We all know travel can be stressful, even at the best of times… add a virus that’s completely upended the world, and the stress just multiplied exponentially. With travel once again on the radar for many people, it seemed the perfect time to update my international packing list.
If you’re booking online flights to Asia, or other far-flung destinations like the Maldives or Seychelles, you want to make sure you’ve packed any essentials and are as prepared as possible. By doing so, you’ll reduce your travel stress–and be a lot more comfortable, too.
If you’re on an international flight to or from the United States, be sure to check the website for the CDC and the TSA.
Packing For An International Flight
One of the most important changes to travel right now is that masks are required in airports and on airplanes worldwide. For maximum safety and protection, N95 masks are the best. Alternatively, I use a cloth mask, which is very comfortable and has a pocket for inserting a filter.
If your flight is more than four hours, you may want to change your mask for a fresh one. It’s a good idea to bring extra masks, in any case. I flew to Los Angeles in March and wore an N95 in the airport, but changed to my cloth mask once I was on the airplane because it’s more comfortable. Those decisions are totally up to you, of course
Most of us were already carrying and using hand sanitizer pre-Covid, especially when traveling. Anti-bacterial wipes also work well, but do create more waste. Personally, I like hand sanitizers that are moisturizing, with ingredients like aloe vera added. Biossance makes a nice travel-size hand sanitizer with squalane added.
Anti-bacterial wipes are great for cleaning surfaces and can be more convenient. Another option is a small, TSA-approved spray sanitizer. If you do use a spray, don’t use it on the airplane as many people are allergic to fragrances. It’s simply best to avoid sprays in tight or enclosed places.
Noise Reducing Earplugs
After a year of hanging out at home, the world can be a noisy place. Whether you just want some quiet so you can sleep or you need to get some work done while traveling, the right earplugs are everything.
Unlike noise-canceling earphones, earplugs don’t take up as much space in your carry-on bag, and they are more affordable. Look for brands that have different size options for a more comfortable fit. If you want to play music, too, you’ll definitely spend more money, but if you’re the kind of person who never loses anything, it may be worth the investment.
Wireless Charging Travel Kit
I relied on and used the outlets on the airplane for years –until I actually spent 12 hours on an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Zurich with no working electrical outlet! I vowed that I would never let that happen again. When shopping, I looked for products that had a gentle impact on the environment and would be long lasting. I invested in this kit by Nimble, which includes a wireless pad, dual USB charger, and charges on contact. Best of all, it’s made from recycled products.
Extra Prescription Meds
The pandemic isn’t over, and lockdowns are still a reality in many places around the world. You never know, you might get stuck somewhere a few days longer than you expected. Flights can be delayed. In short, things happen. If you take any prescription medication, it would be a good idea to get an extra refill if you plan to be away for more than a week, especially if you take a medication that’s a little hard to get, or is particularly popular. Supply chain issues are real!
Don’t forget to pack a basic medical kit, too. Include aspirin and Tylenol, or whatever anti-inflammatory medication your doctor recommends. If you start feeling under the weather, you’ll be glad you don’t have to go out in search of these things. A digital thermometer and a pulse-oximeter might come in handy as well. Better safe than sorry.
If you are a more adventurous traveler, check out some of the medical kits from REI, a store for all things travel, adventure, and the great outdoors.
The Best Thing To Pack
Don’t forget your patience and a good attitude. Stay safe friends.