Travel medical kit checklist
Use this checklist as a guide to things you may need in your medical kit when travelling - you may need less or more, depending on the activities you may undertake, and the remoteness of the area you visit. Check with your doctor or travel clinic if you aren't sure what you may need to keep your travels safe and healthy.
- Analgesic (pain relief) medicine such as paracetamol or aspirin.
- Antihistamine tablets for bites, stings or allergies.
- Cold and flu tablets.
- Motion sickness tablets.
- Throat lozenges.
- Multivitamin/mineral tablets if travelling for long periods to places where your diet may lack essential nutrients.
- Antiseptic solution for cleaning wounds or bites.
- Antiseptic ointment to apply to a wound.
- Blister and wound patches, such as sticking plasters.
- Medical adhesive tape, e.g. Micropore.
- Wound dressings, e.g. a crepe bandage, gauze swabs and OpSite, and Steristrips, which can often take the place of stitches.
- Safety pins, scissors and tweezers (you may not be allowed to carry these in your cabin luggage).
- Insect repellent containing DEET (diethyl toluamide).
- Sting relief solution, e.g. Stingose (aluminium sulfate).
- Diarrhoea medicine, e.g. Imodium (loperamide).
- Fluid and electrolyte replacement powder or tablets, e.g. Gastrolyte or HYDRAlyte.
- Eye lubricant drops.
- Ear plugs.
- Sunscreen (at least SPF 30+).
- Thermometer (a forehead thermometer is best for travel as it doesn’t break or run out of batteries).
Other items you should take, depending on your individual needs and your destination, include:
- Regular prescription medicines, which should be kept in their original containers with clear labels and carried in your hand luggage when travelling. You should also take a letter from your doctor stating the names of the medicines, the dose and that they are for your personal use, plus a copy of your prescriptions, written using the generic name of the drug to avoid confusion with trade names in foreign countries.
- Medical equipment you use regularly, such as sterile syringes and needles.
- Spare pair of glasses or your eye prescription.
- Condoms or other contraceptives.
- Water purifying tablets.
- A mosquito-proof bed net.
Prescription medicines for travel-related conditions
Travel to developing countries, remote areas, tropical climates and high altitudes increases your risk of certain conditions that you would not encounter at home or during travel to developed temperate-climate countries. Many of these conditions are treated or avoided by taking prescription medicines. So, apart from taking your regular prescription medicines with you, as described above, your doctor may suggest some of the following:
- Altitude sickness medicines.
- Antibiotics for certain intestinal infections or for serious respiratory infection.
- Malaria prevention tablets.
Last Reviewed: 07 December 2010
- 1. Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Travelling well. http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/tips/travelwell.pdf (accessed Dec 2010).
2. World Health Organization. Health risks and general precautions: general considerations. In: International travel and health: situation as on 1 January 2010. Geneva: WHO; 2010: 1-11. http://www.who.int/ith/en/ (accessed Dec 2010).
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travel health kits. In: CDC health information for international travel 2010. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service; 2009. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/content/yellowbook/home-2010.aspx (accessed Dec 2010).