Traveling brings so many pleasures and adventures that we often forget the most important component to any successful trip: safety.  Here are the essential safeguards that Booker never travels without.

1.     Printouts of all essential information and ID

Everywhere they go, the Booker Travels team carries a binder with photocopies of every member of the team’s ID, passport, medical prescriptions, and credit cards, as well as any other cards or paperwork they need to get by in a foreign country. If the team is ever unable to get to their hotel, for example, or gets stranded somewhere in the country, they will have everything they need to get food, get around, and get help if they need it.

2.     Currency and conversion tables

When using another currency, it’s important to understand how much you’re spending. That’s why Booker always carries a table of monetary conversions from dollars to the currency of the country he’s visiting, so he knows whether or not a souvenir or a meal is in his price range.

3.     Emergency contacts

If you know someone living in the country you’re visiting, be sure you have their contact information—if for some unforeseen reason you should get into trouble there, they’ll have useful knowledge about how to get you out of it. And of course, know the information and location of your home country’s embassy; they’ll be the most important contact if you need help.

4.     Map and travel guides

If you’re in an area without wi-fi, you’re still going to want to be able to find the best restaurants near where you are! Even in this age of smartphones, sometimes hard copies will serve you better—books may be more expensive than Googling, but they’re worth the investment.

5.     Any health necessities

This one should be a no-brainer, but every traveler should be sure that any pills, inhalers, epipens, and other medical needs are packed.  Even if they’re only for occasional use, it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. In addition, be prepared for injuries—be sure you have sensible shoes, pack plenty of sunscreen and warm clothes, depending on the weather. Furthermore, be prepared with caffeine supplements if your destination country may not provide opportunity for you to stock up—nothing ruins a trip like a caffeine headache. And lastly, ask your doctor for some fiber supplements in case of constipation, and stool hardeners in case of diarrhea. Take a look at our table below for a list of useful medications.

Alcohol-based gel for hands Oxymetazoline (Afrin®)Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®)
Adhesive bandages (Band-Aids) Pocket knife
High SPF-Sun screen and lip balm Sun hat
Insect repellant Signal mirror, whistle
Mole-skin, Blist O Ban Nail clippers
Waterproof flashlight and matches Safety pins
Map and compass Contact lens solution and case/spare glasses
Non degradable energy foods and water Identification
Ibuprofen Acetaminophen
Antihistamines (sedating and/or non-sedating) Epinephrine auto-injector
Gastric Acid blocker (Pepcid®), Tums® Topical steroid cream
Prednisone Broad-spectrum oral antibiotic
Topical triple antibiotic cream Imodium ®
Pepto-Bismol ® Saline eye wash
Antibiotics for diarrhea (ciprofloxacin, azithromycin) Ambien® (sleep aid)
Meclizine (vertigo and nausea) Women’s Necessities: Tampons, Oral contraceptives, etc.
Caffeine pills or substitute

Special thank you to:

In-Hei Hahn, MD, FACEP, Emergency Medicine/Medical Toxicology Consulting Expedition Physician for American Museum of Natural History


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