The holidays will look very different this year and so will the gifts. In fact, the most important – and welcome – gifts you can give travelers right now are items that will reduce their risk of contracting Covid-19.
None of them are a substitute for masks and hand washing but they’re all excellent additions.
You may want to get these gifts to them early so they can put them to good use if they’re planning to visit family or friends—or you—for the holidays. You may even want to buy some of them for your own travels—even if your only trips are to the grocery store.
Okay, this won’t keep you safe while traveling but it will definitely keep you safe if you’re traveling to a birthday party. By shielding the cake, Top It protects partygoers when the guest of honor blows out their candles – which, you’ll be horrified to learn, increases the amount of germs spread by a whopping 1400%! This simple yet brilliant item was invented by a doctor, and allows for a colorful, healthy and happy birthday even during the pandemic. It comes in three different shapes/sizes and is worth a celebration in itself. Price: From $4.99
Public restrooms are the worst during the best of times, and during a pandemic, well, they can be a disaster. You’ll never want to go anywhere without this essential little kit that contains a patented oversized seat cover with rear pocket for stability and alignment, 1 yard of 3 ply toilet paper, a hand wipe and flushable tush wipe. You won’t have to touch anything that may be contaminated, and each compact kit is individually sealed to keep out germs. Stock up on these because they will take some of the stress out of going anywhere these days. Price: From $11
Airlines are starting to book middle seats again so, if you end up sitting next to someone on a plane, you will be grateful for this seat divider. Instead of worrying about rubbing up against a stranger, you’ll have a sturdy barrier with your own comfy built-in arm rest. This is something you’ll use even after the pandemic is over, and it also doubles as an ergonomic seat cushion, offering support for your head, neck, lower back, feet – or laptop. Price: $29.95
Fever is a possible symptom of Covid-19 so this easy-to-tote thermometer is handy to have with you when you’re traveling. Requiring no contact, it measures temperature from a distance with just one button. Results are back in, literally, a second, and there’s even a Fever Warning Indication so you don’t miss it. Make sure you add 2 AAA batteries because they’re not included. Price: $39.99
Put on these lightweight, antibacterial gloves before pumping gas, pushing a shopping cart or heading into a public restroom. Available in gray and lilac, they’re touch screen-friendly and UV protectant so they’re ideal for protecting your hands during a long road trip. They come in a reusable pouch to avoid cross-contamination and can be hand- or machine-washed to be used over and over again. Price: $29
Hand sanitizer has become an everyday essential and, as you can tell from their Instagram, no one does it better than Touchland. Their sleek design makes it easy to toss in a purse, a carry-on and a glove compartment to spritz with abandon. Available in a variety of scents, they smell good, look good and feel great on your skin as they kill 99.9% of germs. Add a matching silicone case keyring as a reminder to spray after touching doors, knobs and handles. Price: From $12
Designed by top aerosol scientist and former Harvard University professor David Edwards, FEND cleans the nasal passages by deep inhalation of a salty mist, generated by a hand-held mister device. It’s scientifically proven to suppress aerosol droplets during exhalation for up to six hours, which is the average length of a cross-country flight. FEND also reduces the submicron droplets that are not captured by masks and linger in indoor environments like airplanes. It’s safe to use as often as you want, and it will let you breathe easier—and healthier—during these scary times. Price: $49.95
When 17-year-old Henry Hurowitz fell asleep on an airplane tray table and woke up with a rash on his face, he was determined to find out what happened and do something about it. After discovering just how gross those tray tables really are—eight times dirtier than a toilet flush button—he created Germ Genie, a fully-equipped TSA-compliant travel kit containing 10 tray table covers, 2 medical face masks, 10 disinfecting surface wipes, 2 latex-free gloves, hand sanitizer and an airplane seat headrest cover. You can also opt for the premium kit, which includes KN95 masks, or buy items separately. Price: $19.99
This FDA-authorized home kit lets you take a test at home before traveling or visiting others, using the gold standard nucleic acid amplification assay to deliver results that are highly sensitive and specific to the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. You take a gentle lower nasal swab and send it back to the lab, using the included UPS next day air label, where it’s analyzed through an extremely accurate RT-PCR based test. Results are delivered within 24-72 hours. Price: $119
An ABC study of 12 different kinds of public seats showed that almost 28% contained traces of E.coli and more than half of those showed indications of fecal matter. And that was before the pandemic. Because airplane seats are not cleaned regularly, it’s up to you to make sure where you’re sitting is safe. These protectors are easy to use, they put a layer between you and whatever remains from other passengers and they cover the entire seat without blocking the screen of the person behind you. Choose from ultra-soft fleece that can be washed and re-used or single-use recyclable covers that come in a pack of two for your round-trip flights. Price: From $12.95
Using the latest UV LED technology, this portable device kills 99.9% of germs within one minute. Lightweight and compact enough to carry in your bag or backpack, it’s easy to simply wave over the surfaces in a hotel room, a restaurant table or your bag itself after it’s been sitting on the floor. Price: $99.98
These high-coverage face shields from Garrett Leight California Optical add another layer of protection worn in conjunction with a face mask and, unlike face masks alone, also keep your eyes safe. They’re made of anti-fog plastic to keep your vision clear and they feature snap buttons to make it easy to pop off for cleaning. These are a must when flying. $16
Because no one wants to touch any kind of public surface these days, Touchie does the dirty work for you. This clever little tool—which you can attach to your key ring—can help you grasp handles, push buttons and open doors. It’s even touchscreen-compatible so you can use the ATM or pay by credit card without touching anything. Price: $15