Things you need to pack if you are travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic
They say this is our ‘new normal,’ but I sure hope the world will find a way to get beyond simply surviving with COVID-19. There are so many places in the world we need to see, food we need to try, and people we need to meet. For now, though, we need to take care.
If you haven’t read it yet, I have an extensive blog post outlining my carry-on essentials, and that’s a good place to start. When you’re ready to move beyond comfort and into safety, here are my additional carry-on travel essentials during COVID-19.
1. Face Masks
This is a no-brainer and likely mandatory anywhere you’ll be. Wear your face masks in taxis, in the airport, on the plane, in the bathroom, everywhere there are people! I’d recommend packing 2-3 masks in case you drop one somewhere yucky or you need to freshen things up.
2. A Face Shield
A face mask is still best to help protect other people, but a face shield can give you an additional layer of protection by blocking particles that may be in the air as you’re walking around. Don’t forget your eyes can take in germs as well.
3. Hand Sanitiser
The ultimate of the carry-on travel essentials, even before COVID-19! Hand sanitiser is a must-have for when you’re on the go and touching all sorts of things. Try to find a place for the bottle that is easily accessible and doesn’t touch all your other bits. If your dirty hands are all over the bottle and then you drop it on top of your wallet and phone, it kind of defeats the purpose.
4. Sanitising Wipes
These really helped when I travelled in July. I had some household wipes as well as some hand wipes that I could use on my skin. I used a mix of both for wiping down tray tables, my seatbelt buckle, the airplane seat and window area. I also used them for things like wiping down my credit card after using it, wiping down my passport and documents after a desk agent coughed all over them, and wiping down the handles and base of my bags.
Gloves are great for public spaces when you’re touching all the things, but I actually didn’t use them when I travelled. I put them on this list as they’re definitely one to consider. My worry with using gloves is that you could feel confident touching doors and buttons and whatever else, then forget you’ve touched them and start touching your personal items. I stuck to wipes and hand sanitiser after touching almost anything, but gloves may be more your style.
6. Small Plastic Bags
I carried several extra ziplock bags with me in case I needed to put items inside them. It helped when I needed to move things around in my bag for easier access.
7. Large Plastic Bags
You may think this is too far, but I carried a couple larger plastic bags in my carry-on in case I needed to put things in them, like clothes, after travelling. I actually did that before getting into the car after my flight.
8. Disinfecting Spray
Pick up a bottle of disinfecting spray to use on your larger travel items, paying attention to zippers, folds and wheels. Use a wipe to make sure you get the handles clean.
9. A Packable Jacket
You could use this during or after your trip. The idea is to have something collapsible that can be put away and washed later. You could also wear light layers, which is what I did, and put the ‘airplane clothes’ into one of your large bags for washing when you get to your destination.
10. Medical Pack
Even without a pandemic, I always like to bring a few medical items with me on any trip. It’s more difficult to find the right antihistamine or cold medication in another language. Pack yourself a thermometer, some throat lozenges, paracetamol, and whatever else you might need on this trip. Bug spray, anyone?
11. A Pen
We live in a digital world, but you should always carry a pen! Especially with many countries asking you to fill out passenger locator forms, you don’t want to get caught rushing through an airport only to find you need to stop and use a dirty pen.
12. A Water Bottle
As with any travel packing list, you should always try to bring your own reusable water bottle. There are often water fountains or filtered water stations that you can use rather than having to buy another plastic water bottle.
I hope this list of carry-on travel essentials helps you with your next trip! If you’re curious you can read all about my experience flying during COVID-19. Don’t forget to review my other packing guides to make sure you’re fully prepared for your next trip!
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