Depending on the travel destination, it is helpful to bring a variety of medications and other important items to take care of a variety of minor health issues that may arise during travel. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that individuals bring a health kit to treat conditions that may arise or for individuals with pre-existing conditions. A partial list of basic items includes the following:

  • Personal prescription medications in their original containers
  • Over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antihistamine and decongestant
  • Anti-motion sickness medication
  • Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen or other pain/fever medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Inspect repellant containing DEET (up to 50%)
  • Sunscreen (preferably a high SPF)
  • Aloe gel for sunburns
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • High altitude preventive medication
  • Digital thermometer
  • Basic first aid items (bandages, antiseptic, ace wrap, etc.)

The CDC advises that a health kit should be carried with the traveler at all times, e.g., in carry-on baggage when allowable, and on excursions. The CDC advises that all medications, especially prescription medications, should be stored in carry-on baggage, in their original containers with clear labels. With heightened airline security, sharp objects and some liquids and gels will have to remain in checked luggage.

More information may be obtained online at the CDC Travelers Health website.