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How to Pack a First-Aid Kit for Travel Abroad

Buying the very simplest medications abroad can be problematic, even when you manage to find a pharmacy that's open for business and where English is spoken. You might want to consider taking an appropriate kit with you.

Suggested Basic Kit

  • antacids
  • antibiotics for diarrhea
  • antimalarial medication (if traveling in a malarial zone)
  • aspirin or acetaminophen (a non-aspirin product)
  • Band-Aids
  • karstic with sunblock
  • cotton swabs
  • dental floss
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • insect repellent (with DEET)
  • Pepto-Bismol and/or other anti-diarrheal medications (Lomotil, Immodium)
  • safety pins
  • scissors
  • suntan lotion with sunscreen
  • thermometer
  • topical antibacterial ointment
  • tweezers


  • flashlight
  • Swiss army knife
  • sunglasses
  • extra prescription glasses
  • contact lens solution
  • copy of lens prescription
  • hearing aid batteries
  • soap
  • medications for chronic conditions and your doctor's phone number
  • keep prescription medications in their original containers
Optional (depending on area)
  • anaphylaxis (allergy) kit if allergic to bee stings or other insect stings
  • antihistamines for allergies
  • artificial tears
  • motion sickness medication
  • medication to prevent altitude sickness
  • moles skin (for blisters)
  • mosquito net, permethrin clothing spray, knockdown spray (if needed for insects...)
  • Ace wrap, 3"
  • adhesive tape, 1"
  • antibiotics for bacterial skin infections
  • antifungal topical cream for fungal skin infections
  • anti-inflammatory medications
  • aspirin or acetaminophen (non-aspirin) for pain
  • Benadryl or other antihistamine (for itching, allergies, or sleep)
  • betadine swabsticks
  • butterfly bandages or steri-strips, tincture