What is the best travel first aid kit? The one you make yourself! Outlined below are simple steps to make your own mini travel first aid kit. I also provide free printables for both a travel first aid kit checklist and labels for your kit at the bottom of this post.

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I love a good DIY project and they do not get much better than a DIY first aid kit. You might discover that you already have everything you need to make a mini first aid kit perfect for travel. In fact, I did not have to go out and buy a single item! Best of all, you will be able to tailor your first aid kit to your specific needs and wants.

mini first aid containers
Options abound for a DIY mini travel first aid kit.

What’s in a travel first aid kit?

So what should a travel first aid kit contain? Honestly, it is a bit subjective. But below are my 12 essentials for a travel first aid kit and the things I like to have on hand when I go on vacation:

  • Three (3) bandages
  • One (1) alcohol wipe
  • One (1) antibiotic ointment package
  • Six (6) pain relievers (specifically ibuprofen)
  • Two (2) allergy pills
  • Two (2) anti-diarrheal pills
  • Four (4) sleeping pills
  • One (1) antacid
  • One (1) cold/sinus pill
  • Two (2) cough drops
  • One (1) anti-itch ointment package
  • Moleskin

I have yet to use every one of these items on a trip, but I like knowing I have them just in case. They do not take up much room and are there for you in a pinch. I figure I can always buy more (and possibly better) medications while on the road if I need them. But I still feel better about packing just a few necessities. Take a look at your medicine cabinet. That should give you a good idea of what to put in your travel first aid kit.

Where to find travel-sized first aid items

Gas stations and convenience stores sell travel-sized medications. I have also found them at dollar stores and the travel section at stores like Target. And of course, you can buy travel-sized medications and first aid items online.

Your other option is to buy full-size bottles of your preferred medications (assuming you do not already have them at home like I did) and just pack a few pills. If you do this, you will want to make sure you label your pills and possibly write down some basic instructions.

travel size medications
If you repackage your medications, be sure to label them and maybe add some instructions.

Where to buy a travel first aid kit

Of course, you can always buy a mini travel first aid kit from Amazon if you prefer. But I recommend you at least see if you have first aid kit travel size items first. You might surprise yourself by having everything on hand, which means you just have to add those items to a container of some sort. As part-time women travelers, we are always looking for ways to build anticipation and fill the time in between trips. Doing a DIY travel project like this helps build that anticipation and get you even more excited for your trip.

A container for your mini travel first aid kit

I like a small first aid kit (hence the word “mini” in the title). Be sure to scale to your comfort level, but I stay small because I rarely need more the 12 items listed above. I also like to pack light.

There are many options for the right container to put your mini travel first aid kit items into. Before you go out and buy something, take a look around your house. I was surprised at the number of things I could repurpose to use for a first-aid kit. Some were more practical than others, but all made viable options. Best of all, I had a plethora of sizes and shapes to choose from.

items for travel first aid kit in a plastic bag
A regular old baggie makes a perfectly acceptable first aid kit.

Ideas for mini travel first aid kit containers:

  • Tin container. I had a mini tin in my craft supplies. It is flat and sturdy. I also found an Altoids tin and a Sucrets tin. Both are a good size and have a hinged lid.
  • Prescription pill bottle. My dad gave me a bunch of his empty prescription pill bottles to use for DIY projects. You want to make sure to scrub off the label, but then they are good to go. I have several sizes for different needs. Best of all, these are semi waterproof!
  • Plastic baggie. Easy and cheap. This is what R has used for years. There are plenty of sizes to choose from and if your bag rips or tears, you can easily replace it.
  • Zippered pouch. These have all sorts of intended uses: make up, coins, pencils, etc. But they make a great option for your mini travel first aid kit. You can find different sizes and really fun colors and patterns. I like that they lay flat.
  • Drawstring pouch. Perhaps you do not have various drawstring pouches just sitting around like I do (#craftproblems), but I find them so useful. For this exercise, I decorated my pouch with a red and gold cross symbol. It is adorable.
  • Plastic container. I found several plastic containers among my travel accessories. One was even made for pills! Reusable food containers are also an options, provided they are small enough.
  • Wrap your first aid items up in a bandana or piece of material. The bandana itself may even come in handy in a first-aid situation!
  • If you have the skills, why not make your own container for your mini travel first aid kit? You could sew, crochet or knit a small bag. I do not sew, but even I managed to create a cute pouch from some felt, embroidery thread and leather.
DIY first aid kit cloth bag
A little red and gold paint makes this plan drawstring bag into an adorable mini first aid kit!

Get creative

There are so many possibilities for your mini travel first aid kit. Although I carry the same items on my trips, I sometimes change out the container I pack them in. With cheap DIY options available at your fingertips, I say why not!?!

What not to include in your mini travel first aid kit

I have not included items like medical tape and butterfly bandages. That is my personal preference and a good example of tailoring your mini travel first aid kit specifically to your needs. I have never used nor needed medical tape, so I will not be putting it into my kit. Perhaps you find all sorts of uses for it. Then I recommend you add it. Just remember that the more prepared you are, the more items you will have and the bigger your travel first aid kit will be. If you want to keep it mini, you will have to keep your items to a minimum.

Free DIY mini travel first aid kit printables

It is easy to forget something important while packing (been there, done that). In an effort to help you not forget key first aid items, I have put together a first aid kit checklist and provided it as a free printable. Of course, feel free to use it as a start and make it your own: DIY Mini Travel First Aid Kit Checklist

DIY mini travel first aid kit checklist free printable
Free printable! DIY mini travel first aid kit checklist.

In addition, I have designed a couple of labels for your DIY mini travel first aid kit. This free printable has two different first aid kit labels in five different colors. The document mostly fits to Avery 5663 label template. I had to do a little trimming on some of them. You can also print to a regular piece of paper and glue, tape or mod podge to your heart’s content (that is the beauty of a DIY project): DIY Mini Travel First Aid Kit Labels

free printable DIY mini travel first aid kit labels avery
Free printable! DIY mini travel first aid kit labels.

Conclusion

What is the best first aid kit for international travel?The one you make yourself. We recommend you pack a few basic first aid items and medications. Your mini travel first aid kit does not have to be fancy. Simply throw a few things together, label them properly and hit the road. Tell us what you pack in your travel first aid kit!

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