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What to Pack in Your “Just-in-Case” Quarantine Bag

Hopefully the majority of us will make it through the semester without ever having to go into quarantine or isolation, but it’s a good idea to have a “just-in-case” bag packed…  well, just in case. From someone who’s been in quarantine, here’s what you should (and shouldn’t) pack in yours.

Things to Pack at the Beginning of the Semester

Pack these beforehand, so that you always have something ready, just-in-case!

Mini Toiletries

In my suitcase, I filled a travel toiletries bag with mini-sized versions of everything I would need. This included: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face soap, deodorant, moisturizer, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. I found everything I needed at Target.


I packed zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D to keep me healthy, as well as acetaminophen just in case.

A Thermometer and an Oxygen Level Monitor

Hopefully you’ll never actually need to use these, but they’re helpful in the event that you start having symptoms and need to tell a doctor exactly what’s wrong. I got both of these off of Amazon.

Something to Entertain Yourself

Schoolwork is helpful in keeping you busy, but it’s nice to have something else to pass the time. Whether it’s a book you’re reading for fun or a new small craft you’re trying out, something entertaining is a good thing to add to the list.

Some Comfy Clothes

You’ll have time to pack clothes when you get the call that you’re moving, but it gave me peace of mind to have a sweatshirt, a pair of sweatpants, a few t-shirts, some underwear, and some socks already in my bag.

Things to Pack When You Get the Call About Quarantine/Isolation

You'll have a bit of time to grab some more essentials before you head to your quarantine/isolation spot, so stock up then!

More Comfy Clothes

I brought a few pairs of leggings, sweatpants, t-shirts, and a few sweatshirts. I’d recommend overpacking on the sweatshirts, as the provided pillows are very flat, and I ended up putting two sweatshirts into the pillowcase to make it more comfortable. There’s a laundry service you can pay for, but it’s honestly quite expensive, so I’d recommend bringing 14 pairs of underwear and socks. They do provide a small bottle of laundry detergent in case you want to wash anything in the sink.

Daily Medications

Separate from COVID-specific meds you might want, don’t forget to pack any meds you take regularly. Also, don’t forget your retainer if you wear one.

Shower Shoes

You’ll have your own bathroom, so these aren’t entirely necessary, but I personally refuse to go into any shower besides the one in my house without flip-flops.

Your Backpack

Make sure you fill this with any notebooks, folders, and planners you may need, as well as whatever textbooks you’ll be using in the next two weeks. Don’t forget your laptop, its charger, and your phone charger as well.

Your BU ID and Regular Room Key

Make sure you can actually get back into your dorm two weeks from now!


Unless you’re a picky eater, the food here is pretty solid. I brought some granola bars, but I haven’t eaten any of them because I’ve been eating the ones provided. (Check out my previous article for a list of all of the food that I got.)

Nice Clothes

Trust me, even if you bring them, you’re not going to want to actually wear them. Leave the jeans and crop tops in your dorm.

Having a pre-packed quarantine bag will definitely bring you peace of mind among all of the uncertainties that this semester has brought. Happy packing!

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Gabrielle is a senior studying English at Boston University. When she's not writing for Her Campus, you can find her listening to Taylor Swift, reading a romance novel, or exploring new places in Boston. You can follow her on insta @gabriellepeck15.
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