Standard medicine for traveling

When I travel, I always ensure my first aid kit is packed into my bags. It pays to be prepared, as you’ll never know when a headache will rear it’s evil head (hmm… is that a pun?), diarrhoea may strike, or you may accidentally cut yourself.

So, the question is… what should you pack into a first aid kit? You don’t want to pack every type of medication, crutches and a wheelchair – so, what are the essentials? Feel free to share in the comments, if you have preferred medication that should be included.

Anti-diarrhoea (also spelt diarrhea)
Imodium or Lomotil – this is one of the most common illnesses, possibly due to unclean food or stomachs that are not used to the foreign food.

Charcoal pills, also known as ultracarbon, are good for managing the churning feeling in your stomach due to excess wind.

Pain, Headaches and Fever
Paracetemol, the active ingredient of Panadol is a general all-purpose painkiller drug and should always be stocked up. Alternatives include Ibuprofen or Aspirin.

When traveling in the harsh cold, it’s inevitable you may get a case of the sniffles. Packing in a few strips of Clarinase will help dry the nose and help you sleep more comfortably. An alternative is Chloramine.

Motion Sickness
Depending on where you’re traveling, or the mode of transport, you may want to get some Dramamine. It comes in handy if you’re going on a liveonboard scuba diving trip or if you’re on a cruise.

General Aches
If you’re walking a lot, as you should when on holiday, you may have unanticipated muscle aches. Throw in a tube of deep-heat rub and get your significant other to give you a good rub at the end of a long day.

Another general item that should be included in all medical kits is plasters. Get a set with several sizes that can be used for various parts of the body.

Prevention is better than cure. Before falling ill, boost your immune system with some supplements to help prevent illness.


  1. pelf - March 9, 2011

    Thank you very much for the list, Alex, it’s very useful! Now I have a checklist for my first trip to England 😀

    • Alex Lam - March 9, 2011

      You’re welcome. I also have a packing checklist that I blogged about a month ago. Hope it helps ensure you pack everything you need. Have a great trip to England.

  2. Pip - March 9, 2011

    Under Anti-diarrhoea (also spelt diarrhea)
    I prefer SMECTA.

    I went to vietnam once, had an emergency. Paid USD 75 for midnight consultation and 5 sachets of Smecta.

    Come back Malaysia, these god-sents are RM 2 a pack! Lao-sai no more!

  3. Monica Voon - March 12, 2011

    Useful list, Alex. I also take a small tube of antiseptic cream for minor cuts and Bonjela for mouth ulcers. Yeah, yeah, it’s like putting my house on wheels ….

  4. Wheelchairs - May 26, 2011

    I really appreciated your post, this would really provide the great information .Thanks for sharing.

  5. Vermonty - January 12, 2012

    definitely book marking this message and sharing it with my friends

  6. TheBackpackr - February 11, 2012

    Glad this list helped out some of you. I’m still refining it as I go along.

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