I recently returned from my first trip since early March. Like most travelers I have been sheltering in place and avoiding unnecessary travel for months now. However, this mandatory business trip was eye opening and there were 4 things I brought with me on this trip – and something I definitely didn’t bring enough of!
As a frequent business traveler I’ve got my packing list dialed in pretty tight. Whatever the number of days my trip is I know precisely what to pack, how many bags I need (e.g. just my KnackPack or do I also need to bring my TravelPro Crew 11 21″). It’s second nature to me at this point.
But, traveling in the era of the coronavirus is a little funky to say the least. If you’ve not traveled in a while, there’s a few things you are going to want to add to your kit.
4 things I took with me on my first trip in the COVID-19 era
In addition to my normal list of items I pack (headphones, chargers, etc), there were 3 new things I brought with me on this trip (and will probably continue bringing with me for the foreseeable future with one exception).
Nowadays, face masks are required by nearly every airline, including Southwest (which is who I was traveling on). Not only is pretty much required in airports, airlines, and hotel lobbies, it’s not a bad idea to wear one.
Note: Southwest, along with several other airlines will no longer support vented masks like that in the stock photo picture for this article. I actually use this mask for travel.
If you are not a little paranoid you will be the first time you travel. Ha! I was definitely hyper-aware of the multitude of surfaces you touch when traveling. As such, I was thankful I had a cachet of sanitizing wipes with me.
While I am sure Avis is doing a great job cleaning their rental cars, I still wiped it down. Same with my hotel room. Light switches, toilet handle, nightstand, shampoo bottles and faucets. No chances being taken here. You can also use them to wipe down a candy wrapper or bottle of soda you’ve snagged at the gas station.
I usually carried a little bit of hand sanitizer with me, but truth be told it was used sparingly. Not so on this trip. I used the heck out of my hand sanitizer on this trip and it’s definitely something I recommend you bring with you. See my note later in this post about bringing the right amount!
This was probably overkill. I don’t think I’d bring one next time – but I did pack and use a digital thermometer with me on the trip. In the end, it probably wasn’t necessary. Symptoms typically don’t emerge until at least 2 days after you’ve been exposed and my trip was only 2 days. Still, I did feel a little safer having one…although I really don’t know why. I will probably remove this item from my kit, unless it’s going to be an extended trip (e.g. 4 days or longer).
The one thing I didn’t bring enough of
While I did bring this on my trip I did not bring nearly enough. I took two small travel sized containers of hand sanitizer. However, I blew through it pretty quickly. Too quick. In retrospect, I should brought more.
I now understand why the TSA now allows larger quantities of hand sanitizer to be brought through TSA checkpoints. In fact, the TSA now allows 12 ounces of hand sanitizer (although it has to be pulled out of your bag and screened separately). Yeah, I should have brought that much. Something like the one below:
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