Health and safety supplies we always pack before we hit the road on a family road trip
Important first aid items on a road trip
Remember, unless you are travelling to quite remote places, you will have access to a pharmacy or, at worst, a medical clinic or hospital, so you only need the first aid essentials to deal with minor ailments.
The more remote you get though, you are likely to want to take a few more extensive items with you to suit your conditions.
These are the most essential first aid and sanitary items that we always keep with us in our day bag and in easy grabbing distance in the car.
- Hand sanitizer
- Water wipes
- Band-Aids /Plasters
- Sterilizing wipes
- Hydrocortisone Cream
- Motion sickness
- Anti-diarrhoea medication
- Corn pads
- Medical gloves
- Eye drops
- Small scissors
- Cotton buds
- Cotton swaps
- Safety pins
- Medical tape
- Cold packs
- Lip balm
- Bug Spray
- Feminine hygiene products
- Anti perspirant wipes
If your child has asthma or allergies, there will be extra considerations such as inhalers and EpiPens to pack too.
First Aid items to buy only if needed
Supplies that we find useful but feel we can save space on unless we know they’ll be needed
- After Sun lotion – unless someone actually has sunburn we find this takes up unnecessary space in our toiletries but is easy to buy from a supermarket or drug store.
- Thermometer – unless you’re a new parent, most of us can take a pretty good guestimate when our child is overheating or has a fever. If they are running a high fever that is not brought down by paracetamol or Ibuprofen then a visit to a pharmacy or doctor will be necessary to ensure you are treating the right ailment.
- Large Bandages – if anything needs more than a Band-Aid such as a sprain, it’s best to see a professional.
As well as first aid items, whenever we’re away from home in the car there are several non-medical supplies it’s sensible to keep on hand. Think of worst case scenarios where no one may be injured, but you are stranded and need to wait for help. What items quickly become essential in these situation?
- Winter driving – Extra blankets and warm layers for everyone in the car, as well as coats, gloves, scarves and hats.
- A good supply of healthy snacks that can last you through to a point you can buy food supplies.
- A smartphone – should go without saying this probably comes everywhere with you these days. If you will be heading off major roads make sure you have a downloaded map with you and have written Pre-save emergency numbers you might need including roadside assistance services, your travel insurance number, rental car numbers.
- A battery pack – if your car has broken down then you may chew through your phone battery fast without any power, always have a secondary source of power handy.
- Emergency phone numbers – information written down somewhere not reliant on the internet or any electronic device that can run out of battery.
- And don’t forget water! This should be an every day item you are taking with you, but always take more in the car with you on a road trip in case of an emergency; we all know water is the most important survival tool we have.
Pre-Packaged first aid kits
If you’re still uncertain on what items to take with you in a first aid kit for a road trip then a pre-packaged kit with the essentials is a great place to start.
Remember, even if you are buying a pre-packaged kit, look though it before you travel! Familiraize yourself with what’s included and put in any extra items you know your family might need. They may not come with things like kids liquid pain reliever, antihistamines or a particular type of Band-Aid for sensitive skin.
And go easy on the overall size. While 300+ pieces might sound like you’ve got all bases covered, you may also find yourself catering a lot of unnecessary gear half way around the country.
Other top travel safety tips before hitting the road
- Don’t forget to take out Road Trip Travel Insurance. This will give you peace of mind, should the worst happen on your road trip you will have 24-7 support over the phone and shouldn’t be left out of pocket for medical expenses.
- Research in advance of your trip what the emergency services phone numbers are (it’s not 911 everywhere in the world!) and where your nearest hospital might be.
- If you have any allergies or medical conditions, make sure they are written down in the language of the country you are visiting.
- Keep the insurance hotline number with you at all times!
Never leave and important item behind again! Grab our complete family road trip checklist here
Please seek your own medical advice if you have any concerns travelling with a particular ailment. Some of the items we have recommended on this page contain affiliate links; if a qualifying purchase is made we earn a commission. See our full privacy and disclosure policies here.
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