Undoubtedly one of the most fundamental and important things to pack for any trip is a first aid kit. Your destination and duration will determine what exactly that entails. For my trip, I want to pack the kitchen sink for a couple reasons. Firstly, I will be gone for two years without any foreseeable trips home and secondly, that the Euro is more expensive than the dollar. This means that all things equal, it’s more expensive for me to buy things in Germany than it is in America.
Also according to my research, Germany has very strict laws concerning medication. Many American medicines are not available in Germany and it is illegal to ship medication into the country. If you’re not picky, this would pose no problem to you, but I am particular with many products and have chosen to prepare for any illness or injury in America rather than when I land.
Following you will find my packing list and notes on on why and how I chose them. I am of course not affiliated with any brands mentioned and will receive no compensation for my opinion.
This is the bag I am using for my first aid kit.
So cute, right? It’s from Target (link here) and at the time I purchased it, they were giving it away for free with the purchase of three affiliated items. I actually didn’t get it for free but all is well since it was only $5.99 anyways. The bag has great internal organization (see below) and is the perfect size for the kit I had planned on making.
On with the contents of my kit.
Bandaids: Assorted sized. I took them out of the box and put them in a snack sized Ziplock bag to save space.
Neosporin: Just a regular tube for use on cuts and burns.
Alcohol wipes: To disinfect any cuts, blisters or tools such as tweezers.
Gauze, vet-wrap & tape: For any injury too large or awkward for Bandaids. I packed a little spool of vet-wrap as well as medical tape since sometimes one is better at holding the gauze than the other depending on the location of the injury.
Hemostat: Also known as forceps. These were a last minute addition to the kit after having to use them to remove gauze from my wisdom teeth post-surgery. There was no way I could have removed it with tweezers or fingers and so, for the unexpected situations such as this, I went ahead and bought my own $2 pair from eBay to take with me. I will also have tweezers in my makeup bag.
Latex/Rubber Gloves: Let’s hope that there is never a situation so disgusting as to need these but just in case, I grabbed two pairs of cheep cleaning gloves and put them in a snack sized Ziplock.
Blister kit: It wouldn’t be an adventure without a lot of walking and I seem to blister very easy. I picked up an already assembled blister kit from REI which I will link here. I opened it, disposed of some unnecessary cards inside and added a safety pin to the kit so I can pop a blister without having to dig elsewhere to find something sharp.
Aloe Vera: For the inevitable sunburns. I just squeezed some into a cheep 3 oz. travel bottle I bought at Walmart and labeled with my trusty label maker. In hindsight, I don’t think this will fit in my kit so I will actually be packing it later on with my general toiletries.
Itch Stick: Mosquitos love me. *sigh* I don’t know if they are a problem in Frankfurt but I will be living near the river Main so I thought I should pack one. There happened to be a coupon for $1 off of any Benadryl product in my first aid kit from above so I ended up getting mine for just over a dollar.
Ibuprofen: My pain medication of choice. Especially good at reducing swelling.
Acetaminophen: I also packed acetaminophen because it is processed by the liver rather than the kidneys so on the off hand I have issues with one organ, I can use the other for pain relief.
Aleve: I had two single packs that I randomly found so I threw them in too. Different active ingredients can be helpful, especially when having to combine medications.
Day & Night Quil: This is one of the rare medications I am partial to. I don’t want to hassle with trying to find a German equivalent, especially if I’m sick.
Nasal Decongestant: Namely, generic Sudafed. This is undoubtedly on of my most used medication. Sometimes you just feel crummy without knowing if it’s due to allergies or illness. Having something to just clear your nose without other active ingredients is helpful. I put both this and my ibuprofen in a pill case similar to this to save space as bottles are very bulky.
Allergy Pills: I admittedly don’t have allergies (or at least none that I have specifically identified). That said, every once and a while I get sinus issues that can only be allergies, and I will soon be in a new country with all sorts of new plants to develop reactions to. The specific pills I’m bringing are loratadine simply because it’s what I already have.
Midol: I don’t usually cramp anymore during that time of the month but I grabbed two single doses just in case.
Thermometer & Covers: For obvious reasons. I also wanted to bring my own so I didn’t have to deal with Celsius to Fahrenheit conversions when feeling under the weather.
Dramamine: I don’t get sea/air sick but I popped two single packs in my kit just in case… at the very least, maybe I can help someone else less prepared.
Gas X: Lets be honest… we have all had moments where these would come in handy.
Tums: Again, strange food and stress can be nasty on the digestive track.
Lozenges: I found a couple single packs in the bathroom and threw them in just in case.
Vitamin C: This is super important to avoid getting sick and to recover faster. I had little capsules that I purchased last summer in Berlin that I decided to bring instead of the American gummy versions I prefer because the packaging was more compact.
Muscle Relaxer: This is not something most people will probably need but I have a prescription of it that I use to relieve tension which helps me get to sleep faster. This will be traveling with me in my personal item (i.e. backpack) since I know that I will be using it in-flight.
Birth Control: I plan on making a separate post about this sucker but just know that the current pack I’m using will be with me in my backpack as well since I will have to take a does in-flight. I chose to list it here so others didn’t forget it with their other medications.
EDIT: See my completed prescription post here.
Here is everything (minus the hemostat that hasn’t come in the mail yet) all neatly packed in my bag. This will ride with me in my carry-on, just in case I need anything during the flight.
Did I forget anything? Am I a psychotic hypochondriac? Feel free to leave your thoughts below!