“If you suddenly found yourself within a zombie apocalypse, which item would you choose to protect yourself and what would your role be within the community?” It’s a question I love to ask travelers I’ve just met. It sparks creativity, highlights our strengths and really gets us thinking about what we would actually do if we did get stuck together in that location together! And if things really became bad, would we have enough canned baked beans to survive, exciting books to read and supplies in our travel medicine bag to make it out the other end, alive and human!
Possible zombie apocalypse scenarios aside, the amount of times I’ve been chased by salivating dogs, accidentally burnt myself on motorbikes and cursed in gas station toilets as another urinary tract infection has hit me, needs to be discussed. And don’t get me started on the traveler’s diarrhea (thanks Cambodia).
This post is sponsored by Jase Medical. As always, opinions remain Teacake’s own.
Courageous travel needs preparation and with the possibility of more natural disasters and pandemics happening in this current climate, it’s good to have a game plan of your medicine for travel. Self care whilst traveling is a top priority. So without further ado, let’s get you set up for travel success and plan your medicine bag together.
Disclaimer: This is general travel health advice only. I am not a doctor or travel healthcare professional. The following recommendations are what I have used and been recommended to pack over 12 years of solo female travel.
Every medical kit for travel needs some safe and trusted medication within it. I highly recommend the following medicine to pack when you’re traveling and being adventurous.
I’ll never forget the time I was racing across Kazakhstan in the middle of nowhere during The Mongol Rally and crying out for the sixth time to my co-driver to stop the car so I could pee. I was going through a period in my life where urinary tract infections just kept showing up at the most inconvenient times. And my word, for all the ladies out there reading this right now…you know how painful they can be.
As I was hanging on to the side of the car door and trying to maintain my modesty, panic was rapidly setting in. Where on earth were we supposed to get antibiotics out here? Yes, I had travel insurance. But getting to a doctor in the next “town” was going to take all day.
Luckily, a friend was carrying a spare antibiotic with her in her travel medicine bag. I swiftly swallowed it and within a couple of hours, peace was restored. But after this experience, I vowed to never travel without a supply of medication for emergency use again.
Previously, I was going to questionable pharmacies to see if they could give me antibiotics over the counter. But after returning home and showing doctors what I was prescribed, they were telling me that what I had taken wasn’t the right antibiotic, or way too strong for what was needed at the time.
How to get safe access to life-saving antibiotics
If you’re a US or Canadian citizen, you can now easily prepare for your travels and obtain a supply of medication for emergency use. The Jase Case is a compact kit that holds emergency antibiotics and a thorough guidebook for safe use, delivered straight to your door.
All you have to do is fill out a simple online form to be assessed by a board-certified physician. The medicine will then be delivered directly to your home. And you can send your physician messages to ask any treatment-related questions when needed. Order your Jase Case here.
Paracetamol, known as acetaminophen for all my US readers, has helped me out when I’ve had a headache, my temperature has been running high and when I’ve possibly had one too many beverages at the bar. If you’ve ever been subjected to those “buckets” in Thailand…you know what I mean.
Yes, ibuprofen is very similar to paracetamol but it is an anti-inflammatory so if you get any aches, sprains and injuries of this nature, it’s brilliant to have in your travel medicine kit. I’m particularly obsessed with hiking, and sometimes I can get too excited on those mountains.
I’m obsessed with animals. I was repeatedly told not to pet the dogs in Vietnam, but I completely ignored that advice and paid the price. I’m still not sure what caused me to have such an allergic reaction but carrying antihistamine tablets with me ensured those allergies went right away. If you’re prone to reacting to insect bites too, this is a great medicine to have in your medical kit.
Keep hydrated ladies! If you’re traveling around in very hot heat, hiking intensively or recovering from diarrhea, pack some rehydration sachets with electrolytes in your travel medicine bag. You need to keep well hydrated and these nifty sachets will do the job.
I’ve been known to get seasick on a pedalo boat, so whenever I meet the water, I know that I need to take a motion sickness tablet. If you’re a sensitive water baby like me, you’ll know that you need this whilst diving too! Anyone else get seasick diving?
My latest adventure in Egypt involved me being hurtled up and down within a wooden boat repeatedly like I was on a pogo stick. Even though I took the medication, I warned my fellow passengers that things may go wrong. But it turned out that the woman in front of me who was confident she could handle it, ended up spending most of her time hunched over the side of the boat all the way to the island. Don’t underestimate those waters!
Now that you’ve got your travel medicines covered, here’s some other nifty items I recommend packing in your first aid kit, so that you’re covered.
The biggest reason I pack plasters is to help me out when I’m hiking and trekking long distances. There was one time whilst walking in Menorca where I was severely caught out by underestimating the time it was going to take me to reach my end point around the island and ouch…those shoes I was wearing cut right through my ankles.
Don’t buy just any old plasters. Opt for the thick padded ones. And if you really are trekking, you can get plasters that mimic your skin. There are others that can also be placed over blisters to protect them and ensure they heal well.
If you find yourself in a situation with cuts, scrapes and open wounds, we need to act quick and make sure we zap those chances of an infection happening. I always pack some antiseptic wipes and hand sanitizer so that I can attend to wounds swiftly and keep them clean. I’ve had quite a few friends get caught up in corals whilst snorkelling and having these wipes ensured we did the best we could before heading to a doctor.
To also attend to wounds efficiently, pack some bandages and gauze. Gauze can clean wounds, apply pressure to them and minimize any bleeding. Use the bandages to keep the gauze in place before you can reach a health professional.
If you can, get your mitts on a jar of tiger balm. Ever since discovering it in Asia almost 12 years ago now, it is an ointment that just keeps on giving. It’s become so popular that I’ve even seen it stocked in Europe and yes, it’s available in the States. Tiger Balm is an analgesic heat rub that can be used for muscle pain, common colds, headaches, minor burns, insect bites and even stretch marks! Its primary ingredients are camphor and menthol and I love having it in my pocket.
Let me know if I’m missing anything here.
Maybe there’s an item in your medical kit that you cannot live without?