I recently packed for my first trip since COVID and realized how many different things I chose. I used to travel so much that I kept a “go bag” of my essentials that never changed. I just threw it in my suitcase each time – you know, all those sample-sized bottles of everything even when I was following tips for packing light. I had a minimal first aid kit. But boy have things changed. I now have a COVID-19 travel packing list.
My recommended COVID-19 travel packing list and tips for packing light
1. Wipes and hand-sanitizers are rather obvious. It’s important to choose those with at least 60% alcohol content, but I tend to go for higher. I take wipes for my hands, but also take an extra pack along to wipe down my room and other surfaces. Most tips for packing light will recommend you buy these packs rather than bottles.
2. So let’s talk about that first aid kit. It used to be just bandages, pain reliever, anti-itch cream, etc. Now? I’ve added a thermometer and oximeter to my kit. And heavier duty meds that you might take for a flu.
3. I’ve carried activated charcoal for years, especially with all of my Mexico travel, but it’s even more important in today’s times. I was told my a holistic doctor years ago that charcoal can pull most toxins out of your body. It’s actually what’s given to patients in the ER who overdose. But it also works for food poisoning and other bugs you may incur.
4. Even if you’re not a fan of immune boosters, they really can’t hurt in today’s environment and may just help. True confession: I often skip taking my vitamins when I travel. It’s just one more thing to do. But I decided as part of my COVID-19 travel packing list to travel with Vitamins A, C, and D and also zinc. It’s easy to pop a supplement in the morning in hopes that it will give your immune system a little added boost.
5. I have a standing travel insurance policy with Allianz but it’s really important to check your coverage in light of the pandemic. Many insurance companies have modified their policies. For example, I was recently curious if my policy covered me in case I had to quarantine in another destination. It can be expensive to rack up another 10-14 days of accommodations. Under most policies, this is considered trip interruption insurance. But traveling before COVID is eradicated has given me the impetus to ensure that my insurance has heavy duty medical coverage and evacuation coverage.
6. Trust me on this one. Be sure to pack some hand lotion. You’ll find yourself washing your hands even more than you do at home as you encounter people and new surfaces. Your hands will thank you!
7. One of my new personal policies on traveling – at least for awhile – is to avoid public spaces as much as possible. Every time I can avoid a restaurant or gathering spot helps decrease my chances of getting sick. So I’m packing morning essentials that let me stay in my room rather than heading down to a coffee bar or restaurant. You’ll find the requisite Starbucks Via in my bag, along with a few breakfast bars (Luna for the record), and a couple of containers of instant oatmeal. Easy to pack and easy to prepare.
You’ll probably notice that I did not add masks to this list. In today’s world, masks are like underwear. They’re non-negotiable. Just be sure to pack plenty of them so you can rinse them out at the end of each day, and especially after any air travel. Did you know you can also throw a mask in the microwave to sanitize it? Just a cool tip I learned along the way.