In a perfect world, you can travel around the globe without ever getting sick. You won’t need anything for fever or upset stomach or infection. Unfortunately, this world isn’t perfect, and you will need a good supply of travel medicine for any extended trip.
We talked about prescription medication for malaria here and all the vaccines we got here. Now let’s focus on the over-the-counter travel medicine you should have with you. Luckily, our cousin is a pharmacist and put together a very extensive list for us. We’ve included this list below with the drug name and an example of that type of drug to give you some ideas.
Some people will argue that travel medicine is available all over the world. For us, with traveling, we’ve learned to be as prepared as possible. We’d rather know exactly what medications we have immediate access to. When Cassie broke out in hives in Israel a few years ago, a fellow backpacker on her own RTW trip pulled out her large stash of OTC medicines. It helped a lot and saved us a trip to the pharmacy.
Some recommendations: Don’t pack the liquid-form of the medication. Always go for the pill version – the pills in a metallic sheet are best for easy packing (throw away the box). Pill bottles take up space and random medication in a ziploc bag can look suspicious if not labeled. Pills in metallic sheets almost always have the drug name printed on them.
Diphenydramine (antihistamine): Benadryl®
Cetirizine (non drowsy antihistamine): Zyrtec®
Famotidine (antacid+antihistamine for more severe allergic reactions. Take in combo with diphenydramine): Pepcid ®
Ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory): Motrin®, Advil®
Bismuth: Pepto Bismol®
Docusate: Correctol Soft Gels®
Guaifenesin: Mucinex® (Remember to drink tons of water!!!)
Topical antibiotic: Neosporin
Antifungal cream: Lamisil AT Antifungal Cream®
Topical steroid: Cortisone ®
Eye drops: Visine ®
Antibiotics: Ciprofloxacin (Prescription needed)
Don’t forget alcohol swabs, bandages, tweezers, and safety pins to round-out the first aid kit. Seems like a lot of stuff, right? Believe it or not, we were able to fit it all into a 7.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 in toiletries cube.