Your Mayo Clinic packing checklist

Planning a health care trip can be hectic and nerve-wracking. When you or someone you love needs medical attention, a suitcase is probably the last thing on your mind.

Use this list to gather up the essentials. Being prepared can help you focus on getting the answers to your medical concerns.

Special instructions for COVID-19

In addition to the checklists below, bring an acceptable face mask to wear while you're on campus, which in higher risk areas is required of all visitors and staff.

Also, consider packing nonperishable snacks if you can, because some of the usual dining options might not be available.

Please have children under age 13 stay home with someone else unless they're receiving care at the clinic.

Personal items

Focus on much-loved, much-worn items that will help you feel at home for your stay, including:

  • Loose-fitting, comfy clothing, plus a robe or sweater in case you get cold in clinic rooms.
  • Winter coat, hat and gloves if you're traveling to Minnesota in the winter. Sunscreen if you're traveling to Arizona or Florida in the summer. Many clinic buildings are connected indoors, but you'll want to be prepared to go outside.
  • Comfortable walking shoes and slippers. Consider elastic laces or slip-ons so you can easily take shoes on and off.
  • Personal care products and toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, comb, toothbrush, shaving equipment and lotion.
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, canes, walkers, crutches and other assistive devices you use for daily activities. (You would be surprised how many people forget their readers and cases for glasses and hearing aids!)
  • Sleep aids, such as your favorite pillow or blanket.
  • Pen and paper, for writing notes and questions.
  • Earplugs, earphones and playlists of your favorite tunes.
  • Phone charger.
  • Books, magazines, playing cards or games to help pass the time. Mayo Clinic does offer free Wi-Fi access for patients and visitors.
  • Comfort items, such as photos of your favorite people or a movie that always makes you laugh.

Medical and registration items

Please bring any registration forms or medical records, reports, and radiology images that were requested by your care team and not already sent. Also:

  • A list of your medications (prescription, over-the-counter and supplements) — including doses and why you take them. You can also bring the original bottles to your first appointment. (Or use your smartphone to take a picture of all your medication labels.)
  • Your insurance information or Medicare card, if you have one.
  • Your prescription drug insurance card and preferred pharmacy name, address, city, state and ZIP code.
  • A copy of your living will or advance directive, so it can be placed in your medical record.
  • Any Mayo Clinic documents you have received.
  • A mobile device with the Mayo Clinic app, so you have easy access to appointment itineraries, maps and eCheck-in for some appointments.

What not to bring

For the safety of our patient and staff, weapons are not permitted in any Mayo Clinic buildings.

Mayo Clinic Safety Screening

At Mayo Clinic, we understand that providing a safe, welcoming environment is essential to the health and happiness of our patients, visitors, and staff. We're committed to ensuring the physical and psychological safety of everyone who passes through our doors. One important layer of security is the passive weapons detection system. This advanced technology helps keep weapons out of our hospitals and clinics, without compromising the welcoming environment that patients and visitors expect from Mayo Clinic. This technology's state of the art screening capabilities provides a more accurate and efficient screening process. And because there are no known health risks, people who are pregnant, have implanted medical devices, or use mobility devices can pass through the system safely.

Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed by a Security Ambassador who will lead you through the system. The screening process is efficient and timely: Unlike other security systems, simply walk through at a steady pace, keeping all your belongings with you. For most people, that's all there is to it – you'll pass through the system without being delayed. When an item of interest is detected, the system triggers an alert, and identifies the item's location. This lets the Security Ambassador know what to focus on during the secondary screening. The Security Ambassador then informs the individual that an item of interest was detected and asks them to verify the item. This touchless, secondary screening may include asking the individual to open a bag or jacket to produce the item that triggered the alert. If a weapon is found, the individual will be asked to take it back to their car or place of residence, except in emergency/urgent medical situations. In these cases, an alternative process will be followed. It's important to note that every person, including all Mayo Clinic staff, will be required to pass through the detection system when using certain points of entry. That's a brief look at the passive detection system. We hope you'll agree that it's an excellent tool to help us achieve Mayo Clinic's goal of providing a safe and welcoming environment for patients, visitors, and staff.

You may also want to leave these items at home for safe-keeping:

  • Jewelry, especially anything sentimental or precious. (It can be comforting to keep special jewelry close to you, but you may need to remove it for certain tests or procedures.)
  • Large amounts of cash. There are ATMs close by, and many establishments take credit cards, so you don't have to carry large wads of cash.
  • Expensive technology devices or other valuables. If you have the latest laptop or other tech gear, you may not want to worry about tracking it from place to place throughout your stay.

If you forget something or can't fit everything in your suitcase, you'll find convenient shops on every Mayo Clinic campus, stocked with personal items, magazines, ear plugs and other items.