

    Like you, I carry meds with me after getting a terrible cold in Paris that turned into ear infections and a sinus infection on the long flight home, a day I’ll never forget. 😦 Now I don’t go overseas with Mucinex-D…the kind you have to ask the pharmacist for. I don’t have great luck with plain Sudafed, probably because I’ve had so many sinus infections over the years.

    I have had tummy troubles over the years, so I don’t go anywhere without Tums, Zantac, and Immodium. I rarely use them anymore, but feel better with them along and they take up virtually no space. I also carry my favorite sugar free gum along, because it settles my stomach after a crazy meal or eating too late.

    Knowing your own system and what kinds of things have happened to you in the past helps you figure out what you need. Looks like you have it covered!


  3. Fingers are crossed that Sudafed will be enough, at least enough to get us to a local pharmacy for something stronger! I’ve also thought about packing Immodium, but hopefully the Pepto-Bismol will be enough. I had to use it on a couple of our trips to China, and it worked great, so again fingers crossed.

    One thing that’s also helped me over the years are smelling salts! They have cured bouts of nausea very quickly (unless it’s food poisoning) – I guess the shock to the system they cause makes your body forget everything else. Anyway, they can be hard to find but hopefully someone still carries them.


  4. I am not sure if either of you are diabetic or have issues with low blood sugar but if so I would suggest making sure you have glucose tablets. Enjoy your journey!


    1. Good advice. Although neither of us is diabetic, but we do plan to carry protein bars (RX Bars) with us to keep our blood sugar elevated if necessary. I tend to have more of a problem with it than Brett does.


  5. Immodium for sure. You are going to India, no? Better to have it and not use it.
    Some anti fungal cream is good to have. I like to have Fenistil for itches too.
    Eye drops. I like Refresh because it comes in daily vials.
    I do take all meds out of their boxes and put them in ziploc bags. But our meds are on blister cards. I take the inserts along.


    1. Now you’ve got me thinking that we should take along Immodium. We know to take Pepto-Bismol daily as a prophylactic when there might be problems with sanitation, etc. but it would probably be good to have the Immodium as well, just in case.

      Good advice all around – will be adding things to our list! We are taking everything in tablet form, if possible so that it can all go into the Ziploc bags. Prescription meds will stay in their containers though.


  6. My husband was the master of saving the last of whatever and heading to the local pharmacy with that pill before consuming it. Even in remote China, things were recognized and the pill was correctly refilled. If you take pills out of their original container- make sure to keep the label. Hubby had a tough time when a travel partner didn’t and they were trying to cross back from Cambodia….


    1. I think everything we’re taking will be light and small enough to stay in the original container, or at least I hope so. We can replenish items too when we’re in Portland over Christmas. The only large bottle we’re taking along is our daily multivitamin.

      The biggest issue we’re facing is replenishing our prescription meds – we get them via mail with Tricare, but we obviously can’t have them mailed to us overseas. We’re changing the address to Brett’s sister, and will pick up refills when we see her in August, and then she can mail the next round to us when we’re in Portland. We will see a doctor in Portland and get new prescriptions written so they can be filled overseas. Thankfully neither of us has more than a couple of prescriptions, but it’s just one extra hassle we have to cover.


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