Prepare for a Possible Disaster on Vacation: Make an Emergency Travel Kit

March 7th, 2013

We all look forward to a vacation whether it will be an adventurous journey or a relaxing getaway. While packing, most people do not plan for any type of emergency situation yet recent events have proven that vacations can quickly turn disastrous. Just in February, for example, an engine fire caused the Carnival cruise ship Triumph to be without electricity or water for five days. The passengers suffered through less than optimal sanitary conditions and food rationing. Fortunately the ship was brought to shore before disease could spread or dwindling supplies would run out.

Vacation Disaster

Being stranded on a ship is not the only disaster one might face while on vacation. Catastrophic events like hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes can also occur. In addition to these hazards, international travelers may also find themselves in an area with a disease outbreak not common in the United States. Since spring break and the summer travel season are quickly approaching, it is important for travelers to think about preparing an Emergency Travel Kit. These travel kits will help to survive any disaster and are definitely worth the small amount of time necessary to prepare.

The travel kit should consist of emergency supplies, medications, and contact information. Some suggested items are provided below.

Emergency Supplies:

  • Water: This can include bottled water or a portable water filter which is a convenient alternative to traveling with heavy containers of water.
  • Snacks: Non-perishable items like dried fruit and crackers are light-weight and easy to pack.
  • First-Aid Kit: This includes items such as bandages, disposable gloves, and a thermometer.
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries


Medications (based on the CDC Travel Health Kits recommendations):

  • Prescription medications: Keep in clearly labeled, original containers. Pack an extra supply in the event the return from the trip is delayed.
  • Destination-related medications: Anti-malarial drugs, for example, should be taken to areas where this disease is prevalent.
  • Drugs to treat ailments such as:
    • Pain / Fever (i.e. aspirin)
    • Stomach Upset / Diarrhea (i.e. antacid)
    • Throat / Respiratory Conditions (i.e. decongestant)


Contact Information for:

  • All members of the traveling group
  • Family member or close friend at home
  • Health care provider at home
  • Medical insurance
  • Hospital or clinic at vacation destination
  • Hotel or other lodging

Though some people may be prepared for an emergency at home, a disaster that occurs while on vacation may be more difficult to endure since it is likely an unexpected hazard in an unfamiliar area. Take the time to make an emergency travel kit and be better prepared for any disaster that may strike while on vacation.


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