Health Topics

Travel Medical Kit

Travel Medical Kit

Q. I’m planning a vacation on board a cruise ship. Should I plan on bringing my own medical kit and if so, what products should be included?

A. It’s always wise to bring a medical kit with you on vacation, and especially for extended vacations. Even though you will be on board a cruise ship for a portion of your travel, you will be disembarking for day long or longer excursions at various ports of call. Therefore here are some suggested items to pack in your medical kit:

Extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses; hearing aid batteries; watch batteries

  • Sterile bandage, ACE (rolled elastic) bandages, cotton
  • Antiseptics (eg, betadine, alcohol)
  • Scissors, tweezers, teaspoon, tablespoon measure
  • Thermometer
  • Flat toilet paper, wash cloth
  • Antibacterial liquid soap or towelettes
  • Aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen
  • Motion sickness pills (eg, Dramamine or Bonine)
  • Sunscreens
  • Antidiarrheal medications (eg, Pepto-Bismol, Imodium AD)
  • Over-the-counter vaginal yeast medication
  • Over-the-counter sleeping pills
  • Salt tablets where excessive perspiration will occur due to heavy exertion in a tropical area
  • Non-sugar sweeteners (eg, Sweet-n-Low, Equal, Splenda) if medically indicated
  • Insect repellent with 30% to 50% DEET recommended (towelettes impregnated with repellent may be easiest to transport)
  • Common medications and necessities including decongestants, antacids, condoms, spermicide gels, other contraceptives, and tampons/sanitary napkins

Bring prescription medications in their original containers to avoid questions related to a mixture of pills in a single bottle in case of custom inspections, and to facilitate refill requests in case of emergency.