Travel Doctor’s Advice – Contents of Your Medical Travel Kits

Medical travel kits are essential especially if you are planning to travel abroad, or go on some adventures such as skiing, backpacking, trekking, mountain climbing, cycling, white water rafting or scuba diving.

There are literally so many various types of medicines to choose from, and the supplies that you would need would differ, depending on your destination and type of holiday. For example, people traveling to an exclusive 5-star European resort would require fewer medicines than those going backpacking in a developing country and would like to go scuba diving or mountain climbing.

Ideally, the contents of your medical supplies should be able to meet any emergency situation that may arise from your adventures as well as any medical conditions that you may personally be having. The best would be to consult your family doctor about the contents of your medical travel kit.

As a general guideline, if you are traveling to malaria endemic region, bring along anti-malarial medications for prophylaxis. If you are going mountain climbing, or trekking to high altitude places, bring along medication to prevent or treat high-altitude illness.

As a precaution for pain or fever, you can pack acetaminophen, aspirin (not for children), or ibuprofen.

For stomach upset or diarrhea, you will need antidiarrheal medication (such as loperamide or bismuth subsalicylate), antibiotic for self-treatment of moderate to severe diarrhea, oral rehydration solution(ORS) packets, mild laxative and antacid.

Items to treat respiratory symptoms include antihistamine, decongestant (used alone or in combination with antihistamine), cough suppressant/expectorant and throat lozenges.

For your comfort during your travels, bring along some anti-motion sickness medication.

Adhesive bandages, adhesive tape, gauze, elastic bandage wrap for sprains and strains, cotton swabs and antiseptic solution are some of the must have items in the health kit for first aid purposes. Other important items are insect repellent especially if you are traveling to the malaria endemic region, or hiking into jungle. A bottle of sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater is helpful to prevent sunburn.

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