If the holidays will be the first time you’re traveling since the COVID-19 pandemic began, you’ll find the experience far different from what it was before. There are a few extras you’ll want to pack to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.
If you’ll be traveling abroad any time soon, keep in mind that the entry requirements for certain countries are constantly changing. It’s also up to you to be aware of what you’ll need. You can find this info on the official United States embassy website for that country, but it’s always smart to check your destination’s government website, as well.
Armed with this knowledge and a few helpful items, you can travel safely and stress-free.
Having a face mask handy is a normal part of life these days. You’ll definitely need this form of personal protective equipment while traveling, as face masks are required on most forms of public transportation worldwide.
Many people prefer cloth masks because they’re reusable and, depending on the fabric, potentially offer more protection than a surgical-style mask.
However, some airlines don’t allow cloth masks onboard. This information isn’t always advertised ahead of time, so you’ll want to have a few different masks on hand, especially if you prefer to wear the cloth kind.
KN95 masks are comfortable and offer excellent protection. They also come in a pack of 20, so you’ll have enough masks to get you through your entire trip without taking up much space in your suitcase.
A Passport and Vaccine Card Holder
You’ll be required to pull out your vaccine card as much (if not more) than your passport while traveling. Many countries currently require proof of vaccine to enter stores or restaurants. While the paper CDC vaccine card is accepted in most places, you’ll often be asked to show your passport to verify your identity and prove that you are a U.S. citizen.
This passport holder contains a clear sleeve to also hold your CDC vaccine card. It makes it easy to show both forms of identification without digging through your bag every time you want to enter a building or attraction.
If you’re traveling out of the country (or Hawaii), you’ll need to carry several printed travel documents in addition to your vaccine card and/or boarding pass. Depending on where you’re going, these might include negative COVID test results, passenger locator forms, signed health documents, and more.
These clear folders will keep all of your documents safe. They’re particularly useful for items that need to be scanned, like COVID test results with a QR code attached, as you can do so through the folder. You wouldn’t want a coffee spill or rainy day to ruin your travel plans.
Although hand sanitizer seems to be everywhere these days, you’ll still want plenty on hand while traveling. High-traffic locations, like airports, train stations, and bus terminals, have hundreds, if not thousands, of people passing through them every hour. A small dollop of hand sanitizer can mean the difference between staying healthy and getting sick on your trip.
This hand sanitizer pack comes with eight small bottles, so you can keep one in every bag. Each bottle also has a flexible attachment that can be looped through backpacks, purses, and keychains for easy access.
A Smartphone Sanitizer
Our phones host a plethora of germs, including COVID. While traveling, you’re likely to touch your phone more often than usual to check boarding passes, flight times, booking details, and so on.
This Smartphone Sanitizer can reduce the amount of bacteria you swap between your phone and hands. It uses UV light to safely kill 99.99% of bacteria and germs on your device. It also works on keys, watches, wallets, or anything else you can fit inside.
A Home COVID Test
As of December 13, 2021, a negative COVID test taken within one day of travel is currently required for re-entry into the U.S., regardless of your vaccination status.
Finding a COVID testing site can be stressful in a foreign country, but you can avoid that by packing a test approved for home use. The BinaxNOW’s COVID-19 Home Test is currently authorized by the FDA for use while traveling.
This test is performed with a virtual visit via an online video chat and should give you results in about 15 minutes, depending on how quickly you’re connected to a healthcare professional.
With testing requirements changing so frequently, though, it’s still a good idea to confirm that your home test will be accepted before you leave on your trip.
An Adjustable Mask Lanyard
Face masks are required in many public spaces worldwide. Odds are, you’ll be putting on and taking off your mask a lot on your trip.
Rather than having to dig it out of your pocket or scramble to find it in your bag, keep it around your neck with this adjustable lanyard. You clip it to the elastic bands on your mask for easy access. It also alleviates some of the irritation to the ears, which can be nice on those days where you have to wear your mask for several hours.
Hand sanitizer is great for, well, your hands, but it’s not really practical to smear all over everything else. When it comes to phones, door handles, airplane tray tables, or anything else that could use a quick cleaning, disinfectant wipes are a must.
They kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria on surfaces, including COVID-19, so make sure you have a pack with you on your trip. You’ll feel much safer and comfortable if you can wipe down any major touch-points along the way. You’ll also be less likely to get sick, which is always a plus while traveling.
Traveling during the pandemic is possible, but even more stressful than usual due to the additional health risk and increased security measures. These items will not only help the process go more smoothly, but they’ll also help you stay healthy, which is always a plus while traveling.