Group First Aid Kit

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) encourages travelers to pack a first-aid kit so that common medical emergencies can be properly handled should they occur. The following are suggestions for short and extended stay trips. Keep all medications in their original packaging. Pack the following items in your carry-on bag and keep it with you at all times:

  • acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin to relieve headaches, fever, and pain from simple sprains or strains
  • antihistamines to relieve allergies and inflammation (ie Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec)
  • decongestant for nasal congestion (some countries consider this as a controlled substance and you can be imprisoned if this is found. Read the Traveler's information given to you by SHS.)
  • thermometer to take temperatures in case of illness
  • throat lozenges
  • anti-nausea/motion sickness medication (Dramamine)
  • medicine for diarrhea: bismuth subsalicylate (pepto bismol), talk to your physician about a prescription for an antibiotic you can take in case of traveler's diarrhea
  • antacids
  • Loperamide (Imodium) to slow down diarrhea, but only to be used with an antibiotic
  • gatorade powder or other rehydration drinks in case of diarrhea or heat exhaustion
  • laxative/stool softener
  • adhesive bandages of assorted sizes to cover minor cuts and scrapes
  • bandage closures, such as butterfly bandages, to tape edges of minor cuts together
  • triangular bandages to wrap injuries and make an arm sling
  • elastic wraps to wrap wrist, ankle, knee, and elbow injuries
  • gauze in rolls, as well as two-inch and four-inch pads to dress larger cuts and scrapes
  • adhesive tape to keep gauze in place
  • scissors with rounded tips to cut tape, gauze, or clothes, if necessary
  • safety pins to fasten splints and bandages
  • antiseptic wipes to disinfect wounds or clean hands, tweezers, scissors, or other utensils
  • antibiotic ointment to prevent infection in cuts, scrapes, and burns
  • disposable, instant-activating cold packs to cool injuries and burns, as well as for use in strains and sprains
  • tweezers to remove small splinters, foreign objects, bee stingers, and ticks from the skin
  • hand sanitizer
  • disposable rubber gloves to protect hands and reduce risk of infection when treating wounds
  • calamine lotion or Benadryl cream to relieve itching and irritation from insect bites and poison ivy
  • hydrocortisone cream to relieve irritation from rashes
  • sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher with UVA/UVB protection
  • mosquito repellant with DEET
  • insecticide: permetherin for clothing- great for ticks, blackflies, mosquitoes
  • dental kit if recent dental issues: dental wax, dental floss, crown repair kit
  • extra eyeglasses
  • flashlight with batteries
  • antimalarial medications
  • prescription medication: Make sure all prescription medications are in original containers with the correct name and medication on the bottle.

Be sure to follow the same precautions with the medications in your first-aid kit as you do with all medications, and use only as recommended by your physician. Make sure children cannot get into the first-aid bag; use child safety caps whenever possible. Check expirations dates and discard medication that is out-of-date. If you have a life-threatening allergy, carry the appropriate medication with you at all times.

View Medical Kit Packing List for short international travel.