Your first aid travel checklist

You’ve packed your passport, sunscreen and all the other holiday essentials – don’t forget some essential medical supplies, too.

It’s an all too common mistake.

Many of us spend hours preparing our holiday itinerary and double-checking our travel arrangements.

We also spend plenty of time agonising over which clothes to pack and how many outfits we really will need for our time away.

But there’s something that is often overlooked.

Whether you are travelling a few hours away or to another country, minor accidents can happen, such as sprained ankles, scrapes, stings and cuts.

Illness and stomach upsets can also be a common part of the holiday experience – from “Bali Belly” to the “Rangoon Runs”.

Packing some travel first aid essentials with your swimsuit and sunglasses can ease some minor holiday ailments and injuries and save discomfort.

So what should go in your suitcase?

Essential checklist: What to pack in your travel first aid kit

Dr Abhi Verma of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends:

  • Scissors, safety pins and adhesive tape.
  • Latex gloves in case you need to treat an injury that will expose you to body fluid or blood.
  • Adhesive bandages of different sizes.
  • Sterile patches, pads or gauze to dress cuts and scrapes.
  • A multi-purpose antiseptic solution and antibiotic ointment to treat a scrape or scratch that could get infected.
  • Good quality elastic bandage to wrap a twisted ankle.
  • Aluminum finger splints, available from pharmacists, in case of a sprained or jammed finger.
  • General purpose painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
  • Aspirin for muscle aches and cramps if you over-exert yourself during a holiday hike – but don’t give Aspirin to anyone under the age of 15.
  • Calamine lotion to soothe stings, insect bites and sunburn and hydrocortisone cream for itchy rashes.
  • Over-the-counter antihistamine like Telfast or Claratyne for hayfever allergies such as sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes and throat.
  • Laxatives, antacids and anti-diarrhoea medication and rehydration gel so you can rehydrate after gastrointestinal infections.
  • If you are travelling overseas with prescribed medication, take a letter from your GP authorising the medication to save any issues at customs
  • A list of emergency contact numbers.

Watch GP Dr Elana Gance discuss how to stay healthy when travelling on House of Wellness TV.

Need a holiday? Check out our pick of the best Aussie health retreats.

Written by Sarah Marinos