Never get caught unprepared again with this thorough checklist that’s doctor tested and approved.
In the realm of international travel and luxury escapes, globetrotting is at the forefront of everyone’s mind (and bucket list!). While we’re busy planning your jet-setting adventures, you can pack with peace of mind using this list of must-have items to keep you healthy and safe.
Dana Frazier, M.D., a frequent traveler who recently summited Kilimanjaro and traveled to Morocco as a MOJO client, shared her wisdom on assembling two indispensable travel companions: a first aid kit and medicine bag.
“It doesn’t take much to be prepared. When you’re prepared you don’t have to worry about “what ifs,” because you’re ready for it,” says Frazier.
Here’s her checklist of health, wellness and first-aid items not to forget:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and pain relievers like Ibuprofen, Motrin or Alleve
- Fiber gummies (these are good to start a few days before you travel if you tend to get constipated) Pro Tip: Frazier underscore that fiber is just good for life!
- Antibiotic ointment/hydrocortisone cream
- Rolaids/Tums/Alka seltzer
- Pepto Bismol tablets
- Antihistamine tablets (Benadryl)
- Allergy meds over the counter (Claritin/zyrtec)
- Ayr saline gel
- Lip balm (with sunscreen if you’re heading to a sunny climate)
- Sunscreen – even if you don’t normally use – sun may be more powerful than you are used to (don’t ruin your trip with a sunburn)
- Hand sanitizer
- Insect repellent
- Eye drops (single use)
- Hard candy, in place of cough drops
- Chewy candy for ear pressure issues (starburst, anyone?)
- A pack of Kleenex
Frazier also suggests that if you have any underlying health issues, you may want to discuss your destination with you doctor about any specific concerns. While you’re there you can discuss these prescription antibiotics:
- For traveler’s diarrhea: Ciprofloxcin (500 mg 2 times per day for 1-3 days)
- For a UTI – Bactrim DS (Pro tip: This will also work for a skin infection)
- For an upper respiratory infection – Frazier’s go-to is a Z-pak (zithromycin)
“When I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro last year I discussed with my doctor the use of Diamox for prevention of altitude sickness — it’s not guaranteed, and I ended up not needing to take it, but I felt prepared if I needed it.”
Here are a few first-aid items she always packs :
- Skin glue is always in my bag -good for small but deep cuts or butterfly bandages.
- An Ace bandage if you have room in your bag
- A tourniquet (I actually have one in my car as well and my daughter is supposed to have one in her backpack/college dorm room)
- Mini-maxi pads for wounds that may require more than a Band-Aid.
Other things Frazier suggests you consider:
- Are you up to date on your vaccines or need a specific one for your destination? Tetanus, Hepatitis…
- Do need any specific medications for where you’re headed, such as malaria prophylaxis?
- Probiotic? Frazier says, Probiotics are good – but as a personal preference, yogurt is also a good source of probiotics.
- Electrolyte tablets
“Lastly, I would add that the most important thing when traveling is to stay hydrated,” says Frazier. “Bottled water is your best defense against a lot of issues.”