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As COVID-19 continues to spread, you may be feeling anxious about your safety, particularly in public places. The risk of exposure still poses a larger threat in crowded settings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—particularly those with poor air circulation, including buses, subways and trains.

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In addition to wearing a mask in public settings and doing your best to stay at least 6-feet away from anyone outside your household, you can take extra precautions by using disinfecting and antiseptic products, such as hand sanitizer and cleansing wipes, while you’re on-the-go. Keep in mind that the CDC recommends frequent hand washing as one of the best ways to stay safe when leaving the house, so you should always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after traveling. If soap and water aren’t available, however, there are a few travel-friendly products that may help you stay germ-free when venturing outdoors. Check out our list of the five things that can help keep you safe below. 

1. Hand sanitizer

If you can’t get to a sink to wash your hands after touching surfaces on an airplane or in public, the CDC recommends an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to sanitize your hands. While it’s been flying off the shelves this year, there’s still a few places where you can pick up a travel-sized bottle or two. You can also buy a larger hand sanitizer and put in your own containers. If all else fails, you can even make your own by following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) do-it-yourself guide with 96% ethyl alcohol, aloe vera gel and a travel-sized vessel.

2. Disinfecting wipes

Cleaning wipes are one of the top products on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of disinfectants that can help protect against COVID-19. While they’re still sold out at most retailers, there are still a few places you can find them. Antiseptic hand wipes can also be used to wipe down handles, grab rails, seats and tray tables before you touch them. Plus, you can use them to wipe down your phone and keep it germ-free.   

3. Tissues

If you do need to sneeze and cough while in a crowded setting, it’s important to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and throw away used ones immediately. The CDC cites this as a vital step to stop the spread of respiratory droplets produced by an infected person. That’s why it’s a great idea to pack to-go tissues in your bag or pocket when you’re out and about. (You’ll also want to sanitize hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.)

4. Surgical gloves

While the CDC says gloves will “not necessarily protect you from getting COVID-19 and may still lead to the spread of germs,” the organization does recommend wearing gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces or when caring for someone who is sick. You should dispose of them after each use and wash your hands afterwards. 

When we tested the best disposable gloves, we found that Venom Steel’s rip-resistant nitrile gloves (currently unavailable) are the best in terms of durability, flexibility, and comfort, but there are other great option out there.

5. Face masks

The CDC recommends wearing face masks in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They’re also mandated in many stores, states and cities. Having a stash on hand to cover your face at the grocery store or at a restaurant is of the utmost importance. You can also shop our list of the best face coverings we’ve tested or pick up a few of the options below.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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