Planning to travel this summer? There’s a lot to think about when planning a vacation, and preparing your health kit shouldn’t be forgotten.

To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a list of essentials to help prevent health problems and make your travel arrangements easier. Prepare your travel kit in advance by reading our article!

Why prepare a health kit before your trip?

Whether you’re on vacation abroad or camping in Quebec for the weekend, preparing a first-aid kit adapted to your stay can save you a lot of hassle! It allows you to :

  • Immediate access to basic care for minor injuries
  • Easy access to medicines and supplies not available abroad
  • Avoid the cost of purchasing medication abroad
  • Prevent destination-related illnesses
  • Clear customs without administrative hassle
  • Avoid last-minute stress

To make sure you prepare your health kit in good time and don’t forget anything, we recommend you make an appointment with a travel health clinic 6 weeks before your departure date.

First Aid Kit

Small injuries such as blisters, cuts, burns and bruises can quickly spoil a trip if you’re not equipped to deal with them. Here’s a list of products you shouldn’t forget in your kit.

Health items checklist:

  • Adhesive dressing in various sizes for blisters and small wounds
  • Elastic bandages and pins for sprains
  • Sterile compresses and gauze for wounds
  • Disinfectant for cleaning hands
  • Antiseptic for cleaning wounds
  • Antibiotic ointment or salve for burns
  • Scissors and tweezers for splinters and tweezers for ticks
  • Disposable gloves
  • Thermometer
  • Sun protection (ideally SPF 50) and after-sun lotion

The list can be adapted to suit your destination. Ask a travel clinic for advice on other basic medical supplies to add to your first-aid kit.

If you’re traveling by plane, be sure to check the list of items not allowed in carry-on baggage (scissors, aerosols, container size, etc.).

travel health pharmacy products

Over-the-counter medicines

Some generic drugs that are sold over the counter in Quebec or Canada may not be available abroad, or may be sold at a higher price. Remember to add the following medications to your kit:

  • Painkillers for headaches, stomach aches, etc.
  • Antihistamines for allergies and stings.
  • Antidiarrheals to prevent traveler’s diarrhea, common in Mexico, South America, Asia and Africa.
  • Oral rehydration solutions.
  • Anti-nausea medication, useful during transport.

If you’re used to experiencing certain symptoms when you travel, talk to a healthcare professional for appropriate advice.

Prescription medicines

If you are taking prescription medication as part of your treatment, take enough for the duration of your trip, plus a few extra days.

Leave your medication in its original, labelled packaging, and include your doctor’s prescription in your first-aid kit. This way, they can be easily identified in the event of a check by customs or other security services.

The transport of certain medicines may be controlled in certain countries. Inform your family doctor or travel health clinic of your trip. He or she will be able to give you recommendations and, if necessary, write a letter explaining the prescription.

Destination-specific medication

Depending on your destination, travel conditions and planned activities, specific medications may be recommended by a health professional. Some diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever, are not found in Canada, but in other parts of the world. See the INSPQ map.

In addition, some vaccines may be mandatory or recommended for your trip. Contact a travel health clinic to obtain personalized recommendations and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Some vaccines must be taken within 8 weeks of departure.

Important health documents

To avoid any complications in the event of health problems, and to facilitate your encounters with customs and authorities, don’t forget to bring the following documents with you:

  • Your RAMQ and private health insurance card.
  • Information about your travel health insurance.
  • Your prescriptions and a letter from your doctor or a travel health clinic specifying the list of authorized medications.
  • Your vaccination record or proof of vaccination, depending on your destination.
  • An emergency contact list (family members, medical professionals, etc.).
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Make an appointment with a travel health clinic

You now have the essential information you need to prepare your health kit! But, as you’ve already understood, it must be adapted to your trip. A travel health clinic can help you customize the contents of your kit according to the destination and duration of your trip, the number of travelers, their ages, medical conditions and planned activities.

To make sure you’re well prepared and don’t forget anything, we recommend that you make an appointment with a travel health clinic 6 weeks before your departure date. Take advantage of this consultation to check the list of necessary vaccinations and obtain recommendations on diet, hygiene, transport and vacation activities. Enjoy your trip!

Travel health clinics and services in Montreal and Quebec City

Discover the ELNA Medical network’s list of travel health services. Please note that travel health services and clinics are not covered by RAMQ, but may be covered by certain private medical insurance plans.

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At ELNA Medical we understand the importance of preparing and anticipating all aspects of your health before you travel, from vaccinations to your pharmacy kit. Our travel health clinics and services are committed to providing you with the advice and care you need to travel with complete peace of mind!