Wondering what should be on your COVID-19 travel packing list?
Whether you’re traveling internationally or traveling within your own country – it’s time to rethink your packing list!
If the last six months have taught us anything it’s that we need to be prepared and that’s why we created this helpful list of those “extra” packing items that you know you’ll need – and maybe some that you didn’t think about – to keep you protected (and for peace of mind).
COVID Travel Tip:
Flying? Consider the window seat. With most airlines blocking the middle row (for the time being), the window seat keeps you away from those walking up and down the aisle.
Back to what you should pack for travel during COVID …
You’re likely used to wearing a mask, unless you haven’t gone anywhere – at all – for the last six months. If you’re traveling though, especially to an all-inclusive resort in the tropics or hotel for a staycation, then you’ll want to consider a cotton mask and one that’s breathable, washable, and reusable. We like this three-pack protective face covering option that’s also made in the USA. There are many, many choices these days including disposable options, if that’s your preference.
Don’t touch that! This is more of a tip vs a packing item as you’re also likely limiting what you touch. Touchless payment and check-in methods from regular purchases to airline kiosks and your resort have gone touchless. If you’re traveling out of the country it’s still a good idea to bring cash, but credit cards, payment apps, and smartphone apps are the way to go. We’ve heard more over the last few months that cashless transactions and travel apps are best. BUT if you find yourself needing to, you know, actually TOUCH something, consider having one of these nifty (and inexpensive!) Touchless Door Opener/Button Pusher on your keychain!
And, by all means, bring your own pens.
If you’re on any medications, opt for 90-days if your insurance allows it. This would be super important if you’re thinking about one of those “workation“ locations in Mexico or the Caribbean. And, always pack medications and vitamins in your personal carry-on luggage. If your destination requires a negative COVID test, be sure to bring that along and keep an extra copy, too. Jamaica, St. Lucia, and other destinations each have their own set of guidelines.
Okay, this may be one of the most important items (next to masks) for your packing list! We’re seeing hand sanitizers everywhere these days – especially at hotels, but take your own stash too. You may not have heard this yet, but the TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags until further notice. That’s a big difference from the usual 3.4 ounces that is usually allowed. It will need to be screened separately. This brings us to the next item on this “extras” list …
Resealable Bags (Okay, Ziploc!)
These are a must to bring along for your COVID packing list (and not only during COVID times). I recently brought several along for a “staycation” as they’re perfect for the TV remote. You can use a tissue to grab the remote and put it in the bag. It works great and some hotels are also doing this for guests as part of their cleaning protocols. Even though hotels are doing a great job cleaning and sanitizing, it’s extra assurance that you’re protecting yourself.
These bags also come in handy at the beach for your cell phones and any other item that you want to protect from the elements.
It should be a little easier to find these nowadays. The TSA is also allowing sanitizing/disinfecting wipes in any quantity for carry-on. Now, what about those disinfectant sprays? You could include these on your COVID-19 travel packing list and bring these along in your carry-on if 3.4 oz (or less). Anything larger goes in your checked bag. You know you’ll use these to wipe down surfaces at your hotel, door handles, and the remote (before bagging it).
Bringing your own bottle (for you and your family) is always a good idea. If you’re traveling internationally you can refill it often and you may want to pack a small container of dish soap (in one of those resealable bags) to keep your bottles squeaky clean. We like this water bottle from Evita and it will keep you on track with staying hydrated, especially if you’re in Mexico or the Caribbean. Drink up!
What else could go on your COVID-19 travel packing list?
Bringing along a travel size first aid kit, disposable gloves, and an ample supply of tissues is always a good idea, too.
And, maybe you’re wondering about COVID-19 testing while traveling. Most areas require that you get pre-tested up to 72-hours prior to arriving. But … will your health insurance cover you if you require a test while at your international destination? That’s a question for your health insurance company. When I inquired about this with Blue Cross, I was told that I would be covered with my policy and as you know, policies differ – so check with your health insurance provider to see if you’re covered for COVID testing if necessary while traveling and be sure to carry your card with you. It’s also important to note that several resorts are offering free medical insurance for guests, like Palladium Hotel Group, for example.
Several all-inclusive resorts are including medical insurance, however, it’s a good idea to get CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) travel insurance when booking your travel package. Your travel professional can review the different options. Whatever you choose, be sure to review and know what you’re covered for. Many resorts have also updated their cancellation policy to be more traveler-friendly.
And, it goes without saying, remember to bring all of your travel documents and your passport, if crossing borders.
Looking for more guidance on packing?