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

Catching a plane in the coming months? Here are the essential items to pack in your hand luggage

flying during the pandemic
Katherine Robinson
Katherine RobinsonSenior Lifestyle Editor
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Are you dreaming of your first post-pandemic trip? We feel you! With many countries easing travel restrictions and quarantine measures, now's the time to plan a holiday!

New government rules mean that people in England are able to travel to over 20 countries – including Malta, Iceland, Singapore, Barbados and Australia. They’re all on the "green list" – which means travellers won’t have to quarantine on their return.

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 in.

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Hand sanitiser bracelet

sanitizer bracelet

Gellycare hand sanitiser bracelet, £20.80, Amazon


This genius bracelet means there's no need to scrabble around in your bag to look for your bottle of hand sanitiser, you just press down it, and it dispenses the perfect amount of gel onto the back of your hand. And it looks super pretty too. It comes in black, blue and white if pink's not your thing.

hand held sanitizer

Portable UV steriliser wand, £29.99, Amazon


This UV wand sterilises without the need for messy gels or wipes. All you do is sweep it over the item or surface you want to treat for a minimum of 10 seconds and it eliminates 99.9% of harmful microorganisms.

Hand wipes

individual hand wipes

Clinell Antimicrobial Hand Wipes pack of 100, £6.99, Amazon


To minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus, clean your hands and the surfaces around you with these handy individually wrapped wipes.

Face covering

ar self cleaning facemask

Self-cleaning face mask with replaceable nanofilter (other colours available), was £26.92 now £12.81, är


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. The ar facemask is one of the safest on the market and it features a nanofilter and self-cleaning technology. The brand currently have a 50% summer sale on, so take advantage to grab a bargain!

Hand sanitiser

new hand sanitiser

INEOS hand sanitiser 50ml, £1.80, Amazon


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. The INEOS sanitiser is one of the best - it's hospital grade and made with 75% alcohol and kills up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.

Side note: If you are looking to continue this element of safety at home, the same company have recently launched the INEOS Sanitiser dispenser which is a slick-looking, durable, professional-grade sanitiser gel dispenser for the home.


Caring hand sanitiser, £9.99, Nursem


If your prone to sore red skin after the dreaded gel then Nursem's alcohol-free hand sanitiser is the one for you. It's proven to kill 99.99% of harmful viruses using Hypochlorous, one of nature’s most effective antiviral substances found within our white blood cells as part of our immune system. Yet it's suitable for the most sensitive of hands. It was developed with nurses to help combat the effects of relentless hand sanitising, and this is a brand that gives back - for every product sold, Nursem will provide a month’s supply of hand care to an NHS nurse or midwife, which is a lovely touch.

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Disinfectant wipes

disinfectant wipes

Dettol cleaning wipes multipack 4 x 70 wipes, £16, Amazon


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.

Safety glasses

new safety galsses

Blue light blocking glasses, was £59.99 now £39.99, Ocushield


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. These ones by Ocushield are one of the best pairs we've tested - they have an anti-glare coating, an added anti-fog, anti-smudge & UV light filter and they give £1 to RNIB sight loss charity per order - oh and they're currently on offer.

Contactless door opener

door opener

iSOUL copper contactless door opener tool, £5.95, Amazon


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.

Disposable travel socks

disposable socks

Disposable travel socks 10 pairs, £17.92, Amazon


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.

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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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