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When packing for a vacation don’t forget to include a medical travel kit just in case a mishap or illness happens.  Here are my general recommendations for what to include with the goal of covering the basics but not so comprehensive it takes up serious luggage space.  

 Your regular medications

This is the most important thing. Take enough for the trip and a few extra days in case of a delayed return.  Carry them in clearly marked bottles with your name and dosage on the label or if taking a pill box have a copy of your medication list with all the details.  

Analgesic, fever and anti-inflammatory medication

I like aspirin since it does all three plus you can take it if you are going to be in the car or plane for a few hours to prevent blood clots.  Ibuprofen and aleve do all three but acetaminophen is not an anti-inflammatory but otherwise it works well for fever or pain. 

Antihistamine for allergies and allergic reactions

Benadryl is the best and it is sedating so it can help you sleep if needed.  Benadryl and dramamine can help with motion sickness and nausea.

Antacid for heartburn

When on vacation we often eat and drink more liberally.   I think pepcid AC works best for an as needed heartburn med or Pepto Bismol for indigestion since it can also help with diarrhea. 

Itch medication

Hydrocortisone cream works okay but I prefer a stronger prescription steroid that is a little stronger so if you are a scratcher ask the doc for an Rx.  Bug bites, plant dermatitis and other itchies can ruin a good trip.

Bandages, coban wrap, gauze, scissors and ACE bandage

Take a variety of sizes for the bandages. I like Nexcare the best. They are waterproof with fully sealed sides and stick well.  Coban is a great wrap that stays on and is waterproof.  

Antiseptic and some petroleum jelly

Antiseptic with at least 60% alcohol to clean wounds not hydrogen peroxide.   I don’t like antibiotic creams like neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment which can irritate skin and delay healing. Vaseline or petroleum jelly is a perfect cover for a clean dry wound (soap and water is the best).  It is antibacterial and antifungal plus it is a great water barrier and won’t irritate the skin. 

Lozenges and a decongestant

I like Cepacol or Hall’s for sore and irritated throats and Afrin or Sudafed PE for the congestion.  Don’t forget that the analgesic med will also help.

Medical gloves, a thermometer and a pair of tweezers

These can come in handy if there is room for them.

Nausea/diarrhea/laxative medication

I like zofran for nausea which is a prescription best but OTC benadryl can also work for nausea and OTC imodium is the go to for diarrhea.  In the US diarrheal infections are almost always viral but if going out of the country then an antibiotic prescription might be helpful to take.  A probiotic would also help expedite a recovery and I recommend Align Probiotic. Either milk of magnesia on the gentle side or dulcolax of the mildly harsh side for a laxative works.

Miscellaneous considerations

Insect repellent, lip/hand/body moisturizer and sunscreen.  Insect repellent should have DEET in it.  Moisturizer helps with itch and sunburn (benadryl, anti inflammatory and hydrocortisone also help sunburn). The sunscreen should be SPF 15 and 30 but remember it is not the SPF number that counts but the number of times it is applied throughout the day.