Travel Preparedness Tips

This is a blog post written by one of my clients, Michelle Buzzelli, who is an intrepid (read: fearless and adventurous) traveler, who recently visited Bali, Indonesia during the outbreak of the Cornonavirus in Asia, and flew through South Korea to get there and get home! Thank you, Michelle!

There are so many things to consider when you are traveling. Where do I want to go (what do I want to do), how do I want to get there, what do I need to do to be safe? When I started getting into the particulars of my trip to Bali, the first hurdle, at the time, was which way I wanted to fly to get there. 

I had two options; West towards/through Doha, Qatar or Dubai, UAE – or East towards/through South Korea, Hong Kong, or Tokyo. At the time, East was the safe way to go, Iran and Syria had some flare ups. Little did we know, South Korea would become an issue! By the time I had left the United States towards my first layover – the CDC updated their travel restrictions list. South Korea had become a level 3 CDC travel restricted country due to COVID-19 or what we know as Coronavirus.

Prior to departure, I had worked with my travel advisor, primary care physician, and persons at Passport Health to make sure that I took precautions to remain safe and healthy as I embarked on my journey. It’s important to get these people on board. My primary care doctor worked with me to get some medications to have in tow, just in case. I tend to have belly issues – so one of my biggest concerns was Bali Belly (I had Montezuma’s Revenge previously and I wasn’t looking to repeat that). Passport Health helped me with any outstanding vaccinations. I didn’t do them all. For the short trip, they may not have been necessary, but they made me feel better during my journey.

I like to use make-up bags to keep things organized. Generally, mine have different prints and sizes, so it’s easy to group things: clean underwear (dirty underwear), toiletries, medicines, electrical cords, and most importantly, your small emergency preparedness kit.

These are some of the items that I keep in a make-up bag, at the bottom of my carry on. They are lightweight, flexible, and smushable. You may never need these items, but they’re nice, just in case. 

Here are some of the items in my emergency preparedness kit that I like to travel with:

1. Lysol wipes (or your favorite brand). Because of COVID-19, I carried a second slim pack in my checked luggage. I’m glad I did, I used the first pack on the first two flights – I wiped my seatbelt, arm rests, table tray, and seat in front of me. I also had plenty when others around wanted to take my lead. If they do, let them, it can only help the cause.

2. Non latex gloves – I didn’t need those this trip, but they’re nice to have along for the journey, a pair or two will do.

3. Self-adhesive bandages (Bandaids): You never know what type of medicine your destination will have, they’re nice for blister care, cut care.

4. Masks – not pictured. I usually pack one per flight – trust me, wearing one of those for 14 hours and then again for 8, is not pleasant.

5. Powdered Electrolyte beverage: In the picture I have liquid IV, I’ve also had powdered Gatorade. Those flights can be very drying, the climate you are it could be very humid. You just pour it into some bottled water, shake and drink. Stave off dehydration, give your body and extra boost.

6. Vitamin C Tabs: I generally start 2-per day 2 weeks before a trip and continue at least 1 per day while on my trip. Knowing that COVID-19 may be an issue for me, I stayed at a double dose. This is your personal call, this is what works for me.

7. Hand sanitizer, lip balm, and pen: Yes, I may have those in my purse too, but sometimes it’s nice to have a backup. These small items have a tendency to roam.

8. Tide Pen – or your favorite on-the-go oops stain remover. What? Sometimes I’m messy.

9. Flashlight – this one was less than $5 and I have them sprinkled all over my life. I keep one in my carry on bag to light the way. Yes, your smart phone may have a flashlight, but do you really want to drain the battery if you know you won’t be plugging it in for a while?

You can always add to this kit to suit your needs. Feminine hygiene products would be good, or a travel pack of wet-ones. [Outside the Lines Travel suggests adding OTC medications, granola bars, and duct tape also]. 

The biggest thing is to keep it simple and keep it small. Even if you never need these items, you’ll be glad that you were prepared!
- contributing blogger: Michelle Buzzelli, March 4 2020


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