A list of essentials to travel safely and complying with the rules in 2021
Travelling has changed drastically and it is critical to have in mind how a packing list should be in pandemic times. While Europe is resuming traveling, it is mandatory to travel with items that comply with the travel permits, prevent the spread of the virus and follow the guidelines of health authorities. The main goal of everyone, of course, is to prevent new COVID-19 outbreaks.
Besides checking the news from health authorities like the World Health Organization, which releases a daily report about the pandemic situation, consider a general holiday packing list like the one below:
Documents needed to travel during Covid-19
As usual, documents are the first item to include in a packing list. However, during the pandemic, there are more documents needed than just a valid passport or ID.
If you are traveling during the pandemic, check what authorities in the destination are requiring. There might be specific documents rather than the ones listed here.
- Passenger Locator Form – Immigration and health authorities in Europe and the United States require that travelers fill in a form with their contact data and travel information. Each trip requires a form to be filled before the trip. The Passenger Locator Forms should be filled according to the country of destination. We add below a few of them:
- Spain passenger locator form
- Greece passenger locator form
- Portugal passenger locator card
- Italy self-declaration form
- France travel certificate
- The UK passenger locator form
- Vaccination, PCR/antigen test or recovery certificate – It’s nearly mandatory to show one of these documents in the borders of most of the countries. Each country has its own specific policies, so check them before traveling. As general information, any of these certificates should include the following information:
- Name of the traveler
- Passport or identity card number
- Test date
- Identification and contact details of the center that performed the analysis
- The technique used and negative test result (in case of testing).
Where can I check travel requirements in each country?
Covid-19 essential items to pack
Take a few with you. If you take reusable masks, make sure they have at least 2 layers and can be easily washed. If you take disposable ones, make sure they are recognized as safe or validated by the country’s health authorities.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
If you travel only with cabin carry-on baggage, you will have to limit your liquids to 100ml bottles. If you travel with checked baggage, you can take a bigger bottle of hand sanitizer (or buy it in a pharmacy at your destination) and use mini bottles as a refill. Remember to pay attention to the safety measures regarding hand sanitizers.
Soap or hand wash
You are likely to find soap or hand wash in any hotel or hostels, but, just in case, take some with you. Besides, if you care about your hands’ softness, you will want to assure the quality of your hand wash.
Hotels and restaurants are committed to keeping their facilities clean and virus-free, but disinfecting wipes are not too much. They are for those situations where you need to clean some surface or object because you are not very sure about its hygiene.
Even if you are not cold or are not sick, you might sneeze for some reason, like an allergy. Tissues should be always with you for those sneezing or coughing moments.
If you are not sure about the cleanliness of the place you are, you might need to wear gloves. If you enter a supermarket and there are no gloves available, you can wear your own. So at least a pair of gloves should always be there with you.
The clothes and shoes you wear during the trip should be put separately in trash bags until you can wash them when returning home.
It’s a basic item to check if your feverish sensation is only imagination or if you should go see a doctor (remember to observe the local health authorities advise: maybe you should call first before going to an emergency room).
Prevention measures against COVID-19 during holidays
It is perfectly possible to travel safely and enjoy vacation without neglecting health rules. Keep in mind some prevention measures when in destination.
- Keep the 2-meter distance mandatory no matter what circumstance.
- Avoid kissing, hugging or shaking hands with people you’ve never seen before.
- Keep your environment clean, by disinfecting objects and surfaces that you think are not clean enough.
- Avoid dirty places or facilities.
- Wash your hands often, especially if you take public transportation, go to public toilets or use common facilities of hotels. After touching any public object, clean your hands with a sanitizer or wash them with soap and water.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with dirty (or not clean enough) hands.
- Use a tissue when sneezing or coughing. Another option is to cover your nose with your bent elbow. Do not cough or sneeze freely in the air.
- Watch your general hygiene, taking as many showers as necessary.
- If you are a European traveling in Europe, travel with your European Health Insurance Card. If not, travel with health insurance.
- If you feel unwell, call the local health services and follow their guidelines. Do not leave your hotel or accommodation place if you think you might have COVID-19 symptoms. Follow the local health authorities’ procedures.