Around the world, we are sick less often, but when we are sick, it lasts longer (one week minimum) and our favorite doctor isn’t available. Also, cuts/injuries happen more often than usual. Each time, we are reassured to have a complete first aid kit that is light enough not to overwhelm us
This is just a first aid kit. That is, the goal isn’t to heal yourself every time, but to stay alive until you find a pharmacy/doctor/hospital. When we travel to the lost corners, we inquire beforehand and buy suitable medicines (e.g. medicines for mountain sickness on the approach to Bolivia)
Caution: We aren’t doctors, nurses or pharmacists. The contents of our Pharmacy Kit are provided as a guide only. Consult your doctor for a list of things to bring on a trip around the world. We are also followed from afar by a mother nurse, a doctor friend and a pharmacist friend who refer us to local doctors when necessary.
Here are the contents of our kit
Note: When I write 12x this corresponds to 12 tablets/units
Part 1: To bring
- Pharmacy kit: we chose a simple black Eagle creek pouch. Now that I think about it, maybe we should have chosen a waterproof pouch (Eagle Creek also sells them).
- A thermometer (electronic version)
- 20x water purification tablets. One tablet = 1 liter of water (to be put in the survival kit + first aid kit)
- A pair of spare glasses for JB (49€ at Sensee)
- All orders (in case we are requested by customs)
- Vaccination booklet (for information, the vaccinations were advised and done at the Bichat hospital in Paris, I only had yellow fever and hepatitis B to do, 80€).
- A Swiss Army Knife
- 24x waterproof dressings of all sizes (including 2 dressings to put in the survival kit)
- 12x alcohol-impregnated antiseptic compresses (also to be put in the survival kit). I prefer the compress version to the spray version because it allows me to clean the wound without the need for cotton.
- 10x blister bandages for feet (this is very important because this kind of bandages aren’t found everywhere in the world. In case of heel injuries, it is very painful to continue walking without this kind of bandages -> also to be put in the survival kit)
- 1x Cicalfate d’Avène, repairing cream (Cicaplast of La Roche Posay will also go eh)
- 2x gauze pads 10x10cm
- Urgo Pore: a box of 5cmx2,5cm
- 10x compresses impregnated with betadine & iodine
- Aloe vera gel for burns and to soothe mosquito bites (which I also use as a moisturizer)
Skin diseases (but a visit to the doctor is preferable)
- Neem Balm (antiseptic and anti-inflammatory)
- 20x Doliprane (prefer Doliprane to aspirin -> also to be put in the survival kit )
- 15x Antadys (for painful periods -> also to be put in the survival kit)
In case of bites (awaiting consultation)
- 12 tablets
Only in case of severe diarrhea
- In case of impossibility of quick consultation: Oflocet
Part 2: To be purchased on site
A doctor should be consulted first before taking it
Three weeks after leaving Asia, we take one deworming tablet each (Fugacar). And another one three months later
In case of mild diarrhea
- Drink a lot: prepare a solution of 1 liter of water + 9g of salt + a little sugar. This solution can also be bought in pharmacies
- Make a rice soup with 1 tablespoon of rice and 1 liter of water. Drink it all.
- Smecta: to be taken if you can’t do otherwise (airplane / bus to be taken). Our doctor advises us to stay several days, eat rice, drink a lot and wait for it to pass instead of taking medication right away
In case of a cold
- You just go to the pharmacy and ask for advice
Part 3: Other Practical Tips
- Travel insurance is really MANDATORY. A friend was repatriated urgently after an earthquake, another friend went down by helicopter in Nepal. Anything can happen! As for us, we consulted the doctors 3 times in 7 months and were reimbursed 100% of all our consultations + medication thanks to Chapka (which we have reviewed here).
- All the medicines were purchased just before we left, to make sure that nothing will expire during our trip. As we were still covered by the health insurance and the mutual insurance company, a large part was reimbursed (except for the non-compulsory vaccinations of course).
- We write down all the prescriptions (to know which drug does what because it isn’t always specified) and keep the instruction leaflets for drugs we don’t know well (by scanning the leaflet or keeping it in the kit)
- To bring with you
- Always have a few plastic bags, toilet paper and water on you, a vomit can happen so quickly 🙂
- Always carry a survival kit with you (which I’ve talked about at length here). One kit each, you never know! I cut my finger several times and suffered leech bites. I can only recommend that you always carry your survival kit with you.
- Always have a chocolate bar, chips, or sugar in your bag. We had to fast several times when arriving late in lost cities.
- If you travel in areas with high seismic activity (Japan, New Zealand, Chile, Peru…), read the Practical Tips section of this article to build a special earthquake and tsunami survival kit (it’s very serious, we have had 3 earthquakes and 2 tsunami warnings in 7 months).
- When we were both sick in Krabi, we were lucky enough to be already in an ibis hotel, where the room service did not cost more than the hotel restaurant. So we counted on room service to pamper us. I advise you to do the same if everyone is sick at the same time.
- I also advise you to take with you at least one pair of long pants and a small sweater (even if you only travel to hot countries). When you’re sick, even if it’s 35° degrees outside, these warm clothes are really good and it can always be useful in the overly air-conditioned buses in Asia.