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By Andrea Drever

Content and Editorial Director


Want to pack for a healthy trip? A first aid kit is an essential part of that, and here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you should include in yours. They also recommend bringing other healthy-travel items with you.

First-Aid Kit

  • 1% hydrocortisone cream
  • Antibacterial or antifungal ointments
  • Digital thermometer
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Antiseptic wound cleaner
  • Aloe gel for sunburns
  • Insect bite anti-itch gel or cream
  • Bandages
  • Disposable gloves
  • Cotton swabs (Q-Tips)
  • Tweezers
  • Eye drops

 Over-the-Counter Medicines

  • Diarrhea medicine (Imodium or Pepto-Bismol)
  • Antacid
  • Antihistamine
  • Motion sickness medicine
  • Cough drops, cough suppressant, or expectorant
  • Decongestant
  • Pain and fever medicine (acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen)
  • Mild laxative
  • Mild sedative or sleep aid

Supplies to Prevent Illness or Injury

  • Hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) and antibacterial hand wipes
  • Water purification tablets
  • Insect repellent (with an active ingredient like DEET or picaridin)
  • Sunscreen (with UVA and UVB protection, SPF 15 or higher)
  • Sunglasses and hat
  • Condoms
  • Earplugs

Prescription Medicines

  • Your prescriptions
  • Travelers’ diarrhea antibiotic
  • Medicines to prevent malaria

Medical Supplies

  • Glasses and contacts
  • Medical alert bracelet or necklace
  • Diabetes testing supplies
  • Insulin
  • Inhalers
  • EpiPens

Be sure to 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 and could lead to severe penalties. It’s a good idea to check the Customs and Import Restrictions section of the U.S. Department of State Tips for Traveling Abroad. Also, be sure to check with the  foreign embassy of the country you will be visiting or passing through to make sure your medicines are permitted in that country. You can also enroll in the Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to get the latest safety updates and help in an emergency.  

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