November 24, 2017

Travel with Kids: Your Travel First Aid Kit


I can still remember sending my husband, Dirk, out to find a thermometer and Tylenol in the middle of the night for our then two-year-old daughter, Clare. This was six years ago and we were many hours from home, spending the weekend in a hotel in Festus, Missouri for his grandmother’s 85th birthday.

Clare was crying inconsolably and running a high fever. Of course, we had no medicines of any kind with us and no way to tell just how warm she was. What we did have, however, was Clare’s three-month-old sister, Kate, in the room and we did not want to wake her up.

That weekend was a huge lesson in travel planning with babies and toddlers. Now I always travel with children’s Tylenol because kids have a knack for getting sick in the middle of the night. Plus, a dose of Tylenol can get everyone through to the morning to hunt down a pediatrician, if necessary.

If you’re getting ready to travel with small children, here’s what I suggest you add to your travel first aid kit (which can even be a simple Ziploc bag):

Band-Aids. Bonus points if you bring along Band-Aids with cartoon characters on them. Kids will no doubt trip, fall or otherwise hurt themselves in some way, and even just the simple act of covering the boo-boo (even if you can’t see it) will go a long way toward keeping them happy.

Antibiotic Ointment. This goes hand in hand with Band-Aids. If your kids do get a cut or a scratch, wash it well and then apply an antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin. No need to risk a Staph infection while you’re on vacation.

Thermometer. This is a must, even just for peace of mind. It can be hard to gauge a fever, and it’s helpful to know whether you can hold off on medication overnight (99 degrees) or call a doctor (104 degrees). I found it frustrating that night in Festus not knowing at first just how warm Clare was.

Children’s Tylenol. Really any kind of pain reliever and fever reducer will do. A dose of Tylenol in the middle of the night can get your child a few more hours of restful sleep and he or she may even bounce back in the morning. Don’t forget the syringe or dropper.

Benadryl. Bring along Benadryl or some another antihistamine designed to combat allergic reactions, like swollen marks from bug bites. My daughter had her ear bitten up by gnats and Benadryl worked like a charm to bring down the swelling.

Calamine Lotion. This goes hand in hand with Benadryl. If you think you might be hiking or taking the kids outside, then bring along some calamine lotion (but of course, be sure to wear insect repellant too). This will relieve pain and swelling from insect bites, or even poison ivy.

Dramamine or Queasy Pops. My oldest two girls, who are just eight and seven now, are always getting sick on the plane or in the car. Bring along your preferred motion sickness remedies to keep kids’ tummies in check. As a bonus, Queasy Pops can help with ear pressure when flying.

Antibacterial Gel. Pop a travel size bottle of Purell in your purse before you go. Your kids will be touching lots of new things, so it’s a good idea just to be prepared with some antibacterial gel to try to keep germs away from them.

I assure you, it’s so much easier and cheaper to just pick up these items at Target or Walmart before you leave, throw them into a Ziploc bag and be on your way. Plus, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that your kids will not get sick when you travel prepared (am I right or am I right?).

What’s in your travel first aid kit? Let me know in the comments section below if you have any more items I should be adding to mine.

Photo Credit: fragglerawker_03


  1. I like this list. Just switch out children’s tylenol for regular and it works for adults too.

  2. I love travel first aid kids. I am traveling in the Central Americas and I have all these things including pills for upset stomach from drinking bad water, and tums. Recently I was surfing and scratched my wrist with my own nail. I knew that I should clean it, and had all the materials to do so. I forgot about it, and yup you guessed it, had a dirty little infection to heal for the next week. As an adult I am ok with my poor decision but with kids it really is important to handle even those little cuts and scrapes! Great article. Check out some of my adventures at Lots of great places to explore here in Costa Rica, and great learning opportunities for your four little ones! -Daniella

Leave a Comment