You don’t need to be an expert to see that the way we travel has changed dramatically in the last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. And with the virus ongoing, it doesn’t look like the travel and tourism industry will be returning to normal any time soon.
That being said, some countries have begun to re-open their borders and are letting people in, while others are getting new measures in place (such as quarantine periods) to allow travel to resume as soon as possible.
Still, travelling in the era of COVID-19 is going to look a little different and it’s likely that some of these changes will remain long into the future. This includes the essential items you should be taking with you when you travel.
Some of these items go without saying but you also don’t want to leave home without some of the less obvious items. That’s why we’ve put together this guide.
Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the must-pack items for travelling in today’s coronavirus world.
Nowadays it’s likely you won’t even be allowed in the airport without a mask on. However, in the excitement of going on holiday, it can be easy to forget some of the most obvious items (passport included).
As such, we thought we’d start with the most obvious section, your medical must-haves. Below we’re going to list the key items you’ll need almost daily in a COVID-19 world and it’s important to have all of these while travelling. Usually to hand so either in your hand luggage or purse.
The Coronavirus medical must-haves include:
- Face masks – it’s best to have a few masks with you, disposable is OK but of course, re-usable masks are much more environmentally friendly and cost-effective
- Hand sanitiser – make sure it’s above 60% alcohol as this is the recommended and most effective concentration
- Disinfectant wipes – we understand that it’s almost impossible not to touch anything, so disinfectant wipes can help you to clean any items or surfaces before touching them. This includes items like your phone and passport (if others have handled them)
- Travel laundry detergent – to wash reusable face masks in your hotel room once they’ve been worn a few times
- Thermometer – to keep tabs on your temperature, a key symptom of COVID-19. Especially if you begin feeling sick whilst you’re away
- Disposable or re-usable gloves – these are a great way to avoid touching potentially dirty surfaces, particularly in public places
Those all-important documents
Of course, you will always need the right documents when travelling: your passport, boarding passes and hotel booking confirmation being the most important. But with lots of new rules and regulations in place, there are several other documents you may need to take with you when travelling in the future. These include:
- Travel insurance documents – you’ll need to get good cover in case you fall ill whilst you are away. Insurance companies are now making tailored policies to cover for Coronavirus and you should have proof that you’re covered just to be safe
- Proof of a negative COVID-19 test – some countries will require that you have a Coronavirus test 48 hours before you’re due to fly and you must be able to prove that it has come back negative. It may be in the future that you’ll need to prove you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine to fly but this has yet to be decided
- Proof of quarantine – in some cases, you’ll have to quarantine upon arrival and you may be asked to prove you have somewhere to stay during this time, whether that’s a hotel, apartment or your home
Items to help you minimise contact
Staying safe in a COVID-19 world is all about minimising contact as much as possible. That’s minimising the time spent interacting with strangers or staff, allowing for social distancing and reducing the need to touch any public or communal surfaces.
To help you do this, there are several ways you can go contactless on your trip and reduce the risk of contamination. So when preparing to travel and packing your bags, remember to take the following items with you:
- A contactless card – contactless payments have taken off in recent years but these have become even more important in the era of Coronavirus. Taking a contactless card can reduce the need to touch card machines or ATMs
- Printed passes – printing all your passes and documents that we’ve mentioned above can minimise the need to use check-in desks or devices
- Your own pen – there could be any number of reasons you find yourself needing a pen while travelling and having your own means you can avoid picking up a potentially germ-ridden communal pen
Don’t forget your tech
Lastly, though not absolutely crucial to your trip, there are several bits of technology that are going to help keep you safe whilst you’re away. These are:
- Your smartphone or tablet – with lots of places now relying on apps to keep things contactless, your smartphone or tablet is going to be vital. This will allow you to conduct tasks such as pre-ordering food at restaurants or for collection and checking into hotels or venues
- A portable phone charger – again, if you’re going to be relying on your smartphone and tablet more than usual to help keep things contactless, you also want to make sure it has plenty of battery to keep you going! Plus this means you can avoid touching public charging points if your battery is running low
- A selfie stick (queue the eye roll) – gone are the days when it was safe to ask a stranger to take a photo of you using your phone. In the era of Coronavirus, strangers might not want to touch your phone and you shouldn’t want them to either! So get over the cringe-factor and get yourself a selfie stick so you don’t have to miss out on any photo opportunities