Pack items for your health and safety.
- Remember to pack extras of important health supplies in case of travel delays. This is especially important for items that may be difficult to get at your destination, like prescription medicines.
- You may not be able to purchase and pack all of these items, and some may not be relevant to you and your travel plans. Some items, like your prescriptions, sunscreen, and insect repellent, should go with you on almost every trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.
- This list is general and may not include all the items you need. Some travelers may need additional health items, such as travelers who are pregnant, immune compromised, or traveling for a specific purpose like humanitarian aid work. Check our Traveler Information Center for more information if you are a traveler with specific health needs.
- Prescription medications that you regularly take and copies of your prescriptions
- Eyeglasses and contacts, copies of your prescription for glasses/contacts. Consider packing spare glasses and contacts in case yours are damaged.
- Needles or syringes, such as for diabetes. (Requires a letter from your doctor on letterhead stationery.)
- Epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens)
- Medical alert bracelet
- Antibiotic for travelers’ diarrhea
- Medicine to prevent altitude sickness
- Diarrhea medicine (for example, loperamide [Imodium] or bismuth subsalicylate [Pepto-Bismol])
- Motion sickness medicine
- Cough drops
- Cough suppressant/expectorant
- Medicine for pain and fever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen)
- Mild laxative
- Mild sedative or other sleep aid
- Saline nose spray
- Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
- Insect repellent
- Permethrin (insect repellent for clothing) - needed if spending significant times outdoors. Clothing can also be treated at home in advance.
- Sunscreen (SPF 15 or greater) with UVA and UVB protection
- Sunglasses and wide brim hat for additional sun protection
- Safety equipment (for example, child safety seats, bicycle helmets)
- Water purification tablets – may be needed if camping or visiting remote areas
- Latex condoms
- 1% hydrocortisone cream
- Aloe gel for sunburns
- Antifungal and antibacterial ointments or creams
- Insect bite treatment (anti-itch gel or cream)
- Antiseptic wound cleanser
- Bandages (multiple sizes), gauze and adhesive tape
- Elastic/compression bandage wrap for sprains and strains
- Moleskin or molefoam for blisters
- Scissors and safety pins
- Cotton swabs (Q-Tips)
- Digital thermometer
- Disposable gloves
- Eye drops
- Health insurance card (your regular plan and/or supplemental travel health insurance plan) and copies of claim forms
- Copies of all prescriptions, including their generic names
- Contact card with the street addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of the following:
- Family member or close contact remaining in the United States
- Health care provider(s) at home
- Lodging at your destination
- Area hospitals or clinics, including emergency services
- US embassy or consulate in the destination country or countries