When I first started traveling, it seemed everywhere I went I learned something new that I should put in the medicine bag for the trip. Hopefully most of these you won’t need, and hopefully shouldn’t have to use more than one or two on each trip 😉 but for as long as people have been taking to the road, new environments have led to days missed while we are recuperating from our trips. The good news is the more you travel, the more your body seems to adjust to life on the road and the less these become as necessary for you – even so take them a long – you never know when someone in your group might need them!
- Stomach medicines – Pepto-bismo, Immodium, and laxatives for when the tummy problems are over, don’t leave home without them! I will write more on this later.
- Allergies – Benadryl, Sudafed, Allegra (or whatever daily allergen medication you prefer) and though hopefully you won’t need it but can be life saving if you have it – an epi-pen. You never know what new allergy you may have or someone else may have in a new location, and fast treatment is essential. The epi-pen especially or a Benadryl spray are really essential. Allergies from who-knows-what can be debilitating fast! Even if you have never had a reaction before to anything ever. I had one in Nagasaki, Japan and still have no idea what brought it on. Antihistamines are a must!
- Sunblock and Aloe-Vera – even if you think you won’t need it – I thought I couldn’t get a burn in Mongolia based on the location. We’ll just say, I was wrong!
- Headache medicine – headaches can come on from atmospheric changes, pollution, accidental dehydration and an assortment of other incidents that we never see coming. Have it just in case!
- Rehydration packets and Airborne – both of which are very essential in regaining strength after a bout of illness.
- Herbal sleeping medications – insomnia hits hard in travel. There are many causes – new places, new experiences, mind racing and the jet lag that plagues travelers that cross time zones. Even a couple of time zones can throw your internal clock into confusion. If you need something stronger consult with your doctor for something non-addictive, it’s good to have something along just in case! Good rest also prevents your immune system from breaking down, so take what you need to ensure a good nights sleep, including eye-masks and ear plugs if necessary!
- Usual Prescription medications – and whatever your doctor suggests for the region. You should also make sure your immunizations are up to date. Most of your prescriptions will need to be in a clear plastic bag and should be shown to the security at the airport in many countries – read up on the rules before you go, every country has different regulations.
- Preventative Supplements – odorless garlic pills, probiotics and Emergency packets will help keep your immune system stronger and less likely to be hit hard with disease. It will also help you to recover faster. In this category include mosquito repellent, as mosquito borne diseases can be among the worst you can come down with!
Have a safe and healthy journey! Don’t worry too much about disease, don’t let the fear of them stop you either from traveling or from trying new things!
Update: I forgot an important one! I have a pretty strong stomach, so this sort of hangs out in my bag, but Dramamine is essential for motion sickness!