For many, the end of lockdown is in sight! Hip-hip-hooray! Covid-19 is here to stay for a while unfortunately, but if you and your family are ready to travel (with precautions in mind), we have come up with a list of essential items to pack.
Please satisfy yourself with local rules and regulations for wherever you are travelling.
1. Face Masks
Face masks are mandatory in most public spaces for ages two years old and above, particularly in areas where social distancing measures are difficult to adhere to, such as on an aeroplane. You and your family should have an ample supply of face masks to last for the entire trip and more in case of accidents. We recommend investing in cloth face masks as they are eco-friendly, easy to make at home or you can support local businesses by purchasing them if you do not want to make them yourself. Cloth face masks are effective, and some have pockets where filters can be placed. We recommend having multiple cloth face masks per person so there is always a clean and dry one available when going out in public.
Please do your own research on the destination’s rules and regulations regarding how to wear and clean face masks. Follow guidelines from reputable sources such as government websites (GOV.UK, CDC, etc.) and the World Health Organization.
2. Alcohol-based Surface Wipes
Alcohol-based wipes are a great way to clean surfaces that will be touched often (think plane tray tables, tablets, toys, hotel light switches, TV remotes, etc.). Make sure that the wipes contain at least 70% alcohol to disinfect these hard surfaces.
3. Hand Sanitizer
This one goes without saying during these times! Hand sanitizer is perfect for cleaning hands on the go when soap and water is not available or convenient. Make sure the alcohol percentage is 70% or more. Most hand sanitizers come in travel sizes and have clip attachments, so it is always handy.
4. Teach your kids the ‘don’t touch your face’ game
This is not one to pack, but it is important! Before your adventure, we recommend teaching little ones a game where they will lose if they touch their face. This way they are in the habit of not touching their face after touching EVERYTHING, like most kids do. Think of the game “The Floor is Lava”, but for their faces!
Not only is this giving you the peace of mind that the cutlery you and your family are eating from is cleaned thoroughly by you, but it is also is eco-friendly! Disposable cutlery, straws, bottles and coffee cups are usually sat out in the open air and touched by many people when grabbing for some. This way it minimizes contact of items you and your little ones’ touch while protecting our planet. Win-win!
6. Hard surface toys
All children want to bring a toy with them on holiday. Soft toys attract a lot of dust, dirt and microbes that could be on surfaces that you do not necessarily want your child touching (the floor seems to be their favourite). You can always wash hands or use hand sanitizer, but soft toys are more difficult to clean. We recommend for your child to pick a hard surface toy instead so it can be cleaned swiftly with alcohol-based wipes.
Having a pen on you when traveling is just smart as there are immigration forms and restaurant bills to sign. While in most of these situations pens are provided for you to use, having one on hand will minimize touching unnecessary items that everyone is using. You can control the things you touch, but not how clean other people’s hands may be!
8. Snack containers
Packing snacks in on-the-go containers not only saves you the hassle of having to find something to feed your hangry child, but it they have also been cleaned by you beforehand. Therefore, there is no doubt in your head of “Who touched it before me?”, “Is this clean?” and “Will people think I am a crazy person for wiping down the snack packaging after I bought it at a store?”. An added benefit: you can choose what to put in the containers! This way the snacks are what your child wants to eat and what you want to feed (steal a couple from) your child.
9. Hero clips
Hero clips are a germaphobe’s dream! These clips can hold bags onto bathroom doors and tables, so they do not sit on the questionably sticky and dirty floor. Plus, it is a Puerto Rican superstition that putting your bag on the floor will make you poor. It’s called being money-wise and corona-cautious!
Detergent is not something most people bring on short holidays. However, in order to wash your cloth face masks, you will need some detergent. We recommend getting some eco-friendly detergent tablets to wash your face masks in the sink. Make sure all detergent tablet packaging is child-proof! We do NOT need a Tide Pod Challenge reemergence!