Truthfully speaking, I use my first aid kit more for those around me, than I do on myself. Like a dirty hippy Nurse Nightengale. It’s a great way to make friends, or to make sure your friends don’t die around you.
First Aid is meant to be the first thing you’re able to access in an emergency, and obviously if you have any problems that are more severe than popping a pain reliever and bandage on, please go to the local hospital. Don’t be a hero.
Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Acetaminophen or some wild combination of the three should do you just fine. (readers coming from USA, unless your mom has these laying around, wait and buy them abroad- they’re infinitely cheaper at any pharmacy)
Yes ladies, you need to bring these as well. Check out this girl’s guide to sexual safety while traveling.
Pain-a-trate and Tiger’s Balm are two favorites in this category. Sometimes the heft of your bag gets to be a bit too much, and your shoulders can turn into stones. A little muscle rub and a strong armed friend are just what the travel doctor ordered.
This oil is outrageously powerful and good for just about anything that is wrong with you. Used by thieves during the time of the black plague, they would douse a handkerchief with these oils, break into the sick houses, and rob the dying. A bit dark, I know. Moral of the story? Thieves oil can protect you from just about anything. Proven to kill black mold, put hair on your chest, and knock out the bacteria that you might have eaten. A life saver in case of the cold: rub on clean feet, brush your teeth with a drop and go to bed. You’ll be much better in the morning. I promise.
My mosquito repellent, blemish eraser, toothbrush cleanser, and best medical friend. If we’ve met on the road, I’ve probably tried to give you this in some form.
To be fair, I’ve never used mine, but I feel safe with it in my first aid kit. One day I know it will come in handy, and you better believe I will report back with the story. In the meantime, you probably don’t actually need to pack one.
when you wake up at 2am with a throat that feels like you’ve been swallowing swords, you can’t put a price on these little gems. Pop one in your mouth and fall right back asleep. Try not to choke.
For rooms with a fan or air conditioner that conditions the moisture right out of your eyeballs. For when you get sand in your eyes. For when you accidentally hairspray yourself in the face… Need I go on?
BONUS TIP: Check out the Dry Eye website and make use of their eye exercises to keep your eyes in optimum health – all this computer can’t be good for our poor eyeballs!
For all the nooks and crannies you want to keep clean, for makeup emergencies, for belly button fluff… oh yeah, and your ears.
I keep a pair in the First Aid Kit, and a pair in the makeup arsenal. Great for removing ticks, popping blisters, ingrown hairs, and nasty little splinters. Also crucial for eyebrow shaping- yes, that is an emergency- there is no excuse for a unibrow unless you’re a cyclops.
This was what I used to bring, I’ve since upgraded to Liquid Bandage which is infinitely more useful. It can be used on any shaped wound, dries quick, and stings just enough to let you know it’s working.
Clean up any wounds before dousing them in liquid bandage. Pre-moistened alcohol towelettes are my favorite for the convenience. Your doctor should be more than happy to give you some if you ask nicely. (Note: they will dry out after a year or two, check your bag before hitting the road)
Sure you might not be allergic to anything back home, but in a new environment you’re exposing yourself to a lot of new stimuli (see apricot tale below). Incredibly useful in case anyone around you has a severe allergy to cats, nuts, or shellfish. You could literally be a lifesaver.
In Amman, Jordan I was shopping for breakfast fruits and the vendor sold me on these gorgeous little apricots. They were the perfect color, like a Pacific sunset. They were at the height of ripeness, and covered in delicate apricot fuzz. Holding one of these felt like holding a fluffy kitten.
I found a particularly perfect one, and I swear it was the softest little thing I’d ever laid my hands on. Naturally I decided to rub it on my face and arms. Ten minutes later I was breaking out in hives, taking a cold shower, and trying not to scratch my skin off. You can’t imagine how happy I was to run to my first aid kit, pop a Benadryl, and crawl into bed.
I use these only in case of transportation emergencies, when the bowels must be stopped so the travel doesn’t have to. If you don’t need to move, and you have a bathroom, it’s best to let the bacteria get out of your body ASAP. Keep drinking water and beg a friend (or fellow traveler) to get you some re-hydration salts at the local pharmacy. The best way to come back from the evil stomach terror is the BRAT diet. Bananas- the greener, the better. Rice- keep it plain. Applesauce- fresh, preferably. Toast- again, plain.