Although rare, earthquakes, fires, and similarly unplanned incidents can disrupt your travel. Keep a go bag packed with essential supplies in case you need to temporarily evacuate your location.
What is a Go Bag?
A “go bag” is an easy-to-carry bag that holds everything you need if you have to leave in a hurry or in an emergency. Think of it like a small backpack or duffle bag with your essentials.
What to Pack in a Go Bag
Strike a balance between being well prepared and having a go bag that’s easy to maintain and carry. Exactly what you pack depends on you and your location (e.g., weather; cash-based economy; availability of food, water, and medicine).
Go Bag Checklist
Medical supplies and information
- Prescription medications and copies of your prescriptions
- Over-the-counter pain and inflammation medicine
- Over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medicine
- Medical insurance card and copies
- International SOS card
- Basic first aid kit
Travel and identification documents
- Personal identification cards and copies (e.g., driver’s license, School ID)
- Passport(s), visa(s), and copies
- Itineraries and copies
- Credit cards, and copies of the front and back
Communication devices and information
- Cell phone and charger
- Portable charger
- Pen and paper
- Contact list
Also consider a secure, cloud storage option so you can access copies of important documents from anywhere you have a secure internet connection. Harvard University's preferred password manager can store documents.
Clothing and personal items
- Light, warm jacket that protects against rain
- Bandana or scarf
- Comfortable and safe walking shoes
- Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and copies of your prescription
- Cleansing wipes and toilet paper
- Menstruation products
- Hand sanitizer
Food and water
- Water and a refillable bottle
- Water purification tablets (if local water isn’t potable)
- Small protein snacks or bars
- Personal security alarm
We have a supply of various safety gadgets for Harvard affiliates traveling on University-related trips. Contact us for more information.
Considerations for Remote Areas
If you’re traveling to a remote area, or a country with limited emergency capabilities, you need a more extensive go bag and emergency planning. Consider talking with a member of our International Safety & Security team. We can help you plan for challenging and remote environments.