Just-In-CaseYou’re in Tuscany. It’s 2 a.m. That cold that was coming on has hit full force and you can’t breathe. Or dreaded diarrhea has struck, or a screaming headache, or bug bites, or…you get the idea. It’s time for Just-in-Case, an emergency supply of first aid products you have tucked in your suitcase.

Buy a zip-top, Velcro or zipper envelope-style vinyl or cloth case (4 x 5 inches or so). Pencil cases, makeup bags, document envelopes, plastic kitchen bags all work. Pack it with single dose packets you can buy at your local drug store or buy EZY Dose Pill Pouches (or similar drugstore brand), label and fill with pills. Some seasoned travelers insist that you carry all meds in their original RX or over-the-counter bottle, but my Pack Light method saves tons of space. And in decades of travel, not one of my pill pouches has been questioned or confiscated.

This is an emergency kit only and meant to get you through the night or till you can find a pharmacy, and this is in addition to your regular stash of prescription meds and vitamins. When illness strikes in the middle of the night, you’ll be glad you created your own Just-in-Case.

Too much local food?

Too much local food?

 Pain reliever (Ibuprofen, etc)
 Cold tablets
 Laxative
 Anti-diarrhea pills
 Three or four Band-Aids
 Hydrocortisone (anti-itch)
 Eye drops
 Nose spray
 Cough drops
 Decongestant
 Antacids
 Benedryl (allergies, itching, coughs)
And…what would you add to this list?



Insider Advice

NeverBeenBeforeSavvy travelers and road warriors have certain items they won’t leave home without. I polled my flight attendant friends, peripatetic buddies, travel writers and my own suitcase to compile this list. None of these things take up much space in your suitcase, and they all add to your comfort, safety and peace of mind.

 Earplugs will drown out the chatter of the guy behind you on a long flight or muffle traffic sounds outside a noisy hotel room.

 A sarong (lightweight cotton fabric) can be used as a shawl, beach cover-up, head wrap or an extra sheet. Choose a neutral color and save the Hawaiian prints for the tropics.

 Dental floss has been used to secure a bag tag, loop a jacket closed, tie back a ponytail, hold down a flapping blind – oh, and floss teeth.

 So has duct tape. Except for the ponytail and the flossing.

 A clip-on-book light means you can read away the hours of jet lag-induced insomnia and your partner can keep sleeping. It doubles as a flashlight, too.

 Re-sealing baggies, large and small, will store and segregate maps and receipts, travel documents, sandy shoes, wet bathing suits, snacks, the container you thought was leak proof, and much more.

 A few safety pins and rubber bands.

 Your very own, customized kit of emergency medical supplies. See Just-in-Case.

What will you never leave home without?