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Pack Smart

The following things will be useful to have during your trip.

  • Copies of your passport and travel documents. Place a copy of your passport and travel documents in each piece of luggage, in case you lose the original documents. Don’t forget to leave a copy with a friend or relative at home.
  • Items that might go in your travel health kit.

Check the Transportation Security Administration website for updates on permitted and prohibited items, including medicines that you are allowed to carry onto an airplane.

Some items may not be allowed in other countries. It is a good idea to check the Customs and Import Restrictions section of the U.S. Department of State Tips for Traveling Abroad.

What to Pack in Your Travel Health Kit

Packing 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
    • If you have a severe allergy and epinephrine has been prescribed by your doctor, bring your Epinephrine auto-injector (for example, an EpiPen).

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 certain medicines into the country.
  • 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 important items
  • 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
Other items that may be useful in certain circumstances
  • 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
 
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC-INFO
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
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