First Aid

What Should a Travel First Aid Kit Contain? – [2023 To 2025]

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

Whether you’re planning a long-awaited vacation or heading out on a weekend road trip, a travel first aid kit is an essential item to have on hand. You never know when you might get hurt or feel sick. Having a well-stocked first aid kit can help you address minor injuries and illnesses quickly and easily. 

A good travel first aid kit should contain essential items to treat cuts, scrapes, and bruises, as well as medications to address common ailments like headaches and stomachaches. Having a travel first aid kit can help you feel more at ease, knowing that you’re ready for any medical problems that might arise while you’re away from home.

Besides, you can check out our other blog about the full checklist for a car first aid kit to find out which items you should have in your kit.

Let’s start by discussing what a travel first aid kit is and why it’s crucial to bring one when you’re travelling.

Female traveller getting medicine out of first aid kit

What is a Travel First Aid Kit?

A travel first aid kit is a set of medical supplies and tools used to handle minor injuries and illnesses when travelling. It usually contains essential items such as triangular bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and over-the-counter medicines for common ailments like headaches, stomach problems, scrapes, bruises etc. 

The contents of a travel first aid kit may differ based on where the traveller is going and their specific medical requirements. The key purpose of having a travel first aid kit is to ensure easy and swift access to basic medical supplies in emergencies.

Importance of Travel First Aid Kit

Here are some reasons why having a travel first aid kit is important:

Helps you quickly take care of minor injuries and illnesses.
Saves you time and money by avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor or hospital.
Gives you confidence and peace of mind when you’re away from home.
Can be a lifesaver when medical care is not readily available.
Let you be self-sufficient and not depend on others for medical help.
Can be customised to your specific medical needs and travel location.
Can assist others who may need medical help during your travels.
Keeps you safe and healthy while discovering new places.

Now take a closer look at the important items that should be included in your travel first aid kit, tailored to different types of travel.

You can visit our other blog to discover all the information you require about obtaining a first aid and CPR certification.

First aid kit with stethoscope, pills and syringe the table

What Should a Travel First Aid Kit Contain?

Your travel first aid kit should have the necessary items to handle mild illnesses and injuries, but you don’t need to bring a whole medicine cabinet. Instead, grab a small box or zip-up bag, label it, and gather the items on the list using travel or sample sizes to save space.

Basic First-aid kit

No travel emergency kit is complete without the following items:

Antibacterial Wipes

Antibacterial wipes can effectively kill germs while cleaning hands and tools.

Hand Sanitiser

Apply hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol before touching any cuts or scrapes.

Instant Cold Pack 

These disposable packs immediately turn cold to treat bumps, bruises, and minor burns.

Pain Reliever

Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are effective pain relievers for headaches and sprains. If you have children, add a children’s formula.

Scissors and Tweezers

You might need scissors for cutting gauze and bandages or opening medication packages and tweezers for removing bee stingers, splinters, and ticks. (Make sure to bring them in your checked luggage rather than your carry-on if you are flying.)

Self-adhesive Wrap

A self-adhesive wrap wraps sore knees, ankles, or other injuries without requiring pins or additional tools.


It’s a good idea to have a thermometer to check for fever and remember to clean it with an antibacterial wipe after each use.

First aid kit, bandages, hydrogen peroxide, band-aid, iodine, medical gloves, face mask, pills on a blue background

Essentials for Skin Problems

Here is a list of items you might want to consider packing in a travel first aid kit for skin mishaps:

Aloe Vera Gel 

Useful for sunburns and skin irritation.

Antibiotic Ointment

Apply before bandaging wounds.

Antiseptic Spray or Wipes

Ideal for cleaning minor cuts and scrapes to prevent infection.


Include a variety of sizes such as small, medium and large.

Calamine Lotion

Helps alleviate itching caused by insect bites, poison ivy, hives and other skin conditions.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is used for disinfecting and cleaning wounds.

Gauze Pads and Roll

Use gauze pads for minor wounds and the roll for larger injuries.

Medical/ Surgical Tape

Necessary to attach gauze to the skin.

Close-up of first aid kit with medical supplies

Medicine for Stomach Trouble During Travelling

When travelling, stomach troubles can be a nuisance. Be prepared with these essentials:


Useful for heartburn or mild indigestion.

Anti-diarrhoea Medication

If you experience a traveller’s diarrhoea, then you must have diarrhoea remedies in your travel first aid kit. However, if you’re travelling to a region where diarrhoea is common, it’s advisable to consult your doctor about a prescription antibiotic to treat it.

Laxatives or Stool Softeners

Laxatives or Stool Softeners are used for constipation but use them with caution as they may cause diarrhoea or cramps.

Motion Sickness Medication

Even if you are not prone to motion sickness, keep a few tablets in your kit for emergencies; note that some may cause drowsiness.

Medicine for Respiratory Problems

Experiencing symptoms like sniffles, sneezes, and coughs can be a real downer when you’re on the go. Pack these medications to help you feel better:


Take loratadine or diphenhydramine for seasonal allergies.

Cold Relief Medication

Pack daytime and nighttime formulas to ease a stuffy nose, cough, and headache.

Cough Suppressant

This can help reduce coughing and improve sleep.

Saline Nasal Spray

A Saline nasal spray is a helpful solution to gently clean out nostrils and relieve congestion caused by allergies or a cold.

Items for Travelling to Remote or High-risk Areas

If you’re planning to travel to remote or high-risk areas, it’s a good idea to bring sterile medical equipment such as —

    • lancets, 
    • assorted syringes, 
    • needles, 
    • IV cannulas, 
    • and dental needles. 

Remember that all sharp items should be packed in checked baggage to avoid having them confiscated by airport or airline security if they’re packed in carry-on bags.

Young man cheerfully holding first aid kit while showing thumbs up

How to Prepare Travel First Aid kit?

Preparing a travel first aid kit before embarking on any trip is important. A complete first aid kit with essential supplies can quickly and efficiently address minor injuries and illnesses and prevent them from becoming major issues requiring medical attention. To prepare a travel first aid kit, follow these steps:  

  • Choose a durable and lightweight container
  • Research the medical needs of your travel destination
  • Make a list of essential medical supplies
  • Purchase high-quality supplies 
  • Label and check expiration dates of medications and throw out expired items
  • Pack the supplies in the container and organise them for easy access
  • Include a manual or instructions, 
  • Periodically review and restock items
  • Finally, keep the first-aid kit locked or out of reach from the children and never give them cough or cold medicines without first consulting a paediatrician.

Wrapping Up

Ensuring your travel first aid kit has all the necessary medical supplies and equipment will give you peace of mind and prepare you for any minor medical emergencies while travelling. Be sure to customise your kit based on your destination and medical needs, and check and refill it regularly to keep it up-to-date and effective. Have a safe journey!



Can you take a travel first aid kit on a plane?

Yes, you can bring a travel first aid kit/ medical kit on a plane. However, certain items may be restricted or require special handling, so checking the airline’s guidelines before packing your kit is important.

How do you pack medication for travel?

Make sure to keep your medications in their original containers with clear labels that include your full name, dosage, and the prescribing healthcare provider’s name. It’s also a good idea to bring copies of your prescriptions, including the generic names of your medications when travelling.

How often should I review and restock my travel first aid kit?

You should review and restock your travel first aid kit before each trip. Also, do it at least once a year to ensure all items are up-to-date, properly labelled and still needed.


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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.