6 essentials on your travel checklist during the pandemic

Travel hacks

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All you need from COVID-19 tests through to flexible booking options and your own toilet paper

Even during “normal” times, traveling might be pretty confusing, especially when having multiple stopovers, going to the other side of the world, or perhaps with kids. Well, it might be even more confusing when traveling during a global pandemic so let’s look at this easy checklist we have put together to help you travel with ease any time you travel.

1. Check restrictions and requirements where you live

curly adult woman working on the sofa with modern laptop computerResearch travel restrictions and requirements regularly. They change fast — Shutterstock

Even before booking your trip, you might want to check the restrictions and requirements that apply where you’re staying at the moment. Can you return without a mandatory quarantine? Will you be required to take any tests or show any type of documentation on your way back? And in case of an unexpected hiccup, do you have a backup plan?

While you want to take your time and consider all your options before booking your journey, it’s never too early to start planning your trip. Even though you might not travel for another month or perhaps six months, preparing for it can be an exciting part of it too.

2. Search flexible booking options

Kiwi.com offers three different fare tyes: Saver Ticket, Standard Ticket, Flexi TicketOur three fare types will offer you the level of flexibility you need — Kiwi.com

Whether booking last-minute or weeks in advance, restrictions everywhere can change almost every day and so you want to be sure you’ve got that extra bit of flexibility on your trip.

Some countries only allow in passengers arriving by air while some have no restrictions at all. On Kiwi.com you can search flights, buses, and trains and customize your trip to fit better the destination’s entry requirements. Is a stopover in a particular country not convenient? You can exclude it or make sure your flight has no layover at all. Plus you can select a fare type with the level of flexibility you need.

3. Make sure you have valid COVID-19 tests and certificates

person in airport using mobile app in phone to show covid-19 test results for travelSome countries require more than a negative PCR test — Shutterstock


Having a negative COVID-19 test while traveling isn’t always a requirement and it will often depend on the country you’re traveling to or through. That being said, having a test alone might not be enough — destinations and airlines (and others) might distinguish between different types of diagnostic tests.

As the requirements change often, always check which test you need and when you need to take it.

International travelers arriving in the United States, for example, will need to be tested no longer than three days before their flight and show the negative test result to the airline before they can board their flight. Alternatively, one can show proof of recovery — an electronic or paper copy of a recent positive test and official healthcare documentation that proves one’s recovery since testing positive.

4. Pack the right things

disinfectant gel, FFP2 respirators and medical surgical masksCheck the regulations in the countries you’re traveling to. Currently, a lot of countries require wearing respirators in public spaces — Shutterstock

While for some wearing a mask is now a part of their everyday routine, others might not be so accustomed to having one on, depending on their location. 

Having a face covering while on an airplane or at an airport has become the industry standard and as strict as it might sound, those without it may be denied boarding or continued transport. Some places now also require an FFP2-class respirator as opposed to the more basic face mask or a cloth mask. Naturally, the use of any sort of face-covering requires the correct usage, being pulled over one’s nose and mouth.

There are a couple of items that are nice to have, don’t take up too much space in luggage, and can be quite useful in avoiding germs. Besides hand sanitizer and wet wipes (the less environmental option), you might want to pack your own toilet paper because notwithstanding people touching the roll, it has been shown that with every flush fecal bacteria are dispersed everywhere around the toilet, including the paper roll. 

You can pack your own self-cleaning water bottle with UV technology and a set of utensils if you’re planning to eat while traveling. If you bring your own butter knife, it’s better to opt for a plastic or round-bladed one as a metal one might not be allowed on board a plane.

5. Have (COVID-19) travel insurance

6 essentials on your travel checklist during the pandemicWe offer two types of travel insurance — Kiwi.com

Besides your regular travel insurance, you might want to look into having one that applies to specific cases such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Some insurance might only apply for a certain time period, place, or circumstance, so make sure to find out the conditions before you opt for it.

Kiwi.com, too, offers travel and COVID-19 insurance. You can select one that fits your needs during booking, so that way you don’t have to worry about it later and have it all done in one go.

6. Stay up to date with the situation at your destination

Now that you have set out for your journey, make sure to follow the news and regulations in your final destination and also any stopovers you might have on the way there. Even if you don’t speak the language, official government websites and resources are often available in another language, such as English. You can contact the embassy of your home country, too. 

If you’re toying with the idea of heading out, check out the great prices on Kiwi.com with thousands of routes for flights, buses, and trains. It’s never too early (or too late) to start dreaming of your next adventure.

Do you want to read more tips and tricks while planning a trip? Head to our ultimate travel hacks guide or browse Kiwi.com Stories.