We are jumping on the bandwagon of optimism, already preparing for a world where coronavirus is no longer a pandemic. But we do so with decided caution. After all, months of lockdown where even heading out for groceries is a challenge is sure to make us all weary. We know that this bit of nervousness has already made its mark on the travel industry as hotels around the world respond to COVID-19, using this time off to amp up hygiene and privacy.
There’s more to it though, whether we opt for a long-due road trip or an off-the-map expedition, the way we travel has inexplicably changed. Shorter trips, closer to home will be the new norm until people feel safe to venture further away. And most importantly, what we pack for the trip will be altered too. What was once easy add-on accessories to make things smoother will turn into absolute essentials.
Travel insurance would be first on that list. While most people would have let it pass before, it can no longer be an afterthought. Travel insurance that covers emergency medical aid or evacuation will be a necessary safety blanket. Most visas might make it mandatory too. In fact, insurance companies in India are already introducing policies that cover such situations and expenses.
Masks have already become mandatory in the country, but we would add gloves to our list too. A protective layer on your face and hands can greatly reduce the chances of getting an infection (though, we would probably feel safest in a hazmat suit) and it helps you avoid touching your face frequently. Gloves that are long and washable and N95 masks are the go-to essentials. Recently, a lot of companies have started producing customisable masks in various sizes, shapes and colours. A cute animal-snout mask? We say yes.
It would be wise to arm yourself with a travel-sized sanitiser, and some disinfecting wipes for commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs, handles, chairs and buttons. A reusable water bottle would be next. Latest technology enables certain water bottles to filter out the water for safe drinking and a product like this is definitely worth the investment. Check out LifeStraw Go or Grayl Water Filter as some options.
Additionally, a portable charger to keep your devices alive for online transactions, e-tickets and in case of emergency is a must. We also suggest carrying a first aid kit with multivitamins and immunity boosters (as recommended by a professional).
A small carry-on with all these basic essentials could go a long way in keeping you safe.