I do not like to carry too large a handbag when travelling. I don’t enjoy anything too bulky. I want to streamline, and take as little as possible. Part of that is creating a very small kit full of the tablets I might need during a day out and about. If you wanted to carry a full sheet of all of these tablets on top of the other things you want to carry, you will need a large beach bag. So what drugs do I consider essential?
1. Cold and Flu tablets – if I take these the minute I feel like I might be getting a cold, 8 times out of 10, I can head it off at the pass and never get the looming lurgy. These tablets contain – Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride 30mg; Paracetamol 500mg; Codeine Phosphate 6mg.
2. Antihistamines – There are a lot of different allergy tablets out there, these are the ones that I have found to work for me, from time to time I have to switch to a different one for a bit. These tablets contain – Fexofenadine Hydrochloride 180mg.
3. Nurofen Plus – Sometimes there are headaches that the regular tablets do not touch. I will usually try either Paracetamol or Ibuprofen first, and if those do not work I will try two of these a few hours later. But sometimes you know that the other tablets are not going to cut it right off the bat and so taking these right away is the best bet. These tablets contain – Ibuprofen 200mg; Codeine Phosphate 12.8mg.
4. Ibuprofen – These can be used for headaches or other pain – eg joint pain or tooth pain. These tablets contain – Ibuprofen 200mg. Note – If you are going to use the liquid versions of this tablet, you must pack them in with your liquids, gels and aerosols as per this post. You can get a non liquid version and I would recommend that just to keep all the tablets together.
5. Paracetamol – I use these specifically for headaches – sometimes I might team them up with the Ibuprofen if I have to work and don’t want to bring out the big guns of the Codeine Phosphate from the Nurofen Plus. If you take these with some caffeine it makes them more effective and work more quickly. A cup of tea is a good option. These tablets contain – Paracetamol 500mg.
6. Difflam Throat Lozenges – these things are magic. Magic I tell you! It is extremely important that you get the right ones – they MUST be the ones with the anaesthetic effect. And idiotic me, these are not them. Oh dears. The ones you want clearly state on the box Anaesthetic – here is a photo. I will have to replace these with ones from my other packet. If you take these the moment you start to feel like you have a sore throat, you have a chance to stop whatever is going on back there. I have saved myself many times with these. Plus, these can be useful if you have a sore jaw or tooth. These lozenges contain – Lignocaine hydrochloride 4 mg; Benzydamine hydrochloride 3 mg; Dichlorobenzyl alcohol 1.2 mg.
7. De~Gas – These things are also magic. Lets be honest – when you travel and you are eating different foods to your normal foods, it can cause some issues internally. If I find things getting a bit gassy I will take 2 of these and within 15 minutes I am my normal self. These tablets contain – Simethicone 100mg.
8. Gastro-Stop – Again this is for internal issues – let us put it politely like they do on the packet – loose motions, cramps and associated pain. These tablets contain – Loperamide Hydrochloride 2mg.
9. Olbas Pastilles – These are very useful for travelling. I usually take one of these while waiting to board the plane, and one when descent begins. They generally last quite a while and they clear out your sinuses and your ear passages. These contain – Eucalyptus oil; peppermint oil; menthol; juniper oil; clove oil; sugar and glucose. If you can’t find these, Fishermans Friends in the original flavour will also work.
10. Olbas Inhaler – If you suffer from ear pain at all when travelling you should carry one of these with you. After a few inhalations your ear passages will clear and the pain will subside. If you cannot find this, a Vicks inhaler or any kind of menthol inhaler will do the trick. This contains – Cajuput oil; Eucalyptus Oil; Levomenthol; Peppermint Oil.
The above is excellent if you are travelling with young kids – they often suffer from ear pain but they cannot always tell you that is what it is, and they will start screaming once the plane doors close and the cabin begins to pressurize. They also cannot perform the Valsalva Manoeuvre to equalise the pressure in their ears and sinuses.
So what you want to do next is cut off one dose of each drug from the sheet. Some of the smaller drugs which are difficult to trim around I will allow more than one dose because they do not take up a lot of space. But you will be left with sharp edges. This is where the time consuming part of creating this kit comes in.
Trim off all the sharp edges. I like to use nail scissors because they are that bit smaller, and this can be a fiddly job. Lay down a tissue or a piece of paper towel so you don’t have these little fiddly bits of junk all over the place. You want to be very careful that you do not cut too close to the edge where the tablet is sealed.
Here is the finished result. I like to add in a couple of glass cleaning wipes because I have to wear glasses.
So what happens if you use any of these doses of medicine and have to replace them? Well I like to have a backup medicine kit which stays in my check in luggage with full sheets of these drugs, so you can just cut off another dose if you need to. But if you had the time and energy you could trim up all of the drugs you carry, so they are all as small as possible and ready to swap into your carry everywhere kit.
Now, you need something to put all of this into. I like to use small zip up purses. The smallest one I have still has plenty of space left when all of the items are placed in there.
You can see how small this kit is, and yet it has so much in there that I might need while travelling.
What medicines are your essentials when you are travelling?