I’ve traveled the world, which means I’ve gotten sick everywhere from New Zealand to Italy. Travel is rough on the body, and finding familiar medications abroad is tough. I always pack a first aid kit of over-the-counter drugs just in case an illness or injury strikes. Here are my suggestions for your own kit.
- Pain medication, such as ibuprofen or Tylenol.
- A decongestant, such as Sudafed. Head colds can linger, so take enough pills for several days of doses.
- Allergy medication, such as Benadryl or Claritin. Benadryl contains the same active ingredient as some over-the-counter sleep aids, so it can serve double duty.
- Remedies for stomach troubles, such as Pepto-Bismol or Tums. If you’re going to be eating exotic food, pack extra.
- Adhesive bandages. If you’re really klutzy or planning adventurous activities, you might also want to pack gauze and Neosporin or an Ace bandage.
- Feminine products, such as tampons, pads, or yeast infection treatments. These are not problems you’ll want to explain to a foreign male pharmacist.
- Throat lozenges.
- Aloe vera ointment or another lotion for soothing sunburns.
- Hand sanitizer or wipes.
- Seasickness medication, if you’ll be traveling by water. Options can include pills, skin patches, ginger candy, or wristbands.
- Small packs of tissues. Be prepared for sudden sneezes, as well as sticky hands or bathrooms out of toilet paper.
In addition, always consult a doctor before exotic travel to determine if you need preventive inoculations or prescriptions for anti-malarial, altitude-sickness, or other medications.
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