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How to Use Abbott BinaxNOW Home Self Test for Travel & Cruise: Everything You Need to Know

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Traveling internationally or a cruise and need to get a COVID-19 test? You can use the Abbott BinaxNOW home self-test. Instead of struggling to find a testing location or an appointment that works with your schedule, test from the comfort of your home or hotel room.

The CDC-approved Abbott BinaxNOW rapid test for travel is easy to use. Here’s everything you need to know about how to use the Abbott BinaxNOW Covid-19 Ag Card home test including a step by step walkthrough of the test.

Why BinaxNOW is Acceptable

The BinaxNOW at home self tests include a proctored telehealth video call. In other words, a virtually guided at-home test.

You are supervised the entire time you take your test, including opening the Abbott BinaxNOW kit.

Who Can Use the BinaxNOW Tests

BinaxNOW rapid test for travel kits can be used on anyone age 4 and older. Anyone 15 and older perform their own nasal swab.

Children 14 and younger have to have their parents perform the nasal swab and collect their test sample.

Where are the BinaxNOW Tests Accepted

You can use the Abbott BinaxNOW kits for travel to countries that accept a rapid antigen test, to return to the US after international travel, and as proof of a covid test prior to a cruise.

What Places Don’t Accept a BinaxNOW Result

The BinaxNOW kits are rapid antigen kits. You can’t use the BinaxNOW tests to travel to any country that requires a PCR test. Nor can you use it for travel to Hawaii.

Where to Order the Abbott BinaxNow Home Covid Test

You can order the Abbott BinaxNOW Home Covid test kits online from:

  • eMed – sold in a pack of 6 for $150 plus shipping and taxes
  • Optum Store – sold in a 2 pack for $69.99, 3 pack for $99.99

The cruise lines recommend buying from Optum. Probably because you can buy two tests and most people don’t need six tests. It’s the exact same tests, but different stores.

I buy my home test kits from eMed.

You can also buy the BinaxNOW COVID-19 AG Card Home Test kits at some CVS and Walgreens stores. They also sell home self-tests that aren’t approved for travel. So make sure you buy the right kit.

Only the telemed proctored tests are accepted for travel. This is why they cost more than the other kits.

How to Order Abbot BinaxNOW Covid-19 Antigen Self-test

It’s easy to order the Abbott BinaxNOW Covid-19 antigen self-test.

You can create an eMed account. Select the six pack. Answer the test questions such as who you’re ordering for, etc. Pay. You’ll get an email notifying you of your order.

These kits require a prescription. So you will see “waiting for approval” under your order status.

After eMed has reviewed your answers, your order will be shipped via FedEx. I haven’t heard of anyone being denied a prescription.

When Orders Ship

If your order is approved before 6 pm ET pm Monday through Thursday, your kits are shipped the next business day.

Orders placed and/or approved Friday through Sunday are processed on Monday.

How Many Kits You Should Order

You should order an extra kit per person in case one is defective. Or if you make a mistake as I did during my first test.

For a family of 4, a pack of 6 kits would give you two backup kits. This should be more than enough backup kits. But if you feel more comfortable, order extra.

I always bring extra kits when traveling, just in case.

Will Insurance Cover This Test

You get an itemized receipt with your order that you can submit to your insurance company or against your Health Savings Account (HSA).

How to Use Abbott BinaxNOW Test

Here’s a step-by-step demo video on how to use the Abbott BinaxNOW test.

Where Can you Take the Test

You can take the test anywhere you have a reliable internet connection.

This includes at your home, in a hotel room, even on a cruise ship. Jeff and I recently did a back-to-back cruise and took our COVID tests for the second cruise while at sea on our first cruise.

How Long Does the Test Take

It takes about 25 minutes maximum to take the test from start to finish.

From logging into eMed and Navica, to waiting for a telehealth proctor, to opening the test, taking the test, and waiting on the results.

When Do You Get the Results

You get your results from the home self-test BinaxNOW tests immediately. You receive a signed pdf with your test results via email. There’s also a digital copy is in the Navica app.

How To Tell if You Tested Positive or Negative

If there is only one pink line in the result window on the test card next to the word control, you’ve tested negative.

If there are two pink lines, even if the line next to the sample is faint, you’ve tested positive.

What Is an Invalid Test

Your test is invalid if any of the following occur:

  • No line in result window next to word ‘control”
  • Control line is blue not pink or purple
  • No line by control but a line by the word “sample”
  • Blue line next to control and pink or purple line next to sample

If your test is invalid, you should call technical support at 1-833-637-1594. They may have you take another test.

How To Travel With BinaxNOW Kits

You can travel with Abbott BinaxNOW kits. You should keep them in your carry-on bag.

The recommended stored temperature is between 35.6 degrees and 86 degree Fahrenheit. So you don’t put the kits in your checked bag. The kits could get damaged in your checked bag.


The Binaxnow rapid test for travel is easy to use and you can test from the comfort of your home or at a hotel.

You can order your tests online and take them with you when traveling. The testing process takes about 25 minutes from start to finish.

Where are you traveling to that requires a COVID test?

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Sunday 10th of April 2022

Can I use the second test kit in the box for a second proctored test for a return flight to the US ?

Debra Schroeder

Monday 25th of April 2022

Hi Martin,

If you bought the kit that has 2 tests in one box (covid test box) then no because those aren't proctored tests. Only the Abbott BinaxNOW Covid-19 Ag Card tests are proctored.

You can purchase a multipack of tests - where there are multiple single covid tests shipped in one box. These can be used for a return flight to the US.


Wednesday 9th of March 2022

Good to know. We actually have two test kits here that have not been used yet.


Tuesday 8th of March 2022

Looks like this is a good test kit to use at home, I hope this will also be available here soon!


Tuesday 8th of March 2022

It helps that the test is quick and easy to use. I have supplies in case I need them.

Louraine wilmot

Tuesday 8th of March 2022

Thank you for sharing, it’s always good to have options!

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