Covid Travel Essentials: Protect Yourself While Traveling

Woman Wearing a Face Mask on the Subway

It’s been almost two years since the quarantine was implemented. It was very hard to travel, and impossible to fly to some areas. However, travel is slowly opening back up in some parts of the world. Vaccinated Americans can travel safely within the US without the need to get tested or self-quarantine. Meanwhile, those who are not fully vaccinated will need to follow the CDC’s guidelines for unvaccinated people.

However, depending on the destination, both will still have to follow regular covid guidelines when traveling outside the US.

Fully vaccinated people indeed have more freedom, however, there will still be risks involved. 

The vaccine doesn’t guarantee 100 percent immunity against coronavirus. Vaccinated people have a lower percentage of contracting the virus, unvaccinated people have more chances of being affected by it, however, both should exert the same precautions, especially when it comes to traveling.

From face shields, to UV sanitizers, here’s what you should pack when you’re on-the-go.

Face Mask

Woman Wearing a Face Mask and Holding a Smartphone
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

When traveling, it’s best to use double or 3-ply face masks. A single cloth mask is okay if you’re doing a quick walk to somewhere like a less-crowded grocery store. Even if you’re going out for a long period of time, you need to wear a thicker mask with a removable filter, or an N95 mask. Now, the CDC advises people to use 3-ply masks or double masks to gain more protection. 

Double-masking is as effective as N95 or K95 masks when it comes to preventing the spread of the virus. Choose a mask with a tight fit. When you choose to use medical-grade masks, go for the ones without a valve as it just pushes out air to others. 

Have the mask fit securely on your face. The virus is airborne so you have to eliminate any spaces that will allow the virus to slip in and into your nose, mouth or eyes. You can use any FDA-approved tape to close the open edges of the mask or use a mask-extender to adjust the fit perfectly.

Alcohol Spray and Hand Sanitizer

People Holding Clear Glass Bottle
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Washing your hands before touching your face is a must, but for added protection you should wash them after you hold onto anything outside your home. Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds, and then completely wipe or dry them. 

As an alternative for soap and water, since you’re traveling and can’t be expected to have access to both 24/7, you can use alcohol or hand sanitizer with at least 70 percent alcohol. You can also spray alcohol onto any surface that you’re going to touch or sit on.

UV Sanitizers

Your car keys, headphones, wallet, cards can get really dirty when you go out. You can buy a portable UV sanitizer that fits your phone. Make sure to take care not to get exposed to the UV rays yourself.

Disinfectant Wipes

UV sanitizers are great but you should still carry disinfectant wipes so that you can wipe every surface or thing that you come in contact with. You don’t have to wipe everything, but there will be times when you have to put your things down, like on a restroom counter, and you will have to make sure that the surfaces are clean. Avoid going to these places as much as you can help it, but if you must, then make sure to wipe down everything before touching.

Ascorbic Acid and Zinc

For added protection against flu in general, ingestion of ascorbic acid and zinc is recommended. These will not prevent the spread of the virus, but it can prevent the progression of severe manifestation of Covid-19. This includes reducing development of acute respiratory distress syndrome, which can lead to death.

Cold and Flu Medication

Carrying flu and cold medication is always recommended when traveling. You’ll never know when you’re gonna come down with a headache which can make you less alert and less active. In this thread, you should also carry antihistamine for allergies, medication for stomach aches, and other over-the-counter medications. In the case that you don’t feel well, these medicines will help you feel better and focus more.

Vaccination Documentation

Make sure that you pack any necessary documents before traveling. These include PCR tests and other testing results, and your vaccination card. Depending on your destination, you may not be able to enter the area or country if you don’t have the proper papers on-hand.

How to Stay Safe

You can never be too sure these days. To make sure that you and your family are safe during travel, follow the CDC travel guidelines and the tips below:

  • Social Distancing
  • Avoid medium-to-large-sized gatherings
  • Avoid poorly ventilated areas
  • Avoid crowds
  • Watch out for people with Covid-19 symptoms

Travel with Care

If you can help it, avoid traveling altogether. But if you must take that trip, read the news about your destination’s Covid-19 cases, and check the rules for visitors or travel passengers.. Follow the travel advice above and you’ll be more protected in your travel.

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