My whole body ached and my poor throat felt like a sharp rock was lodged inside when I swallowed. I had chills one minute then threw off my blankets the next. Nothing that a few days of rest, a soothing cold medicine, and chicken noodle soup couldn’t remedy, right?
But I was in Gdansk, Poland with no medicine besides children’s Tylenol and ibuprofen, and I had places to go and things to do.
At the pharmacy down the street I couldn’t understand what anything was, and the pharmacist didn’t speak any English. I am not one to take a lot of medicine when I’m sick anyway, and I really didn’t want to take an unknown medication, so I pulled myself together and forged onward with my plans.
After all, I was in Poland on a trip that I had been planning for months, and I was determined to enjoy it.
What I learned
I did enjoy the sites despite my body feeling crummy. Gdansk is a proud, strong city, and I appreciated that. I also learned two important lessons on that trip:
- Travel isn’t always picture-perfect, but you can still have great experiences and create wonderful memories as you focus on the good times.
- Always bring a well-stocked travel first aid kit when traveling internationally. It may not be easy to find what you need in a foreign country.
So before our next international trip, I talked to my doctor, friends, and a pharmacist who suggested some medicine and other supplies to include in my first aid kit. Now when we travel internationally I pack a small arsenal of medicines to be prepared for anything we might face. Here’s what is currently in my travel first aid kit:
My current travel first aid kit
- Prescription antibiotic for food poisoning
- Prescription antibiotic for UTI or other infections
- Pepto Bismol (chewable tablets) for the adults to help with upset stomach or traveler’s diarrhea. The pharmacist stressed that it is not to be given to our kids.
- Imodium/Anti-diarrhea for the kids
- Bacitracin and bandaids
- Ibuprofen–adult and children’s
- Sore throat/cough lozenges
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Our SteriPen for sterilizing water on the go (we used this daily in Costa Rica)
I had this kit with us and was really grateful for several of the medicines on our family’s trip to China.
What am I missing? What else do you pack in your first aid kit when you travel?
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