first aid for vacation

Vacation First Aid

Taste for Life Staff
This content originally appeared on 

Before you head off on a summer road trip, put together a first-aid kit. Think basic and then pack your first-aid supplies in a handy, portable case that will fit easily into your car or suitcase. 

Insect Repellent

Research highlights adverse effects of DEET, malathion, and permethrin (used alone or in combination), particularly among the young. 

Look for safe, natural repellents using essential oils of cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, geranium, and pine.

Repel ticks naturally

To help prevent tick bites--and lower the risk of Lyme disease--wear protective clothing in tick-infested grassy or wooded areas. Oils of citronella, cloves, and lily of the valley "possessed repelling activities of the same magnitude as the repellent DEET" against ticks, say researchers, but without DEET's side effects.

Carefully remove any ticks you find with tweezers and disinfect bites with tea tree oil or other antiseptic. Report any bull's-eye rash to your healthcare provider immediately.

Travel-Related Ailments

Diarrhea, heat rash, motion sickness, poison ivy, sleeplessness, and sunburn are nuisances at any age--but can make kids (and anyone around them) downright miserable.

For carsickness, it's best to drink a little ginger tea before you drive off--and to bring along a thermos of tea,organic fruit, nuts, and whole-grain crackers.

Chamomile tea is a time-honored natural solution for sleeplessness. And after too much fun in the sun, aloe vera or calendula creams or gels can help soothe burns.

First-Aid Kit Essentials

Other items to consider include:

  1. adhesive bandages, various sizes
  2. adhesive tape
  3. aloe vera gel
  4. antiseptic wipes
  5. arnica cream
  6. calendula or calamine lotion
  7. cleansing agent/natural soap
  8. cold pack
  9. cotton swabs
  10. flashlight and extra batteries
  11. nonpetroleum jelly
  12. packet of tissues
  13. rolled gauze bandages (3 rolls)
  14. safety pins (assorted sizes)
  15. saline eye drops
  16. scissors, preferably blunt
  17. sewing needle
  18. sterile gauze pads
  19. sunblock/sunscreen
  20. thermometer
  21. tweezers
  22. zinc lozenges