Can anyone recommend some hassle free COVID tests for travel?

Understand I need two anti-gen tests, and one PCR on day 2 of return.

There seem to be quite a few options, but ideally the antigen (lateral flow) wouldn’t require having to send in post.

If you’ve had a good experience with the provider, then would be grateful of your recommendation.

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Depending on the specific destination requirements, usually a lateral flow test for each non-vaccinated person 2 days before travel, with the test details and results uploaded to the website - so you get a text from announcing the results, which is seen as authority of Covid status for travel. Plus the vaccinated person(s) must be able to show the official Covid status (download/email jab-details from NHS digtial app - note this changes every 30 days and must be repeated so the QR codes shown were generated within 30 days of travel)

Sometimes you’ll need to do a lateral flow while you are away mid-trip, sometimes not. Then possibly a PCR test 2 days after returning, although this seems to be relaxing to another Lateral flow test.

Don’t forget the dates on your passport as well - ensure you have at least 6 months on them before you go!


You’re specifically told not to use the NHS tests for travel. If you do this your airline may deny you travel at the gate as they’re not valid for travel.

For example:

Travel between the UK and France
> The UK is currently on France’s amber list. Please see the section below on all the requirements for travelling to France from an amber country.
*> *
> You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test from a private coronavirus testing provider.
> Source: Entry requirements - France travel advice - GOV.UK

As a first step go here and look for your destination: Foreign travel advice - GOV.UK

The entry requirements section will tell you how many tests you need to do, when you need to do them, and what type of test is required.

Generally speaking you need to be using airline discount codes to get the best value for money.

I used Chronomics for the first time for travel yesterday. Pre-departure lateral flow was £22.40 when you enter a BA booking reference. Their P&P process is a bit slow, they informed DPD of the parcel a full 24 hours before they actually handed it to them, but importantly it did arrive in time for travel. You do the test at home, then upload a picture of the result to get your certificate.

I looked for local testing facilities at my destination (some offer free tests so it’s worth a Google) but the price and convenience meant taking my own tests with me was better value. So again Chronomics with the BA discount comes to £22.40 and you just take the test and upload the result before your return.

As for day two PCR tests, I’ve used Randox a lot and they’ve been good, and £43 with an airline discount but you need to check that they have a Dropbox near you. That said, I have heard of people successfully using Royal Mail to return their samples.

The best place to look for testing options and discounts is here:

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Maybe I should of mentioned, my very-recent experience was travelling with lots of other people but kind of without leaving the UK :passenger_ship:

Thank you. The Chronomics test was the one I was thinking of using, even though I won’t get the BA discount. It seems that this might be the cheapest and simplest for the lateral flow.

It sounds like the government might drop the day 2 PCR for fully vaccinated travellers soon, but I understand I need to have that booked before travel, so I’ll probably go with Randox as well.

Any BA reference you’ve had in the past will let you access the discount.

You need it for your passenger locator form which cannot be submitted until 48 hours before your return. The smart thing to do would be to wait until around 3-4 days before your return to book them.

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No way - I’ll give that a try. Thank you so much!

Just to check, you can order the lateral flow tests ahead of time (I’m not travelling until 10 days time), and then these need to be taken within a 48 hour period before leaving (along with submitting the passenger locator form)? i.e. you don’t actually have to time the delivery of the lateral flow tests to just before you leave.

So yeah you need:
1x pre departure test (lateral flow or PCR depending on your destination). Assuming it’s a lateral flow, just order it now and it will arrive before you leave.

1x test to return lateral flow - again just order this now and you’ll have it before you leave so that you can take it with you.

1x day 2 PCR - hold off on this, order it a few days before you need to complete your UK passenger locator form to return to the UK.

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Thanks. I ordered the two antigen tests using an old BA booking ref. I’m worried now that this will be printed somewhere on the certificate. Hopefully it’s just an affiliate link, and Chronomics aren’t interested in who you are flying with.

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It’s not :+1:t5:

Any idea how quick Chronomics is at supplying the test certificate after uploading the antigen photo?

I highly recommend Randox. Had a really good experience with them. The tests arrived quickly, and they sent the results just over 24 hours after I sent the samples.

Yes you need to make sure you can get to a Randox dropbox (although I think you can use certain DPD sites as well). And their phone/email support is non existent.

I’ve just ordered these: C19 Testing COVID-19 Return to the UK Pre-Departure test kit from the co-op for our return from Italy. They arrived the next day, you do them yourself and send a photo before they issue you a certificate.

They were also cheaper than any I could find in the vicinity of where we’re going.

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They say within 30 minutes, but in reality it’s instant. I’m not convinced anyone is actually checking anything, but meh, it gets you the certificate you need to travel.

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