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I recently wrote about my experience getting sick upon returning home from our incredible Caribbean cruise. It’s no fun to be sick but it’s especially bad when you’re on the road. While Covid, flu and RSV cases spike in the winter months, it’s smart to be prepared no matter what time of year you’re traveling. RELATED: Why You Should Add These 8 Health Items To Your Toiletry Bag When You Travel

I keep mine in my carry-on bag so that when it’s time to pack, I don’t have to pack everything over and over again, item by item. But, it’s smart to check your kit regularly and make sure that you replace anything you may have used up and to make sure that nothing is expired.

I thought you might be interested in what I always have packed in my travel first-aid kit. I’ve listed everything below but you can also check out a more exhaustive list prepared by the CDC here.

-Tylenol (this is key if you develop a fever)
A pocket thermometer
-Nasal spray
-Anti-diarrhea pills
-Antacid tablets
LiquidIV to fend off dehydration (here’s more info)
-Allergy pills
-Antibiotics (ask your doctor for a prescription)
-An inhaler (I used to have asthma)
-These Italian cough drops you can get on Amazon
Pulse oximeter (I added this to my travel bag at the start of the pandemic and it’s great to have and know when your oxygen levels drop. My doctor says it’s the new thermometer and I’ve had to use mine multiple times on my travels.)
BugBite Thing
-Polysporin or other antibiotic cream
-Sterile gauze pads
-Bandage roll
Covid antigen test

I carry all of this in a dopp kit like this one from Bagsmart. You can get most of these items on the road, but why wait? And trust me: When you get sick you’re going to wish you had packed all of this stuff before you left home. Here’s a variety of pre-packed first aid kits you can buy on Amazon but they might not have everything you need.

This post was updated on January 25, 2024. It was originally published on June 25, 2022.


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7 Comments On "Must-Have Items to Pack in Your Carry-On First Aid Kit"
  1. Lindeeloo|

    Thanks for the great tip and link to so many others! Ever since I lost a filling in my tooth on a Christmas Eve, I am never without a small kit that creates a temporary filling. Christmas was on a Friday that year and the temp filling lasted until I could get to the dentist on Monday. This tiny kit (container and applicator), which can be found in drug stores and on Amazon, stays in my travel first aid kit for peace of mind.

  2. Greg Chinn|

    We have added commercial packaged sanitation wipes to use on the arm rest, tray and screen.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Smart! I have them in mine too. Will add to story

  3. Kim|

    Thanks for the list. This is a lot of stuff! Do you mind sharing what you keep it all in?

  4. SUSAN|

    You forgot bug spray. I was eaten alive by mosquitoes on recent trip to Alaska. Had to buy spray and AfterBite, which was hard to find, in town

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Good point. I will add it as I usually do bring it when going to Alaska, MN or Africa

  5. Kona|

    Evolve makes DEET-free peel-and-stick essential oil patch mosquito repellant. They are very easy to pack around.

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