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Your Must-Have Travel Checklist for 2021

Packing for a trip this year is a little different than it was packing for a trip in, say, 2019. You’ll be bringing some things along that you wouldn’t have ever thought about a year or two ago, and you’ll be leaving a few other things at home. 

A few recommendations before we get to the checklist: First, it’s not a bad idea to take a coronavirus test before you depart. But second, you’ll definitely want to take one when you return. And third, make sure you do your due diligence before traveling–both for your safety and the safety of the people you’ll come into contact with. At the very least, you should check out the CDC’s “traveler’s health” website, which will give you detailed advice based on where you’re planning to visit.

Experiencing First Class for the first time!
Experiencing First Class for the first time!

Bring Several Masks

Wearing a mask is a given, whether you take a plane, train, or automobile. The CDC recommends wearing a cloth mask since it is more effective at preventing the spread of the virus. If it is cold outside, you should wear your mask under your ski mask or scarf. Always bring extra masks so that you can change them out daily (due to accumulation of moisture from breathing). Also, bring a plastic bag for storing used masks until you are able to wash them. 

Hand Sanitizer

Although washing your hands is the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, hand sanitizer is an excellent alternative. You should keep hand sanitizer with you at all times. Sanitize your hands after touching doorknobs, tables, store bags, and items from stores. You should also sanitize before eating and after using the restroom. Be sure to purchase a hand sanitizer that contains between 60-95 percent alcohol. This percentage will kill off most viruses and bacteria. Also, you should take several bottles with you for the hotel room, condo, or purse. If you’re flying, check the TSA’s website to see what they’re allowing in terms of getting through security with bottles of hand sanitizer.

Disposable Gloves

Gloves will be essential if you are planning on sanitizing items or your hotel room. You may want to wipe down your car or plane seat. When you are using a disinfectant, be sure there is adequate ventilation. You can always turn on a fan, if one is available, or open a window. When disposing of gloves, make sure you throw them in a lined trash can. Also, remember never to reuse gloves. Keep in mind that it isn’t necessary to wear them in public. The CDC recommends not wearing gloves for everyday use; hand sanitizer is more efficient at preventing the spread of the coronavirus than gloves. 

Bottled Water

Unfortunately, public water fountains harbor a lot of microbes. Even if water fountains are open, avoid using them. You should, instead, purchase bottled water and pack them in a water cooler. Another alternative is to buy water from a nearby convenience store. 

Phone Sanitizer

Your cell phone is also a hotspot for bacteria. In fact, studies have shown that it contains ten times more bacteria than toilet seats. Harmful microbes are known to thrive in cell phones. So, as much as possible, keep your phone germ-free by using a phone sanitizer. This will also help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

Travel Med Kit

It doesn’t hurt to bring along a travel medical kit, especially since you’ll know where that two-pack of pain relief medicine has been–unlike an identical one you’d buy at a gas station or airport news shop. In addition to pain relief medicine, your travel kit could include motion sickness medicine, cough drops, bandaids, an antihistamine, an antiseptic solution, antacids, and insect repellant.

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