Essential travel items in the age of COVID-19

The presence of COVID-19 has changed many facets of daily life including how we travel. Here are five items that every traveler should now be packing.

1) Masks


Masks are now required accessories during travel and for many activities, such as entering a museum or amusement park. Travelers should pack enough masks to last their entire trip and keep a few on their person at all times to avoid the possibility of being denied entry or service if found without one. Some of the ways to make wearing masks more routine are finding ones that are comfortable and stylish. Two great retailers to check out are The Barrier Method and FOCO.

2) Sanitizer


Although airlines, hotels, and nearly every segment of the travel and hospitality industry has announced enhanced cleaning procedures and policies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that travelers still pack their own sanitizer and clean the spaces around round them regularly. SpectraSpray (use promo code TGT10 for 10% off, free shipping over $60) offers a TSA and CDC compliant 65% alcohol sanitizer spray that is sold individually as well as part of a “Be Well” kit that includes an vitamin-rich oral immune spray designed to create a barrier from germs and viruses. Another option to consider is the SaniWand by CureCorr portable UV sanitizer.

3) Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper

Reports of toilet paper shortage have been rampant during this pandamic. However, as most experienced travelers know, a lack of toilet paper is a common problem especially when visiting international destinations. and outdoor attractions such as state and national parks. In easily portable pocket-size packaging, The Restroom Kit contains one yard of 3-ply toilet paper, a patented oversize seat cover with rear pocket to support stability and alignment, hand wipe, and flushable tush wipe. This kit provides you with all the portable essentials needed when using any restroom away from home.

4) Portable Power Bank

Power Bank

Prior to the COVID-19, travelers frequently found themselves struggling to keep their potable electronics powered. It’s a problem that travelers will definitely want to stay ahead now that the pandemic has made the ability to access travel apps an absolute necessity for conducting travel — from providing check-in for your flight to keyless entry to your hotel room. A CNET and Amazon’s Choice selection, the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux offers small size and big power, providing more than two full charges to most mobile phones.

5) Thermometer


From entry to Disney World to boarding an airplane, temperature checks are now a standard part of travel for the near term — and maybe longer. Traveling with a thermometer will help you monitor your health as well as avoid potentially being denied access. Although FAA rules allow a passenger to carry a single liquid-containing thermometer stored in a protective case, the decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint. As such, a fast reading digital thermometer approved for both adults and children is a good investment (BTW — remember to disenfect between use). Consumer Reports gives high marks to the Vicks ComfortFlex.

All products featured in this article are independently selected. However, in some cases when you buy something through a posted retail links and/or use a provided promotional code, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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