Here are a few of the other essentials that every traveller should consider including in their kit.
Laundry Kits are clutch, especially for multi-week trips. Imagine you run out of clean underwear or socks and don’t have access to a Laundromat for a few more days. Your kit is the difference between smelly discomfort and a fresh clean outlook. A simple kit consists of a sink plug, laundry detergent (for washing by hand, not machine) and drying rope. If you’re in the United States you can pick up concentrated laundry detergent as well as the other necessary items at REI or the Alpine Shop. They’re also widely available online. Woolite is a classic detergent option that you can buy in single use packages, often sold with a sink plug.
What’s worse than being sick as a dog thousands of miles from the comfort of your own bed? Not much really. Add to it the challenge of finding much needed medicine in an unfamiliar country and foreign language, and well…you get my point. It can be a nightmare. Here are the basics for your medical kit:
Antihistamines – Loratadine (Claratin), Cetirizine (Zyrtec) or Fexofenadine (Allegra)
Painkillers – Ibuprofen (Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Indigestion Medicine – Calcium Carbonate Tablets (Tums), and Ranitidine (Zantac) or Omeprazole (Prilosec) The later two treat recurrent heartburn.
Anti-diarrheal – Loperamide (Imodium), will help stop up common travelers diarrhea
Triple Antibiotic Cream
Hardcore Prescription Antibiotic – Ciproflaxin, don’t leave home without it. This is a lifesaver in cases of severe food or water poisoning. That being said, only use it if you absolutely need to, because it kills most of the native bacterial flora in your gut, which takes years to replenish and can cause digestive irritation. I’ve only used it a few times, when my other symptoms are accompanied by extremely high fever. It works fast.