A Travel Health Kit – Essential when travelling

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A Travel Health Kit is now essential when travelling. If you are travelling with Seniors or young kids it becomes even more essential.

Why should I take a health kit when travelling?

A basic travel health kit is important no matter where you travel. First aid supplies and medications may not always be readily available in other countries or may be different from those available in Canada. A good travel health kit contains enough supplies to prevent illness, handle minor injuries and illnesses, and manage pre-existing medical conditions for longer than the duration of your trip.

What should I pack in my travel health kit?

Basic first aid items

It is essential to know how and when to use the first aid supplies in your kit. You may consider taking a first aid course before you travel.

You may want to include:

Adhesive bandages (multiple sizes) and adhesive tape
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Antiseptic wound cleanser (for example, alcohol or iodine pads)
Blister pads or moleskin
Packets of oral rehydration salts
Safety pins and scissors
Tensor bandages for sprains
Thermometer
Tweezers for removing ticks, splinters etc.

When you Travel with medications always discuss with your health care provider before departure and carefully follow the directions for use, including dosage and when to seek medical care. Bring more than enough medication to last your entire trip. Consult our Travelling with medications and What you can bring on a plane pages for more information.

Here is a basic list of medications to be included in your travel health kit:

Any prescription or over-the-counter medication you normally use
1% hydrocortisone cream to treat minor skin irritation, such as itching caused by bug bites or poison ivy
Allergy medication, such as an antihistamine, or epinephrine prescribed by your doctor, such as an Epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen®)
Anti-diarrheal medication
Anti-motion sickness medication
Antifungal and antibacterial ointments or creams to apply to wounds to prevent infection.
Cold and flu medications, such as decongestants, cough suppressants or throat lozenges
Pain and fever medication, such as acetylsalicylic acid (e.g., Aspirin®), ibuprofen (e.g., Advil®), or acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol®)
Stomach and intestinal medication, such as antacids and laxatives
If recommended, destination-specific medication, like those for malaria or high-altitude sickness
If you need to use needles or syringes, take more than enough to last for your entire trip and carry a medical certificate from your health care provider explaining that the needles or syringes are for medical use.
Other items

You may include these items depending on personal preference, destination, and activities:

Aloe gel for sunburns
Adequate supply of condoms
Ear plugs to reduce noise or stop contaminated water from entering the ear canal
Extra pair of glasses or contacts (or a copy of your prescription)
Insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin
Mosquito net
Saline eye drops
Sunscreen
Water purification filter or tablets
Contact card

Carry a card with the following information in case of a medical emergency:

Name, address, and phone number of a family member or friend in Canada
Name and phone number of your health care provider in Canada
Address and phone number of your accommodations at your destination(s)
Address and phone number of hospitals or clinics at your destination(s)
Address and phone number of the Canadian Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission in your destination country/countries (you might also consider carrying the Emergency Contact Card)
Emergency contact phone number from your travel health insurance provider
Before you go, don’t forget to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service and stay connected to Canada in case of an emergency abroad or at home.

What other necessities do you pack in your travel health kit?

HEALTH, TRAVEL

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