Ultimate Travel First Aid Kit

Years of travel have taught me an important lesson…be prepared. I always pack a travel first aid kit, especially overseas. Foreign countries don’t always have American OTC brands, let alone a 24-hour pharmacy or you could be stuck in some backwater place with no store at all. Believe me, I’ve learned this the hard way. Like the time in Florence and I was confined to my hotel bathroom with “Traveler’s Revenge”. My husband and friends had to search out an open Farmacia on a Sunday. As non-Italian speakers, they proceeded to act out my symptoms (you get the picture)…who knew Imodium is the same word in Italian?

Traveling with kids is a guarantee that someone will come down with something, one or both of mine usually did. I always brought an entire pharmacy when they were small. Why do kids always seem to get sick during school breaks?

Do yourself a favor and pack some necessities. These are the items I bring along when I travel internationally. Almost all of them are available in non-liquid form! I pack most of them in my checked bag, in a small pouch. But I do bring a couple of them in my carry on or handbag, just in case!

TIP: Now that Covid seems to be here to stay, it is even more important to bring along some cold and fever meds! And don’t forget a self test! If you feel sick take a test at your hotel before going anywhere else to test.:

Please make sure to always check with your health care professional before taking any over the counter medications and don’t take anything you have never tried, just in case of an allergic reaction!

Prescription Medications

Your travel first aid kit should include enough of your regular prescriptions for the entire trip, plus at least two weeks extra in case of delays, cancelled flights, etc. Keep them in their original Rx bottles, or bring a copy of the prescription from your doctor. I always bring antibiotics along as well, like a five-day Zithromax pack. Sleeping pills are also a necessity for me, I take them for the first night or two to get acclimated to the time change. Always pack all prescriptions in your carry on! Luggage gets lost…yep, it’s happened to me several times.

Pain Meds/Fever Reducers

Tylenol & Advil are always in my travel first aid kit. I keep a small travel size Advil in my handbag at all times. Nothing worse than flying with a headache, or a fever! Word of advice: Advil (Ibuprofen) is not available without a prescription in Europe and many other countries! So bring you own.


Every travel first aid kit needs some. Bring it. Put a couple in your carry on. Enough said.


Tums. All that foreign food can cause a problem. I keep a small roll of Tums in my carry on travel first aid kit, because airplane food is so yummy!


Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate. Bring Dramamine for the plane if you’re prone to motion sickness. I bring Bonine on a cruise, just in case the seas get too rough.

Cold & Cough Meds

Nyquil, Dayquil, Mucinex or Tylenol Cold. Clearly, I’ve taken too many trips with a sick child! At least I don’t need a bottle of Dimetapp in my travel first aid kit anymore!

Benedryl dissolving strips

Just in case of an allergic reaction to an insect bite. Yep, happened to me at the Iguazu Falls in Brazil, so now I always have a few in my travel first aid kit.

TIP: it also doubles as a great way to knock yourself (or children) out on a long flight! My kids’ pediatrician recommended it, seriously!

BONUS TIP: try it on your kids first. I didn’t and my son ended up having the adverse reaction on a 12 hour flight, like a baby on steroids…not fun!


For those nasty insect bites, rashes, etc.

Band-Aids & Neosporin

I pack Neosporin spray in my travel first aid kit in my checked bag. Bandaids are a staple in my handbag…once a Mom, always a Mom.


Just in case. I pack a small oral digital thermometer available at amazon.com and at all drug stores.


I pack a few packets, drink one on the plane, and for a few days when I arrive at my destination. Helps me fight those nasty airport and plane germs and boosts my immunity.

You’re probably thinking this sounds like a lot to bring in your travel first aid kit. Seriously, it takes up very little space. Don’t take huge quantities, just a strip of pills for most of them or buy travel sizes. Another great tip is to put them in a 7-day pill organizer, one medication in each slot.

Read Best New Travel Accessories and 10 Travel Essentials That Are Always In My Bag for some more packing tips.

What do you take along? Feel free to leave me a comment!

Keep traveling my friends.



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