We recently went on vacation and made a BIG mistake - one I’ll never make again. I failed to bring a travel medicine kit and was without necessities when my son Teddy got sick.
We'd been vigilant all summer about cleaning Teddy's ears with alcohol and hydrogen peroxide to prevent swimmer's ear. He had it last year and we hoped to avoid a repeat performance. When we headed off to St. John in August, I packed in a huge rush and forgot those two products, along with any other emergency medicines.
After several days snorkeling in the bay and splashing in the pool, Teddy's ears began to hurt BADLY. We were 45 minutes from the one and only pharmacy on the island. In the midst of MAJOR guilt that my son was in severe pain and I had nothing to help him, I called our physician. She called in a prescription.
While waiting for it to be filled, we had some time to reflect on being prepared.
I travel a lot and there have been a few other times that I needed medicine while away from home. There was that solo trip to New Mexico where I took a midnight drive to a gas station for antacids. A seriously spicy dinner had generated the worst heartburn of my LIFE.
There was that time I went to Peru and was knocked flat by SERIOUS gastric distress. Heads up: If you go to Cusco, do NOT get the famous pisco sours made with local water, ice, and raw egg. Thankfully, I had an antibiotic on hand that time.
Well, it's not going to happen again. I will be prepared! I've created a travel wellness kit, and I'd love to show you what's inside.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and always recommend contacting yours with any medical concerns or needs.
When anyone in my family gets sick, my first line of defense, when appropriate, is natural remedies. They do the trick the vast majority of time, but there are situations where conventional medicine is necessary and good to have on hand. My travel medicine kit is a combination of both.
First up: Essential oils. We use these regularly and I'm a firm believer in their effectiveness for my family. I poured some into smaller bottles and whipped out my handy label maker. I've included:
- Peppermint oil or digestion blend (DigestZen by DoTerra or Digize by Young Living) for digestive issues
- Purification by Young Living for any bug bites
- Garlic oil for ear infections
- Oregano oil for a natural antibiotic
- Eucalyptus, Breathe by DoTerra, or RC by Young Living for any respiratory infections.
Next, I bought a mini medication holder from Walgreens. You can find them at any drugstore or Amazon. Ours contains a few doses each of:
- Vitamin C to restore electrolytes and support immune response
- TUMS/Antacid (as backup for the essential oils)
- Benadryl (adult and child versions)
- Ibuprofen (adult version)
- Activated charcoal pills – an emergency antidote for drug, chemical, or food poisoning, and a MUST for every medicine kit
I bought this Johnson & Johnson First aid kit for $1.99 (what a deal) at WalGreens. It includes cleansing wipes, gauze pads, and Band-Aids. I added:
- A couple safety pins for splinters
- Matches to sterilize the safety pins
- A pair of tweezers for tick/splinter/glass shard removal
- A few moleskins for blisters
I also gathered:
- Colloidal silver
- All-purpose first aid balm
- Meat tenderizer for jellyfish stings
- Ginger chews for nausea
- Ricola elderberry throat lozenges
- Belladonna homeopathic fever remedy
- EZC Pak (Echinacea-Zinc-Vitamin C) immune support pack
- Dye-free Children’s Motrin (medicines over 4 oz. are allowed on a plane)
- Hydrogen Peroxide and Rubbing Alcohol in 2-oz. refillable bottles (I'll never visit a beach without these again!)
I put everything into a large, sturdy Ziplock bag that can also serve as an ice pack if needed. Just before travel, I'll grab a bottle of Sweet's Syrup. See our previous blog post on how to travel with Sweet's!
When you travel anywhere, I recommend looking up the urgent care closest to where you’re staying. If there is an emergency, you don’t want to waste time searching.
If you’re going somewhere that it would be difficult to access a pharmacy, ask your physician to write a script for an antibiotic. Fill it before you leave and bring along just in case – especially if you’re going abroad.
SAFE TRAVELS EVERYONE!!!