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Preparing for my Elective

By Emily Welch

Preparing for my Elective

With only two days at home before the 24 hour journey to Central America, I was faced with the task of packing between revising for 3 written exams and 3 practical exams.

I thought it was normal to practically jump from the exam hall to the baggage hall, until we met 3 Leeds medical students who have had THREE WEEKS to pack!

If you're struggling or just need some tips, I've made a list of some essentials to pack for your medical elective:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Flight details - try and reserve your seats in advance!
  • Vaccination certificates
  • Driver's license
  • Hostel/hotel reservations and contact information Travel insurance documents Photocopies of documents/ID/tickets Emergency contact information Elective documents to get signed off
  • Luggage label 


  • Trainers
  • Sandals
  • Flip flops
  • Comfy bras
  • Cotton underwear
  • Socks
  • Anorak
  • Loose fitting clothes - Hareem pants
  • Shorts
  • Pjs for hostels
  • Tops - vest tops if it's humid
  • Swimwear
  • Cap
  • Hoodie for cold airports and busses with aircon Day bag Bum bag Small handbag
  • Sunglasses 


  • Toiletry bag
  • Make-up
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hair brush
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap
  • Face wipes
  • Baby wipes
  • Shaving gel/foam
  • Razor
  • Mini mirror
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent- DEET
  • Sun cream


  • Travel adaptors
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Camera/GoPro and charger
  • SD cards
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Battery pack
  • iPod
  • Head torch
  • Torch
  • Adult colouring book and pencils
  • Journal
  • Reading/puzzle books
  • Games
  • Protein bars
  • Padlocks
  • Pen
  • Aqua pack to keep phone waterproof
  • Travel wash 


  • Money for the airport - I left my hoodie in the car so this was handy!
  • Foreign currency
  • Debit card
  • Pre-paid currency card
  • Wallet
  • Money belt (that can be concealed beneath clothes)


  • Painkillers - paracetamol and ibuprofen Prescription medication Immodium Dioralyte Senna Travel sickness mess Antihistamines Anti-malarials Contraceptive pill Cold/flu medicine Gallons of hand sanitiser Antiseptic cream Plasters Water purifier (e.g. Iodine)

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