Every traveler needs to be prepared for the minor emergencies that invariably crop up when they are away from home and their medicine cabinets. Thus, I have cobbled together a travel first aid kit (of my own making) over the years. It contains bandages, antiseptic cream, a bug bite relief pen, saline eye drops, pimple cream, medications like Tylenol, Alleve, and Imodium—and a few other things I am too embarrassed to mention.
Sadly, each item in the kit has been added by dint of an injury or unfortunate experience. After I tripped on a cobblestone street near Lake Como and badly bruised my knee, I began carrying large square bandages. Claritin D got thrown in the mix after I came down with a terrible cold in Barcelona. The antihistamine cream joined the world tour after a trip to Pisa, where I was bitten up mercilessly by mosquitoes. And when I developed an oozing blister on my pinkie toe after a long shore excursion on a cruise, I began carrying a small roll of moleskin as well as a cuticle scissor to cut it to size.
Admittedly, I’m guilty of collecting and carrying too many first aid items but pharmacies aren’t readily accessible where and when you need them. Those times when I have just what I need, or can help out another traveler in trouble, I feel totally vindicated for taking along too much.
But when the power cord to my MacBook Air recently fell apart in Cancun, little did I know that my bulging first aid kit would again prove invaluable. With my battery down to 40 percent and no juice showing on the meter, I felt like my lifeline had been cut. I called an Apple Care customer service representative who told me that they could only replace the damaged power supply cord after I mailed the old one to them. To add insult to injury, they said they could only send it to an address within the U.S. With 6 more days left to my trip and writing deadlines looming, this is what I did: