• regular prescription medications
  • special prescriptions for traveling
    • medication to prevent malaria if necessary
    • antibiotic prescribed by your doctor for self-treatment of moderate to severe diarrhea
    • EpiPen if you have training in its use
  • over-the-counter medications for traveling
    • antidiarrheal such as bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) or loperamide (Imodium)
    • antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or loratadine (Claritin)
    • decongestant to take alone or in combination with an antihistamine
    • motion sickness medication
    • saline eye drops
  • over-the-counter medications used regularly at home
    • medication for pain or fever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) or aspirin
    • mild laxative
    • cough suppressant, alone or in combination with an expectorant
    • cough drops
    • antacid such as calcium carbonate (Tums)
    • antifungal ointment or cream
    • antibacterial ointment or cream
    • 1% hydrocortisone cream
  • water purification tablets

Protective Items

  • insect repellent containing DEET (30 to 50 percent solution) or picaridin (up to 15 percent solution)
  • sunscreen (preferably SPF 15 or greater and safe for the environment) with both UVA and UVB protection
  • antibacterial hand wipes or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol
  • lubricating eye drops
  • ear plugs
  • personal protective equipment such as face masks and nitrile gloves
  • personal safety equipment appropriate for your plans, such as helmets, car safety seats, protective glasses, work gloves, etc.

First Aid Supplies

  • first aid quick-reference card
  • basic first aid items such as various-sized bandages, gauze, elastic bandage, antiseptic, tweezers, scissors and cotton-tipped swabs
  • moleskin for blisters
  • butterfly bandages (Steri-Strips) for loose wound closures
  • aloe gel for sunburns
  • digital thermometer
  • oral rehydration solution packets

Other Items 

  • mild sedative or other sleep aid such as melatonin
  • gloves, preferably sterile
  • medication to prevent altitude sickness
  • splinting material for extremity injuries
  • commercial suture and/or syringe kits (for use by a local health care provider; these items will require a letter on your prescribing physician’s letterhead)
  • latex condoms


Travelers should carry the following documents with them at all times and also leave copies of them with a family member or close friend at home in case of an emergency:

  • proof of vaccination on an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) card or a medical waiver if specific vaccinations are required at your destination(s)
  • copies of the prescriptions for all your medications, eyeglasses and/or contact lenses, and any other prescription medical supplies; include the generic names of medications in English and if possible translated into the language of your destination(s)
  • documentation of any preexisting conditions such as diabetes or allergies in English and if possible translated into the language of your destination(s)
  • proof of your health insurance coverage, supplemental travel health insurance, medical evacuation insurance and travel insurance; carry contact information for all insurance providers as well as copies of claim forms
  • a contact card that you carry on your person at all times, which includes street addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for the following: 
    • a family member or close friend who will remain at home
    • health care provider(s) at home
      where you will be staying at your destination(s)
    • hospitals or clinics and emergency medical services at your destination(s)
    • U.S. embassy or consulate at your destination(s)

Reference Books

For a list of suggested titles, see Resources in Section 1.

Your medical kit should contain medications, protective items, first aid supplies along with other items, documents, and reference books.

Pack over-the-counter medications and your prescriptions.  


Be sure to bring protective items such as insect repellent, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer.


A first aid quick-reference card will provide basic first aid information.


Proof of vaccinations may be required at your destination.

DAN Customer Service

Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

+1 (919) 684-2948

+1 (800) 446-2671

Fax: +1 (919) 490-6630


24/7 Emergency Hotline

In event of a dive accident or injury, call local EMS first, then call DAN.

24/7 Emergency Hotline:

+1 (919) 684-9111

(Collect calls accepted)

DAN must arrange transportation for covered emergency medical evacuation fees to be paid.

Medical Information Line

Get answers to your nonemergency health and diving questions.

Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

+1 (919) 684-2948, Option 4

Online: Ask A Medic

(Allow 24-48 hours for a response.)