How The Pandemic Has Changed Packing

This is an interesting personal record from a writer from TravelTalk – no name was printed, so can’t attribute this short piece.

Pre-pandemic, the closest I would come to packing any kind of medical kit was to throw a few band-aids into my suitcase. I’ve always packed with the knowledge that I can usually get what I need at my destination.

But a global pandemic and the threat of being isolated in my hotel room for a couple weeks changed all that. Suddenly, I had a small pack filled with Panadol, cough lollies, a thermometer, lemsip and rapid antigen tests (RAT). I used one RAT.

Friends who had been stuck in isolation while away from home said they had found it hard to get their hands on cough lollies. Food and drink were fine, as was obtaining basic medication such as paracetamol and RATs, but the cough lollies or lemsip were hard to get a hold of — or even explain in some countries. The space and weight restrictions means that I have also invested in mini bottles of products, cut back my toiletries and moved to non-liquid options of products such as bar shampoo and conditioner.

The problem is, that little semi-medical pack can take up some valuable space and weight, especially as I will now only travel with carry on luggage. Not checking in a bag means that not only is it unlikely that I will lose my luggage, but lugging around seven kilos is a lot easier than lugging around 23. A small bag also means a bit more of a reliance on digital entertainment. Normally a bit anti-Kindle etc, I embrace the technology while I travel. I also make sure to bring a good set of headphones.

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