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7 products to keep you safe and healthy on vacation

With these products, you can say goodbye to swollen ankles and jet lag.

Amanda Capritto
5 min read
At the airport
Francesco Carta/Getty Images

Goodbye, office; hello, Bahamas -- or wherever your vacation time takes you. You've mapped your route, booked your plane ticket and written your itinerary. Now it's time to pack.

I'm sure you won't forget the essentials: sunscreen, snacks, water, toiletries, a first aid kit and weather-appropriate outfits for wherever you're headed. But before you jet, drive or float off, consider adding any of these seven travel-ready gadgets to help you stay healthy on vacation. 

A portable water purifier for outdoor adventures


Sawyer's mini filtration system makes water from ponds, lakes, rivers and streams safe to drink. 


You should always research the water quality of your vacation destination, especially if you're traveling internationally or someplace where you won't have access to running water. This Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System can purify up to 100,000 gallons of water on a single filter, and it attaches to most water pouches and bottles. 

You can also use the Sawyer or the popular LifeStraw to drink directly from natural bodies of water, like rivers, streams and lakes. 

Or, if drinking straight from streams isn't your thing, opt for a reusable water bottle to fill up whenever you get a chance. Any of these great bottles will do, but you still might want to pick one with a filter, like the LifeStraw Go

Motion sickness bracelets to keep dinner down

Few things put a damper on a trip like getting sick on the way there. If you're prone to nausea and vomiting while traveling, consider purchasing a motion sickness bracelet before you head out -- especially if you're going on a cruise.  

According to the Sea Band brand of bracelets, these wearable devices work by stimulating the P6 acupressure point on the wrist, which has been shown to reduce nausea and vomiting. You can find motion sickness bracelets at most drugstores, and there are a ton on Amazon.

They might not work as well as the tried-and-true Dramamine (generic: dimenhydrinate), but it's definitely worth a shot, especially if you prefer to avoid the potential fatigue, dizziness and dry mouth that may come with Dramamine.

A portable humidifier to combat dry skin 


A portable humidifier from Ourry. 


If you're traveling to a dry climate, you might want to bring along a portable humidifier. You might think of humidity as that ickiness in the air that causes your hair to frizz, but lack of humidity can lead to dry skin, cracked lips and even a bloody nose. A portable humidifier can prevent those things from happening during travel

You might think a portable humidifier sounds like a luxury you can't afford, but they actually run in the relatively inexpensive range of $15 to $40. If you do take one on your trip, make sure to clean it properly before and after. 

An airplane footrest to prevent swelling  

It's incredible that we can bop from East Coast to West Coast in just a few hours -- thanks, Wright brothers! -- but I'm not a fan of the way my ankles look or feel when I step off of a plane. 

It's normal and usually harmless to experience swelling during plane rides, but it's definitely not fun. To combat swelling, try out a foot hammock to support your feet and lower legs. This $16 footrest on Amazon has nearly all favorable reviews.

Other things you can do to reduce swelling: flex and extend your feet; shift your body position as much as possible; wear loose clothing; stand up and walk to the restroom every hour or so, even if you don't have to go. 

A tiny personal alarm to sound in case of an emergency


Sound this tiny personal alarm from Basu by pulling the pin. 


This recommendation is less about keeping you healthy and more about keeping you safe, though it could definitely come in hand in the case of a health emergency. Keeping a personal alarm in your pocket or handbag gives you the opportunity to alert passers-by and scare off perpetrators if you're in a dangerous situation. 

This keychain alarm from Basu is about the size and shape of a thumb drive and easy to use. All you have to do is pull the pin to trigger the alarm, and reinsert the pin to deactivate the alarm. It's also built with airplane-approved batteries, so you can take it on international trips. 

We hope you never have to actually use a personal alarm, but if anything, it's worth purchasing one for peace of mind. 

A travel pillow that can save your neck no matter where you are


Just save your neck and use a neck pillow already. 


You know the situation: You're stuck in the middle seat and your last-minute travel pillow purchase from the airport Brookstone isn't cutting it. You can feel your neck getting stiffer by the second. You need something with more support that lets you catch a nap in a plane, car, bus or train. Or even on a boat, if that's your preferred method of travel. 

The Omni, a three-in-one travel pillow from Banale, functions as a regular pillow, a traditional U-shaped travel pillow and a double-layered pillow for maximum support when you really just want to put your head down on the airplane tray table. According to the manufacturers, it packs into the size of a mango, so you should have no trouble fitting this pillow into your carry-on. 

If you can't wait until the Omni is out of its Kickstarter phase, try a cool wraparound pillow like this Huzi Infiniti pillow on Amazon

Sleepbuds or a portable white noise machine for quality ZZZs


Sleepbuds from Bose look like wireless headphones, but they play pre-downloaded tracks with white and ambient noises. 


Travel pillow not cutting it? For even more sleep support, try adding some noise. I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but listening to certain noises really can help you sleep. It's common to have trouble sleeping in unfamiliar places, especially if you're in a noisy environment like a hotel, where you may hear footsteps and conversations at any hour. 

Try out a portable white noise machine, like this tiny LectroFan Micro that has 10 sleep sounds to choose from and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 16 hours.

And if you're a really light sleeper, it may be worth investing in a higher-end product like these Sleepbuds from Bose . These tiny, wireless, noise-masking earbuds play pre-loaded tracks proven to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. The close proximity to your ears serves as an additional boundary to outside sounds. 

They're expensive, yes, but I personally don't think you can put a price tag on quality sleep. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.