There are a lot of things you have to remember to pack for a cruise: clothes, entertainment, toiletries and chargers, just to name a few. One item that no suitcase should be go without is a first-aid kit.
The name “first-aid kit” belies the item’s complex and varied nature, however. Depending on the person, first-aid kits can vary from one to the next, with all manner of different things packed in. Here are five you definitely don’t want to leave out of your kit.
An EpiPen can quite literally be a life-saver, injecting epinephrine into anyone undergoing a severe allergic reaction and preventing it from escalating. But what if you’ve never had an allergic reaction in your life? You’re fit as a fiddle – why do you need to worry?
In fact, potentially millions of cases of allergies can go undiagnosed for years. While you’re off traveling through new places and tasting strange food, you might have an allergic reaction to any number of things you’ve never experienced before. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the most common life-threatening allergic reaction triggers are food, medicine and insect stings. It might help to have an EpiPen sitting around just in case.
2. Prescription medicines
Of course, it’s a no-brainer that you mustn’t forget to bring any prescription medication you usually take. You’ll be out on the ocean for a potentially lengthy amount of time, and it’s not like the cruise is going to have your meds sitting around. Same goes for special medication you were prescribed with for the trip, such as for malaria.
We’re more concerned about the issues surrounding the packing of these medicines. For one, you should have them with you in your carry-on luggage so there’s no chance of them getting lost. Secondly, you should check if you’re allowed to bring that particular medication into the country or countries you’ll be visiting. The State Department has a handy list on its website.
3. Over-the-counter drugs
As well as clearing your prescription meds, having a range of over-the-counter drugs is also worthwhile. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a list that includes:
- Medication for sea- or motion sickness.
- Cough drops.
- Cold or pain medicine, such as ibuprofen.
- Mild laxative.
This is not an exhaustive list, but having these packed should cover you for a cross-section of different ailments, just in case.
4. Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
There are a number of good reasons why you should pack these. Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer are both important if you’re cleaning up a wound, such as a sting or a splinter. If you’re not close to a first-aid station, you can sterilize it and have peace of mind. Sanitizer is also useful if, for whatever reason, there isn’t any soap around.
Beyond this, antibacterial wipes and sanitizers can also be useful if you want to make the cabin bathroom your own. Sometimes, there are few things as terrifying as using an unfamiliar bathroom, and giving it a good wipe down in a sense lets you claim it as yours now that it’s free of any alien germs.
5. Insect repellant and sun screen
These two are essentials, and while you will likely be able to buy both either on the ship or when you get off at a port, you may get overcharged because you have no other recourse. Better to grab them before you go when they’re reasonably priced.
There’s all manner of nasty illnesses that insects can spread, including yellow fever, dengue fever, malaria and lyme disease – a virtual hall of fame of things you don’t want to be afflicted with. Don’t leave shore without applying a bit of repellant.