Flying during the pandemic? Essential items to take on the plane

Are you catching a plane this summer? Here are the essential items to pack in your hand luggage

Katherine Robinson

With many countries easing travel restrictions and quarantine measures, you may be thinking of your summer holidays. The Foreign Office's warning against all but essential international travel was lifted in July for some countries. And travellers returning to England from certain destinations need not self-isolate - among them Cyprus, Turkey and France. Have you booked flights or are planning to do so? Then take a look at our handy list of essential items to pack in your hand luggage to help minimise the risk of coronavirus exposure while travelling during the pandemic. These items are a must-have if you're taking a flight during these strange times we’re living through.

RELATED: 82 things you need to pack for a holiday: the ultimate guide

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Isopropyl wipes

You probably touch your phone as much as you touch your face. To minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus, clean your phone with an isopropyl wipe.


Alcohol wipes 70% isopropyl pack of 100, £9.99, Amazon


Face covering

This is a no-brainer, and most flights will not let you board without a face mask that properly covers your nose and mouth. Bring spares for everyone just in case they get broken or lost


Self-cleaning face mask with replaceable nanofilter (other colours available), £26.92, är


Hand sanitiser

You should use hand sanitiser immediately after touching any surface in the airport or on the plane. The ideal is at least 60% alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.


80% alcohol hand sanitiser 2 x 500ml, £16.99 Amazon


RELATED: 9 ways coronavirus will change travel as lockdown eases this summer

Disinfectant wipes

These can be used to wipe down surfaces like your seating area and tray table and general space around you. Most airlines have stepped up their cleaning measures, but it can’t hurt to give surfaces an extra wipe


Dettol cleaning wipes multipack 4 x 70 wipes, £15.46, Amazon



Safety glasses

Protective goggles have been shown to be effective as they stop people from touching the area around their eyes. If you're wearing a face mask and a pair of safety glasses, it’s unlikely you'll touch your face at all. Regular glasses or sunglasses will work just as well – or you could invest in a pair of blue light reducing glasses, which are said to reduce the blue light glare given off by digital devices and claim to protect eyes from glare and reduce eye strain and promote healthy sleep patterns.


Blue light blocking glasses, £9.99, Amazon


Contactless door opener

This handy gadget will reduce the need to touch surfaces like door handles, and it can also be used as a substitute for your fingers if you have to touch buttons on a cashpoint or keypad – just wipe it down afterwards


iSOUL copper contactless door opener tool, £7.99, Amazon


Disposable travel socks

Keep a pair for when you have to take your shoes off during the walk through security, and for when you take your shoes off to get comfy during the flight


Disposable travel socks 10 pairs, £10.22, Amazon


RELATED: Naomi Campbell's crazy in-flight routine has gone viral and it'll blow your mind

More air travel tips for flying during the pandemic


  • Download the app of your flight provider and save your boarding pass on your phone to minimise contact. Want to go one step further? The Apple Watch also stores your boarding pass so you can be completely hands-free.
  • Keep your hand sanitiser and essential items easily accessible at all times – it’s best to have them in your pocket or a small bag you can store under your seat rather than shut away in the overhead locker.
  • If you need to pay for anything, use contactless where possible. If you have to use your credit card, sanitise it afterwards.
  • Always try to maintain a two-metre distance from your fellow passengers where possible. Consider boarding last, or waiting a little distance from the gate, where it is less crowded.
  • Where possible, stagger eating and drinking with fellow passenger to avoid everyone pulling their masks down at the same time.
  • When going through security, place small items like jewellery, coins, passport etc, inside your carry on bags rather than dropping them in the tray to minimise the spread of germs.
  • Give latex gloves a miss – experts warn that you can contaminate yourself with gloves if you remove them incorrectly. Using hand sanitiser is an easier way to reduce the risk of exposure.

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