Healthy Packing Checklist

The following things will be useful to have during your trip to keep you healthy and safe. Destination-specific packing lists can also be found on the CDC Travelers’ Health website when searching by destination.

What to Pack in Your Travel Health Kit

Use this list to help you think of things to pack in your 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 medicines you usually take
    • Keep medications in prescription bottles – do not combine medications.
    • If you have a severe allergy and epinephrine has been prescribed by your doctor, bring your Epinephrine auto-injector (for example, an EpiPen).
    • Your prescription medication may be illegal in some countries. Consult the foreign embassy of the country you are visiting to make sure your medications are permitted.
  • 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

Special note about prescription medicines

  • Pack 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 in certain medicines.

Other important items

  • Other items that may be useful in certain circumstances:
    • 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
    • Child safety seats
    • Bicycle helmet

Other Considerations

Pack to prevent Zika

If you are traveling to an area with Zika, you can pack a few items in your travel health kit to protect yourself and your family. Your kit should include items that will reduce your risk of getting Zika. Reducing the risk of Zika is particularly important for pregnant women.

Your kit should include:

  • Insect repellent (Look for these ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, OLE or PMD, or 2-undecanone.)
  • Long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Clothing and gear treated with permethrin
  • Infant carrier mosquito net (if needed)
  • Bed net (if mosquitoes can get to where you’re sleeping)
  • Condoms (if you might have sex)

For more information on Zika and travel, visit Zika travel information.