Portable Travel Carbon Monoxide Detectors

BY Travel Writer

A portable travel carbon monoxide detector is a must-have and must-pack travel accessory. News reports of vacationers killed while sleeping due to Carbon Monoxide poisoning are rare. But they do happen even in luxury hotel rooms, vacation rental homes, and villas. Carbon monoxide poisoning can even happen at home.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas. You can’t see it, smell it, or taste it, but carbon monoxide can kill you. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause brain damage and death. The only way to be alerted to a dangerous build-up is to have a detector in place. Most hotels and some vacation rentals, like Airbnb, provide a carbon monoxide detector. However, not all lodgings do, particularly outside of the United States. If you travel you want to travel and sleep safely. We think you should travel with a portable travel carbon monoxide detector. Fortunately, portable travel carbon monoxide alarms are affordable and easy to pack and use.

A travel carbon monoxide detector helps you travel safely

A travel carbon monoxide detector is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and can protect your’s and your family’s life. It’s part of a smart traveler’s must-have items to pack. We suggest you keep it in your toiletries kit so it’s always ready to go and you don’t forget to pack it. Find one here for about $20.00. As a perspective, you’ll probably spend more on that poolside drink, so it is worth the investment.

Common sources of carbon monoxide


Water Heater

Dryer Vent


Often the venting is not done properly and is leaky, this is the source of the killer gas seeping into the room.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?

According to the CDC, the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms. This is why we recommend traveling with a portable CO detector.

A few of the best portable carbon monoxide detectors for travel

Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide detector portable travel

This Kidde model of carbon monoxide detector is powered by a wall plug and has a 9-volt battery in case of a power outage. A little larger than a pack of cigarettes this item also has a digital display.

First Alert Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm

Carbon Monoxide Detector and Alarm

This more affordable carbon monoxide alarm plugs into a wall socket and also has a battery backup. You can use this device at home and travel with it too. A best-seller this handy  plug-in device has dimensions of ‎3.4 x 1.3 x 5 inches

First Alert CO710 Carbon Monoxide Detector with 10-Year Battery

Portable carbon monoxde detector for travel

This carbon monoxide detector uses an electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor, the most accurate CO detection technology available, to detect the CO you can’t see, smell, or taste in the air. A built-in 10-year lithium battery means you never need to worry about changing batteries during the lifetime of the alarm. This stylish CO monitor is designed to sit on top of a dresser or tabletop, and it has a backlit digital display that clearly shows the ambient temperature, as well as current and peak CO concentrations. An 85-decibel horn sounds if carbon monoxide levels are too high, and a test/silence button silences the alarm and allows you to test its functionality. A built-in 10-year lithium battery means you never need to worry about changing batteries during the lifetime of the alarm. 

A cautionary note for travel, this item because it has a lithium battery needs to be packed only in your carry-on bag. Airlines prohibit lithium batteries to be packed in luggage that goes into the hold.

Final thoughts on a portable carbon monoxide detector for travel

Because carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas, it is known as the “silent killer.” Carbon monoxide is produced by some common household appliances including gas water heaters. When were these appliances last checked at your vacation home, condo, or hotel room, particularly in another country? Keep your portable travel carbon monoxide with your toiletry bag so you will always pack it when you travel. If your portable travel carbon monoxide has a lithium battery (most 10-year detectors do) you must pack it in your carry-on bag, Airlines do not allow lithium batteries in the cargo hold of the plane. Travel with peace of mind. Be informed and learn more about CO from the CDC.

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