8 Items To Pack In a First Aid Kit For Travel

Posted by Maggie on December 8, 2014

advil (advil)

Prescription Medications: 

We all learn from past experiences and I can tell you I will never forget my prescription medications again.  You see, I forgot to pack my birth control pills for my honeymoon.  The genius OB/Gyn (in my defense I was a 4th year med student at the time) forgot the fundamentally basic ingredient for a successful honeymoon for us.  Luckily, I discovered the mistake before our flight to Jamaica and thanks to a really great groomsman and his wife we sped through the streets of Houston (ala “The French Connection”) and saved our honeymoon and my career from an unplanned 3rd member of our family.  If you do forget an essential medication on your trip, it is possible with a few phone calls to get enough medication for the remainder of your trip.   Have a local pharmacy number available prior to calling your prescribing physician back home.  In addition to medications, we also pack a couple of extra contact lenses in case of a lost or torn lens.


I usually pack an array of different sized bandages as well as specialty ones for hands or feet.  I am the mother of boys and it is a rare trip if someone doesn’t use a bandage so I like to keep them handy in a small, snack sized storage bag.  For a ski trip I also pack bandages for a larger surface area because we commonly have someone fall while boarding or skiing and get more of a raspberry type scrape.

Antibiotic ointment: 

I am a huge fan of using antibiotic ointment on cuts and scrapes to prevent infection.  It might surprise you, as it did me, that a lot of people are allergic to Neosporin and its generic equivalents.  If you use Neosporin and the area appears to become redder, stop using the ointment immediately and depending on the severity of the redness, consider consulting a medical professional.


Snow reflects the UV rays from the sun so the need for sunscreen is greater up on the slopes.  Don’t forget, even if it is overcast, some UV rays pass through cloud cover. Obviously, the majority of the time you only need to apply to the face, but there are some spring skiing days where more skin is exposed and these areas need sunscreen too!

Lip care: 

Between the UV rays and the dry air on the slopes, everyone in your party needs to carry some type of protection for the lips.  It is best if it has sunscreen in it as well as a moisturizer.

Pain and Fever Relievers:

These items are essential to any good first aid kit and especially one complied for a ski trip.  Please remember, no aspirin for children under 18 due to a rare complication called Reye’s syndrome.  Acetominophen, ibuprofen and naproxen are excellent for sore muscles.

Topical Pain Relievers:

An earlier Snowmamas discussion advocated the use of foot warmers applied to the gluteal regions for a warming sensation – especially enjoyed on a ski lift.  Since my gluteal region contains more surface area than a measly foot warmer, I like to use a Thermacare heat wrap.   I enjoy the lower back warmer to keep my back loosened up throughout the day, and then I can usually maneuver it south to warm my derrière on the lift.  Products like Icy Hot or Ben Gay are also options for topical pain relief for sore muscles but I find the frequency of reapplication to be inconvenient on the slopes.

Knee or elbow wrap:

Finally, an ace wrap, as they are commonly called, can be a lifesaver on a ski trip.  For large surface area injuries, you can apply gauze directly to the scrape, and then cover with the wrap.  No need to worry with multiple bandages and this can speed healing.  Another common use in my family is for placebo effect (shhh – don’t tell my kids).  Sore knees or elbows are common consequences of a ski trip.  If you are certain there is no severe injury, validate your child’s complaint by wrapping with an ace wrap.  Magically, things seem better and as other family member show concern, the child focuses more on telling the story of the injury than the injury itself.   


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Comment posted by Karin on February 25, 2012 4:43 PM MST

Very helpful, thanks Maggie. Love your honeymoon story. lol

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Comment posted by Kristen on February 25, 2012 3:48 PM MST

Great info! Thought I was alone with the Neosporin allergy!

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