best hand sanitizer for travel

Best hand sanitizer for travel: 7 Top Choices & Buying Guide

Going somewhere? Don’t forget to pack a hand sanitizer! Whether you’re taking a once-in-a-lifetime vacation or an annual road trip home to your folks, you won’t always have access to soap and a clean source of water. In these trying times, you want to stay compliant with health protocols too. That’s why keeping the best hand sanitizer for travel within arm’s reach is a must for your family’s safety.

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Best hand sanitizer for travel for 2021 Review: Key Features, Pros, and Cons

Now more than ever, you have to be extra keen when shopping for your travel essentials. Gone are the days when you can take the quality of hand sanitizer for granted. Learn what it takes to be mindful when shopping for this product, what to look for when shopping, and the top options out there.

For now, here’s a quick rundown of 10 of the high-performance hand sanitizers out there:

ImageBrandDimensionsWeightComes in Details
BEST OVERALL
Baby Bum 4 x 3 x 5 inches7.2 ouncesPacks of 1 or 3Check price
PREMIUM PICK
Liquid Pro 6.61 x 4.41 x 4.33 inches30 ouncesPack of 10Check price
BEST VALUE
Care Touch 5.71 x 4.72 x 2.83 inches1.62 ouncesPack of 8Check price
EO 2 x 7 x 5.5 inches0.18 ouncesPack of 6Check price
ZOONO 5 x 3.75 x 1.25 inches6.68 ouncesPack of 3Check price
Babyganics 7.95 x 5.28 x 4.88 inches32 ouncesPack of 3Check price
4F6.5 x 1.7 x 1.3 inches2.4 ouncesPack of 1Check price

1. Baby Bum Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer 

BEST OVERALL
Highlighted Features
  • Comes in packs of 1 or 3 bottles
  • Formulated with banana, coconut oil, and aloe
  • Gluten-free
  • Free from sulfates, silicone, phthalates, and parabens
  • Specifically formulated for babies and children

The Baby Bum Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer does not contain sulfates, silicone, phthalates, parabens, gluten, or dye. That’s why it’s a top choice among meticulous mums and dads, and even adults with the most sensitive and reactive skin types. After all, this hand sanitizer was made formulated with exactly their protection and safety in mind.

This hand sanitizer may be bought in packs of three. That’s a deal perfect for everyone in your family! When we travel, I make sure everyone has a sanitizer in their carry-ons and this one is definitely a household fave. It’s small and easy to squeeze in your bags so you can use it anywhere, anytime.

Pros
  • Plant-based and cruelty-free, this product meets the lifestyle requirements of vegans.
  • It smells like beach coconuts, which smells great!
  • This hand sanitizer cleans and disinfects effectively while leaving skin moisturized.
  • It does not leave a sticky feeling after application, unlike ordinary gel sanitizers.
  • It is easy to spray on your hands or other parts of your body.
Cons
  • The product isn’t tightly sealed and tends to leak when on its side.
  • It contains fragrances which children and adults with allergies may react to.
  • The spray-on application may accidentally hurt the eyes of your little one.

2. Liquid Pro Aloe Hand Sanitizer

PREMIUM PICK
>
Highlighted Features
  • Aloe Vera based formula
  • Comes in packs of 5 or 10 bottles
  • Alcohol-free
  • Rid of parabens, phthalates, dyes, and sulfates

The Liquid Pro Aloe Hand Sanitizer is alcohol-free. Active ingredient Benzalkonium chloride is combined with all-natural aloe vera to render antibacterial and antiseptic properties while simultaneously moisturizing your skin. Plus, it smells good on your skin!

Pros
  • This product has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
  • It is easily absorbed by the skin and non-sticky so you don’t need to rinse.
  • Formulated for repeated use throughout the day.
  • Since it’s alcohol-free, it does not dry out or leave a burning sensation on your skin.
  • The liquid formulation does not spill and is unlikely to sting the eyes.
Cons
  • The active ingredient, Benzalkonium chloride, may cause contact dermatitis for those who have sensitive and reactive skin.
  • There’s fragrance on the ingredients list so it may not be ideal for those with hypersensitive skin.

3. Care Touch Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer 

BEST VALUE
Highlighted Features
  • Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free formula
  • Does not contain parabens, sulfates, triclosan, and phthalates
  • Small, compact, and travel-friendly
  • Dispensed in spray bottles
  • Comes in packs of 8

The Care Touch Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer is hypoallergenic and free of artificial fragrance. The manufacturer claims it can kill up to 99.9% of viruses in as fast as 15 seconds. This product is safe for use of children and adults with allergies and sensitive skin.

What we personally like about this hand sanitizer is that it’s foam-forming. It gives you a refreshing sensation while using. Then leaves you feeling confident that your hands are clean.

Pros
  • It cleans your hands in as fast as 15 seconds.
  • The product kills 99.9% of all known bacteria and viruses.
  • Safe for kids and people with sensitive skin or allergies to paraben.
  • Thick and rich foamy formula.
Cons
  • It has a tendency to leak when it accidentally falls or rolls on its side.
  • Children and adults who are reactive to Benzalkonium chloride may still experience allergic reactions.

4. EO Organic Hand Sanitizer — Best Organic

Highlighted Features
  • Made with alcohol that comes from non-GMO sugar cane
  • Contains Vegetable Glycerin, Vitamin E, and Organic Thyme Extract
  • Phthalate-, triclosan, and paraben-free formula
  • Does not contain artificial dyes and colors
  • Comes in a pack of 6 bottles

Vegans, rejoice! Finally, here’s a hand sanitizer that suits the lifestyle you’ve chosen. Since it comes in multipacks, you have more than enough to share with people you care about the most. EO Organic Hand Sanitizer is made from all organic materials like vegetable glycerin and thyme extract. It is gluten, propylene, and GMO-free. It moisturizes and does not dry out your skin.

Definitely, this is one of the best non-drying hand sanitizers for travel that you can apply again and again throughout the day without having to worry about getting allergies or flaky skin. That’s why I personally choose this product for extended travels when you have to go for several hours, sometimes days, switching planes or driving cross country.

Pros
  • This hand sanitizer is available unscented or in any of the fresh scents of lavender, peppermint, and sweet orange.
  • This product is a USDA-certified organic product that guarantees its claim is way beyond just a marketing gimmick.
  • It will never dry out your hands even with frequent reapplication.
  • It is easy to spray, and it also cleans under your fingernails easily.
  • You can choose to get it in a box or in an eco bag which, I know, vegans mind.
Cons
  • It’s a bit on the pricier side of hand sanitizers but if you mind what’s inside —definitely worth every drop.

5. ZOONO Foam Hand Sanitizer — Best Foam

Highlighted Features
  • Lasts up to 24 hours
  • Nontoxic
  • Kills 99.9% of viruses
  • Foamy lather formula that smells great and protects you from germs

The makers of ZOONO Foam Hand Sanitizer claim that a single application gives you 24-hour protection from germs and infections. If you ask me, that’s an absolutely mighty hand sanitizer that keeps protecting. It’s like walking around with a shield and armor.

It’s notable how it does this while being non-toxic. Its fast-drying formula leaves your hands feeling clean and refreshed without the sticky feeling that cheap and poorly-formulated gel-based hand sanitizers do.

Like many other products on this list, this Zoono is alcohol-free. It joins Liquid Pro Aloe and Care Touch hand sanitizers in using benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient.

Pros
  • Formulated and designed to keep you and your family protected round the clock.
  • Helps you stay protected even when you wash your hands.
  • This product won’t leave your hands with a clammy, sticky feeling even with frequent reapplication.
  • It makes your hand feel silky smooth all day.
  • The product is made from a water-based, not alcohol-based formula.
Cons
  • It costs more than your average hand sanitizer but fewer reapplications help make up for this disadvantage.

6. Babyganics Unscented Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer — Best or Babies

Highlighted Features
  • Formulated without sulfates, phthalates, parabens, or dyes
  • Plant-derived ingredients
  • Alcohol-free, so it does not dry your hands

The Babyganics Unscented Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer’s formula does not contain sulfates, phthalates, parabens, or artificial dyes. It is tested by a dermatologist and is safe to use by people with allergies. It does not dry your hands, unlike alcohol-based sanitizers.

Pros
  • It has a nonallergenic, dermatologist-tested formula.
  • The product does not cause the skin to dry out and become flaky even with frequent use.
  • It has a foamy formula that cleans your hands.
  • It has excellent customer service.
  • This product is made with citrus fruit, rather than synthetic, that works as a pH adjuster
Cons
  • Spraying on and around the eye area may cause redness and eye irritation.
  • The product may leak occasionally if it falls on its side.

7. 4F Wellness Alcohol Free Antibacterial Sanitizer — Best Alcohol-Free

Highlighted Features
  • Non-toxic
  • Moisturizes and does not dry up or irritate the skin
  • Kills 99.9% of known viruses

The 4F Wellness Alcohol Free Antibacterial Sanitizer is non-toxic and is safe to use on children and even on your pets. It kills 99.9% of known viruses and bacteria, and it doesn’t have any unpleasant odor. It is alcohol-free and doesn’t dry your skin.

This product is completely fragrance-free. That’s good news if you’re keen on lessening your daily exposure to chemicals. Fragrance is a good indicator that a product may contain toxic ingredients and other harmful components. However, if you prefer some scent to help rid your hands of unpleasant odors, you may need something else.

Pros
  • This sanitizer has a cleaner formulation vs. other brands — triclosan-free, synthetic-free, and paraben-free.
  • There’s absolutely no need to worry about the potential hormonal disruptions associated with many synthetic ingredients.
  • This sanitizer is safe to use for kids and won’t cause any harm to your pets.
  • It does not have any unpleasant or foul odor.
  • It has an alcohol-free formula that doesn’t dry skin.
Cons
  • Active ingredient, benzalkonium chloride may still cause skin irritations in children and adults with hypersensitive skin.
  • Eye sting and irritation may be experienced when sprayed in or around the eye area.
best hand sanitizer for travel

Best Hand Sanitizer For Travel: Buying Guide

At first, it may seem really easy to shop for a hand sanitizer. After all, it’s such a simple product, right? However, just like when buying any other product, you still need to consider several factors to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth, and that you don’t accidentally reawaken an allergy or make one worse.

Besides, after the COVID-19 pandemic (which is far from over), the world and traveling will never be the same again. One of the major adjustments we all have to make is that we need to exert more effort and take extra precautions to make sure our hands are clean and germ-free at any given time.

That’s exactly why hand sanitizers are essential. That’s exactly why this product was created in the first place! That way, there’s no acceptable excuse for dirty hands. But, even hand sanitizers perform differently. Fact is, few may provide the germ protection you need when you’re out there. So, here are the factors you need to consider.

Active Ingredient

As a family, we strongly believe that alcohol is not for kids. If you’re traveling with an infant or toddler, there’s a big chance you’ll be sharing that germ-fighting bottle with your little one. The CDC strongly recommends frequent handwashing which, it adds, remains to be the best way to prevent COVID-19 infections. However, if access to clean water and soap is unavailable, make sure to carry around a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

In the case of Liquid Pro Aloe Hand Sanitizer, Care Touch Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer, and Zoono Foam Hand Sanitizer, alcohol is replaced by benzalkonium chloride as the germ-fighting ingredient. However, it isn’t 100% safe, but it is a better choice than alcohol. For one, it can still cause eye and skin irritations. However, if none of your kids have hypersensitivity, it should work just as well without worries.

Inactive Ingredients

Dehydration is a common concern for travelers. The enclosed plane environment, in particular, is notorious for drying out the skin. So, as much as possible, avoid using any product that will cause your skin to become dry and flaky.

A hand sanitizer that’s great for traveling should contain moisturizing ingredients like aloe.

The Baby Bum Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer, for instance, is made with coconut, banana, and aloe, but is also gluten- and dye-free. That way, it helps keep your skin well-hydrated but also eliminates ingredients that could potentially add to the skin drying effect of traveling.

Moisturizers will also help keep your baby’s skin soft and smooth while making sure those tiny hands are sanitized all the time (babies just love sucking on those knuckles!) If anybody in the family has allergies, go down to the ingredients list. Fragrances and dyes are two of the most common triggers of contact dermatitis and other skin allergies.

So, think about who will be using it. Understand what you’re allergic to and who’s going to use it.

Weight

Traveling with kids can definitely crack a rib or hurt your back. That’s why everything in your bag must be carefully considered. Although, in the case of hand sanitizers, there’s nothing to be debated. Always travel with one. 

If you’re buying for home use, sanitizers that come in bigger containers like 4F Wellness Alcohol-Free Antibacterial Sanitizer is okay. But, if you plan on traveling with it or carrying it around everywhere you go, then you should definitely get a hand sanitizer that comes in smaller and lighter containers that will not easily break. Then, the caveat — make sure you have enough to last you during transit.

You may not exactly be able to bring enough to last you throughout the duration of your trip. And, plane regulations are a big consideration. So, make sure to check airport and airline policies regarding hand sanitizers. Oh, and it’s great if you can get alcohol-free, non–flammable hand sanitizer if you intend to squeeze it into your carry-on bag.

Pack Size

Another one of the factors you need to consider when buying a hand sanitizer is the pack size. How many bottles of hand sanitizer do you need? We suggest everyone in your family or traveling party carry one close to them at all times.

Buying in bulk can save you a couple of bucks so mind the discounts you get when buying more. Always compare prices per bottle and quantity. Many alcohol-free hand sanitizers don’t come cheap but there are always inexpensive alternatives. Cost becomes even more important if you’re traveling on a tight budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is hand sanitizer spray allowed on airplanes?

The International Civil Aviation Organization continues to consider alcohol and hand sanitizers as flammable and, therefore, dangerous materials. Carrying these items in flight is limited to 100ml per passenger only.

However, this is advisory in nature. Check local regulations for carrying hand sanitizers and alcohol in flight. Policies may vary between countries and across states.

Q: Can you leave a hand sanitizer inside a car?

Leaving a hand sanitizer may pose safety risks due to its flammable nature. At the same time, it may also lessen the product’s germ-fighting capability. So, it is best to take it with you. Or, opt for a new bottle in case you forget to leave it in your car, most especially if you’re parked under the sun.

Q: Are expired hand sanitizers dangerous to use?

Hand sanitizers expire around an average of two to three years after the manufacturing date. If the hand sanitizer contains alcohol, then yes, it may still be effective well after the expiration date.

It may have a decreased efficacy or has no effect at all, but an expired hand sanitizer is not dangerous to use. Although it may still be effective after the expiration date, and it’s not dangerous to use, you should definitely replace it with a new hand sanitizer.

Conclusion

We hope you found the best hand sanitizer for travel that will keep your family protected wherever it is you’re planning to go. Keep in mind that frequent hand washing provides the best germ-killing action. So, go ahead and wash those hands as frequently as you can. Stay safe, and stay clean!

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