Travel with a personal first aid kit

I am in Caribbean paradise , yet I dream of going home to my own bed. I arrived with a mild sore throat and step by step it has evolved into head buzzing, chest congestion, hacking cough, can’t breathe – well you get the picture.

I always put together a first aid kit before each trip, adding and subtracting to tailor it to the location’s needs.  Against all advice, I seem to constantly wear new footwear , so never have enough bandaids.  I carry the following: a tiny flashlight, Polysporin, headache pills, Diorlyte (I once had E-coli on a trip to Cyprus, so this magical powder balances electrolytes, and gets you out of danger), digestive tablets, Imodium, ear plugs, foot powder and Gravol.

It was interesting to find out what the other travel writers carried for their first aid needs. One didn’t carry anything and was astonished the rest of us did. However, she did outshine in the wardrobe department with stunning outfits, elegant earrings, purses with panache and shoes a step ahead of the rest of us.  Her priorities were obvious.  One colleague who had just recovered from Pneumonia had a fabulous decongestant called Mucinex, and kindly gave me the rest. Another had three, yes, three bottles of cough syrup, so donated one to my cause.

A chat to a local pharmacist in Road Town, Tortola was endlessly helpful, as she loaded me up with lots of suggested panaceas.

If you are prone to tummy upsets, carry digestive aids, as well as something for diarrhea.  You will learn on each trip another item to add to the kit.   Mine fits into a tiny zippered cosmetic case, and comes everywhere with me. I know if it didn’t , it would be missed. Many pharmacies carry travel sized items, but if not, decant what you need into small travel vials and holders you can buy at any shop carrying travel accessories.

I ended up at the Emergency department at Peebles Hospital in Road Town, Tortola, where I was in and out in under 45 minutes.  Diagnosis: Bronchitis. The Doctor gave me some cough syrup to clear my bronchial passages before I started the long journey of three flights home, as well as a fistful of prescriptions.  When I got home, I visited my own Doctor to insure I was to continue on with the medications I had received.

Safe , healthy travels!


About The blog of travel & lifestyle journalist Melody Wren

Melody is a freelance writer because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. She writes about travel, food, lifestyle and green living. Melody loves staying in a place long enough to get acquainted. Local customs, markets and traditional cultures are magnets for this writer. When not writing she’s either on the road, in the air, or savoring something tasty. Most of her travels feature outdoor adventures of some sort, although she typically avoids sleeping on the ground. She is an ordinary person that enjoys challenging and pushing herself, facing fears with an eye on experiential travel. She needs to do it, feel it and see it so she can write about it. Her hope is that her stories encourage readers to get out there and do the same.
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