Are you a woman who travels? With all of us living through our first (and hopefully last!) pandemic, you might be wondering about safety products to take with you when you start your travels again. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list to help you stay safe while traveling. Whether you’re concerned about in-flight germ transmission, possible pathogens in your rental villa’s kitchen, or products to keep you safe while you walk around at night, we’ve got you covered. Read on!
Self-Protection While Actively Traveling
Masks and Face Shields for the Woman Who Travels
Who isn’t completely familiar with masks now? Once I realized masks were necessary, I started viewing masks as not only protective equipment, but also a fashion accessory. I’ve tried a vast array of different designs, shapes, and materials. Other than my handmade fitted masks, my favorite masks include Nakato restaurant’s mask as well as Caraa’s masks. Caraa makes both fanfold and tailored styles. Nakato’s luxe print fabric looks fantastic while the design provides a secure fit. The design also provides enough space inside to avoid pulling the mask into your mouth as you breathe. It also sports a filter pocket for optional extra protection. Caraa’s masks are made from tightly woven fabric and provide a filter pocket. Caraa also sells disposable filters that specifically fit their masks at a very reasonable price point.
My disposable masks and face shields come from Project N95, a charitable organization that provides PPE to frontline healthcare workers. They also vet individual suppliers so customers can be sure they’re getting effective masks. You can also make charitable donations to this 501(c)3 organization to help with its mission.
Remember that even if you’re fully vaccinated, most countries and cities require everyone wear a mask to protect others. Pack enough fabric and disposable masks to cover your trip and the odd accident. Pack even more if you plan to double-mask, the CDC recommended masking practice minimizing exposure and maximizing filtration. Wear a disposable/surgical mask, then layer a cotton mask over it for a tighter fit and extra filtration. Masks will keep you safe on your travels.
Whether you’re a woman who travels far or closer to home, masks keep you safe and you’ll want to keep track of your mask and prevent contamination. A mask container protects your mask from extra pathogens when you take it off to enjoy a meal, for instance. If you want to keep multiple masks with you during a day out, consider buying Caraa’s Double Mask Pouch. Consisting of two sections (clean and dirty), the pouch can be tucked into a daypack or used as a clutch.
Hand Sanitizer and Soap for the Woman Who Travels and Stays Safe
Everyone knows to keep hands clean and to use hand sanitizer or soap, depending on the circumstances. At home, I keep a large container of hand sanitizer, as well as portable, refillable bottles. Know that currently, TSA allows travelers to carry up to a 12-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer in carry-on bags (be sure to double-check before heading to the airport though). Some tried-and-tested favorites include Dove’s moisturizing hand sanitizer and Aesop’s Departure Kit (which includes rinse-free hand wash). If you have a favorite and carry a large bottle, remember to take a portable and refillable container (or two) as well.
If you don’t fancy touching soap dispensers in the airplane toilet or other public bathrooms, take along a packet or two of dry soap sheets. I especially like Fomin packets – with cardboard packaging, they’re earth-friendly. Just take a sheet out, and rub between your hands under running water – lots of lather, and clean hands.
Sanitizing wipes are epically useful right now, especially for a woman who travels. Major airlines are doing a fantastic and thorough disinfection and sanitization process on their airplanes to keep travelers safe. That said, when I board a plane, I thoroughly wipe down the seat, tray table, and anything I’m likely to touch. And when I retrieve my suitcase from the luggage carousel, I wipe down the handles and sides immediately. Then, when I first arrive at my lodging, I use the wipes as well as the UVC sanitizing wand to sanitize surfaces, especially high-touch ones (counters, light switches, faucets, remotes, and more). Lysol makes handy travel packs that are easy to fit in both your carry-on and checked bags. Depending on the length of the trip, I toss from one to six-packs in my bags then use them with reckless abandon.
I prefer to carry my own water bottle when I travel. I dislike throwing plastic away and rather refill a reusable bottle. Larq offers a bottle that not only is refillable and sustainable but also employs UVC technology to purify the water within. Simply recharge using the micro-USB socket in the cap. Talk about a win-win! Larq also offers a cap attachment with a carabiner so you can carry your bottle in different ways.
Yes, flashlights worn on your head are fairly nerdy. But they help light the way- crucial when you’ve mistimed or misjudged a walk and the sun sets before you’re back in familiar territory. They also provide a comforting glow when out and about after dark in an unfamiliar city. I know you have a flashlight app on your mobile, but do you really want to wear the battery down to 0% if you’re uncomfortable and it’s dark? This headlamp has 8 modes, is waterproof, and also rechargeable – and comes in a 2-pack.
Whistles call people to you when you’ve lost your way on a ramble or hike. You can also use a whistle to scare away potential attackers. Plus, you can take it to your next Mardi Gras to join in the noise chaos. I especially like this one from Heimdall. It is coated with silicone (so your lips don’t stick in cold weather) and doesn’t have the annoying “pea” rattling around inside like many whistles.
Products for a Woman Who Travels that Keep You Safe Day-to-Day
We all want to stay safe while actively traveling (think flying, driving, riding on public transit, etc), but also when we’re relaxing in our accommodation. Most hotels and other accommodations are working hard to keep their environments safe and as germ-free as possible. However, I feel more comfortable knowing I’ve done my part to lower my exposure to pathogens. From securing my accommodation to dining in my holiday villa and cleaning my clothes, here are the products a woman who wants to travel safe can take along, plus where and how to them:
UVC Sanitizing Wand
In addition to wiping down surfaces with sanitizing wipes, I use my UVC wand everywhere I travel. Medical facilities use UVC light as one of many tools to disinfect and sterilize surfaces. In fact, when the tuberculosis infection rate increased in the 1980s, hospitals used UVC lights to eradicate this deadly disease. Now we use UVC lights to disinfect our houses.
When I head to Florida for a few days in May, I’ll take my UVC sanitizing wand in my checked bag, and use it to disinfect high touch surfaces – think light switches, counters, tables, chairs…pretty much everything. A good quality wand will have information about the lightwaves emitted (200-280 nanometers is best, with 250 nanometers the sweet spot). It should also feature a kill switch (to avoid injury). Select a wand that comes with instructions. And be sure to choose a rechargeable model.
You may not have heard, but an increasing number of accommodations use hidden cameras to protect their property. To make sure I’m not being spied on (or listened to), I carry the Lonove Hidden Camera Detector when I travel. Within a few minutes, I find all the hidden cameras, as well as listening devices.
If you’re concerned about someone getting into your hotel room, carry a travel door alarm with you. We like the Lewis and Clark Travel Door Alarm. Easy to use, the alarm emits a shrill noise (90 decibels) when disturbed – so don’t put it on the bathroom door! Just hang it on the main door (or window) and insert the two thin wires in the crack between the door and jamb. It also features an LED flashlight and comes in multiple colors. This can keep the woman who travels safe.
Pre-pandemic, I would wash clothes either in my accommodation or at the closest laundromat. Sometimes, I sent dirty clothes out to be cleaned by a third party. Are you planning a long enough trip to need laundry services? Want to prepare for the occasional dirty clothing disaster? Here are the items to get:
Scrubba is a lightweight and eco-friendly bag perfect for washing 2 or 3 pieces at a time. Place items in the bag with water and laundry soap (I like Sink Suds) and agitate the bag. Then do the same again with clear water. Carry an elastic clothesline, and you’ll be done in a flash.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the small toothbrush covers, especially given all the aerosolized water particles wafting through bathroom air. This UVC Sanitizing Travel Toothbrush Holder works very well, is rechargeable, and small enough to fit any bag. Honestly, I use my to shield my toothbrush every day in my own bathroom, as well as when I travel.
I don’t know about you, but I purchase large containers of most of my toiletry products. Not the easiest containers to travel with! I’m a big fan of toiletry container sets with varying sizes and types of containers. This kit has bottles, jars, spray bottles, all made of silicone. It also includes a couple scoops and a bottle brush – very helpful if you want to reuse these containers and switch out products.
I stay in a variety of lodgings, from rental villas to hotels and hostels, depending on the trip and location. When I rent a place, I definitely try to dine in some – in part to experience grocery shopping in an unfamiliar place. I also like to dine on-the-go al fresco sometimes. So I always carry my reusable utensil kit. I really love my rainbow one, and no longer rely on disposable plastic. And it will assume even more importance on my travels with our current health crisis. The kit comes with the usual knife/fork/spoon setup, but also includes 2 reusable straws, bottle brush to clean your straw, and chopsticks. It also comes in other shades of metal, and bamboo.
Do you ever wonder how thoroughly your rental’s dishes were cleaned before you checked in? If eating off foreign dishes is unsettling, carry along your own dish set. This Bamboo Tableware Dish Set is earth friendly, fairly lightweight, and easy to carry along to use in a rental villa or at a campsite. Carry only what you need – if you know you’ll just need a bowl for cereal, then carry only a bowl. Or carry disposable ones, like these compostable and earth-friendly palm leaf plate and bowls.
Final Recommendations for the Woman Who Travels and Wants to Stay Safe
Yes, you have all the reservations, paperwork, travel package, and more stored digitally. But phone batteries die and wifi/mobile signal disappear at inopportune times. And even worse, mobile phones get dunked in the toilet (back pockets and iPhones don’t play well together, trust me). Sometimes they get smashed on the ground, or even left behind (or stolen).
So carry a printout or paper copy with you. And do the same with your ID and credit/debit cards. I once lost all my cards from a pocket with a new (and large) hole at the bottom. I found them by retracing my steps the next day but had copies, which kept me from panicking while I searched.
Be sure to keep your first-day paperwork, ID, and card copies in your carry-on bag, in case disaster befalls you during the flight. When I flew between Atlanta and Paris on an Air France flight, we were given champagne at the beginning of the flight, which my seatmate immediately spilled all over me. Luckily my phone didn’t drown, but I had my paperwork with me.
Can you think of other products that the woman who travels can use to keep safe in a post-pandemic travel world? Which of these products are essential for you? Let us know in the comments! And contact us when you want to travel and we’ll plan and book your trip!
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