Your Vacation Medical Kit – Preparing for the Unexpected


A vacation can be a time to throw off the cares of your daily life and enjoy some new experiences. However, sometimes this change in pace can cause upsets, injuries and various types of minor medical problems. You may engage in new physical activities, eat new foods or have difficulties with changes in time zones. Putting together a thoughtful vacation medical kit will allow you to be ready for any eventuality that arises, so you can continue your vacation without interruption.

1. Pain Relievers

Smart travelers know that physical discomfort can occur at any time while on their journey.  Headaches, muscle aches, joint pain and other problems can limit activities and disturb sleep. Having your favorite pain reliever on hand can save you valuable time you should be spending enjoying your trip. Whether you prefer aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen or naproxyn, keep a small container in your purse or pocket for ready use when needed. If you are traveling with children, packing children’s dosage medications can be handy for dealing with minor aches and pains.

2. Antibiotic Ointment

A small tube of antibiotic ointment can help to quickly deal with minor cuts and scrapes you may encounter during vacation activities. Antibiotic ointment generally contains one or more antibiotic ingredients that prevent infection and aid in healing. Having antibiotic ointment on hand will help to keep small nicks and cuts from becoming a larger problem.

3. Band-Aids and Bandages


Stock your medical kit with a small selection of band-aids in different sizes to deal with small cuts, scrapes, splinters and blisters. Some types have antibiotics already on the pad, which can make for easier carrying and faster healing. An elastic sports bandage can help to support sprained wrists, ankles or knees if you overdo sightseeing, hiking or other outdoor activities.

4. Sunburn Relief

If you’re planning a beach vacation, you should bring plenty of sunscreen, but don’t forget to pack sunburn relief gel in case you get burned in spite of your efforts. Sunburn gel is available with or without a numbing ingredient. If you burn easily and often find yourself in discomfort from too much sun exposure, purchase the type with anesthetic in the gel to reduce the discomfort from overexposure to the sun’s rays.

5. Antacids

Your vacation may take you to foreign lands where you will eat unfamiliar foods that are upsetting to your stomach. Even if you stay on familiar ground, you may overindulge because of eating in restaurants, changes in meal schedules or trying new foods. Your vacation medical kit should include antacid tablets that will help to settle your stomach upset so you can continue enjoying your time away from home.

6. Anti-Diarrheal Pills and Laxatives

Many people find that traveling and the change in food and water cause intestinal upsets. An anti-diarrheal medication such as Imodium can help prevent frequent stops at the bathroom. A laxative such as Milk of Magnesia or MiraLax can help prevent the discomfort of constipation.

7. Motion Sickness Pills

If you are vulnerable to motion sickness, pack some pills such as Dramamine or Bonine to counteract the effects of bus, car, train or boat travel. If these medications make you too drowsy, consider a product that contains meclizine, which counteracts sleepiness.

8. Prescription Medications

If you take prescription medications on a regular basis, ensure that you have a sufficient supply for your entire trip. It’s a good idea to bring along the original pharmacy containers in case you need to re-supply your medications along the way. In this way, the pharmacist in another city will know exactly who your doctor is, what medication you must take and what dose is prescribed.