pandemic travel items

The 11 Best Travel Essentials for Safe Travel During COVID-19, According to Shoppers

Consider this your go-to packing list for your next trip.
By Rebecca Carhart
May 16, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Related Content

With COVID-19 vaccinations on the rise and travel restrictions easing up all over the world, there's a good chance you're looking to plan a trip after spending the majority of the past year at home. While you probably can't wait to visit friends and family that you've been social distancing from - or explore a new destination that you've been dreaming about - you may still have some reservations about how to get there safely. 

Most airlines and other forms of public transportation are still taking safety precautions very seriously, but if you're looking for some items to pack that will help you feel better about traveling, you've come to the right place. We've put together a travel essentials list full of products that real travelers say help them feel safer while traveling during the pandemic. 

If you're catching a flight and worried about germs, you may want to invest in a set of disposable seat covers or a travel pillow that prevents your head from slumping against the window. Or, if you're going out of state or out of the country for the first time in a while, you may want to get a card holder  to keep your COVID-19 vaccine card protected, as you may have to show it at certain places to prove you're fully vaccinated. 

No matter what type of trip you have planned, there's something on this list that you'll want to have packed. Each item, detailed below, has a near-perfect rating and tons of reviews from shoppers explaining how it helps them stay safe. 

From reusable face masks to phone sanitizers to lightweight thermometers, these are the 11 essentials shoppers recommend for pandemic travel. Keep reading to learn more about them all, and shop one (or two) before your next vacation. 

Related Items

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Maskc

Maskc KN95 Mask Set

Face masks are still required for entry in most places, which is why you should have a few options packed in your travel bag. Shoppers love this KN95 set by Maskc because each five-layer mask is FDA-approved and blocks more than 95 percent of particles. The masks are sold in packs of 10, and each set comes with a reusable storage bag, so you can keep your mask safe and clean when you aren't wearing it. Even better, they come in a variety of colors, so you can match them with any outfit you have packed in your suitcase. "These masks look great and also are KN95, so I feel very comfortable and safe wearing them in crowded places," said one shopper. 

To buy: shopmaskc.com, $36

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Masqd

Masqd Face Mask

If you prefer reusable masks, check out this breathable option by Masqd. Made from a cotton fabric blend, the triple-layer mask is both antibacterial and hypoallergenic, and it even has an inner pocket for a filter if you would like added protection. Customers love how soft it feels on their skin and the fact that it is machine-washable. One shopper called it the "best mask ever," while another wrote, "I love this mask - it fits great, adjusts to my small face, and it is the perfect combination of breathable and protective. I like it so much I ordered another one!"

To buy: masqd.com, $24

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Pipette

Pipette Baby Hand Sanitizer

It can be difficult to wash your hands frequently while you're out and about traveling, which is why so many people have started to carry hand sanitizer with them. This travel-sized option from Pipette has earned itself an impressive 4.8-star rating from customers because it is fragrance-free and isn't sticky like some other options on the market. According to the brand, it features 65 percent USP grade ethyl alcohol (which exceeds the CDC-recommended amount) and kills 99.99 percent of germs and bacteria. "This is hands down the best sanitizer that I have used," wrote one reviewer. "It doesn't dry out your hands like other ones do. The travel size is so convenient. Definitely will buy again."

To buy: pipettebaby.com, from $14

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

Disinfecting wipes are another travel essential that shoppers swear by, and these Clorox wipes are one of the most popular options on Amazon because they can kill the COVID-19 virus in 30 seconds, according to data from the brand. These packs come with 75 wipes each, and they're compact enough to fit in purses and carry-on bags without taking up too much space. "These are perfect for on the go," wrote one customer. "We keep these in the car and also in our luggage for traveling. The smaller packs are great to carry on planes to clean the seats and tray tables. These larger packs are great for sanitizing hotel rooms - bathrooms, toilet seats, handles, remote controls, etc. Great scent and sturdy packaging."

To buy: amazon.com, $12

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Medd Mask Protective Airplane Seat Covers

These disposable seat covers by Medd Mask are specially designed to cover seats on all types of public transportation, including airplanes, buses, trains, and more. They are made with a medical-grade material and feature an elastic back to help them fit various-sized seats. Sold individually and in packs of four or eight, the covers are dust- and water-resistant. "Bought this for an airplane ride," wrote one shopper. "Fit perfectly, and provided a sense of comfort knowing I was adding an extra layer of protection for myself."

To buy: amazon.com, $25

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Ananko Portable Mask Case

Hundreds of Amazon shoppers say this Ananko mask case is perfect for times when you have to take off your mask in public, like when you're eating and drinking. The lightweight yet durable case is dust- and moisture-proof to keep your mask protected when not in use. Many customers even use it to store extra masks in their bag, so they always have more options on hand just in case. "I like this storage box very much," said one. "It fits up to five masks, folded in half. It is slim and fits in my purse very easily and doesn't take up a lot of space." 

To buy: amazon.com, $11

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Maskc

Maskc Pearl Mask Chain

This cute mask chain from Maskc is another great way to keep your face mask safe when you aren't using it. It attaches to the ear loops of your face mask, so you can wear it around your neck like a necklace, which allows you tokeep your mask close and prevent you from misplacing it when you have to take it off. Shoppers say the accessory is as fashionable as it is functional, with some adding that  they get compliments every time they wear the gold and pearl chain. "I like being able to wear my mask around my neck when I'm not using it rather than under my chin or setting it down. And this is very pretty," wrote one shopper.

To buy: shopmaskc.com, $15

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Specialist ID Heavy Duty Vaccine Card Protector

Some public places are now requiring proof of vaccination before you can enter, so it's important to keep your vaccine card safe. Laminating your card is not recommended since it would prevent you from updating the card in the future, which is why so many shoppers are turning to removable protective covers, like this Specialist ID option. The clear plastic protector fits 4 3/8-inch by 3.5-inch cards and can easily be attached to a lanyard or badge reel. One shopper wrote, "This is a solid, completely clear, shiny plastic card holder that I am using to protect and carry my CDC COVID vaccination card. It fits with room to spare and will do the trick. The lanyard holes (no lanyard included) will be useful when traveling."

To buy: amazon.com, $5

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

PhoneSoap 3 UV Smartphone Sanitizer

This innovative UV sanitizer from PhoneSoap kills 99.99 percent of germs and bacteria, per the brand. Designed to fit smartphones of all sizes, it can also be used to clean other essentials like your keys, credit cards, jewelry, and more. It even doubles as a universal charger, making it a great device for people on the go. "This was fantastic," wrote one shopper. "I brought it to the hospital when I was admitted for five days after surgery. It worked great in that germy environment. I have packed it for an upcoming trip to Ireland because the plane is an equally germ laden environment!"

To buy: amazon.com, $80

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer

Temperature checks are still being done before you can enter many businesses or board planes, so you may want to have one packed in your suitcase to check your temperature before you arrive (this way, there will be no surprises). A whopping 86,900 Amazon shoppers have given this iHealth option a five-star rating because it is no-touch, lightweight, and gives incredibly accurate readings, they say. It provides a reading in mere seconds and runs on two AAA batteries. "It's very easy to use right out of the box," wrote one customer. "It's small enough to travel with, and it didn't take a lot of room in my suitcase. It displays the temperature numbers large enough to read without my reading glasses."

To buy: amazon.com, $20

pandemic travel items
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Ostrich Pillow Go Travel Pillow

A cozy travel pillow is essential if you're looking to catch some zzz's on a flight. Shoppers love this Ostrich pillow not only because it is super comfortable and supportive, but also because the high neckline keeps the neck upright in a resting position - which prevents your face from falling against germy surfaces. What's more, the memory foam pillow's super soft sleeve is removable and machine-washable, so you can easily clean it in between trips. "I really love this pillow and that the cover is removable and washable," said one customer. "I love that it has a travel bag to protect the pillow from dirt and germs, as well as making it convenient to carry."

To buy: amazon.com, $60

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we'll send you our favorite travel products each week.