Packing smart entails more than just squeezing in all your clothes and toiletries into a light luggage. Anything can happen during travel, whether you’re just spending a weekend at the beach or a two-week vacation outside the country. You don’t want to find yourself lost in translation at a foreign pharmacy while looking for a remedy for your flu or diarrhea.
Here’s a checklist to help you prep a basic travel health kit. Better safe than sorry, CGs!
1. Multivitamins, especially if you’re traveling to a place where you won’t get enough nutrition from food. Vitamins will also help keep your immune system up during jam-packed itineraries.
2. Pain, cold, and flu tablets. To keep your kit light, pack practical, multipurpose meds such as paracetamol (which combats headache, body pain, and fever), as well as a stash of throat lozenges.
3. Tummy aids, such as remedies for acidity and diarrhea, and a laxative in case you get constipated. Digestive issues are common during travel, especially if you have a sensitive stomach or you're the type who enjoys exploring street foods and exotic dishes.
4. Motion sickness medicine, but only if you’re the type who easily gets seasick or carsick. Otherwise, chewing gum or mint candy during transit helps.
4. Prescription medications or inhalers that you need on a daily basis. Make sure you bring a copy of your doctor’s prescription and phone number just in case immigration stops you for questioning.
5. If you have a history of allergy attacks, bring your trusty anti-allergy meds, such as antihistamine or epinephrine. Foreign plants, animals, or even the change of weather can set off allergies.
6. Antifungal and antibacterial ointments. A practical all-in-one alternative is petroleum jelly and multi-purpose balms, which can cure most minor skin irritations.
7. Insect repellant spray or lotion, or if you have no more space in your bag, those cute insect repellant stickers will do.
8. Basic first aid supplies, especially if your itinerary includes a lot of outdoor activities such as hiking or adventure sports. Bring Band-Aids, alcohol or hand sanitizer, eye drops, and maybe a small bottle of antiseptic solution for cleaning wounds.
Keep these tips in mind:
1. Use a lightweight pouch or Ziploc bag to store your meds.
2. Keep your meds in your carry-on instead of your check-in luggage.
3. Make sure your prescription meds are in their original package.
4. If you’re bringing prescription meds, asthma inhalers, and injectable medications, bring a copy of your doctor’s prescription and phone number in case the airport authorities stop you for questioning.
5. Bring only a reasonable amount of medication. For example, if you’re going be on vacation for one week, bring meds that are enough for 7-10 days. Bringing too much will cause suspicion in any airport.
6. Keep your health insurance documents and doctor’s prescriptions in the same folder as your travel documents.
7. When traveling to foreign countries, it’s wise to read up on their airport guidelines and restrictions, which includes information about carrying medication on board.
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