Although traveling during Covid-19 is not recommended in the first place, many people find themselves requiring to travel under work, education or emergency obligations. One thing is for sure — traveling is not going to be the same as it was before the outbreak of Coronavirus. A lot of reforms and sanitation guidelines implemented by airlines and airports are centered around ensuring passenger safety. It is imperative that we, as travelers, follow safety protocols and be extra careful while traveling. This requires you to add a new set of items to your COVID-19 travel packing list. Along with the essentials such as travel documents, clothes, personal belongings, and toiletries, here is what you need to pack in order to stay safe while traveling during Covid-19.
Masks and gloves:
Wearing a face mask has been made compulsory, of late. Gloves are also being used widely for safety when coming in contact with commonly-touched objects at airports and inside airplanes. It is necessary to pack enough number of masks and gloves, especially if you are flying with British Airways, as one of its rules requires passengers to change their mask every four hours!
The face shields that cover the entire face (unlike face masks designed to cover up the nose and mouth parts) are believed to give us more protection from catching the droplet-spread coronavirus. Add a spare face shield to your COVID-19 travel packing list because many popular airlines have mandated the use of face shields. Few airlines like Qatar Airways provide disposable face shields and complimentary protective kit to passengers before they board the flight.
Travel-sized hand sanitizer:
Hand hygiene is the most important practice to avoid contracting the virus. World Health Organization suggests washing hands regularly with soap and water for about 20 seconds. But as this facility is not available everywhere, you could substitute soap with alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Use plastic wraps to wrap the travel-sized sanitizers and pack them tightly in sealed plastic bags to avoid leakage.
Disinfectant wipes and sprays:
When you are not using gloves, clean off the surfaces with disinfectant sprays and wipes before touching them. Always carry an extra pack of disinfectant wipes. Wipe the touch germ-infested places like handles, armrests, seat belts, window areas, etc., before you touch them.
A separate zipper pouch:
It is as important to carefully and properly dispose of the used masks, gloves, tissues, and wipes as it is to use them. While the latter ensures your safety, the former is for the safety of your fellow travelers. Throwing away the used items openly in public places increases the chances of virus transmission. So, carry a polythene or zip-lock bag to dispose the used protective equipment in a hygienic manner.
A travel pillow and a blanket:
Blankets and pillows are no longer being offered on flights. So, include a personal blanket and pillow to your COVID-19 travel packing list for your own comfort and safety. Choose a light-weight blanket and travel pillow so that they don’t take up much space in your luggage bag.
Reusable water bottle:
Pack your own water bottle to avoid the use of public water fountains (whose buttons could be hotspots for germs and bacteria). Carrying a reusable water bottle with filter is the best option when traveling so you don’t have to be apprehensive of consuming impure water. Keep yourself hydrated to strengthen your immune system.
Packed food items and snacks:
Airport restaurants are temporarily shut down, and multiple airlines canceled the services of in-flight meals and drinks as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of coronavirus. Only a few airlines are currently serving packed meals to their passengers. But if you are on a long-haul flight, it is advisable to carry packed food items and snacks to deal with your untimely hunger pangs.
Along with all the above, your medications and prescription slips must be a part of the COVID-19 travel packing list just to be prepared in case of any unforeseen inconveniences. You might have to quarantine yourself for a few days after de-boarding, as per the rules and regulations of the place you are traveling to. So, having your medicines and prescription handy helps you to take care of your health.