Travel Healthy Vietnam – Part I: Top 20 Items to Pack

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A Wedding in Paradise

Vietnam Advisors introduces Travel Healthy Vietnam, a 3-part series with tips and information to help you travel well. The value of an uninterrupted trip is priceless and staying healthy is the key to enjoying each precious day abroad.

Pack a personal health kit

Setbacks such as headaches, body aches,heartburn, insomnia, upset stomach, jetlag or sunburn can quickly zap your energy, spoiling what would be an otherwise perfect trip. Be prepared by taking a small health kit in your carry-on bag.Keep it simple, taking travel sized items from the CDC suggested list below.

Medicines and Prescriptions Special note about prescription medicines:

  • Pack your prescription medications in your carry-on luggage only. All medicine should be in the original, labeled pharmacy container.
  • Ask your pharmacy for a printed copy of all prescriptions you take, including the generic names for each medication. This allows you to buy similar medication in Vietnam where the brand name you are familiar with may not be available.
  • Pack a note on letterhead stationery from the prescribing physician for controlled substances and injectable medications.
  • Leave a copy of your prescriptions at home with a friend or relative.
  • Check with the American Embassy in Hanoi or Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City to make sure that your medicines will be allowed into Vietnam.
  • If you have a severe allergy and epinephrine has been prescribed by your doctor, bring your EpiPen and doctor /pharmacy documents.

Top 20 Over-the-Counter Items to Pack

  • Antidiarrheal medication (bismuth subsalicylate/ Imodium)
  • Medicine for pain or fever (acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen)
  • Antihistamine (Benadryl)
  • Decongestant
  • Anti-motion sickness tabs
  • Antacid pills or liquid
  • Cough drops
  • Mild laxative
  • Antifungal and antibacterial creams
  • Insect repellent containing DEET (30%-50%)
  • Sunscreen (SPF15 or greater with both UVA and UVB protection
  • Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Lubricating eye drops or contact solution
  • Notecard with your name, address, birthdate, known medication allergies and emergency contact
  • Aloe gel for sunburn
  • Oral rehydration solution packets, ex: Gatorade powder packets
  • Health insurance card, travel insurance papers
  • Over the counter sleep aid
  • Water purification tablets in case you need to leave the major cities

If you have an emergency requiring immediate care, alert someone to call your hotel lobby or tour guide immediately. They will assist you to get to a hotel doctor, local urgent care center or hospital.

Vietnam Travel Healthy

We hope this information helps you to have a fun, exciting and healthy journey to Vietnam.

We would like to hear from you. Share your travel experiences by commenting below.

Discover the New Vietnam!

Go to to start your Vietnam trip.

Did you know there’s a Sheraton in Saigon? For all available hotels in Vietnam, take a look at 

Want to make your friends envious? Tell them “I stayed in a Bed & Breakfast at Ho Chi Minh City.”

Last of all, don’t forget Travel insurance.  Like glue, boring but necessary.

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