First aid skills are applicable to any situation, whether at home, at work, or traveling. But there are some extra things to think about when preparing for a trip away from home. Because you'll be away from your health care provider, all who are traveling should bring a record of important health information, such as health conditions, allergies, medications, physician name and contact information, and insurance information. These things will be crucial if medical care is necessary during the trip.

Participants on the trip should check with a physician to make sure that appropriate vaccinations are up to date and ask about any special vaccinations or medications needed to travel to the planned destination. It's important, too, to make sure that prescription medication supply is adequate and that medications are in the original bottle labeled with the name of the patient, medication name, prescribing physician name, pharmacy contact number and directions for use. Medications should be kept with the traveler and not checked with baggage.

If you or anyone in your group has a chronic or life-threatening condition, it may be wise to invest in a medical identification bracelet, which in the event of an emergency will give medical personnel important information about the condition.

Travel First Aid Kit

The travel first aid kit can be customized for the trip. You'll want to bring basic supplies (see Emergency Kit for the Home), but you'll also need to consider the following:

How many participants will be on the trip?  You need to bring ample supplies for the number of people who will be traveling with you.

How long you'll be gone?  Prescription and over-the-counter medications should be adequate to last for the duration of the trip, plus a few days extra in case of travel delays.

Where you are going?  If you're planning a wilderness trip, you'll need gear such as a compass, a water filtering bottle or water purification tablets, and a whistle. An over-the-counter antihistamine medication should be included in case of allergic reactions. And a first aid instruction manual, preferably for wilderness adventure, is desirable, too, since you may be a distance from medical assistance and must rely upon your first aid skills until you can get help to the victim or the victim to help.

What will you be doing?  If you'll be hiking, for example, you'll want to include moleskin to protect your heels from blisters. If boating, motion sickness medication is a must. Insect repellant, sunblock, calamine lotion, and aloe or another burn gel are essential for outdoor adventures.