Given the current state of the world, travelers are looking to re-evaluate what safety measures are needed in order to get back on the road, and it all starts with packing the right bag.
As states lift the stay-at-home orders after several months of quarantining, it’s important to know the new rules and cleaning procedures. Travelers must be prepared with the right essentials and information when venturing out. Whether you are flying or traveling by car, here are some tips to fully enjoy your stay.
Masks and hand sanitizers were the ultimate duo in 2020 and still continues to be in 2021! More than half of the countries in the world mandate the wearing of face masks in public. The National Retail Federation advises companies to set nationwide policies to protect employees and customers. Major retail store chains (Target, Walmart, Walgreens) and public transportation are requiring customers to wear masks inside to stem the spread of the virus. Keeping a mask on you at all times is vital for your trip. Packing extra masks will ensure backup for yourself and/or your travel buddy (remember to properly dispose of them after use). To eliminate waste, reusable cloth masks are available across these retail chain stores.
2. Hand Sanitizers
Keeping hand sanitizers on deck is an effective way to eliminate bacteria on-the-go. A study was conducted to test the efficiency of hand sanitizer against coronaviruses at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine. They discovered that sanitizer is critical for appropriate hand hygiene when hand washing with soap and water is unavailable. Make sure your hand sanitizer is at least 60% alcohol-based. Depending where you live, hand sanitizers may be selling out. Most people are quick to feel defeated about the high demand and shortage of hand sanitizers in stores, but it is actually incredibly easy to make yourself.
DIY Hand Sanitizer
You only need a few items for a large quantity: rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel, your favorite essential oil (optional) and a container.
3. Contactless Payments
When exploring a new city and its shops, using a swipeless credit card or setting up Apple Pay is a brilliant method to purchase without contact. The “tap-to-pay” feature on your card uses near-field communication technology to complete your transactions near a card reader. Since the pandemic, many restaurants are attempting to eliminate cash payments, and encouraging customers to go contactless.
4. Proof of Good Health
For domestic travel, the CDC highly recommends getting tested 1-3 days before traveling, and 3-5 days after. The CDC also states that US passengers traveling to a foreign country must provide proof of testing COVID-19 negative to the airline before boarding. Ultimately, having this documentation saved on your phone or printed is essential to move forward with your travel plans! If you would like to know more about safety flight requirements regarding COVID-19, you can find it here.
5. Water Bottle
Limit stressing over possible contamination. Packing personal items can be a smart move when traveling, especially bringing your own water bottle. Many airports have closed public drinking fountains, and it would be wise to keep water on you in case you get thirsty.
6. Portable Charger
Portable chargers were life-savers before the pandemic and still are today. Although there are charging stations at airports and public areas, it is highly likely that these ststions are closed. Bringing your own portable charger from home is a safe alternative to keep your phone from dying. No one wants a dead phone when traveling.
You can find some of the best portable chargers on Amazon:
7. Gloves & Disinfectant Wipes
Clean as you go, and protect your hands. Sanitary wipes will come in handy when you don’t want to touch any doorknobs, counters, or other public surfaces. Whether it be filling your car gas tank, or grabbing your baggage at TSA, wearing gloves and cleaning surfaces will help avoid contamination.
Yes, bring your fresh pillowcases from home! Hotels are required to wash all bedding wherever you stay. However, cleanliness concerns are a high priority. Additionally, travelers may have allergies to strong detergent, or perfume. Packing your own bedding is highly reasurring. You can sleep with peace of mind, knowing exactly how clean your pillow is.
Extra Packing Items:
- Ziplock bags
- Vitamin C