You’re about to discover a packing tip for a cruise that’s not only going to make you have a better cruise, it’s probably going to save you money and a lot of stress. I am Gary Bembridge and this is another of my tips for travellers. We don’t go on vacation and don’t go on a cruise and plan to be ill. However, 50% of cruisers will suffer from some kind of problem or medical issue that requires some kind of attention. By packing a personalised first-aid kit, you are going to have a much less stressful time – and also you are going to save money. That’s why I recommend bringing your own so you don’t have to rely on the medical centre, the shops on board or local pharmacies in the ports you call on. There are 10 things that you need to be prepared for that could possibly happen to you, your partner or your kids, and that’s what I think you should really address in this personalised first-aid kit. If there’s only one thing that you remember, it is a dental repair kit.
There are no dental facilities on board whatsoever, so if you have a filling fall out, a crown come off or some problem like that having a little dental repair kit, that you get from the pharmacy, which will enable you to fill a hole or stick back a crown so it can tide you over until you get to a port and perhaps find an emergency dentist, or even wait until the end of the cruise. I have been saved a number of times on cruises by taking a kid with me when something has happened, or someone I know has had a dental problem. No one really knows when seasickness is going to hit them, or whether it’s going to hit them. Even people who have had no incidents of seasickness could suffer from seasickness on a cruise. So, make sure that in your kit you have something to deal with seasickness that you know works for you. If you have not been on cruise before, talk to your pharmacist or talk to friends and find out what worked best for them. Also take products for gastro problems, for example diarrhoea and some of the consequences of diarrhoea. For example, products like Imodium. It’s also a really good idea take rehydrating products with you, you can buy products like Diralyte for example which will help reboost and get you back the minerals and the water lost if you do suffer from that particular problem. It’s very important to take a hand sanitiser or hand sanitiser wipes because, although the most important way to prevent getting things like norovirus if it is spreading around the ship is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, having hand gel with you as you go out on tours or about the ship is a very good idea. Just to keep your hands as clean as possible because the way that coughs and colds and things like that, and also the norovirus, spread is through touching surfaces and then touching your mouth. So, washing your hands is really important, but have hand sanitiser. Pain relief is really important to have. Of course, you may need it because you’ve self inflicted it from over indulging and partying too much! So, you might have a bit of a hangover or headache, but pain relief is important if you get a headache or some other bang, scrapes or whatever. Bring what you prefer, whether it’s ibuprofen or paracetamol. Personally, I like to take both because ibuprofen is really as an anti-inflammatory and, of course, paracetamol is pretty good in terms of pain management. In different countries there are all sorts of brand names Advil, Tylenol, Aspirin, so whatever works for you. Next make sure that you’ve taken something for coughs, colds and sore throats. It’s a really good idea to pack some throat lozenges, some cough mixture or some sort of pill or product that you like to take if you find yourself coming down with flu type symptoms. For example, some products in some countries are things like Lemsip, Night Nurse or Day Nurse.
Products that help deal with outbreaks of cough colds or sore throats. Getting sunburned and quite severely sunburned is a problem that happens on many cruises to warmer climates. People are on vacation and they’re excited and don’t really think about it. Very important to make sure that you’ve packed lots of sunscreen and, of course, the higher the factor the better. Also make sure that you’ve packed things to help if you do get sunburnt. For example, things like aloe vera gels which are very good if you do get sunburnt. But, the most important thing to have in that kit is really really good sunscreen. Depending on where you’re cruising too, it is also a really good idea to have something to help prevent bites from things like mosquitoes, flies or whatever. There are in some areas cruising in some parts of the world where there are greater threats. For example when there’s a Zika threat from mosquitoes. Then it is really important to make sure that you have really good protection if you travel in those regions. Make sure you’ve packed in your first-aid kit some mosquito or insect repellent that you know is really good. Use it with sunscreen and put sunscreen on and then apply it afterwards. One of the areas that certainly I found very helpful, and has helped me out a lot on cruises, is by packing my first aid kit things to deal with wounds. Obviously adhesive plasters of different shapes and sizes. Buy one of those packs which has all different sizes in. The other thing which is really important is adhesive tape or bandages, and that may sound a little bit extreme. However, if you’re quite clumsy like me, it’s very easy to perhaps actually break your toe. Twice on trips I’ve actually broken my toe from stubbing it out and about. There’s nothing they can do if you’ve done, however all you have to do is strap it up. If you’ve got that handy you can just strap it up and carry on. Also pack some antiseptic cream and if you have cut yourself, damaged yourself or injured yourself out and about you can then apply some antiseptic cream before you put on the plaster. If you know that you suffer from hay fever or allergies, it is really important that in that kit you have some antihistamines and products to deal with that. Particularly if you’re heading into warmer climates like the Caribbean with lots of flowers out as you might find that your hay fever kicks in.
It is really important to make sure that if you do ever suffer allergies that you have some of those, as you’re going to find it difficult because if need some as they are not going to sell in the on-board shop, you don’t wants to have to go to the medical center and pay to see a doctor or even wrestle with going to a pharmacy to make sure you get an antihistamine that you know works for you. Another thing, although it’s probably not strictly related to first-aid and it’s probably more “fun aid”, is if you’re a sexually active don’t forget to bring along things like condoms. The Travel Medicine Alliance reports that 50% of cruisers will experience some kind of medical related issue on a cruise. So, if you’re travelling as a couple it’s likely that one of you is going to need something. Hopefully it’s not something severe and it’s going to be something relatively minor. If you’ve packed a personalised first aid kit covering the 10 main things that you could suffer with, you’re going to save yourself a lot of stress, a lot of strain and a lot of money because you’re going to be able to deal with things yourself. I hope you found that helpful and if you did, I’d love it if you watched many more of my Tips For Travellers videos because they will give you inspiration, advice and tips on how you can make much more of your very precious travel time and money.