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5 First Aid Items to Bring to Korea


When thinking about traveling or moving to a different country, often times our focus is on the sights we want to see, the food we want to try, and the clothes we’ll want to pack. It’s not until we run into problems when we sigh and wish we had packed the solution to our problems. So here is a list of 5 first aid items to bring with you if you’re moving to Korea (or any other country that you’re not familiar with)!

* Please note that I’m not a physician, nor am I getting sponsored from anyone. The only reason I’m showing these brands is to make the point that when you move to a different country, they may not have the first aid products that you are familiar with. So please do not take this as a recommendation and consult your physician!

#1. Band-Aids

Personally I like band aids that are thin and don’t leave a sticky residue. So if you’re like me and prefer a certain type of band-aid buy a big box and bring it with you. Even if you don’t really care what kind of band-aid you use, it’s always a good idea to pack a few with you when you’re traveling. It’s easier to pull it out of your suitcase than it is to find a drug store in the middle of an unfamiliar city.

#2. Antibiotic Ointment

Hand in hand with band aids, it’s always handy to have some antibiotic ointment on hand. I used to scrape my arms and legs all the time as a kid so there was always a tube of  Neosporin in our house. So if you’re like me and prefer to use medication that’s familiar to you, make sure you bring it along with you! Note that the tube in the photo below is not a Korean brand of antibiotic ointment, but I didn’t have any at home but wanted to show you what the packaging would look like. Most ointments sold in Korea come in this aluminum-ish type of tube that gets all dented. If you or someone in your family likes to just squeeze the tube in the middle and worry about the end later, then this sort of tube will be your worst nightmare. Once it’s all dented up, it’s impossible to flatten back out so it becomes really difficult to get any ointment out of the end or corners.


#3. A Bottle of Pain Killer

Here’s hoping you’ll never need it, but do bring a bottle of pain-killer. While you’ll probably be able to find a medication with the same ingredient here, they sell them in small packs of 10 or so. In fact most over the counter medication is sold in small amounts in boxes as shown above.


Plus if you’re unlucky, you’ll get this sort of packaging:


With this sort of packaging you can’t just push the pill through the foil. You have to detach the individual pill and peel off at a corner.


So you end up having to deal with sharp edges…


…and you can poke yourself under your nail while trying to get the tip of the foil off. It’s not a big deal when you’re not sick, but if you’re dealing with a headache this is the last thing you want to deal with. Besides, all the precautions and instructions are written in Korean, so save yourself the trouble and bring a bottle of pain-killer with you.


Some people like Pepto Bismol, some people can’t stand the taste. Others like Tums but personally Tums never did much for me. I just brought a bottle of Maalox with me as I haven’t seen it here in Korea and I know it works for me. So if you occasionally suffer from acid indigestion or heartburn (or foresee it coming with all the spicy food in Korea), bring something you’re comfortable with and know that works for you.

#5. Tweezers

I know tweezers are used to remove splinters, but apparently they’re used for removing dirt or glass as well. Ouch! They do have tweezers here of course, but as with all the other things I mentioned before if it works for you bring it along! Besides, it’s a highly practical item you can use for your eyebrows as well. If you’re coming from the States, I actually do recommend the Tweezerman tweezers. Pretty much anywhere else in the world you’ll be paying double the price. While other tweezers I’ve tried lose their grip after a while, the Tweezerman I bought one back in college is still as good as new!

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