The First Aid and Toiletry kits are designed to go in you carry-ons. However, you will need to decide whether or not to include the liquids within the kits or to pack them in your checked bags. Because of airplane security concerns, you are only allowed to carry-on one quart-size ziptop bag per person with containers less than three ounces.

First Aid Kit

There are many resources available on the internet for first aid kits and travel medicine.

  • If you do an internet search for "travel medicine kit" you will find many sources to purchase one. Look at the list of contents for ideas of what to include if you make your own or to be sure that it contains what you what.
  • The Texas Medical Kit was developed specifically for international adoptive families and contained most everything you might need; it is now called the Pediatric Medical Travel Kit and is being offered by Orphan Allies external link. There is a list of contents, and it does include prescription medicines
  • Helpful medical items to take external link, although written for China, it is applicable for any international adoption.
  • An Open Letter to Pediatricians external link on Chinese Adoption Medical Issues, by Dr. Deborah A. Borchers. Mainly discusses the need for traveling parents to be prepared to treat their child with anitibiotics. It might be helpful to print out and take with you if your pediatrician is reluctant to prescribe antibiotics for you.
  • The International Society of Travel Medicine external link allows you to search for a travel clinic in your area. There may be a local physician that specializes in travel medicine who is not a member, so check with your personal physician or call a local hospital or medical society.
  • Websites that have nice lists or information are: Adventure Medical Kits external link, Travel Medicine Consultants external link, The Travel Doctor external link and CDC Travelers Health Kit external link.
  • Take items for adults and children.
  • Talk to your pediatrician or pharmacist for children's dosages. They are usually based upon weight.
  • Tablets are easier to pack than liquids as they are lighter and won't spill.
  • I have listed brand names to make product identification easier, but generics are fine.
  • Even though you do not ordinarily use a product type, such as antihistamines or constipation medications, you might want to be prepared by packing them anyway.
  • *You can find medications in a lot of places in Kazakhstan, but labels are in Russian and the ingredients may not be reliable.
  • ☐ small scissors
  • ☐ tweezers
  • ☐ thermometer
  • ☐ bandaids and gauze pads in various sizes
  • ☐ butterfly bandaids or steri-strips (for closing larger cuts)
  • ☐ multivitamins
  • ☐ pain relievers (tylenol, motrin)
  • ☐ decongestant (sudafed)
  • ☐ cold/cough preparations (delsym, pediacare, robitussin)
  • ☐ antihistamine (benadryl, actifed. Note: benadryl can sometimes cause hyperactivity in kids; the dye-free liquid reportedly has less of this effect.)
  • ☐ antacid (pepcid)
  • ☐ antidiarrheal (immodium, pepto, mylanta)
  • ☐ constipation remedy (sometimes bothers travelers, dulcolax)
  • ☐ antibiotic ointment/cream (neosporin)
  • ☐ hydrocortisone cream (1% for adults, 0.5% for kids)
  • ☐ antihistamine cream (benadryl)
  • ☐ prescription medications - anything you regularly take. *Make sure you take plenty extra in case your trip is extended; carry these on with you.
  • ☐ prescription antibiotics, both a general type (cipro, doxycycline, zithromax, etc.) and one for GI symptoms (flagyl).
    *Make sure the antibiotic for your child is not in the penicillin family; you do not want to find out in Kazakhstan that your child is allergic to penicillin!
  • ☐ other prescription medications that you might need for yeast infections, pink eye, scabies, eczema, etc.
  • ☐ medicine spoon, syringe, etc. to give medicine to child. Make sure you have some way of accurately measuring the medicine; 1 tsp. does not mean a regular silverware teaspoon.
  • ☐ syringes, alcohol swabs, sterile gloves in case injections or IVs are needed; three 3 cc syringes and one 5 cc syringe, two 5/8 in. gauge needles, two 1 inch 21 gauge needles.

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Toiletry Kit

I prefer a hanging kit, as counter space is often limited in bathrooms.

Buy travel sizes of shampoo, etc. and get sample sizes of make-up. Use them while at home to see how long they last, then refill them (or get different sizes) to have enough for the trip.

Pack your toiletries and medications at least 2-3 days before your trip. Then use only the items in the bag before you leave; this is a good way to double check that you have packed everything.

  • ☐ make-up
    * You can find most major deparment store brands (Lancome, etc.) in Almaty.
  • ☐ skin care products
  • ☐ anti-perspirant/deodorant
  • ☐ lotion
  • ☐ cotton balls, Q-tips
  • ☐ hair spray/gel
  • ☐ contact lens supplies: be sure to pack extra disposable contacts and lots of solution.
  • ☐ nail file/clippers (non-metallic nail file if you are carrying the toiletry kit on the airplane)
  • ☐ lip moisturizer/lipsticks
  • ☐ comb, brush

I use a separate "bathroom" kit for the following:

  • ☐ shampoo, conditioner; you might want to consider a solid shampoo from external link
  • ☐ toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss
  • ☐ razor
  • ☐ baby-sized washcloth (you will likely not find washcloths outside of the US)
  • ☐ For use in the airplane, on trains, etc., try Toothettes (20) link in new window (disposable toothbrush that does not require water, 20 per pack).

Laundry Kit

This is not just for laundry. It all fits into a quart ziploc bag. I carry this on every trip.

  • ☐ flat sink stopper such as the Flexible Sink Stopper link in new window, I have used this on many trips.
  • ☐ clothesline; twisted type to eliminate the need for clothespins, such as the Flexo-line link in new window, I also always carry this.
  • ☐ small bottle of liquid laundry detergent, Woolite Packets (10) link in new window or Travel Wash link in new window
  • Laundry Kit link in new window contains a flat sink stopper, clotheslines, laundry bag, and a tube of Getaway Travel Wash.
  • ☐ small bottle of Downy wrinkle releaser or Wrinkle-Free Fabric Relaxant (3 oz) link in new window
  • ☐ 1 package of laundry tabs (the kind that go into washing machines)
  • ☐ small bottle of Goo Gone (I found mine at a fabric shop. This stuff is wonderful for getting off crayon marks, adhesive labels, etc.)
  • ☐ small bottle of dishwashing detergent
  • ☐ small kitchen knife with blade wrapped in cardboard or a Messermeister picnic knife/sheath (I bought mine through Sur La Table)
  • ☐ plastic coffee can lid to use as cutting board, or a small cutting board (I cut one of the flexible cutting boards to fit in the bag.)
  • ☐ handiwipes: I was in an apartment, and used them for washing dishes. I have also used them as a washcloth.

*You will be able to find laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid in Kazakhstan or wherever you are going. The above amounts should last you until you can make it to the store.

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Page last updated on 23 July 2009.

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