As states have been lifting their stay-at-home orders and allowing people to embrace traveling again, it might be time to consider your next trip. Of course, doctors are still warning against any unnecessary travel. But life happens, so if you must drive (or fly!) make sure you use this travel packing list to bring along the right supplies.
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We have been traveling safely since July, both by air and by car, and we have seen different safety precautions around the United States. Each destination is different (but they all require masks), and each plane ride has been unique (even on the same airline). Traveling now has the benefit of fewer crowds, and thankfully, we are seeing precautions everywhere.
The current situation has completely changed the way we travel. While airports, public transportation, hotels, and even Airbnb have implemented new cleaning protocols and safety measures, there are still lots of things you should do to make sure you stay safe while you travel.
If you find yourself traveling during these times, be sure to pack these essential items before you head out the door.
How to Stay Healthy While Traveling
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have implemented a list of steps travelers need to follow to keep themselves, loved ones, and others safe when they travel by plane, bus, train, or cross state lines by car. Be sure to check them before you head out the door.
We also have an article with ideas on how to stay healthy when traveling.
Check the Travel Restrictions Before You Plan Your Trip
Travel restrictions vary by state and country. For example, some countries may ask travelers to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days upon arrival and have a negative test result. Other countries may require foreign travelers to carry a negative test certificate issued 24 to 48 hours before travel, and taking another test upon arrival.
Keep in mind that the current travel status of each destination is very unpredictable, so check for updates on official government sites as things can change from one minute to the next.
While you’re researching, it’s a good idea to check and see if restaurants and parks are open. For example, if you head to California to go to Disneyland, you’re out of luck because they’re closed. And if you travel to Arizona to visit the Navajo National Monument, they are closed through the end of October 2020 but may or may not reopen in November.
Stay healthy while traveling with this travel packing list
When you pack your bags make sure to include these essential items in order to keep everyone safe and comfy:
1. Face Mask
A cloth-face mask reduces the risk of spreading the virus. Be sure to pack several in case you misplace one. These masks from UNIQLO are some of our favorites.
2. Hand sanitizer
Buy plenty of travel size hand sanitizer bottles for yourself and your traveling companions because you’re going to need it. Make sure it has at least 60 percent alcohol. Use it before and after eating at a restaurant, using a public bathroom, or touching any surface that’s constantly touched by others like gas nozzles and door knobs.
3. Disinfecting Wipes
Disinfecting wipes are a great way to wipe public surfaces like plane seats and armrests.
Airlines have upgraded their cleaning protocols but no one will keep you and your family as safe as you will. So if you travel by plane, bus or train, wipe your seat thoroughly before sitting down.
Bring travel sized tissues with you to avoid using your hand to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. They can also be used to pick up or touch items that are full of bacteria like a remote control, the button on an elevator, or flushing the toilet on the airplane’s bathroom.
*And just to note, many hotels have hand sanitizing stations throughout their hotels and next to the elevators. Remote controls are usually wrapped in plastic to signify they have been cleaned.
5. Reusable Snack Bags
Buy some reusable bags like the Stasher silicone reusable food storage bag from Amazon. This allows you to store snacks so you won’t have to make a lot of stops to buy food and risk exposure or order food from the flight attendant.
6. Disposable Gloves
Disposable gloves provide and even greater protection when you’re touching items that tend to come in contact with several people. So, keep a pair, (or a box) with you at all times if possible.
7. Portable Charger
Bring a portable charger to charge your phone and other electronic gadgets because people are unlikely to let you borrow theirs during these times.
8. Refillable Water Bottle
Bring a refillable water bottle and either buy water at the airport or use their filling stations. Not all planes offer water to passengers, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
9. Travel Pillow
If you are driving, bring your own pillow. If you are flying, bring a travel pillow with you. Don’t rely on the airport giving you one because a lot airlines have opted not to offer them to passengers for health reasons.
Many airlines are not providing blankets right now, and I’m not really comfortable using hotel blankets. Try the Travelrest 4-in-1 Travel Blanket that covers your whole body and comes with a storage pocket.
11. Travel Mug
Bring a travel mug with you so you won’t have to drink from a cup given to you at an airport restaurant or café that may or may not have been thoroughly cleaned. The same goes for those plastic cups the flight attendant might serve you when you’re on the plane and those hotel room mugs.
12. Phone Sanitizer
Phone sanitizers might look like regular phone cases but they actually use UV light to effectively destroy germs and bacteria that might have accumulated on the surface of your phone.
A travel cooler is a great way to keep your perishable snacks nice and fresh, and that’s great when you’re road tripping but not always convenient when traveling by plane. So, make sure that the cooler is not too big and that it doesn’t violate any regulations when boarding.
14. Pen and Pencil
Bring a pen and pencil with you in case you get the urge to doodle, write, or need to sign a credit card receipt. Don’t bank on asking someone to share their pen or pencil right now.
15. Touchless Pay Method
Download touchless pay method apps like Google Pay so you won’t have to risk exchanging germs when you’re using cash or credit cards to pay for something.
16. Health Insurance Card
A health insurance card has the name of your insurance company and your policy number, all of which will be necessary if you find yourself in need of medical attention and have to show your health paperwork.
Bring a thermometer with you to check your temperature or those of your loved ones especially if anyone starts to experience chills, headaches, or flu-like symptoms. A lot of restaurants and airports won’t allow you to sit or travel if you have a fever.
Bring your meds with you like ibuprofen, aspirin and Tylenol for headaches and fever reduction. Don’t assume that these items will be in stock at your nearest pharmacy.
19. Ziploc Bags
Ziploc bags are a great way to seal away your clean face masks but also serve a multitude of purposes such as storing food, packing ice cubes and turning it into a makeshift ice bag or to store trash until you find a proper receptacle.
20. Bring your own snacks
Many airport restaurants are closed, and with many airlines serving little to no food, it’s important to bring your own. These are some of our favorite travel snacks that are easy to pack.
Hitting the road and don’t know if you have everything you need? Make sure you check our travel essentials before heading out the door.