Home COVID tests for travel

Get the lowdown on home PCR tests to help make your holiday planning a little easier.

Use our comparison to keep your costs down when you're buying self-swab, home PCR test kits for travel. Our guide section explains what you can use home PCR tests for and how to choose one.

Use the filters to find the right test for you. Commissions affect the default sort order
Name Product Test purpose Test type Test location Price (from) Key benefits
VERIFIED
Dante Labs Day 2 COVID-19 Travel Testing Package
Day 2
PCR
Home
£39
Student discount available on Fit-to-fly, Day 2 tests and Day 2 & 8 bundles
VERIFIED
Kurix Health Day 2 COVID-19 Travel Testing Package
Day 2
PCR
Home
£39
VERIFIED
Harley Medic International Home Day 2
Day 2
PCR
Home
£55
VERIFIED
Boots At-Home Fit to Fly PCR Test by MyHealthChecked
Pre-departure from the UK
PCR
Home
£62
VERIFIED
MyHealthChecked Day 2 COVID-19 Travel Test
Day 2
PCR
Home
£63
VERIFIED
4Medical Day 2 Home Test Kit
Day 2
PCR
Home
£65
VERIFIED
Zava Day 2 Test
Day 2
PCR
Home
£69
Chronomics COVID-19 Day 2 PCR Test
Day 2
PCR
Home
£64.99
Boots At-Home Day 2 PCR Test Kit
Day 2
PCR
Home
£68
VERIFIED
Dante Labs Test to Release (Day 5 Test) COVID-19 Test
Day 5
PCR
Home
£39
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

What is a home PCR test for travel?

Firstly, what’s a PCR test? PCR stands for “polymerase chain reaction”, which is a way of amplifying a small DNA sample in a lab so that it’s large enough for scientists to study – in this case, for the presence of the virus.

Self-swab home PCR tests can be used for “fit to fly” certificates when you’re leaving the UK. PCR tests don’t tend to make sense as fit to fly tests to return to the UK (required for unvaccinated arrivals and those returning from “red” countries) because they require lab analysis to give a result – which could be pretty awkward while overseas. You must use a PCR test for day 2 and 8 testing, and for the (optional) day 5 test under England’s Test to Release scheme for ending quarantine early.

With a home PCR test for travel, you’ll do the swab yourself at home rather than having a professional do it at a clinic. A PCR swab is similar to a swab you do for a lateral flow (antigen) test. Follow the instructions that come with the test carefully, then send it off to a laboratory where the staff will check it and let you know whether you tested positive or negative.

Who is eligible to take a home PCR test for travel?

The UK government says that adults aged 18 and over can test themselves with a PCR. Those aged 12-17 can do a self-test with adult supervision, and children aged 11 and under can be tested by an adult.

If you’re using a PCR for “fit to fly” when leaving the UK, it’s worth checking with your specific airline whether it will accept an at-home PCR test to allow you on board. Also check the test requirements for entering the country you’re travelling to.

How soon will I get my home PCR kit?

Typically, delivery will be within 2-3 working days, but that can vary due to increased demand and the postal service. Check the expected delivery dates before you buy since many people have encountered delays which have meant shelling out for a last-minute clinic test.

To give yourself the best chance of hitting the right deadlines for your trip, order the PCR home kit well in advance so you’ll have it ready for when you need it.

How soon will I get my results?

Again, it depends on the PCR test provider. Most labs give an expected turnaround of 24-72 hours. Some providers have tracking built in, so you can follow the progress of your test and plan accordingly.

How do I find the best home PCR test kit?

There are lots of private companies making these tests, so here are some tips to consider when you’re choosing:

  1. Start planning early – last-minute panic buyers rarely get the best deal
  2. Make sure the test provider is meeting the requirements of your travel airline and destination country
  3. Check their customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot and on social media, and read our reviews
  4. Chat to customer service staff if you’re unsure about anything – some companies have an option to chat on the site

Popular Reads

More guides on Finder

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked
    Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

    By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

    Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
    Go to site