August 19

Your Coronavirus Packing List: Make Packing Easy During the Covid Outbreak

Best Travel Tips, Plan Your Next Trip

What do you need to pack if you're travelling during the Covid-19 outbreak? From a doctor with a passion for travel, here's your coronavirus packing list. 

Coronavirus Packing Image

What should you pack for travel during the coronavirus outbreak?

As a former doctor, I've had so many questions about what to pack in this coronavirus world and many BBC interviews on the subject. 

So, here's my coronavirus packing list. It comes with the caveat that you should never take medical advice from a blogger on the web, but it does take into account advice from the CDC, WHO and NHS. If in doubt, check those sources first and believe them over me.

Download Your Coronavirus Travel Packing List

Quickly access the extra equipment you need for travel during the outbreak.

Coronavirus Travel Essentials

Hand Sanitizer

Pack as many of these as common sense and decency will allow!

Go for the travel size (under 100 ml) and have one in every bag you own in an easy to access compartment. Use liberally and occasionally wipe down the outside of the bottle with a disinfectant wipe. 

It is always important to wash your hands with soap and water (using your wrist or elbow to turn on the tap) and hand sanitizer is no substitute. But it does help.

Apply frequently, cover every surface of your hand and allow to dry. 

MASKS

Rules and regulations are changing all across the world, but the biggest and most frequent change involves masks. 

Pack several masks or face coverings so that you can comply with regulations as you travel, and to stop you from spreading the disease if you don't know you have it. 

Remember that masks actually collect all the germs you breathe out so handle them as you would toxic waste (or, you know, a dirty tissue.) Store them in a separate plastic bag (nappy bags are great for this) and not just in your pocket or handbag. Don't share a mask with someone you wouldn't share a toothbrush with ;-) 

Depending on the material, germs will soak through in as little as 20 minutes so plan to pack several for a long haul flight and for a trip and wash them frequently. 

Outdoor transmission is very low so most professional bodies (CDC, WHO etc) don't require you to wear them outdoors. However, not everyone has got the memo so you may need to wear them outside in order to comply. 

CHILDREN AND MASKS

The exact age cutoff varies around the world but in general, very young children are not expected to wear masks. It offers them no protection and can become a choking hazard. Thankfully, children carry a lower risk of both carrying and transmitting coronavirus and have less severe symptoms if they do, which should help to put your mind at rest. Social distancing, hygiene and hand-washing remain the most important ways to control the disease. 

With all that said, my three year old feels left out when we go somewhere, so I pack an extra one just for her and keep an eye on her so she doesn't get too tangled. 

Thermometer

Remove some of the stress and guesswork on the road by packing your own digital thermometer. It's also a requirement to enter some countries (at the time of writing, for example, Bermuda insists that travellers bring their own.)

Cutlery

Leave the sharp knives at home for obvious reasons, but it's always a good idea to bring your own cutlery with you on the road. 

It's more eco-friendly than plastic and in this coronavirus travel world, it prevents you from having to dip your hand into a shared cutlery tray or pot. 

You can buy beautiful travel bamboo sets - or just pick up a pair of bog standard ones from home and use those instead. 

GLOVES

Some places may ask you to wear gloves and it's always handy to have a pair for your first aid kit anyway.

From a coronavirus travel point of view, the important thing to remember when wearing gloves is that if you touch your face with gloves on... it's just as big a risk as if you touched your face without them. 

Alcohol Wipes

Alcohol wipes come as small, flat squares in many First Aid Kits and are great at cleaning small areas. Keep some in reserve for anything that may need to go in your mouth, such as cutlery or medical equipment. 

Plastic Bags

Although it makes me weep when I think about the effect on the environment, you're going to need a lot of plastic bags. I'd recommend you buy some nappy bags as they are about the right size and take up less space than storing up shopping bags. These nappy bags are supposed to be disposable.

Why do you need them? You'll need one to store your clean masks, one to store your "in-use" mask and one to store your dirty masks until you can dispose of them or wash them. You'll also likely need one for your cutlery, any tissues, wipes you've used as you travel and so on. 

Wet Wipes/ Disinfectant Wipes

From an environmental point of view, use a reusable cloth and soapy warm water to clean surfaces with a disinfectant spray. However, when you're on the road, that's not always possible, so use wipes instead. 

Water Bottle

Refill water straight from the source and cut down on another chance of cross contamination. Don't share water bottles with other people (apart from your immediate family.)

Snacks & Other Food

Thanks to coronavirus, it's now a lot harder to buy food on the road. Some restaurants are taking only bookings, some flights have stopped their in-flight service, some supermarket shelves are sparse and so on. 

Now, more than ever it's a good idea to bring snacks with you and a backup food plan in case you can only eat outdoors and it's pouring with rain...

Pack non-messy snacks like granola bars and apples and consider packets of couscous which you can rehydrate in your hotel room as a last resort...

Travel Insurance

Please, please check your travel insurance before you travel. Many newer policies will not cover disruptions caused by Covid and many countries have introduced quarantine laws that result in bills of several thousand dollars. 

Bear in mind that rules and restrictions can change in a matter of hours so now, more than ever, check the small print!

First Aid Kit

As a former doctor, I always bring a first aid kit with me and include over-the-counter or non-prescription medicines. When travelling during the coronavirus pandemic, it makes even more sense. You don't want to risk going into a hospital or pharmacy for a simple thing you could have brought with you. 

Facial Cleanser

Masks take their toll on the skin! Worth it, of course, but your skin will be glad you brought a gentle cleanser with you.

Should you travel during the coronavirus pandemic?

That really depends on who you are, where you are, where you're trying to get to and why. I don't believe that life should stop indefinitely for no reason. Life has plenty of other risks and always has. But I do believe that we should all travel responsibly. The Covid outbreak remains an ever-evolving situation. Check with the WHO, CDC, NHS and the governments of the places you are thinking of travelling to and obey the instructions. Please. Other than that? Bon voyage!

Other Coronavirus Travel Tips

  • Stay as socially distanced as possible. Opt for road trips, self-catering, contactless payments, contactless check-in and more, where possible. 
  • Leave even more time at the airport or for boarding ferries. 
  • You'll be eating and queueing outdoors a lot more. Be ready for the weather, whether that's wellies and umbrellas or sunscreen and a sunhat. 
  • Check the regulations regularly - they change all the time!
  • Some airlines insist on smaller hand luggage so that people can board and sit down more quickly. Check the guidelines in advance and follow them. 

Download Your Coronavirus Travel Packing List

Quickly access the extra equipment you need for travel during the outbreak.



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