11 Things You Should Own if You Plan to Travel in the Next 6 Months
These are the items you should pack in your bag to protect yourself and the ones you love during your next trip.
Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Almost all travel halted by the end of March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but is now picking back up slowly despite still having a level 3 Health Advisory warning. That’s because Americans are still hungry for summer travels, explains Jennifer Jacob, CEO and founder of Explorateur Travel, LLC., who has spent a large portion of the pandemic period learning about the new standards of cleanliness, safety, and the ability for guests to have their own space. “My clients are inquiring about ways to create their own vacation spot to keep their families out of crowded spaces,” Jacob says. If you do travel in the next several months, one of the most important things you can do is be prepared with essentials that can facilitate a safe and healthy experience for you and your loved ones. Find out which is safer for a stay: A hotel or Airbnb.
Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.
Starting at $13.42
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends wearing non-medical fabric face coverings when going in public, so you’ll most certainly need one on your travels. This is especially true if you plan on flying since masks will be required in airports and on airplanes. “Bring two or three masks that are comfortable on your face for long periods of time,” says Kayla LeClerc, Owner of Whimsical Wishes Travel Concierge. She also recommends packing a travel-size laundry detergent so you can wash the masks in your hotel or cabin sink.” This pack of two Lanier Wellness Reusable Face Covers comes with one for you—and one for your child. Find out what air travel could look like after coronavirus.
$29.99 for a 4-pack
This one probably seems obvious, but you want to be sure you have enough with you at any given time, especially because many stores are sold out. “You should be using hand sanitizer regularly—every time you settle into a new place like your airport terminal, seat on an airplane, lounger by the pool, etc.,” advises LeClerc. Consider stocking up on a few small bottles, which may be easier to pack into your suitcase and everyday bag. Tip: When shopping for hand sanitizer, be sure that it contains greater than 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropyl, per the CDC’s recommendation, as this Remedi Pure Professional Grade Hand Sanitizer does.
In addition to carrying around hand sanitizer, you’ll also want to have disinfectant wipes, like these Lysol Disinfecting Wipes Lemon and Lime Blossom, on hand to wipe off various surfaces that you might come in contact with, from your airplane, bus, or train seat to your table at a local cafe. The CDC recommends that any wipes you use to kill viruses contain at least 70 percent alcohol. You also want to be sure to dry the surface after using the wipe. For more information, be sure to check out the EPA’s list of registered disinfectants. Just be sure you’re not making any of these 10 common mistakes with your disinfectant wipes.
This was an important travel companion well before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Now, seeing as our world is becoming increasingly digital, it’s always a good idea to have a charger that you can take on the go—especially when many airports are lacking in extra outlets. “I’d anticipate a bit of a wait at all the major checkpoints as you travel—security checks that require temperature checks, customs, and immigration desks that require additional healthcare forms, etc.,” says LeClerc. “You’ll want your phone or tablet with you to pass the time, especially if you’re traveling with kids that may get impatient.” This Portable Charger Anker PowerCore 20100mAh is a reliable go-to. Find out the 11 phone battery myths you need to stop believing.
$22.33 pack of 6
Chances are, the majority of places you travel will have antibacterial soap in their bathroom, but it’s also quite possible that they could run out. In the middle of a pandemic, the last thing you want is to be left without soap to use after using a public facility. Do yourself a favor and carry a bottle of antibacterial soap with you. “While the soap found in your hotel room or cruise ship is probably fine, it’s nice to know that you’re using a soap that is truly antibacterial, as well as one that is foaming,” says LeClerc. This Method Foaming Hand Soap has a fresh, pink grapefruit scent. You’ll definitely want to wash your hands immediately after touching these 10 things.
$22.99 for a 100-pack
Think of all of the things you touch when you’re out in public. While you can certainly wash your hands and sanitize often, doing so might not be enough to protect yourself from all of the germs you’re coming into contact with on a minute-by-minute basis. To be as safe as possible, it’s best to bring a pack of strong and durable disposable gloves with you to keep your hands as germ-free as possible. These Wostar Nitrile Disposable Gloves come in sizes ranging from small to XXL.
$12.91 for a 2-pack
Jacob recommends traveling with an antiviral and anti-bacterial spray to sanitize the air in your hotel room or Airbnb. “It may seem overboard, but it will allow everyone to feel like they have done the most they can to enjoy their time,” she says. “Preparation allows you to be able to relax much more, than if you are actively trying to dodge contact with others without the proper tools.” Look for a brand that kills up to 99.9 percent of germs but is also free of harmful chemicals—fumes, ammonia, bleach, fragrance, dyes, etc. We suggest CleanSmart Disinfectant Spray Mist. Find out why this couple decided to rent an Airbnb during coronavirus.
These Kooty Key Germ Utility Hook Tools have been around a lot longer than the pandemic, but have never come in handy so much as now. They essentially allow you to avoid touching things like door handles, gas pumps, ATM machine keypads, toilet bowl flushers, etc. They’re easy to carry with you in your pocket or your bag and can be wiped down with an antibacterial wipe after each use to limit your skin-to-skin contact with bacteria and viruses. Find out the 13 everyday habits that could and should change after coronavirus.
Reusable water bottle
Starting at $17.95
Pre-pandemic you might have been comfortable using public water fountains, but chances are you’re a little skeeved out by the idea—and all the germs that they can collect. And, while you can certainly purchase plastic water bottles while you’re on the go, they too have been touched by other people well before reaching your possession. To be as safe as possible, it’s a smart idea to invest in your own reusable water bottle, like this Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle, that you can take with you just about anywhere. Avoid these travel mistakes to have the best vacation ever.
While you’re out and about, you’re going to want something to hold your cell phone and personal items that you don’t have to actually handle or place down, notes Lesley Cohen, luxury travel advisor at SmartFlyer. This helps prevent cross-contamination while shopping or walking. She recommends selecting a bag that can be easily wiped down with antibacterial wipes or, better yet, is machine washable like this WATERFLY Fanny Pack. These are the 10 things you won’t see in hotels anymore.
It’s always a good idea to pack a healthy snack when you’re traveling, and even more so in the time of coronavirus. Why? Not all restaurants at all airports and rest stops along the highway are open, or they are, but they may not be functioning at full capacity. Not only is this Original Beef Jerky By Country Archer made of grass-fed beef that’s free of gluten, nitrates, MSG, hormones, and antibiotics, it’s also packed with protein to keep you full longer and is tasty to boot. Find out surprising foods you can—and can’t—bring on a plane.
For more on this developing situation, including how life might be different post-lockdown, see our comprehensive Coronavirus Guide.
Want more deals and product picks sent directly to your inbox? Sign up for the Stuff We Love newsletter!