Arguably the most important part of any trip is also the most boring, least anticipated, and most often procrastinated aspect. Packing. Everyone hates it, but if you’re not careful you can end up on a week long vacation with two pair of underwear and three socks.
I have a couple useful tips that can help you pack at the drop of a hat for nearly any excursion. These are stolen from my mom, who is an experienced traveler capable of packing for a three-week trip to Europe in a couple hours.
We will start with some ways to permanently pack some things. You will need a part of a drawer or a box in your closet to designate as your travel box. Also a box of (1) quart and (2) gallon zip lock bags (those with the pleated bottom so they are a little bigger and stand up better), (3) few index cards and (4) a permanent marker.
Today lets start with non-prescription meds and other first aid supplies. This will take you through most any minor medical emergency with no need to find a pharmacy in the middle of the night. Who wants or needs to interrupt your vacation for a Tylenol or a band-aide?
We will pack a quart zip lock and you will never have to unpack it again – Pick it up, drop it in your carry on and you are ready to go. Remember to check the suggested list of items for any allergies you might have and substitute accordingly.
Buy or lay on your counter the following- try to buy your pills in blister packages not bottles
- Box of different size band-aides
- Advil or similar drug of your choice
- Throat lozenges
- Your favorite cold pills (Claritin plus is what I use)
- Imodium or other antidiarreheal
- Ranitidine (zantac) or similar
- Pepto-Bismol tablets
- Benadryl capsules
- Small ace bandage
- Small cortisone cream
- Small Benadryl cream
- Gauze squares – 10-15 small
- Cohesive wrap- one package
- Alcohol pads 5-6
- Tooth adhesive- 1 kit (only if you have any dental crowns!)
Take your index card and write down the dose of each med from the box – for example
Advil 2 tablets every 4 hours for pain.
Also write the date of expiration of each med from the package.
Now take one blister pack of each med out of the package (if you can’t find blister packs put a few of each pill in a sandwich bag and label the bag with the name of the pill using your marker or a file folder label and fasten the bag with a twist tie) Remember you just need enough of each med for 2-3 days. If you still need it after that you are probably going to need to find medical care.
Put in your bag at least 2-4 of each size band-aides, a few gauze squares held together with a rubber band, your cohesive wrap and alcohol wipes then your card of med instructions, then a few throat lozenges to fill the corners. Put in your meds. Add the tube of Benadryl/cortisone at the very top so you can easily remove it. When you throw your meds in your carry on- drop those tubes in your liquids container so you don’t get in trouble with security. Date the bag with the month and year you pack it. Replace expired meds once a year (you already listed these on your index card). I usually attach the ace bandage with a big rubber band around my zip lock.
Throw this in your drawer/box of travel items and you never have to pack this again. Also next trip when you turn your ankle you have everything to clean the scrape (gauze pads and alcohol wipes) apply band-aide and use ace bandage. Replace any items used as soon as you get home and you are good to go.
Check in next week for how to manage any prescription meds you have to take.
I have added links for some recommended items.
I would love to hear responses and additional items you use.
Happy travels and remember All Access Travel can arrange any and all of your travel in the most convenient and safe manner available. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.