With many places lifting travel restrictions and the world slowly making it’s way to places, more and more people are booking their next flight and heading off somewhere. But before you do, it’s absolutely vital that you change the way you look at packing. COVID-19 has hit us all hard in many different ways. For those of us who are lucky to recover or even be alive, there may be a chance we may travel sometime sooner or later. Whenever it is, remember that packing will require you to take some mature steps in order to safeguard and protect yourself from contracting or spreading anything.
Below is a list of things that every traveller should pack regardless of whether you’re flying, driving or taking the train. Whilst it may be annoying going online (or out) to shop for these products, it will serve as a blessing in the long run and prevent you from harming yourself and others.
Hygiene Essentials & Medication
This is by far the most important thing to bear in mind. Have a look through what you use for personal hygiene on a day to day basis and leave nothing behind. If you have medication that you take for any underlying health reasons, or even if you take vitamin supplements, stick to this on the road throughout your travels. Take no chances and pack them all.
The aim of packing personal hygiene essential and medicine/pills/supplements, is that it will help your body maintain a high level of immunity which is what is required during a pandemic. You want your body to be strong enough to fight any germs/bacteria that may come your way. Therefore, the primary way of doing that is by ensuring that you pack personal hygiene essentials and all necessary medication.
Pack Only What You Need
To be honest, this is something that should be practised at all times. There are many benefits to packing light, but I’ll mention the one that relates to travelling during a pandemic here. Basically, the more you bring, the more you’ll have to take care of and clean. Limit the amount of effort that you have to exert by keeping it less and easy when it comes to cleaning your clothes. You may not have to clean your clothes when you’re travelling, but by having more things in your suitcase, you are increasing the chances of bacteria or germs touching these items.
Hand Sanitisers & Wipes
Our hands are being used all the time. Luggage handling, handing our passports over, opening doors, eating, drinking and the list goes on. You will be most definitely touching foreign objects on your travels and therefore it is vital that you kill of any bacteria that may have touched your hands with a hand sanitiser. The wipes also come in handy when you are using foreign objects to lay down your laptop for instance, or for wiping arm rests in a plane or to wipe door knobs and handles which you will be having contact with throughout hotels and airports. Having hand sanitisers and wipes will help kill off the bacteria that is usually lurking around on these surfaces and your hands.
Your Technological Gadgets
The main reason for adding this to the list is because I feel it is essential to stay in touch with others during these times. People worry when you travel in normal circumstances. But travelling during these times has families taking worrying to heightened levels. Using your technological gadgets, you can post stories, share news, call friends and family and most importantly avoid getting lost whilst out and about. Technology can come to the rescue for getting urgent help, alerting someone of danger and also checking the news for any important updates you may need to know about on your travels. Alongside your main technological gadgets, be sure to pack the essential accompanying gadgets like a portable charger, earphones, and universal adaptors so you’re not left looking for these throughout your travels.
Face mask & Disposable Gloves
This goes without saying. The germs and bacteria spread without the face mask increases by 17.4 % in comparison to 3.1 % when you are wearing a facemark. This basically means that you can potentially infect 9 out of 50 people if you do not wear a face mask. That’s a pretty high number. Wearing a face masks reduces this to potentially infecting 1.5 people out of 50. Additionally, always keep disposable gloves handy as there will always be times when you will be touching foreign surfaces when travelling. You may need to fuel up, open door knobs, put seat belts on in a plane and also maybe lean on something for whatever purpose. Wearing gloves during these times prevents you from contracting any germs or bacteria onto your hands and thus keeps you safe.
Packing Non-Perishable Food
Wherever you decide to go, chances are that some vendors and restaurants may not be open. Of course, now many places have started opening, however, there may be instances where restaurants in a specific area close early. There may be stops that you make during your road trip in which locating a place to eat proves difficult. In those situations, having non-perishable food items can keep you satisfied and keep you going. Examples of non-perishable foods include, dried and canned beans, nut butters, dried fruits and vegetables, canned fish, canned fruits and vegetable and grains. Of course, the list does go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.
This is a must in the current climate! As you have absolutely no idea who touched what surface, you can use the disinfectant spray by easily spraying any items or surfaces prior to touching them. By doing this, any harmful germs and bacteria can be swiftly killed and you can stay safe. I will add though, I highly recommend using it alongside antibacterial wipes for extra precaution. You can never be too safe!
No Touch Door Opener
I came across this whilst researching for this article. It seemed like a really useful tool and I decided to nab it right away. There’s a very high chance that you may use lifts, need to push and pull doors, withdraw cash at the ATM and use touch screens in shopping centres. This is where this key comes in use. Simply point the hygiene hand brass clean key instead of your finger and let it do the job for you. And as they tend to be made from brass or copper, they are inherently antimicrobial because of its 70% Copper content. Antimicrobial products slow or kill the spread of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, protozoans and fungi.
Travelling during these times means that we ought to keep a track of our health at all times. Instead of going to the doctors for a quick check whenever you have a cough or headache, you can just check your temperature with your thermometer and take necessary steps to reduce your temperature. Remember, what can be measured, can be managed.
Whilst much of this article has been focused on touching and disinfecting foreign objects, the one object that we have on us all the time should not go missed. Your phone is by far the most-touched item throughout your travels and so therefore, it should also be cleaned the same way as other items. Isopropyl wipes are unique in these circumstances. They are made for phone surfaces and do not leave any unwanted marks as do some other wipes. This is the advice that Apple have given on their support page and therefore, seems like the best thing to do when cleaning and disinfecting your phone.
Image Credit: NY Times/David Ramos/Getty Images