What should be in a travel first aid kit?


23 April 2021

A first aid kit should be on your list of travel necessities when you’re packing for a holiday – wherever you’re planning to go. It means you have what you need to hand immediately and saves the hassle of trying to find a pharmacy, or trying to fathom what’s what in another language!

GPs from our AXA Doctor at Hand service have compiled their top 10 travel first aid kit essentials, giving you one less thing to worry about on holiday.

  1. Painkillers - paracetamol or ibuprofen, for treating headaches and minor aches and pains.
  2. Plasters - in various sizes will come in handy for covering any cuts and grazes, helping to protect you from getting an infection.
  3. Antiseptic wipes - these are great for cleaning cuts or abrasions, or for sterilising your hands.
  4. Tweezers - exactly what you need for extracting a splinter, or removing grit from a wound.
  5. Bandages and gauze pads - a small roll of bandage and a few gauze pads can be packed for treating more serious cuts and wounds.
  6. Scissors - these can be used to trim down a gauze pad, to cut bandages to size, to snip hair from around a cut, and for countless other purposes. Make sure to pack them into your checked luggage though!
  7. Antiseptic creams - another essential for helping to treat infection or preventing it from spreading further.
  8. Anti-itch cream - ideal for helping to soothe and take the heat out of insect bites and give some relief from a rash or itchy skin.  
  9. Diarrhoea relief - an upset tummy can be all too common when you’re on holiday.
  10. Antihistamines - you never know what you might be allergic to in a different country![1]

Have you ever needed to speak to a GP when you were away from home? The AXA Doctor at Hand service, powered by Doctor Care Anywhere, gives you access to UK Registered GPs over the phone or video, wherever you are in the world, between 8am and 10pm UK time. They can provide medical advice and information about what to purchase over the counter in a different country and, depending on where you are, prescriptions can be sent to a local pharmacy or delivered directly to you if deemed appropriate. Find out more about the AXA Doctor at Hand service.

Further reading

Dehydration – are you at risk?  

Sun damage: the risks and how to protect yourself  

Preventing plane pain – best ways to prevent back ache when travelling 


Bailey, 2017. Holiday first aid kit essentials. [Accessed 23 April 2021]

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