Personal First Aid Kits – A Must for Overseas Travel!

by Narelle Webber on Thursday, 14 March 2013


Travelling overseas with a good quality first aid kit is a must © google images

ISV programs run according to “best practice” principles, and this includes health and safety precautions and being prepared to deal with minor injuries. So, let’s talk personal first aid kits.

Tip – never travel overseas without a good quality first aid kit. Putting it together is the hardest part; after that, you just need to make sure it is always fully stocked (i.e. quickly replace used items) and check used-by dates on any medications. The easiest way to start is to go to your local drug store (chemist) or contact a first aid provider to purchase a ‘base’ kit to which you can add other items. Most items can be obtained inexpensively and should be packed in a small, light, waterproof bag (putting the whole kit into a large zip-lock bag works too).

Below is our recommended “best practice” personal first aid kit suitable for an ISV trip.  We feel that all items are useful to have, however it is up to the individual if they choose not to include any of the items below.


  • Any personal medications you require
  • 8 x pain medication pills such as paracetamol/acetaminophen or aspirin
  • 6 x Ibuprofen (200mg) tablets
  • 2 x antihistamine tablets
  • 2 x sting relief pads or bottle of anti-itch spray/calamine lotion for insect bites
  • 4 x laxative tablets
  • 4 x anti-diarrhoea tablets
  • antibiotic ointment
  • 30 ml saline solution
  • 10ml iodine cleaning solution or antiseptic wipes

(Note:ISV staff are prohibited from providing participants with oral medication of any kind, so it is important that you bring your own supplies of medications).


  • 10 x band aids in various sizes
  • 4 x 5cm square sterile gauze pads
  • 4 x 7.5cm square sterile gauze pads
  • 2 x 7.5cm square non-adherent wound pads
  • 1 x 7.5cm square conforming gauze
  • 1 x roll medical tape (2.5cm width)
  • 5 x butterfly bandages/steri-strips
  • 2 x moleskin/blister band aids
  • 6 x cotton tipped applicators/swabs
  • 1 x 8cm long elastic bandage     
  • 2 x 5cm x 10cm second skin patches (for burns)
  • burn-aid gel sachet


  • 1 x protective face mask
  • 2x pairs nitrile protective (disposable) gloves
  • scissors and tweezers
  • 2 x safety pins
  • 10ml irrigation syringe without a needle, used for pressure rinsing wounds
  • emergency action card (this usually comes with first aid kits)
  • 1 x pack of antimicrobial hand wipes or bottle of hand sanitizer
  • List of contact details for relevant personal and emergency numbers
  • Extra reading glasses and/or contacts if you wear them (just in case you damage/lose your only pair)

If you’re travelling on an ISV program remember that ISV leaders are first aid certified and you can feel comfortable approaching them with any first aid concern. Also, during the ISV project or tour, a first aid kit will be available for emergency purposes and with ISV leaders at all times. However, the key word here is emergency; participants should use their own first aid kits for minor issues.

Safety is ISV’s number one concern, and by bringing your own first aid kit you’ll play an active role in the prevention and management of your own health issues.  Carry it with you as you go traveling, so you can be prepared while also having a great time.

To learn more about ISV’s programs and our commitment to safety, visit our website.



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }