What to bring, whether you’re traveling for a month or a weekend.

By Kiera Aaron and Madeline Diamond
October 11, 2016
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When you're packing for a trip, there are a few items you'll never want to leave behind. Beyond the obvious — phone, wallet, and passport — a compact yet well-stocked first-aid kit is a must-have. Of course, you can buy a premade kit with all the essentials in miniature size, but if you're building your own first-aid kit, we've compiled a list of the most important items you'll want to fill it with.

Related: More travel must-haves

Keep reading for our travel first-aid kit packing list, including the essentials, supplies specifically for children, and must-haves for adventure travelers.

The Essentials

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For Traveling Abroad

  • Travel insurance: Compare different types of plans on sites like InsureMyTrip or SquareMouth, and check out our full travel insurance guide.
  • Antibiotics: Ask your doctor for a prescription that will address diarrhea from bacterial infections.
  • Rehydration powder: If you spend half of your trip in the bathroom, you’ll need to rehydrate.

For Kids

  • Pedialyte: Children are prone to dehydration from gastrointestinal illnesses, especially during travel. Don't forget to buy a powder form for easy transport.
  • Extra antihistamines: Bring a kid-friendly antihistamine if your little ones get seasonal allergies.
  • Cold medicine: Always pack children's cold medicine in your luggage, especially during cold and flu season.
  • Digital thermometer: Be sure to check the battery before you leave home.

For Seniors

  • Spare eyeglasses: Lost or broken eyeglasses will make you even more vulnerable in an unfamiliar place, so make sure you carry an extra pair.
  • Extra medication: Pack an extra week’s worth. (This holds true for travelers of all ages.)
  • Antibiotic cream: Older skin tends to be drier and thinner, so be sure to pack an antibiotic cream to avoid infection if you experience any cuts or scrapes.

For Adventure Travelers

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  • Backup power: If you plan to venture off the grid, take a portable power pack, which is solar-powered and can juice up your phone or tablet.
  • Blister care pack: Just in case you haven't fully broken in your hiking boots, blister bandages will come in handy.
  • Iodine tablets: That bottle of water won’t last long if you’re stranded unexpectedly; pack iodine tablets to purify water in an emergency.
  • Dramamine: Bumpy roads or rough water can make even a seasoned traveler queasy.

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