Skip to Content

Packing Tips

Medical and Personal Care Items to Consider Bringing

  • Adequate supply of prescription drugs in well marked containers. Letter from doctor to carry prescription narcotics or controlled drugs
  • Antibiotics for treating travelers' diarrhea*
  • Loperamide (Imodium-AD) - to use with or without antibiotic to treat mild travelers' diarrhea
  • Antimalarial drugs depending on itinerary and activities*
  • Water filtration / purification supplies
  • 1-liter plastic water bottle for storing water
  • Epinephrine kit*, oral steroids* and diphenhydramine for those with moderate-severe allergies
  • Sterile needle/syringe kit - for travel to countries where sterility of safety of medical supplies are questionable
  • Analgesics
  • Antacids
  • Antihistamine tablets for allergic reactions and rhinitis; consider long-acting/nonsedating agents such as Claritin-Dor Zyrtec
  • Medical kit: basic contents - thermometer, Band-Aids, wound dressings, antibiotic ointment, scissors, tape, sun screen, oral rehydration salts
  • Appropriate clothing for anticipated weather conditions
  • Motion sickness drugs for long drives, boating. Transderm Scop patch (sea sickness) SCOPACE (scopolamine tables), Dramamine, Phenergan*
  • Nasal decongestant spray - Afrin or Neo-Synephrine (short-term use only)
  • Drugs for acute mountain sickness*
  • Corticosteroid cream
  • Antifungal skin and foot cream
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses or contact lenses. Carry copy of prescription
  • Tweezers, small knife, scissors, or Swiss Army knife, large safety pins
  • Insect avoidance: 20%-30% DEET cream repellent (adults) for skin PLUS permethrin for clothing treatment. Use lower concentration DEET for children
  • Hat & sun glasses
  • Sunscreens: SPF 30 or higher
  • Mosquito bed net (permethrin-treated) for tropics
  • Insecticide spray - for sleeping quarters

*Requires prescription from physician.


  1. Verify up-to-date visa requirements for travel to other countries: Bureau of Consular Affairs
  2. Extra passport photos
  3. Copy of pertinent personal health records
  4. Travel health insurance. Many U.S. health insurance companies may not cover accidents or illnesses that occur while traveling overseas, nor will they cover emergency medical evacuations. If this is the case, purchase travel medical insurance that covers medical evacuation. These plans typically will assist in determining the need for evacuation, and assist with important arrangements needed to accomplish this
  5. Doctors and hospitals abroad: International Association for Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT). Publishes a booklet listing hospitals and English-speaking physicians overseas. Address - 417 Center Street, Lewiston, NY 14092; Phone - 716.754.4883. (Small fee / donation)
  6. Divers Alert Network (DAN) - Non-urgent questions: 919.684.2948; Scuba diving emergencies - 919.684.8111 919.684.8111 or 919.684.4326
  7. Telephone number and email address of your personal physician
  8. Prescription drugs abroad - to obtain a supply of lost or stolen prescription medications, to be delivered via Federal Express:

    International Pharmacy Organization
    85 Station Road
    London, England
    (44) 181.381.1911
    (44) 181.952.2063 fax