Cramped planes, tainted water, and general exhaustion: Travel brings lots of opportunities for you to get sick.
Tiny Travel Products That Will Save Your Health
Up your chances of staying healthy by packing these tiny travel products designed to help you feel great.
We’ve told you over and over again just how dirty and germ-infested planes are. The most contaminated area—and the one most likely to touch your food—is the tray table. Defend yourself with the Air-protector, a disposable, anti-bacterial cover that can be put over your tray or headrest.
Dry air can make you more vulnerable to bacteria, making it easier for you to get sick. Pack this handy portable mini travel bottle-cap air humidifier and you can breathe in clean, moist air no matter where you’re staying. This is one of our favorite tiny travel products because you use your own water bottle with it—so you don’t have to pack a bulky unit when any cheap water or (empty) soda bottle will do.
You might not always have access to clean running water and soap, so always pack some travel-sized hand sanitizer. Use it before you eat, after using the airplane bathroom, or anywhere else you encounter germs. For the sake of the people around you on the plane, we recommend an unscented hand sanitizer, like this one that helps moisturize as well as kill germs.
Saline Nasal Spray
The air inside the plane cabin tends to be much drier than the air you breathe on the ground. This can dry out your mucous membranes and make it easier for you to pick up germs. A saline nasal spray is the solution, so pack a 3-1-1-friendly travel-sized version like this one from Basic Care.
Oftentimes, airline blankets aren’t washed in between flights, so who knows what kind of nasty germs you’re snuggling up with? Rest easy under the Napa Portable Travel Blanket, a 100 percent fleece, travel-sized blanket that’s treated with an anti-microbial agent to inhibit bacteria growth.
Hand sanitizer is great but won’t cut it when you need to clean a hard surface, like your picnic table or airplane TV screen. Individually wrapped sanitizing wipes won’t dry out and work on pretty much any surface.
Water Purifier Water Bottle
Headed to a place where there isn’t potable water? It’s still important to stay hydrated. Bring along the LifeStraw water bottle and you’ll be able to turn any water into something drinkable, thanks to the built-in filter that removes bacteria and parasites.
Portable Toothbrush Sanitizer
Sometimes you have to subject your toothbrush to less-than-ideal conditions on the road—using it in the airplane bathroom, for instance, or storing it in a less-than-clean hotel bathroom cup. Before you put in your mouth, sanitize your toothbrush with the Oral SteriClean, a portable case that uses UV light to kill the bacteria lurking on your toothbrush.
Cell Phone Sanitizer
Do you open the public bathroom door using a tissue to protect yourself from germs? You should actually be using one to save yourself from your dirty cell phone, as studies have found that most phones have more bacteria than a public bathroom door handle (and more than the toilet seat!). Think about how many times you’ve snapped a photo of your meal with your phone and then dived in to eat without washing your hands in between. Gross. Keep your phone (and your tablet, and other electronics) clean with specially designed sanitizers like the Wireless Wipes. These gentle cleansers won’t harm your screens, and they’ll help keep germs away.
Got a long flight, drive, or train ride coming up? You could be putting yourself at risk for blood clots, which can occur any time you’re sitting stationary for long periods of time (not only when you’re at 30,000 feet). Compression socks, like these from Travelsox, can help stimulate blood flow, reduce swelling, and prevent DVT. For more information, see Do Compression Socks Really Work?
More from SmarterTravel:
- 9 Products to Help You Stay Healthy While Traveling
- Eating Well and Staying Active While Traveling
- The Germiest Places You Encounter While Traveling
Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.