What OTC Medications To Bring To Your Travel Abroad

first aid kit

Many people consider their first aid kit as the most important item on their packing list. This is because if an unexpected emergency occurs, they want to be prepared for it. 

Perhaps you are among those who doubt the necessity of packing a first aid kit. Maybe you prefer to carry along some medication instead. If so, what over-the-counter medications can you include for maximum preparedness? 

What are the Benefits of a First Aid Kit?

  • It prepares you for a medical emergency and enables you to treat basic injuries quickly
  • It helps you protect your family and friends and render aid to others in need
  • A kit contains all the essentials you require, packed together in a carrier or box
  • You will be able to relieve irritation caused by insect bites and possibly prevent scarring

Over the counter medication that will help you deal with emergencies without having to search for medical clinics in the unfamiliar territory include:


This comes in the form of a spray, cream, or ointment. It is an oral medication used to relieve symptoms of insect bites, stings, prickly heat, and nappy rash. Most treatments are mild and can be purchased from pharmacies that dispense a maximum of 1% strength.

Cough Medication

For mild cases of sore throats and coughs, lozenges, cough drops, and cough syrups come in useful. Let the pharmacist know about any other medication you’re taking so that he can recommend cough medication that is compatible.

Some cough mixtures contain paracetamol and Ibuprofen, for example, therefore if these ingredients are present in the medication you are taking, you might be in danger of an overdose.

Pain Killers

Your first aid kit should have fever reducers and painkillers. These come in handy in providing relief for minor aches and pains. Paracetamols help reduce temperatures and they are generally safe.

Aspirin can be a life-saver if you encounter an adult experiencing chest pains. Other useful painkillers to have are acetaminophen and ibuprofen which is good for muscle aches and pains.

Anti-diarrhea Medication

Mild cases of diarrhea can be treated with over-the-counter medication such as bismuth subsalicylate (trade name Pepto-Bismol) or Loperamide. These are available in tablet or liquid form.

Whilst these drugs might not treat the infection, they will halt the watery bowel movements and the discomfort that accompanies them. Loperamide which is also known as Imodium can be purchased over the counter, and so can Pepto-Bismol.


Allergy medication is an essential item that should be in every first aid kit. Diphenhydramine is considered one of the best as it provides relief for a wide range of allergic reactions.

The downside is that it causes drowsiness. Diphenhydramine can also be obtained in the form of a cream that can be used to treat insect bites.

Loratadine is another allergy medication, but it is more costly. However, it is a good option if you want to avoid the feeling of drowsiness.

Carrying a first aid kit with you when you travel is a good idea, as it helps you contain an emergency situation as you await help. First-aid measures reduce recovery time for the patient, and nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction you get when you help someone out.

5 Point Packing List When Going on Safari

A safari is different from any other tour you have been on. It’s an exciting journey that takes you into unfamiliar territory, hence you need to be prepared to face whatever it may bring. Here are some tips on what to pack so that you are suitably equipped for your safari.

The Right Luggage

When deciding on the type of luggage to carry along with you, it is good to keep in mind the mode of transportation that you will be using. Domestic aircraft have strict luggage limits as these are light carriers with limited capacity. Hence it is recommended that you carry a soft-sided bag without wheels; a Duffel bag is a good idea.

Similarly, when you are traveling by minivan or landrover, you need a bag that can easily be squeezed into the back. Most light aircraft limit baggage allowance to 15kg(33lbs). This is not difficult to achieve as safari lodges and camps will supply you with all you need in terms of linen and towels.

The Right Shoes to Pack

The shoes you pack will depend on the activity you have booked, for example, if you are on an adventure walking safari, light-weight hiking boots will come in handy. However, not much walking is involved in standard safaris, therefore comfortable walking shoes or trainers will do. For the evenings, pack light slip-on shoes with some grip for safety.

What is the Appropriate Clothing?

The good news is that same-day laundry service is widely available on most tourist circuits, therefore you can keep your wardrobe changes to the minimum. The keywords to remember are comfortable and breathable when selecting clothes to pack. This will ensure that you are at ease during the long drives in the bush.

Do remember that in the tropics day and night temperatures fluctuate greatly, therefore prepare for this by dressing in layers. Pack a warm jacket for use during cold mornings and later in the evening when the temperatures drop.

It is not a must to purchase khaki-colored outfits for the safari, although earth colors hide smudges of dust and dirt. In addition, neutral colors will reflect the heat and keep you cool. But do avoid bright colored clothing as it may make you visible to certain species of animals.

Remember to pack swimwear, as most lodges and safari camps have swimming pools. You may also opt to dress up for dinner. Long-sleeved tops and long trousers will protect you from mosquitos; however, it’s best to leave expensive jewelry behind.

The Essential Equipment

An essential piece of equipment that you must have is a good quality pair of binoculars as they will enhance your game-viewing drives. Animals that are away on the horizon will be brought up close, a sensational experience, not to be missed.

Bring along a camera to catch memorable scenes of wildlife, fascinating landscape, and colorful traditional dancers.

A safari hat is an essential part of your wardrobe as it will offer protection against the tropical sun. The heat of Africa can be scorching and the last thing you need is sunburn. 

Last But Not Least

The following items are standard for all international travel:

  • Travel documentation, Travel insurance, passport, vaccination certificates.
  • The second pair of prescription glasses and your prescription medication
  • Photocopies of all personal documents
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • A good book

Safaris are special indeed, as they enable you to see animals in their habitat. Therefore go out there, get up close and marvel at the power and beauty of these wild creatures. You might get hooked on the safari experience as many others have before you.