It’s been almost a year since I hit the open road for the trip of a lifetime. With my husband and daughter, we packed up everything we owned, put it in a POD, moved out of our house, and spent 15,000 miles on what we called Happy Summer. From May through September, we visited 27 states, taking us as far west as Colorado, south to Florida and north to Maine. It was, in a word, epic. We could only pack necessities so that the three of us, a car seat, a skateboard, a bicycle, a cooler and two work/computer bags could fit in the back of our borrowed SUV. That meant one tub of clothing for each of us, one tub of toys to keep the four-year-old entertained and one smaller “bathroom” tub. It was no small task narrowing down a 2,800 square foot house to 100 cubic feet on wheels, but we did it. Successfully so, if I may be so bold. The clothes weren’t a problem, after all, it was summer and we needed only a few shorts, tanks, swimsuits and sundresses to see us through. The mobile bathroom was a trick, though. I didn’t take a hair dryer, nor most of the 1,400 other items that we thought we couldn’t live without at home. It really was an exercise in practicing need over want, truly defining necessity. Here’s what I learned about narrowing down the necessities to fill a first aid kit when you travel, cross-country or much closer to home. Prescriptions: Any daily or frequent medications should certainly make the trip. If traveling by plane, keep those in a carry-on in case your baggage gets lost. The CDC recommends carrying copies of prescriptions and their generic names. If traveling abroad, make sure your prescriptions will clear customs. Not all drugs are allowed in every country. Thermometer: We use a one-click, touchless digital thermometer. It packs easily, reads quickly and saved us from panicking a few times. Better to take up space with that than be stranded somewhere feeling helpless (especially if traveling with children). Children’s medication: Pack a children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen (whichever you prefer). Again, better to have it with you than scramble for a place that may have it (never mind hotel or gas station mark-up prices!). Ouchie basics: We did travel with first aid kid basics — bandages, peroxide, Neosporin. Those are things we keep in our car trunk’s first aid kit anyway. By plane or for a short trip, keep a few in your toiletries bag or purse. Otherwise, there’s no need to pack the entire box. Medicine cabinet basics: If you’re going on an extended trip like we did, it’s worthwhile to pack your brand of pain reliever (Advil, Tylenol, Aleve), antacid, anti-diarrheal and a preferred sleep aid (if necessary). Otherwise, purse-sized bottles are fine or these items can easily be picked up at any destination as needed. Other basics: If the time is right, pack tampons, pads or other period products. If traveling to a noisy location, like NYC or Vegas, toss in a pack of ear plugs (great for long flights, too!). Take sunblock if you’re spending any amount of time outside (it’s already expensive and twice as much in tourist locations). Really, anything outside of basic necessities can be picked up as needed. Don’t pack for just in case unless you’re going on an extended trip by car. Save yourself the space and just like we did, you’ll very quick learn the difference between want and need.