See your doctor
Ensure vaccinations are up-to-date
- As a general rule at least 6–8 weeks before travelling.
- For those going to live or work overseas seek advice 6 months before you go.
- For those leaving at short notice, it is never too late to seek advice.
Discuss vaccination needs for travel and healthcare with your doctor AT LEAST 6–8 weeks before departure.
Pack a medical kit
- All travellers should be up-to-date with tetanus, diphtheria and polio vaccinations.
- Young adult travellers should be up-to-date with hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations.
- Travellers 65 years and older should be up-to-date with influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations.
- Other vaccines as advised by your doctor based on your travel details. Vaccines can help prevent diseases, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, meningococcal meningitis, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever.
- Medications and measures that should be taken to help prevent disease transmitted by contaminated food and water (e.g. traveller's diarrhoea, typhoid) or by insects (e.g. malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis).
Essential items you should not leave behind. The actual contents of your kit will depend on where you are going, what you will be doing, duration of travel and your personal and medical needs.
- Ensure you have ample supplies of all regular medication, even those you only use occasionally
- Carry medication in your hand luggage. Check that it is legal in the country you are visiting
First Aid Items
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wound cleanser (e.g. iodine solution)
- Sterile dressings
- Blister dressings
- Clinical thermometer, preferably digital
- Emollient eye drops
- Eye pad
- Tweezers, safety pins, scissors (not in carry-on flight luggage)
- Simple painkiller (e.g. paracetamol or aspirin or stronger if going to remote areas)
- Sunscreen (at least SPF 15+)
- Decongestant for air travel with hay fever or a cold
- Motion sickness medication
To ensure safe water
- Clean and sturdy one litre water bottle
- Immersion heater or filter for disinfecting drinking water
- Water purifiers (iodine tablets, alum or vitamin C powder) for disinfecting drinking water
If travelling to areas where malaria and other insect-borne diseases occur
- DEET-containing insect repellent for personal use
- Long sleeved, light coloured clothes for protection
- ‘Knock down’ insect spray to kill flying insects inside accommodation
- Mosquito coil
- Bed nets
- Permethrin for treating clothes (shirts, socks) and bed nets
- Malaria prevention tablets if prescribed (See your doctor)
To treat stomach problems
- Oral rehydration sachets (e.g. Gastrolyte)
- Antidiarrheal medications (e.g. loperamide)
- Antibiotics (For extended travel in remote areas. See your doctor)
To treat allergies/insect bites
- Antihistamine tablets
- Stingose gel
- Corticosteroid cream
Other items according to destination and personal needs
- Antifungal powder
- Cough & cold preparations (e.g. decongestions, throat lozenges, etc)
- Short-acting sleeping tablets (See your doctor)
- Spare pair of glasses, contact lens solutions, optical prescription
- Usual health monitoring equipment (e.g. blood glucose monitoring)
- Adequate supplies of tampons/sanitary pads
- Medication for period pain
- Adequate supplies of contraceptive pill (take additional supplies to allow for unexpected delays)
- Emergency contraception (morning after pill)
- Treatment for vaginal thrush
- Treatment for cystitis/bladder infection
Medical equipment if travelling where adequate health services are difficult to access
- Sterile needles and syringes in different sizes (not in carry-on flight luggage)
- Disposable gloves
- Dental emergency kit / oil of cloves, etc
- Doctor's letter detailing medical history and medication
- Travel/health insurance with good medical cover for emergencies
- Bracelet or similar device containing details of potential emergency health issues
- Vaccination certificate (essential for yellow fever)
You can either make up your own kit or buy a ready made one. Travellers Medical Kits are available from your local travel physician clinic, however a doctor must prescribe these.
Back to Checklists and Travel Tips
Back to top