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From Sutures to Sunburn: Essential Traveler's Medical Kits

You're off on your first trip to a developing country...or maybe you're just flying to Cancun for the weekend. You've seen a travel doctor and had all the recommended shots, but, as we all know, not every travel health problem can be vaccinated away.

Travelers should always carry a medical kit. For extended trips, you can purchase large pre-assembled medical kits from most outdoor stores. But you can also make your own smaller (and more useful) kit from personal medications and the lists below.



  • aspirin or similar painkillers
  • pepto-Bismol
  • antacid
  • antiseptic wipes
  • lip balm
  • adhesive bandages for cuts or blisters
  • sunburn relief lotion
  • antibiotic ointment

AMAZON BY STEAMER (for longer trips)
In addition to the above:

  • cold medicine
  • antimalarial medication, if required (consult a health professional about side effects)
  • antihistamines
  • mosquito repellent
  • motion sickness pills
  • antiseptic for wounds and blisters
  • Swiss Army knife with tweezers
  • diarrhea medication, non-prescription and prescription (check with your doctor or health professional for the appropriate one)
  • prescription antibiotics (consult a health professional)
  • eye drops

HEART OF DARKNESS (for extended expeditions into developing areas)
In addition to the above:

  • oral rehydration solution
  • Monistat or similar (for women only)
  • temporary tooth fillings
  • thermometer (mercury thermometers are prohibited by airlines)
  • bandages
  • gauze
  • latex gloves
  • syringe (sterile needles are not always available)
  • small first aid book

Tips to remember: Take small sample-sized packets of a variety of medications to avoid carrying an enormous medical kit. Always make sure medications are clearly marked, especially prescription drugs, and if you remove medications from their original packaging, save the dosage instructions--it's hard to remember how much to take when you don't feel well.

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cancellation insurance, including medical and emergency evacuation coverage, before you go. If you
travel insurance," says the sherpa. You'll be paying off that $10,000 medical evacuation bill for a very
of poverty with lack of basic medical care were the constant affliction. I said tentatively
on what's important: emergency medical and evacuation assistance, baggage, cancellation costs, dental
of this year and returned to his medical practice. Six years older and with a lifetime of stories to tell
Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT ) at or in the US call 716-754-4883
or water. Traveler ER Flash Drive stores tour medical information. Rabies vaccine
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their medical irrelevance. I was incredibly weak, had a constant fever of 103-104 degrees, and letAs just say I
said his fascination with travel medicine began in medical school, during an elective course
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while in China, be prepared to have many of your notions of medical treatment transformed. Finding
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