You should always travel with a personal medical kit. Why? As travelers, we need to limit our chances of getting infections or falling ill – and having medicine or first-aid items available is the best way to be prepared, whether you're in the middle of the Atacama Desert or walking the streets of a foreign city.
In most remote destinations, much of what we take for granted at home as basic supplies is simply impossible to find. Don't leave yourself in trouble, here's why (and what) you should pack in your first-aid kit.
This list can be expanded depending on where you are going and what your doctor advises, but the basics should include:
If you are going off the beaten track or to developing countries, also pack:
"Since arriving…I have accumulated bites from the following creatures - bed bugs, mosquitos, leeches and green fly things (no name in English) that left my legs bleeding as if I had walked naked through a thorn bush." – Jonnygo tackles Thai wildlife
Well, you're getting into a whole new league here. Exactly what adventure you're undertaking should dictate what else to pack. It's fair to say, you might need:
"I can feel my peripheral vision shrinking by the second and grab my head with both hands in a last attempt to salvage or stabilize a single awareness beyond my shaking body." – Solbeam gets giardia whilst trekking Peru
And if you're traveling with children, our two top First Aid tips are:
"Three days later 5 year-old Riu contracts a fever, has a heart rate of 142, has shivers and a headache." – Simon Monk
One thing to be aware of is the different attitude in foreign countries to various over-the-counter drugs that you might take for granted back home.
For example, did you know that Note that codeine is considered a narcotic in Greece and should be covered by a doctor's prescription. You do not want to attract the attention of customs staff by accidently bringing this across the Greek border without a script!
So, while we offer tips for your travel health and safety, please be aware that you need to make decisions based on your own circumstances and the local laws of the countries you will visit. Check with your Foreign Affairs Dept and WHO website for the most recent information.
You might like to shop around, visit your doctor and slowly pull together a medical kit that suits the kind of travel you're doing.
However, the fast and convenient option is to buy a ready-made one. Experts far wiser than you or I have spent a lot of time putting together exactly the right combo of things in nifty little pouches... check out specialist kits for wilderness lovers, canoeists, mountaineers, backpackers and families from a company like Adventure Medical Kits.
You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.