8 Essentials for Healthy Travel

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Home & Family

Whether you’re bound for the Caribbean or headed on a weekend road trip, your bag isn’t complete without this expert-approved first-aid kit.

Ultimate travel kit

From Health magazine After months of planning and saving, the last thing you want is for your dream vacation to be ruined by a painful sunburn, a surprise cold, or an attack of stomach trouble.

Don’t fret! Our travel first-aid kit contains everything you’ll need to weather the unexpected and get back to enjoying your trip—all in a snug package that will fit easily into your carry-on.

Saline nasal spray

Travel stress messes with your immune system. “Add dry plane air and you have a recipe for getting sick,” says Travis Stork, MD, co-host of The Doctors. A spray keeps mucus membranes moist and less hospitable to germs.

Nail clipper

Sure, you like how a manicure looks, but it’s for safety, too: Some studies show that longer nails harbor more bacteria, upping your risk of spreading them to food or skin. Trim to a maximum of one-eighth of an inch beyond your fingertip.

Bandage strips

Go with various sizes, no peroxide or ointment needed: “Soap and bottled water work just as well to clean cuts and fight infection,” says Nancy Snyderman, MD, chief medical editor for NBC News.

Pain reliever

“Ibuprofen is a great choice for easing pain, soreness and inflammation from sprains, arthritis or other issues,” says Dr. Stork. It’s especially useful for the active and adventurous.

Aloe vera

A must-have for soothing sunburn, this cool gel also calms itchy bug bites and blisters after a long day of sightseeing. It’s good for zapping blemishes, too.

Antihistamine

Not only does it alleviate allergies (curse you, ragweed!), but it can also save you a trip to the doctor if a rash crops up.

Bonus: Popping it 30 minutes before bed might help you snooze if you’re jet-lagged.

Elastic bandage

A one-stop wonder! Use it to wrap a sprained ankle, put pressure on a deep cut or even securely tie up your souvenir-stuffed luggage.

Stomach soother

Skip the antidiarrheal; a more versatile med, like Pepto-Bismol, slows the growth of tummy-troubling bacteria, relieving diarrhea, upset stomach, nausea and heartburn.

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