Emergency Kit for Handling Sickness on the Road

Creating an Emergency Travel First Aid Kit

I can’t believe that it took me until this year to finally create a portable, comprehensive first aid/illness kit. We’ve been on the road a lot and usually that means I inevitably forget something. Having a bag full of “just in case” medications takes up a lot of space and wasn’t working for me. So instead I put together a small kit that I can throw in my purse, the car glovebox or suitcase and know that I have all of my bases covered.

Emergency Kit for Handling Sickness on the Road


The good news? You probably have everything you need already on hand! 

The contents of your bag will likely vary from mine but here’s a list of what I include;

  • Band-aids in a few different sizes.
  • Pepto Bismol tablets
  • Cough Drops
  • Gauze squares
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Anti-diarrheal medication
  • Congestion tablets
  • Gax-X
  • Advil and Tylenol for adults and children (tablets for kids it old enough)
  • Benadryl or other allergy medication
  • Nausea medication
  • Dramamine
  • Melatonin or other sleep aid
  • Toothpaste (because I always forget it!)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • a few day supply of other prescription medications your family needs

This seems like a lot of things and it is – I really feel like no matter what happens I’ve got something on hand. The key is not to overdo it. You don’t need  an entire bag of cough drops, you really don’t need a full package of any of these things. This is for emergencies. It’s enough to get you through a day or two until you can refill or find another source. It’s for those illnesses i the middle of the night when you’re in a hotel room and have no access to any other medications.  For example when we were staying in Fez our oldest ended up with some mild food poisoning. I had pepto bismol, I had nausea medication, and I had Gas X all on hand. I wouldn’t normally pack these things.

Emergency Kit Contents


To keep everything together I use a zippered cosmetic bag. The bigger your bag, the more likely you are to over fill it. Keep it simple and stick with something that is small enough to fit into your purse and won’t encourage you to stuff in more than you really need. You probably already have several on hand but something like this cosmetic bag is a good size. (This one has two sizes, maybe you want to keep a smaller version in your purse and a larger one for your suitcase)

Once you get home be sure that you check your bag and refill it with anything you’ve used. This way you’ll be ready to go the next time and won’t be scrambling to refill it or find yourself missing what you thought you had in the bag.

Do you keep an illness/emergency kit on hand? What would you add? 

Comments (7)

  1. Lindsay Loves Globe

    Great idea! It’s like those little mix grab bags of candy they give out at Halloween but of medicine, lol. It will probably end up saving a bunch of money too compared with having to go out and buy a whole container of something and then being stuck with stuff you don’t need. Dully noted and bookmarked!

  2. Brooke Vlasich

    Fantastic tips! I think it’s very important to remember you don’t need a box of everything, you can split things up into smaller proportions to make them manageable.

  3. Travel with Kids: What to Pack | All Done Monkey

    […] You never want to be caught in a health emergency without essential supplies.  I have a mini-first aid kid in our backpack and a larger one in our car/suitcase.  Again, you can find all of these items in pharmacies around the world, but you don’t want to waste precious time searching when someone you love is ill.  Here is a great how-to on creating an emergency kit. […]

  4. Maria

    Great tips – never know what may happen or where you’ll be when it does.

  5. Agness

    I often get sick or hurt when on the road so I will follow these tips! :)

  6. Natalie Tanner

    I love this idea and make it a part of every adventure. I like to have a little of everything because you just never know!! This last trip we had a kid down with a bad cold and I had a terrible case of allergies. I’m talking rash, red eye – what in the world did I eat?? allergy. Never leave home without benadryl!! :)

    I love your little bag. So much more fashionable than the ziploc I use! :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Halimah

    That’s a cracka idea Amanda. It certainly beats carrying around big boxes of various medications. Thanks for sharing. I will be doing this today before we travel to Ifrane and Tetuan insha’ALLAH.

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