What to Pack in Your Travel Health Kit

Use this list to help you pack a travel health kit. Be sure to think about where you are going and whether you will have access to health items and supplies.

Medicines

Prescription medications:

  • Medical-BagPack your prescription medications in your carry-on luggage.
  • Pack copies of all prescriptions, including the generic names for medications.
  • Pack a note on letterhead stationery from the prescribing physician for controlled substances and injectable medications.
  • Leave a copy of your prescriptions at home with a friend or relative.
  • Check with the American Embassy or Consulate to make sure that your medicines will be allowed into the country you are visiting. Some countries do not let visitors bring certain medicines into the country.
  • Prescription medicines you usually take
    • If you have a severe allergy and epinephrine has been prescribed by your doctor, bring your Epinephrine auto-injector (for example, an EpiPen)
  • Special prescriptions for the trip
    • Medicines to prevent malaria, if needed
    • Antibiotic prescribed by your doctor for self-treatment of moderate to severe diarrhea
  • Over-the-counter medicines
    • Antidiarrheal medication (for example, bismuth subsalicylate, loperamide)
    • Antihistamine
    • Decongestant, alone or in combination with antihistamine
    • Anti-motion sickness medication
    • Medicine for pain or fever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen)
    • Mild laxative
    • Cough suppressant/expectorant
    • Cough drops
    • Antacid
    • Antifungal and antibacterial ointments or creams
    • 1% hydrocortisone cream

Other items that may be useful

  • Supplies to prevent illness or injury
    • Insect repellent containing DEET (30%-50%) or picaridin (up to 15%)
    • Sunscreen (preferably SPF 15 or greater) that has both UVA and UVB protection
    • Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
    • Lubricating eye drops
  • First-aid supplies
    • First aid quick reference card
    • Basic first-aid items (bandages, gauze, ace bandage, antiseptic, tweezers, scissors, cotton-tipped applicators)
    • Moleskin for blisters
    • Aloe gel for sunburns
    • Digital thermometer
    • Oral rehydration solution packets
  • Health insurance card (either your regular plan or supplemental travel health insurance plan) and copies of claim forms
  • Mild sedative or other sleep aid
  • Medicine to prevent altitude sickness
  • Water purification tablets
  • Commercial suture/syringe kits to be used by local health-care provider. (These items will also require a letter on letterhead stationery from the prescribing physician.)
  • Latex condoms