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10 Musts for Your Suitcase First Aid Kit

by Fran Golden | April 07, 2016

Chances are you'll sail through your cruise without a care in the world — or so much as a sniffle. But because it never hurts to be prepared, here are 10 health-related items you definitely should bring onboard.

1. Seasickness remedy
Even if you think you have an iron stomach, it's possible that your ship will hit bigger waves than you can handle. Pack an over-the-counter medication like Dramamine, Bonine, or Marezine. Particularly prone to nausea? Ask your doctor to prescribe a Transderm Scop patch, which delivers continuous medication.

2. Pain reliever and fever reducer
With all the craft beer, molecular cocktails, wine, and frozen rum drinks offered on a cruise, you may drink more alcohol than at home, and feel it the next day. So bring a supply of aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen for headaches, fever — and hangovers.

3. Pepto-Bismol and antacid
You're likely to indulge and try new foods on a cruise, and Pepto-Bismol is a good preventive measure for an upset stomach. If you're concerned about diarrhea, bring a stronger option like Imodium. At the very least, pack an antacid.

4. Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment
You don't want to have to see the ship's doctor for a paper cut or a stubbed toe. (Visits cost extra.) It's a good idea to have some antibiotic cream on hand as well.

5. Antihistamine and eye drops
If you're prone to allergies, remember that you'll be visiting different climates. For example, flowers bloom during the winter in the Caribbean, so don't forget your meds. Susceptible to itchy eyes? Pack those eye drops.

6. Bug Repellent and anti-itch cream
Bug repellent wipes are a must to keep away the mosquitos. Add an anti-itch cream to your kit in case you do get a bug bite or experience other itchy irritations.

7. Aloe vera gel
Of course, you plan to slather on that SPF 30 sunscreen (with UVA and UVB protection) at all times ... right? But when you forget to reapply it after frolicking in the pool for an hour, you'll be glad to have relief on hand.

8. Digital thermometer
Don't pay to see the ship's doctor unless it's absolutely necessary; a thermometer will determine whether there's cause to worry.

9. Moleskin 
You'll be walking more than usual on the ship and on shore, so break in that new pair of shoes before setting sail. Then, prepare for any damage by using moleskin. (Don't forget a small pair of scissors to cut it.)

10. Dental cement
Tooth trouble on vacation can be a big pain. If you have caps or crowns, pack a little dental cement kit (available for less than $6 at your local pharmacy) to tide you over until you can visit your dentist back home.

Fran Golden

Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.

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