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Travel Health Kit: Essential Items to Pack When Traveling Abroad

March 18, 2024

Travel Health Kit: Essential Items to Pack When Traveling Abroad

The American College of Emergency Physicians and the CDC encourage travelers to pack a first-aid kit or a travel health kit for common medical emergencies. Pack the following items in your carry-on bag and always keep it with you:

Credentials and Important Paperwork

When traveling to a foreign country, it is crucial to carry identification credentials. These are the main documents required to enter any country and are essential to identify who you are if you end up in a hospital room.

We recommend carrying the following documents and credentials when traveling:

A current passport and a backup: essential for getting in and out of the county.

Insurance Information: important if there is an emergency.

Credit and Debit cards with no Foreign Transaction Fee: No fees? No problem!

International Driving Permit: This permit allows you to drive in other countries.

Communication Items

When you are away from home, one thing that can save your life is the ability to communicate clearly with others. Besides carrying a phone or smartphone with you, we also recommend the following items:

Power adapter (with USB slots if possible): Not all charging ports look the same or are the same, so this allows you to be prepared anywhere.

A language app or book: Having a guide in an unknown land is always important, but if you need assistance to get to a doctor or hospital, knowing those words is essential.

Outdoors Essentials

When traveling, you may be in search of beautiful and relaxing landscapes. When exploring the great big world out there, we recommend carrying items like:

Calamine lotion: to relieve itching and irritation from insect bites and poison ivy.

Hydrocortisone cream: to relieve irritation from rashes.

Sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher

Aloe gel for sunburns

Insect repellent

LifeStraw: Turn any water into drinkable water with a filtered straw.

Water bottle: a durable way to keep your water safe from contaminants. Make sure to always stay hydrated.

Electrolyte tablets or Vitamin C tablets: to assist in promoting your health in a new environment.

Except for the LifeStraw, all these items are useful for those looking to explore urban areas.

Medical Kit: Travel Edition

If having a first aid kit is vital at home, then it is even more important to carry one when traveling. We recommend packing medicines and equipment like the following:

Medicines you take regularly: take enough medicine for the planned trip plus extra in case the return home is delayed. Carry all medicine in their original containers with clear labels that identify your name and dosing schedule. If you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes, seizures, or allergies, consider wearing a medical alert bracelet.

Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin: to relieve headaches, pain, fever, and simple sprains or strains.

Antihistamines: to relieve allergies.

Antibacterial hand wipes or an alcohol-based hand cleaner

Bandages of assorted sizes: for minor cuts and scrapes.

Antibiotic ointment: to prevent infection in cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Hydrogen peroxide: to clean and disinfect wounds.

Disposable, instant-activating cold packs: to cool injuries and burns, as well as for use in strains and sprains.

Tweezers: to remove small splinters, foreign objects, bee stingers, and ticks from the skin.

Disposable rubber gloves: to protect hands and reduce risk of infection when treating wounds.

Thermometer: to take temperatures in case of illness.

Epinephrine auto-injector for individuals with severe allergies

List of prescription medicines and generic names

Other Items

Lastly, here are other things that come in handy when traveling:

Extra pair of contact lenses or prescription glasses

Essential oils as needed: essential oils can be used to treat a headache, nausea, and other common ailments.

Toiletries: include an extra toothbrush, mouthwash, floss, q-tips, etc.

Learn More About Traveling Abroad and Safety

At BASS Primary Care, we want to keep you safe while you are traveling the world. Give us a call today at (925) 962-9120 to connect with one of our talented staff members if you are planning a trip and need to schedule a COVID-19 test or specific vaccines.

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.