How many do you always pack?
Whether it’s a cut finger, upset stomach or uncomfortable blister from those brand new sandals you eagerly bought in anticipation of your trip, accidents can and do happen on holiday. Whilst there’s no need to cram a whole A&E store cupboard into your suitcase – most first aid essentials can probably be found in your destination of choice – having a basic holiday medical kit to hand can save time, hassle and help sort out your ailment on the spot.
We’ve put together a few essentials to ensure that if you do experience any minor scrapes or illnesses whilst on the road, you are prepared to tackle them head on:
Nothing can kill your holiday spirit more than a pounding headache or aching muscles. Ensure you pack some basic painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to keep those aches and pains at bay.
All it takes is a stubbed toe or a momentary loss of concentration while prepping dinner and you can end up with a nasty cut. Make sure you protect against possible infection by packing a box of plasters in different sizes. That way, you can cover any open wounds up swiftly and (almost) painlessly.
- Anti-diarrhoea medicine
An absolute travel essential, particularly if you are heading abroad. Often our bellies are not quite in tune with the sudden influx of unfamiliar food and drink we indulge in when sampling local fare. If you’re in a country where the water may be contaminated, take great pains to use bottle water at all times - including for washing fruit or brushing your teeth. However, even with all our best efforts, upset stomachs are an unfortunate by-product of exploring the world. Pack a reliable brand name like Imodium to give you peace of mind.
- Antiseptic cream or spray
Before covering up those cuts and grazes with a plaster or gauze, be sure to give the area a good wash and apply a little antiseptic to speed up the healing process and keep any bad bacteria at bay. This can help reduce the risk of infection or prevent it spreading any further.
- Tweezers and scissors
A nasty splinter can cause discomfort that you don’t need on holiday – particularly if it lodges itself in the sole of your foot. Pack a decent pair of tweezers to pluck the culprit out. A pair of scissors could also come in useful for trimming down plasters or bandages. Just be sure that your chosen pair is stashed in your checked-in luggage or otherwise complies with hand baggage regulations.
- Insect bite cream
As anyone who has visited a destination where mosquitoes are rampant knows, those bites can be incredibly itchy and irritating. If you are heading off to a tropical paradise known to be a hang-out for mozzies or sand-flies, be sure to pack a strong insect repellent. Not only will this prevent any itchy welts forming, it will also help reduce the risk of contracting any mosquito-borne diseases. But if you do get bitten, apply a bit of insect cream for soothing relief.
- Antiseptic wipes
Antiseptic wipes are excellent for cleaning any cuts or grazes as well as for ensuring your hands are germ-free before tending to any wounds. A pocket-sized packet hardly takes up any space but could prove especially useful when on the move.
- Aloe vera gel
This soothing gel is packed with the natural goodness of aloe vera and can be applied liberally on minor burns. As well as containing antioxidant and antibacterial properties, this gel has a cooling effect on the skin and helps to accelerate the healing process.
- Sterile gauze and bandage
For larger cuts or those that are awkwardly positioned on the body, sometimes sterile gauze and a bandage make for better and more secure protection than a plaster. Always be sure that the gauze fully covers the wound before winding the bandage round.
Even those that are generally not affected by pollen and dust allergies can have a reaction to something new when travelling. From heat rash to bites and stings, a pack of over-the-counter anti-histamines can reduce help to reduce inflammation and provide relief.
Of course, there are some accidents and injuries that you may not be able to deal with by yourself. This, is why it is essential to book the right travel insurance for your trip. Medical Travel Compared offer access to a range of insurers, many of which provide cover for pre-existing medical conditions.