What to Pack

The Essentials

These are for carry‐on. Losing luggage on international flights with multiple transfers is not uncommon. Put your name and local address inside and outside of your bags. 

  • Airline tickets/confirmation numbers
  • Passport and visa (with hardcopies in your carry-on)
  • Traveler’s checks,  ATM, Credit card
  • UC Travel insurance, State and Student ID
  • Emergency contact information (on laminated card kept in your passport)
  • Hard copies of important documents
  • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) information for emergencies
  • Cash (small cash to exchange at airport for local currency)

Other Items

Before packing, get a sense of the standard dress where you are going. The dress code is more formal for clinicians abroad. Check with someone who has been there to avoid inadvertently offending your hosts and co‐workers. Special sensitivities exist around gender apparel. Clinicians should pack their whitecoat.

  • Certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Adapters / converters for your electronic devices
  • Medications, first aid kit & toiletries
  • Travel towel and/or hand towel
  • Anti‐bacterial hand gel (Purell)
  • Alarm clock (battery operated), and watch
  • Duct tape, Ziplock bags
  • Calculator (for currency exchange)
  • Camera/film and battery charger/adapter (for digital)
  • Clothesline and clothespins for drying clothes (or buy on‐site)
  • Money belt, Sunglasses, alarm whistle
  • Relevant pages from guidebook
  • Luggage and laptop locks
  • Pocket dictionary/phrase book
  • Toilet paper/tissue paper
  • Pocket‐sized notebook/journal
  • Gifts

Bring gifts for your host site and host family. This is expected in most cultures, so bring extra, including children's gifts. (small toys/pencils/pens). Research what would be considered useful. Gifts that reflect your home are appreciated. Check Remedy at UCSF, about bringing unused medical supplies on international trips.

Last updated: November 8, 2013