Health & Wellness: The Essential Holiday First Aid Kit
Ideally, holiday time should be about carefree fun and making memories, not worrying about what biting bugs and infectious illnesses you might come across. By preparing your essential holiday first aid kit before you travel – and doing some research on your destination to find out what you might need to bring with you in addition to the basics – you can sit back and relax, safe in the knowledge that, should anything untoward happen, you’ve got exactly what is needed to fix it right up.
by Lisamarie Lamb
Ensuring you have a fully stocked first aid kit with you when you are away from home can make all the different if and when an accident happens. Keep it with you on day trips or in your hotel room and enjoy a worry-free break away.
So what should be included? Here is a list of the essentials.
Insect bites are the bane of holiday goers everywhere. Not only do they itch and sting (and can easily become infected), but they don’t look great when paired with a swimming costume or evening wear.
Mrs White’s Unstung Hero is a natural and effective way to keep mosquitos, ticks, wasps, bees and black flies at bay. The eau de cologne essentially makes you invisible to them and has a gorgeous lemon tea scent which is super fresh and uplifting!
People, pet and planet friendly, the new travel size bottle is £15.00 for 100ml and available exclusively at www.roullierwhite.com.
Travel Sickness Remedies
Travel sickness – also known as motion sickness – can stop the fun almost before it’s started; not only will getting to your destination be made uncomfortable, but exploring once you get there will be difficult too.
Kwells contain hyoscine hydrobromide which works on the balance systems of the inner ear and the ‘vomit centre’ of the brain to stop feelings of nausea and dizziness.
It’s just £3.19 for 12 tablets, and they are available at www.lloydspharmacy.com.
Alternatively, ginger is a great natural way to combat that nauseous feeling associated with travel sickness. Try it raw, in a smoothie, as a tea, or even nibble a ginger biscuit (which is also easiest to keep in your first aid kit).
Don’t like ginger but not keen on medication either? Why not try acupressure bands? These stretchy bands apply pressure to a specific part of the inside of your wrist which can ease the symptoms of travel sickness considerably. Sea-Bands are a great example of acupressure bands that are bright and lively enough for the kids to want to wear too. They cost £8.59 and can be found at www.ukshop.sea-band.com.
Easy to pack and lightweight to carry around, antiseptic wipes are definitely an essential part of any first aid kit. From wiping over cuts and scrapes to doubling as emergency toilet paper when out and about, these little sachets can really save the day.
Numark antiseptic wipes are a tried and trusted brand that will look after you and your family, giving you total peace of mind. They contain aloe vera to protect the skin, and are just £1 for a box of 10 from www.numarknet.com.
Antihistamines are a great all round solution to various ailments including hayfever, itchy insect bites, and even ‘prickly heat’ syndrome (an itchy inflammation of the skin that occurs in hot or humid conditions). They are a useful addition to any first aid kit.
Piriteze Allergy Tablets (£3.19 from www.boots.com) work quickly and efficiently, providing almost instant relief from allergens. They are one a day tablets, so take one at breakfast and you won’t have to worry about itchy skin or sniffles for the rest of the day.
The best way to deal with a sunburn is not to get burnt in the first place, but we all know that accidents happen and when they do, they need to be dealt with quickly. After sun cream (or spray, or gel) offers a cooling formula that soothes the burn and moisturises the damaged skin. It will give you – or your travelling companions – a more comfortable night’s sleep. The best way to use after sun is quickly; as soon as you feel that the sun is too strong, as soon as you start to go pink, get into the shade and apply liberally.
Liz Earle Sun Shade Botanical After Sun Gel (£15.00 from www.johnlewis.com) includes ginkgo biloba which is full of antioxidants (perfect for repairing damaged skin), as well as lavender, aloe vera, cucumber, and plenty of vitamin E, all of which keep the skin elastic and pliable, keeping the tightness of a sunburn to a minimum and allowing you to continue to enjoy your holiday to the fullest.
A small pack of plasters is a good idea for your holiday first aid kit. It’s best to opt for a variety of sizes, shapes, and types (such as waterproof and fabric) so that you are prepared for any eventuality. A readymade kit such as those available from www.firstaid4sport.co.uk (costing from £6.63 for 100 plasters) are a great addition to your first aid kit.
The same goes for bandages, and at www.steroplast.co.uk there is a huge range to choose from.
Diarrhoea and vomiting both dehydrate the body – put them together, as might be the case with a stomach bug, and you can become very ill very fast. It is essential to keep your body hydrated and topped up with the right amount of salt, sugar, potassium, and other minerals should this happen, and oral re-hydration solutions such as Dioralyte (available at www.allcures.com for £3.85), which come in a variety of flavours to help the medicine go down, are a great way of doing just that.
If you prefer, you can even make your own re-hydration solution at home (although bear in mind that it will be trickier to transport if taking on holiday, and you may not have immediate access to the ingredients when on holiday). Add six teaspoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt to a litre of water that has been boiled and allowed to cool. Stir until all the granules are dissolved, and drink.