When you decide to go on a round-the-world trip, there are many things you need to think about including destinations, equipment, etc. One of the essential things is the travel medical kit. With all the existing drugs in the market, it’s not easy to make a comprehensive list and even less if you’re traveling through different continents!
Medical kit for our world trip
The first thing to do is to buy a waterproof case or bag with different compartments (it’ll be easier to organize the stuff inside).
First aid kit
We basically advise you to buy a readymade first aid kit. They are small and contain all the necessary stuff. There are several brands that you can find online: Body Source, tempIR etc .. (We opted for Body Source, you can find here).
Generally, the kit includes:
Instant cold packs, saline solution, stretchable bands, triangular strips, roll tape, bandages, metallic hooks, sterile eye pads, a survival blanket, non-adhesive pads, antiseptic wipes, safety pins, pairs of gloves, tweezers and scissors.
We personally added a thermometer because it was not provided and we considered it was essential!
Medicines for a long trip
Concerning medicine and drugs, this is all we’ll be taking on our world trip:
ANTIBACTERIAL AND HEALING
- Scar cream
- Pills to purify water
- Antibacterial gel
- Sunscreen / After-sun cream
- Special bandages for blisters
- Antihistamine in cases of allergy
- Anti-itching ointment
- Aloe vera gel
- Lip balm
- An intestinal antiseptic
- Treatment against diarrhea
- Treatment against constipation
- Oral rehydration solution (ORS)
PAIN AND FEVER
Amoxicillin for severe infection
BUMPS AND MUSCLE PAIN
- Ibuprofen cream
- Muscle relaxant: Tiger Balm
NOSE, MOUTH AND EARS
- 400mg ibuprofen (anti- inflammatory)
- Pills or throat spray containing propolis
- Cortisone cream for insect bites
- Insect repellent cream
- Clip for tics
- Night mask
EYE OR SIGHT DISORDERS
- Pairs of glasses
- Contact lenses ( and cleaning kit )
CONTRACEPTION/ INTIMATE HYGIENE
- Intimate hygiene
- Tea tree: colds, flu, bronchitis, diarrhea and cleaning wounds
- Spike lavender or lavandin: treating burns or stings
- Roman Chamomile: calming down, jet-lag, nervous system
- Peppermint: tendonitis, sprains, headaches, motion sickness
- Clove: mycosis, cystitis, sinusitis (to be diluted to 20%)
Some ideas to organize your medical kit
- The easiest is to throw the boxes away and keep only medications pads with the manual.
- Use zip freezer bags to store the pads and protect them from moisture. Besides they are transparent, so it’s easier to find them in an emergency!
- Make a list of all medications that you take with their function and the dose to take. With the amount of drugs you need to bring it is almost impossible to remember their function, and when you need it, you will be sick so you’ll need to find them quickly!
The problem of malaria
When we travel we hear a lot about malaria, but what is it really?
Malaria is a potentially fatal disease caused by parasites transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. The bad news is that there is no vaccine against this disease! On the contrary, there are preventive treatments such as Malarone and Nivaquine (which can get quite expensive, about 50€).
As always, the best path is to talk to your doctor, who will advise either one or the other depending on the duration of the trip, your personal history and the places you’re going to. In any case, when a high fever comes, take the pills and then reach for the nearest hospital.
We have decided not to take any preventive treatment because the areas where we are going to be are not directly exposed to malaria. Two months before starting our trip, we’re both on beer yeast cure because it changes the pH of our skin and we no longer attract as many mosquitoes!
That’s our list of medicines! There are many, so the best is to divide in two bags in case of loss or theft. Don’t forget to ask for the order and (very importantly) to keep it for the duration of the trip! The legislation is not the same in all countries, and some are stricter than others. Medication may be taken for drugs so we advise you to keep the doctor’s order throughout the journey and scan it (and keep it on Google Drive in case you need it). Don’t hesitate to have a look at our article about vaccines for our trip around the world!
And you, what medicine do you bring when you travel?