Ultimate Carry on Approved Travel Medicine Chest




Introduction: Ultimate Carry on Approved Travel Medicine Chest

I traveled all over Asia for 10 years when I lived there. I was constantly missing my comfort over the counter USA medicines when I was there. You can't find Alka Seltzer or Pepto Bismo in most Asian countries, and that drove me nuts. Their equivalent did not compare, so I started to make a bag with me to bring on all my trips and on the plane.

My kit like most of the ones I see on Instructables, has evolved, and gotten bigger. It's at the point now where I can still throw it in the bottom of my backpack I bring on the plane, which is fine for me.

What I like most about my latest version of my Travel Med Kit is the bags I use. I found that heavy mill ziplocs on Amazon with the Eagle Creek shoe bag makes it very easy for me to get to any item in the bag. If I'm traveling and I need something from the bag, I just dump the whole thing out on the hotel bed. I can easily find what I need and throw it all back in the shoe bag, zip it up, and be done with it. I suggest the heavy mil ziplocs, the sizes are perfect and they won't degrade.

All the items I have in the Travel Med Kit are TSA approved sizes, even the scissors. I have been checked a few times, and one time they opened the kit up. I told them it's 4in and approved. They agreed and let me pass. I know when they see this kit, they MUST know I'm not a terrorist lol, what terrorist is going to carry meds that could possibly save a life on a plane!

About some of the drugs I carry: I have a prescription for Ambien, although I'm not a regular user of it, it does have it uses. I also have Celebrex and a couple Z Paks just in case I feel the need to self diagnose and start the meds early.

At the very least if you want to be prepared on a plane carry Sudafed and a Zyrtec Antacid. If someone is having a anaphylactic reaction, you could offer those two pills and possibly save a life. Most of the Airlines I fly on won't even have Aspirin, and if there is an emergency they go around asking if there are doctors, and unfortunately the doctors won't have meds on them. So you could really make a difference if you have a med kit on a plane.

I'll list out what the items are in each bag, some of them double up a bit.

I would love to hear suggestions on what to add!

Step 1: Use the Right Mil Ziplocs, Find the Travel Size Drugs

The hardest thing about assembling these med kits are trying to find the travel sizes at a good price. You can of course make your own travel size items, it's just nice to get a few. I've purchased the box of individual travel size from Amazon, and as gifts handed out smaller emergency kits to my friends, really makes a nice gift.

Step 2: Bag 1 - Creams

  1. Neosporin
  2. Suntan Lotion
  3. Sting Relief
  4. Burn Gel
  5. Antifungal Cream
  6. Monistat Cream
  7. Aquaphor
  8. Personal Lube
  9. Vaseline Lip Therapy
  10. Blistex
  11. Lanacane

Step 3: Bag 2 - Various Bandages and Skins

  1. Nasal Cease - excellent for nose bleeds
  2. Moleskin Plus
  3. Bandaids
  4. Wound Seal
  5. Small Super Glue (not pictured)
  6. Cotton Swabs
  7. Tampon
  8. Wrap gauze

Step 4: Bag 3 - Handy Items

  1. Surgical Blade
  2. Nail Clippers
  3. Swiss Tech Multi Tool Light
  4. Disposable Thermometers
  5. Thermometer
  6. 4in Scissors
  7. Shoe String
  8. Dental Floss
  9. Pen Light
  10. Baby Pins
  11. Water Purifier

Step 5: Bag 4 - Every Day OTC Drugs

  1. Tylenol Extra
  2. Dramine
  3. Aleve
  4. Iburprofen generic
  5. Vicks Vapor Rub
  6. Vaseline
  7. Visine
  8. Ear Medicine (prescription for swimmers ear)

Step 6: First Aid and Ready Made Kits

I felt a first aid book would be useful, but it's hard to find a small light weight useful one. Still looking for a better one.

The Splinter Out had great reviews on Amazon, makes it very easy to dig out deep ones.

The Dental Kit is basically same as my premade one, have not checked out what extra they might have.

Step 7: Bag 5 - Various Tools

  1. Super Glue
  2. Tweezers
  3. Pencil
  4. Duct Tape

Step 8: Bag 6 - Swimming Plugs

  1. Swimming plugs
  2. Baby Pins again

Step 9: Bag 7 - Rehydration and Deet

  1. Some Rehydration Packets
  2. Nivea Cream
  3. Listerine
  4. Deet

Step 10: Bag 8 - Various Individual Pack Meds

  1. Bayer Aspirin
  2. Aleve
  3. Insect Towel
  4. Nyquil Cold and Flu
  5. Antiseptic Wipes
  6. Advil
  7. Antacids
  8. Tylenol Extra
  9. Imodium (not pictured)
  10. Motrin (not pictured)
  11. Pepto Bismol Tablets (not pictured)
  12. Cold Relief Tablets (not pictured)

Step 11: Bag 9 - Tooth Kit

  1. Anbesol
  2. Filling Repair Kit
  3. Wax
  4. Surgical Gloves
  5. Pain Nummer
  6. Extra Heavy Moleskin

Step 12: Bag 10 - Tapes and Magnify Glass

  1. Gauze Tape
  2. Sticky Tape
  3. Surgical Gloves
  4. Magnify Glass

Step 13: Bag 11 - Condoms

Never can have enough of these

Step 14: Bag 12 - My Favorite Med Mr. Alka

  1. Alka Seltzers - a few types, I throw more in before I leave. I can't live without these traveling

Step 15: Bag 13 - Prescription Meds

  1. Zpak - nice to have these if you are traveling and know something viral is hitting you
  2. Celebrex - best anti inflammatory for me
  3. Zovirax - for cold sores, I feel one coming on and this will stop it fast
  4. Various gout/inflamatory medicines for myself, you would put whatever ails you

Step 16: Airline Bag and Pills

  1. I carry one of the Airline Seatpocket bags, they are handy sometimes.. especially if you feel like you are going to heave
  2. Pill carrier - various pills in there that I cant find trial packets on

Step 17: Bag 14 - Misc

  1. Ambien
  2. Antacids
  3. New Skin
  4. Pepto Bismol Tablets
  5. Throat lozenges (not pictured)

Step 18: Bag 15 - Various Meds

  1. Sudafed
  2. Zyrtec
  3. Pepcid AC
  4. Pamprin
  5. Nighttime Sleep Aid
  6. Suppositories
  7. Exlax
  8. Asperin
  9. Sedative / Anti Depressant

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    4 years ago

    I would like to comment about adding a few other things into your medicine kit, dried papaya and/or tablets, dried ginger (both great for stomach problems and in the case of papaya, it help digest foods, which is helpful in some food allergies.) and Po Chai pills, it is a herbal equivalent of Imodium, I have tried it and usually 1 dose of a 1.89 g vial usually works for me.

    Also so you have substitutes for some of your medicine, as I have reaction to aspirin and possible some of the other medicine.


    4 years ago

    Only one tampon? Besides the obvious, these can save a life in case of GSW--gunshot wounds.


    5 years ago

    Yes definitely add : Diphenhydramine

    Brand name: Benadryl


    It can treat pain and itching caused by insect bites, minor cuts, burns, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac when applied topically. In its oral form, it can treat hay fever, allergies, cold symptoms, and insomnia. In its injected form, it can treat severe allergic reactions, motion sickness, and symptoms of Parkinson's disease.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Your article is lacking in information. You show your picture, but unfortunately they are not large enough to see the individual items that make up your kit. Basic all you have said is you have a great ideal that works. It would have been nice to have had a breakdown of what your kit is made up of.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I numbered and listed everything in each bag, maybe you are looking at it on a cell phone?

    Cardinal Fang

    Please be aware:

    Anaphylactic shock is a life threatening condition that can kill in

    The best and proper treatment is epinephrine. People with a known allergy that results in anaphylaxis will carry one in the form of injectors such as epipens or Ana-Kits (and it's something that security will allow on to the airline), and some airlines also carry it in their emergency kits.

    If it is available, always - and I mean ALWAYS, use it in preference to sudafed + zirtek!!!

    (If someone doesn't know they're allergic, and goes into anaphylaxis, it's worth having the captain on an airline make an announcement to see if someone else has one).

    Even if you have access to epinephrine, you will still need to obtain URGENT MEDICAL ASSISTANCE.

    Only, and ONLY if epinephine is not available should people even consider resorting self-treatment or improvised treatment, as, at best, it will only reduce symptoms, and might not work at all.

    Tablets like sudafed contain pseudoephadrine or phenylephadrine and *MAY* some degree of relief. If someone has ephadrine (e.g. Primeatine), same principal. Zirtek is a brand name of cetirizine (also sold as Benadryl and Piriteze) is an anti-histamine, which are used to relive mild to moderate allergic symptoms (anaphylaxis is NOT mild or moderate) - so other varieties of antihistamine e.g Loratadine (known as Clarityn), or Chlorphenamine (Piriton) might damp down the allergic reaction somewhat.

    But just to reiterate - always seek urgent medical attenttion, and use epinephrine if you have access to it, before using antihistamines and ephadrine/ pseudoephadrine.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you Cardinal, very true. It should be used as a last resort and checking the carry on for a pen is a great idea. My wife has food allergies and has broken out in a rash on planes where Benadryl is very useful, so I think for food allergies is invaluable. For full blown Anaphylactic shock you really do need to have the Captain make an announcement on the plane to ask for an Ana-Kits.

    But you know the problem I have seen though is that it can take a long time for people to get an understanding of what's going on and get the help to someone when needed. If an attack was happening and you were close by, I think something like Benadryl and that anta acid without any delay would be better than 10-15min of the flight team finding what is needed from someone on board. Then once the kit is found do that in addition. I'm no doctor though, so would love to hear other opinions about that.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    As one who frequently travels this is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!