The vaccination card has become an essential document; tuck it...

The vaccination card has become an essential document; tuck it inside YaY Novelty's Vaccination Card Holder/Vaccine Card Protector.  Credit: YaY Novelty / TNS

Summer is here, and Americans are ready to get out of the house and onto the road. In fact, a pandemic record-breaking 8 in 10 Americans say they’re ready to travel, according to travel and tourism market research firm Destination Analysts.

With vaccinations widely available and states relaxing restrictions, adventurers are ready to put COVID-19 concerns in the rearview mirror as they hit the gas on domestic road trips — the preferred way to travel. Many are planning trips (plural) to small towns and rural destinations — though urban hot spots are getting some love, too.

Regardless of the destinations on the itinerary, what to bring along for the ride to ensure comfort, health and safety remains a concern. Here are some timely, pandemic essentials.

Lurera has a snugly, huggable pillow tailor-made for road trips. With integrated heating pad and heartbeat, the Faux Fur and Soft and Shaggy pillows are created to mimic the tactile touch of a pet or another human being to reduce anxiety and provide comfort. Cuddly and calming, they are 100% cotton with a vegan cushion cover with microwavable heating pad and battery-powered heartbeat simulator. (

HandiGuru offers quick-access protection from germs with its Refillable Wristbands. Simply fill with a favorite gel-based sanitizer, strap around the wrist and squeeze the band to release the desired amount of cleanser. Kits include a one-size-fits-all, FDA-approved refillable silicone wristband and BPA-free squeeze bottle and applicator tip ($14.95) and are especially ideal for kids who tend to touch whatever they can lay their hands on. The band’s dispenser can also be filled with other gels and lotions, including sunscreen and bug repellent. The wristband comes in a rainbow of colors, including "cotton candy," "seafoam" and "transcendental blue." (

For those traveling with kiddos, Miamica makes a colorful six-piece Crayola Travel Kit ($10) that includes a crayon-shaped toothbrush holder and three 3-ounce twist-lock bottles for favorite products, plus a travel accessory box that looks like a box of crayons. Everything gets tucked into the included quart-size zipper bag for safekeeping. (

Bare feet can be cleansed and purified, anywhere and everywhere, in two quick steps with So Fresh So Clean ($25). This kit is made for those times you’ve tromped barefoot through other people’s foot grime at airport security, over the carpet of your hotel room or through the grass at a nearby park. From Barefoot Scientist, this instant refresh set includes Clean Slate, a textured wipe with an infusion of soothing essential oils and deep moisturizing shea butter and coconut oil that gives feet an instant deep clean, and Twinkle Toes, an odor-eliminating, bacteria-killing and foot-freshening spray. The towelettes and spray eliminate 99.8% of odor-causing bacteria. (

Ricardo Beverly Hills' 3-Pack Anti-Microbial Padded Handle-Wrap represents the company's...

Ricardo Beverly Hills' 3-Pack Anti-Microbial Padded Handle-Wrap represents the company's next generation of travel essentials. Credit: Ricardo Beverly Hills / TNS

Keep high-touch items like cosmetics and toiletries, first-aid supplies, mobile phone and more from getting contaminated by tucking them inside Travelon’s Reusable Antimicrobial Pouches ($10 per set of four). Made of PVC, the pouches have built-in cleansing particles that destroy pathogen cells/shells and are good for 50 or more washings yet are safe to the touch. The bags come in see-through heather gray and can hold an array of items at home and on the road. (

Pacsafe has innovated a smart and simple solution for securing belongings with its new Dock Lock feature. Available on its recycled Go Bag collection ($59.95-$99.95), the anti-theft technology is easy to use, requiring just a quick squeeze to unlock and release the zipper. These bags also have a zip clip to help protect against luggage tampering, slash-guard straps, RFID-blocking pockets and built-in stainless-steel wire mesh to make the bag cut-resistant. The collection includes a crossbody, tote and two backpack sizes. (

Ricardo Beverly Hills recently launched a new 3-Pack Anti-Microbial Padded Handle-Wrap ($40 per three-pack), the first product in its new SteriTouch Essentials collection. The wraps feature SteriTouch technology, an invisible silver-based antimicrobial treatment that significantly reduces the development of bacteria on surfaces and fabrics. They are also designed for comfort with compression molded foam and can fit onto telescopic grips as well as luggage carry handles. The wraps come in black and silver. (

In case you need to carry it with you, YaY Novelty has created a Vaccination Card Holder/Vaccine Card Protector ($7.99). Made in the United States, the vinyl protective sleeve comes in a stylish case to keep your COVID-19 vaccination card protected and within reach. Sized to hold cards that are up to 4.25 by 3.13 inches, the sleeve is removable so it can be pulled out and updated as needed. Case designs include a world map, Times Square, mountains, American flag and butterfly princess, among others. (

Author and travel and lifestyle writer Kathy Witt feels you should never get to the end of your bucket list; there’s just too much to see and do in the world. Contact her at or @KathyWitt.

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