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Now, I’m a bit of a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kinda guy. I have survived the last 36 years of my life (Jaysus I’m gettin’ old!) by adopting the age old Irish attitude of “ah sure, it’ll be grand”.
Checkout in 5 minutes and haven’t packed my bag yet? Ah sure, it’ll be grand!
Called in to work to do a 12 hour shift with a stinking hangover? Ah sure, it’ll be grand!
Up on a murder charge with no alibi? Ah sure feck it, it’ll be grand, lads. (OK I’ve never actually been called up on a murder charge… yet)
But with a change of lifestyle (and the addition of a few years) I have developed a sense of responsibility or as Katie calls it, “Dad mode”.
Dad mode comes with several side effects; terrible jokes, having toilet paper in every pair of trousers I own, being able to make dinner for two from a potato, three grains of rice and a gust of wind, but most notably, I now travel with a first aid kit.
D’uh I hear you say… every traveller should and probably does have one. Well this is not aimed at those seasoned travellers, no this little meandering is aimed at the newbies. Those who are still packing, planning and gathering supplies for the big trip.
There are a few things to consider when stocking up your ‘just incase box’.
Space is at a premium:
If there’s one thing we constantly harp on about here at The Ungraceful Guide it’s that you need to consider every centimeter and every gram that goes into the pack. So remember don’t buy in bulk.
Don’t be lazy:
Sure you could go online or into boots and buy a prepacked ready to go travelers first aid kit, but you’ll be paying through the nose for something that, being honest, you’ll only use about 3% of.
Put some thought into it:
You’re way better off thinking about YOURSELF and the things YOU’RE likely to need. As in you won’t need hay-fever medication if you don’t suffer from hay-fever, you know?
The items you need can be split into three categories, and this is how we assembled our first aid kit.
If you’re anything like me you probably fall A LOT or at least bump into a lot of stuff. We also do a hell of a lot walking. Which brings with it those little destroyers of days and socks… blisters!! You’re not four, you know what you need here:
- Antiseptic Cream
Unfortunately even the most veteran travellers suffer when the delicate balance of your gut is thrown out of whack by trying adventurous new cuisines or adapting to new bacteria. The following should help;
- Anti Diarrhoea (Smecta, Immodium)
- Charcoal tablets – great at dragging all the nastyness out of your gut.
- Dioralyte or electrolyte drinks- stay hydrated kids!
- Laxative (Pepto-Bismol or Duclax)
- Ibuprofen – for general aches, pains and swelling
- Paracetamol – for fever related symptoms and pains
- Sun cream
- Insect spray*
It’s also worth bearing in mind the majority of these supplies will actually be cheaper when you leave the country. So you might want to put off buying them until you land… Just sayin’.
So there you have it, my safety conscious amigos. If I’ve missed out on anything please remember this is a basic starter kit. You will need to tailor yours to your specific needs/climate/activites.
Thanks for reading and for the love of Jaysus will you be careful out there.