We always take a first aid kit with us when we travel. The size of the kit varies greatly, depending on where we are going and how long we are away. We could probably count on one hand how many times we really needed it, but those times makes it worthwhile to have it along.
I have been collecting Clinique cosmetic bags for years and these small bags are ideal for this purpose. For larger kits, we use the clear bag, which is cylindrical. It, amazingly, holds a lot. For smaller kits, we use the green rectangular bag.
The complete First Aid List is posted on the First Aid Page now. All the items are the generic terms, but if you use the list, I would change the generic terms to what you actually use. So, instead of Antacid, change it to Maalox, or Tums or Rolaids – whatever you typically use.
We buy small containers/tubes of Polysporin, Tylenol etc to take traveling. We only take 8 to 10 bandaids, antiseptic wipes etc. These quantities will get us through a few days of a minor injury. If we need more, then we just go buy more. We want to make sure we can deal with a minor injury right away. When we were in Australia years ago, my daughter tripped on a curb and scraped her knee badly. We had enough supplies with us to clean and bandage it and to keep clean bandages on it for a few days.
Ciproflaxin, a common antibiotic, is on the list as it is recommended by doctors to have when traveling. It will treat urinary infections and bacterial diarrhea. Talk to your doctor about when to take Cipro and a prescription.
I used to have a horrible time with blisters on my toes in hot humid climates. A friend told me he puts Vaseline between his toes when he runs in hot weather, so I tried this when we went to China. Everyday I put a thin layer of Vaseline all over and around my toes. My feet were the happiest they had been for decades and not one blister. If you suffer from blisters, try Vaseline. The Vaseline is not coming to Bonaire, though, as Bonaire is a water holiday and we won’t be doing that much walking (plus I am taking only sandals!).
Whenever traveling to hot climates, take cream to combat heat rash. You never know when you might need it. Same with oral hydration salts – if you get ill and your electrolytes get depleted, you will need to replenish them.
Knowing what to take, takes some practice, but remember that you can always go buy what you need. R&D were in Japan, and they needed something for heat rash. With a phrase book and some pantomime, they managed to explain to the Japanese pharmacist what they were looking for.
After printing off a copy of the list, Murray and I cross off all the items that we think we will NOT need for Bonaire. This first aid kit will have items to take care of cuts, scrapes, heat rash, dehydration, fever, mild stomach aches – fairly basic stuff.
Next, I sit on the bathroom floor and dump everything out of the kits and the cupboard. It looks like this…..
I start gathering the items from the list and separate them until it looks like this……..
And the list looks like this………
Crossed out stuff is staying home, yellow highlighted stuff is gathered, stuff with notes is yet to be packed.
I pack all the items into the green bag. I leave out liquids – sunscreen and eye drops – as these must go in our 1 litre ziploc bags for airport security. I will put the scissors in the 1 litre bag also. Even though snub nosed scissors are allowed in carry on luggage, airport security will check them, so it is easier to make them accessible. The bottle of Cipro will go in Murray’s shaving kit. So, the first aid kit is ready to go to Bonaire and here is what it looks like now……..