When planning to travel abroad for business or pleasure, you want your trip to be safe and enjoyable. Traveling internationally, experiencing new customs and exotic foods is exciting but can be challenging if you are not prepared. The Travel Clinic provides destination-specific consultations, immunizations, medications and tips on important items to take along.
An extensive library of print materials is also available to you, providing information on topics such as jet lag, safety, illnesses from food, water and altitude, beach safety, illnesses from insects, etc.
Packing for Your Trip
Make a list and start packing early! As you pack, check off each item on your list. Here are a few tips for packing for your trip:
- Items that might be difficult to replace or you cannot do without for a day should be kept on your person or in a carry on bag. These might include valuables, travelers checks, important documents, medication, eyeglasses, toiletries, etc. A change of clothing might also come in handy.
- Bring packets of facial tissue and carry them with you everywhere in case "sanitary conditions" are less than satisfactory.
- Pack plenty of antibacterial disposable wipes and use them to wash your hands frequently. This will go a long way toward reducing transmission of germs that cause illness.
- Leave your jewelry and expensive clothing at home! It can mark you as a tourist.
- To keep clothes from wrinkling, pack them flat and place in plastic dry-cleaning bags. Fold as few times as possible.
- Pack heavy items at the bottom of the suitcase. When using wheeled luggage, place heavy items close to the wheels to help keep luggage upright.
- When you are done packing, walk around with your luggage to see if it is too heavy or unweildy. Make adjustments if necessary.
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Medications & 1st Aid
Depending on your destination, these items may come in handy. Ask your travel nurse which ones might be appropriate.
NOTE: Brand names are listed solely to assist in obtaining over-the-counter medication and not as an endorsement of the products.
- Pepto-Bismol & Imodium are useful for upset stomach and diarrhea.
- Antacids aid indigestion or stomach acidity.
- Acetaminophen or Aspirin for pain relief
- Insect Repellents (DEET) 30-50% are very important in malaria and tropical areas. (Apply after sunscreen.)
- Calamine and Hydrocortisone for itchy rashes
- Flying Insect Spray (OFF, Cutters, Repel, 6-2 Plus) is useful in sleeping quarters to minimize insect bites in
- Antibiotic Ointment (Neosporin, Bacitracin-Polymyxin-Neosporin) for treatment of minor skin infections
- Antifungal Cream or Powder (Desinex, Cruex Aftate) is especially important in humid countries as fungal infections develop more rapidly.
- Sunscreen Lotion and Lip Balm (15 SPF or more) Don't forget your hat and sunglasses!
- Anti-motion Sickness Medication (Dramamine) Due to it's sedative effect, may be useful as a sleeping aid as well.
- Antihistamines (Chlorpheniramine) is useful for allergy problems and has sedative qualities as well.
- Iodine Tablets or Drops for purifying water (follow manufacturer's instructions)
- Antiseptic Skin Cleansers (Phisoderm or Hibiclens)--Wash all cuts and bites immediately.
Check the Centers for Disease ControlOpens new window for additional travel tips.
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