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.

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

You may 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.