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First Aid Kit: Non-Traditional Additions to the Basics

One of my favorite parts of traveling is that first day in a new city/country. There is a mystery about a new place that gives me a thrill like no other. Then again, there is nothing like arriving in a new city and instantly becoming super sick! Unfortunately, a recent trip to Vienna is the inspiration for the post.
While being sick is no fun there are precautions/comforts you can take with you as you travel in an attempt to give you some comfort while you let your body heal.

Note: While there are “standard” first-aid kits (with band-aids, antibiotic ointment, etc.) that you should always travel with, the products I am writing about are those extra items that are for your own personal care. So think hard, what are your health challenges? What items can you bring to mediate these? Here are a few of my favorite!

Hot Water Bottle
This is, hands down, my favorite traveling companion. It is great for everything from being cold/having cold toes to period cramps and stomach aches. Hot water bottles come “baby-sized” which is perfect for a traveler who wishes to travel light.

Charcoal air activated handwarmers (like these ones here). I am an unuasally cold person so I often travel with many things that help me get warm. The great thing about handwarmers is you can stash them in your pockets, put them in your shoes or use them whenever you don’t have access to hot water for your bottle. They also take up very little space! 

You never know when you will find yourself congested. Whether it is allergies, the change of weather at your destination or fighting off head cold, it is never fun to sleep in an unfamiliar place and not be able to breath. I generally use Benedryl but find what works for you.

Tea Tree Ointment
In most first aid kits you will find some kind of antibiotic cream, I too will often carry neosporin. However, I also love to bring Tea Tree with me as well. This cream is not only antibacterial it is great for relieving discomfort for all sorts of cuts, abbrasions and cold sores.  And it is made of plants and not unpronouncable chemicals.

I am a huge fan of remedies/balms made of plants, and this is another favorite. Arnica comes as a gel, cream, oil or as internal medicine. At the very least I always travel with either a tube of the gel or cream. This stuff is a miracle on sore, bruised, or swollen extremities and aching backs. Message this in a couple times a day for relief. This is a good brand.

Sometimes we need the “heavy duty drugs,” whether it is for relief of extreme pain or to reduce a fever. I generally travel with 2 types of painkillers. Why 2? I’m glad you asked! I use Ibprofen for headaches and fevers and I use Aleve when period cramps get out of control. Do your research, what works best for you?

Large Scarf
Large scarves are my favorite travel clothing. Think of the “towel” from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, except so much more comfortable! They are a great extra layer or blanket if you are cold and they can cover your neck and head simultaneously. I also find them especially comfortable to wrap up in if I am feeling under the weather.

Tissues (many small packs)
Put these everywhere so you can always find them if your nose is running, you are eating a particularly messy meal, or other various unexpected and messy issues. Tissues are invaluable for many purposes.

Warming hand/body lotion
Uriel Rose Copper homeopathic ointment is my favorite. Say it is a placebo or whatever, I don’t care. For me this works. It smells good and helps promote my blood circulation to keep me warm.

Immune Boosters
This could be vitamins or healthy teas. I often take with me either echinacea tea or tablets or elderberry drink packets. They are filled with things to help your immune system fight off any impending bugs or current ailments.

I do not claim to be trained/certified about the effectiveness of any of these products, I am merely sharing tricks and tips for staying/getting healthy while traveling abroad that have worked for me. When in doubt, always consult a doctor.
Disclaimer: None of the links to this article are affiliate links.

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