Though air travel for leisure is still widely banned amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still valid reasons to hop on a flight to destinations new or old. Perhaps you need to do so for work, have important family matters to attend to, or have to be at an important event in person. As long as you’ve tested negative for the virus and are following safety precautions, you should be clear for air travel.
However, you will need to pack some things besides the usual mask and sanitizer before boarding the plane. Here is a list of things you’ll definitely need to have in your carry-on bag for a safe flight:
If you’re going to be on a long-haul flight, it’s best to have a pair of compression socks in your bag so your feet and legs don’t get too fatigued. You can still put them on to walk around the plane, granted that you take them off and store them somewhere safe after. Even if your flight is only a few hours long, things can still get cold on the plane. You’ll thank yourself for having a pair of socks handy.
While safety precautions vary per airline, it is a requirement at many airports to wear a face shield in addition to wearing a mask. Face shields block droplets from coming in direct contact with your face, so you can be doubly sure about your safety.
Depending on your needs, there are different styles of face shields to choose from. One popular design looks similar to the frames used for eyeglasses. But instead of having lenses attached to them, there is a large piece of plastic meant to cover your whole face. But if you prefer to have your whole head covered, there are hood-style face shields that can be detached with ease.
Moreover, face shields might be challenging to use if you wear glasses and don’t like contacts. You may experience possible discomfort or notice that your breathing can fog up your glasses and face shield, which can obscure your vision. If this is the case, you can try attaching the shield part directly to your glasses to make things easier for yourself and minimize the condensation forming on the lenses.
If you want to eat at the airport restaurants or buy a drink, you may not be given a glass or utensils to use, as this is a safety measure for limiting physical contact. You can solve this problem by carrying your own tumbler and utensils with you in your carry-on bag. Not only is it the safer option, but it’s also more eco-friendly. Just be sure to properly clean and wash your reusables in between uses.
The pandemic has shown humanity that airports are far from the cleanest places on earth. While you do not have to bring gloves, it might still be a good idea to have them in your bag for your peace of mind. Though disposable gloves are usually the more sanitary option, you can also use your winter gloves with added precautions. Make sure to store the gloves in their own separate bag or container so you don’t contaminate the rest of what’s in your bag.
First Aid Kit
Since you’re essentially traveling on a flying petri dish, it’s important to keep your immune system boosted to fight any possible illnesses. Just to be sure, bring a first aid kit in your carry-on bag. Fill it with basic medicines for headaches, nausea, colds, body aches, and allergic reactions. You should also keep any prescribed medications in your first aid kit.
Even if it might seem unlikely, keep supplies for wound care as well. You’ll never know how much you wished you kept band-aids and disinfectants with you until you get cut while on a flight. Don’t take those chances and always bring a well-stocked first aid kit with you.
While you might not be able to store a big bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag, you can bring a pack of wipes with you on the plane. Unlike hand sanitizer, you can clean more surfaces using a wipe. For example, one wipe can be used to clean the top and bottom of an airline seat as well as its hand rests. You can also use wipes on your hands, your checked-in luggage when you grab it from the conveyor belt, and more.
It’s easy to get famished during a flight that lasts a few hours. Since airline food can be costly and can put you at a bigger risk of coming into physical contact with other people, it’s better to pack something you can munch on instead. Things like peanuts and raisins are both filling and easy to bring. You can easily buy a snack-sized bag of food at the grocery store or airport before your flight.
Since safety precautions emphasize limiting your contact with your surroundings, having a few resealable bags on you can be a lifesaver. They’re a great alternative to putting things in your pocket and act as a barrier between possibly contaminated objects and the rest of your belongings. You can even use them as gloves in a pinch. Alternatively, you can use them to store used handkerchiefs or washable masks until you can clean them. As a rule of thumb, keep at least two to three of these bags on you.
It is normal to feel anxious about going on a flight in the middle of a pandemic. But by bringing the items on this list with you, you can give yourself peace of mind and rest assured that you’re following safety regulations. While it is true that taking these precautions can make your trip a bit more stressful than normal, it is a necessary amount of hassle if it means that you and those around you do not get sick. It’s the kind and compassionate thing to do. Remember to stay safe and travel smart while preparing for your coming flight, and don’t forget to wear a mask at all times.