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Are you going on a solo trip, leaving for a romantic getaway, traveling for business, or going on holiday with your family? Regardless of the reason for your travels, a woman’s packing list is always a lot longer and somewhat more complicated. You have to pack some emergency supplies that the entire family may need at some point and you also need to bring accessories and outfits for every occasion.
First things first, before you think about comfort and convenience, you need to think about your health. Our skin is a lot more sensitive than we may think and we should make it a general rule to never leave the house without sunscreen. Plus, you never know what the weather will be like when you reach your destination.
So, when packing your travel accessories, remember to add a good-quality SPF 50 or 70 sunscreen. It’s a bonus when the sunscreen is non-greasy and water-resistant. You can opt for a big bottle or pack some travel-size bottles, as long as you take enough to last until you get back home.
2. Makeup kit (+ makeup remover)
If you typically wear makeup during the day or when you hit the town for a night out, it’s something that you don’t want to forget at home. Quality makeup products are just too expensive to stock up on when you get to your destination, so remember to pack your trusted makeup bag filled with all your favorite goodies.
Additionally, you should throw in enough makeup remover to clean your skin before you go to bed. Wipes are always a good idea because they take up very little space in your bag and you can dispose of them after each use, which means that you’ll have even more space when you travel back home.
Recommendations: Neutrogena Makeup Remover Face Wipes
3. Skincare products
Different climate conditions can have a lasting impact on your skin, especially when it gets very hot or humid. I’m sure the last thing you want is to sit at your destination with a puffy, dry, or inflamed face. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about your skin if you take all the right products to prevent these types of situations, like serums and moisturizers.
There’s no need to pack everything in your vanity drawer because there are many travel kits and sets with everything you’ll need on your trip. An alternative would be to purchase travel-size bottles and fill them with your favorite skincare products.
- SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Travel Kit
- goPure Actives Serum Trio Set
- LANEIGE Besties Set: Hydrate & Nourish on-the-go
4. Toiletry bag
At least 90% of the items in a woman’s suitcase are absolute essentials that she can’t go without. However, there are few items that are more important than toiletries and a compact toiletry bag. There are various essentials that go into toiletry bags, from bath soap to a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Some would argue that most hotels provide these items anyway so there’s no point in taking more but it’s always better to have your own things with you. Especially since soaps and other products can cause a skin reaction and you’d end up at the shops looking for your usual before you know it.
- BAGSMART Toiletry Bag Travel Bag with Hanging Hook
- 5 Pieces Travel Bottles for Toiletries, TSA-Approved
- Convenience Kits International Women’s Kit with Travel Size TSA Compliant Essentials
5. Feminine products
If you’re not menopausal, pregnant, or on birth control, you need to pack feminine products for the duration of your stay. You can use a period tracker to establish whether you’ll be needing any extra items but it’s better to stay on the safe side and pack enough.
Remember that feminine products aren’t limited to tampons and menstrual pads, as you may need intimate wash/wipes and panty liners on your trip. There are stylish period bags available that are very discreet and if you pack one of these full of your feminine goodies for your trip, no one will even notice.
6. Hand sanitizer or wipes
There are many strange and unsanitary things that you’ll need to touch from the minute you leave your front door up until you return. This includes any cash that you’ll be working with and literally everything else that hundreds of people before you have touched. This doesn’t mean that you have to go crazy and use bottles of sanitizer daily but a little spritz every now and then can only be good.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer has become a common item in many stores, from general marts to fuel stations. However, it’s better to pack your own supplies for when you aren’t close to any shops. You can pack a few bottles of foaming sanitizer or a packet of disposable sanitizing wipes.
- ALŌH Peppermint Eucalyptus + Aloe Sanitizing Hand Wipes
- Hygiene Clean 1.7 oz Foaming Hand Sanitizer 8-Pack
7. Nail care kit
Whether you get your nails done by a professional or take care of them yourself, a nail care kit is a must-bring accessory, especially on long trips. Our nails grow fast and nicks and tears could call for items like cuticle trimmers and those nifty little scissors. Plus, for some reason, most people turn to the closest woman first when they need a nail clipper or file.
So, if you always want to have the necessary supplies on hand to keep your nails neat wherever you are, a travel nail care kit is a must for your packing list. The travel kits that you can buy in stores and on Amazon typically include extra items like blackhead needles and eyebrow tweezers.
Whether you bring slippers on your trip or not depends on where you’ll be staying for the duration of your travels. Nevertheless, slipping on a pair of comfortable slippers after an adventurous day or long and tiresome flight could be life-changing. Some fancy hotels provide a pair of slippers but they aren’t always as comfy as those that you would choose for yourself.
Before you head out or jump online to order a pair, you should consider the reason for your travels and the place where you’ll be staying. Could you imagine walking through the mud with your white and fuzzy slippers on a camping trip?
9. Robe/ nightgown
There may be various situations where you’ll need a robe during your travels, such as opening the door for room service after a hot shower. Once again, many fancy or luxurious hotels provide a robe or nightgown to wear for the duration of your stay, and sometimes they’ll even let you take it home.
However, bringing your personal items from home can make your stay just a little bit nicer and a lot more homely. Remember to consider your destination before you buy a new robe, as thick warm robes and tropical or hot climates don’t tend to get along well.
10. Sleep mask
A sleep mask is always a win, even if you don’t normally use one at home because you never know what the situation is like where you’ll be staying. The sun could be a bother from the earliest hours of the morning or the neighbors’ porch light could shine right through your curtains and you could have trouble sleeping.
So, get yourself an eye mask for your trip, or bring the one that you always use at home. There are soft silk masks available and some that have two sides, one that is warm for those cold nights and one that is cool for those hot nights.
11. Comfortable shoes
Shoes are the perfect accessory to round off a spectacular outfit but they could also ruin your entire trip. If you don’t pack enough pairs of shoes, you can wear the same pair more than once, but if you don’t pack enough comfortable shoes, you could be uncomfortable for the majority of your travels.
There are many pairs of shoes on the market that are comfortable, stunning, practical, and stylish. The best idea would be to bring shoes that match all of your outfits with the added bonus of providing support and comfort for your feet.
12. Shoe insoles
If you really can’t get it over your heart to leave your stilettos or those very uncomfortable sneakers at home, there is a way to make them comfy; shoe insoles! If you bring a set of insoles for every pair of shoes that won’t allow you to walk for more than an hour, you should be fine during your trip. Plus, you won’t have to leave your statement shoes behind.
13. Compression socks
Compression socks are an absolute must to keep the blood circulating in your legs and to reduce the chances of Deep Vein Thrombosis. Whether you’ll be attending a long conference meeting and sitting for hours or just flying halfway across the world, you need to pack compression socks, especially if you want your shoes to fit.
14. Dry shampoo
There’s not much to say about dry shampoo except that it is a massive time-saver and you don’t realize how much you’ll need it until you don’t pack it. With dry shampoo, you can remove any oil and residue from your hair without having to wash it with water and shampoo. You simply spray it onto your hair and the volume returns, leaving your hair looking fresh and clean.
Imagine having to leave your room for dinner in a hurry and there’s just not enough time to wash, dry, and style your hair. In this scenario, a quick spray with dry shampoo can work wonders and you can wash your hair when you get the time. You can pack travel-size or regular bottles of dry shampoo, or opt for the powder version, which typically comes in a compact bottle.
15. Hair products
Just like your skin, your hair can also react differently to diverse climate conditions. A dry atmosphere tends to dry your hair out, which means that you’ll need a treatment or hair mask to add back the moisture that your hair needs.
On the other hand, humid and moist conditions can leave your hair frizzy and unmanageable, in which case you’ll need to apply a styler to redefine your curls. An all-in-one styling spray or cream is the best choice because it takes up much less space in your bags than three or four separate bottles.
- Pantene Keratin Hair Treatment with Argan Oil
- LUS Brands Love Ur Curls All-in-One Styler for Curly Hair
16. Hair accessories
A scrunchie or hair band always comes in handy when you go jogging or hit the gym because you can simply throw your hair in a ponytail. You may also need hair accessories if you like doing your makeup with your hair tied back, going out with your hair done in an up-style, or sleeping with a bun.
Amazon has various hair accessory kits that contain more than enough pieces to keep your hair maintained throughout your trip. You can pack the entire kit or choose some pieces that you’ll use and pack them into your makeup or toiletry bag.
17. Hair styling tools
Now that we’ve got the hair products and accessories covered, you’re going to need some tools to style your hair every day. Unless you’re planning to go all natural and let your hair do its own thing, there are some very nice portable travel hair styling tools on the market, from straighteners and curlers to hair dryers.
If you’re going to a destination where electricity may be a problem, you could always pack heatless curlers, and don’t forget a detangling brush for the after-swim tangles.
- Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Brush for Adults & Kids Hair
- LURA Mini Portable Travel Hair Dryer
- Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set
- JMFONE Cordless Hair Straightener
18. Jewelry case
To ensure that you bring enough of your favorite pieces, you need a stylish travel case for your jewelry. Jewelry cases can hold your necklaces, earrings, and rings, and if you really want to, you can make room for your bracelets. So, you can bring a stylish accessory for each outfit, neatly displayed in a compact case.
As soon as you’ve opened your jewelry case, you need to fill it with the accessories that you’ll be taking. Pack enough pieces of jewelry (real or costume) to complete every outfit that you’ll be wearing on your trip. Don’t take your most expensive pieces, as safety could be an issue at your destination.
If you’re not a fan of sparkly necklaces and statement earrings, accessories aren’t limited to jewelry. You can pack your sunglasses, a nice scarf, hats, and anything else that complements your outfits and your personality.
20. First aid kit
First aid kits are everyday essentials and you need to bring them wherever you go. Could you just imagine getting into a sticky situation in a strange destination, far away from home, without the necessary supplies? We certainly don’t even want to imagine such a scenario, so you should remember to pack your first aid kit.
There are many ready-to-go kits available on the market, or you could get your own little bag and fill it with the supplies that you may need on your trip. However, the kits that are already packed are a much better choice because they tend to contain all the essentials, while you could end up forgetting something when packing your own kit.
21. Medical kit
I know what you’re thinking; Isn’t a medical kit the same as a first aid kit? A first aid kit contains all the essentials that you may need in case of an emergency or injury, while a medical kit contains your personal medical supplies. Your personal supplies can be anything you use at home or products that you’ll need on your trip
If you’re on birth control, you can pack your pills in your medical kit, and if you’re trying to get pregnant, you can pack a few pregnancy tests. If you struggle to sleep, pack some essential oils (first night effect is real and it can potentially ruin your trip). If plane, train, or boat rides make you nauseous, pack your motion sickness patches. You should also remember to take your prescription drugs and chronic medication.
22. Flask/ tumbler/ travel mug
While your accommodation will probably have mugs and glasses, a flask or travel mug is a great idea for on-the-go refreshments. Insulated stainless steel tumblers and travel mugs are great if you want to keep your coffee piping hot or your water ice cold. Plus, thanks to technology, there are many self-cleaning mugs available, so you can refill your bottle immediately; with a different drink!
- Ello Beacon Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler
- IRON °FLASK Grip Coffee Mug
- Contigo West Loop Stainless Steel Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug
23. Reusable water bottle
A reusable water bottle comes in handy when you’re jogging or hiking up the mountains. However, it’s also very convenient to have your own water on the plane or in the cab to the hotel. You can take a basic plastic bottle if you don’t want to be afraid of losing it the entire time or take a fancier stainless steel option for optimal convenience and an endless supply of ice-cold water.
24. Earbuds or headphones
Earbuds may not be the most important item on your list but you’ll be thankful that you packed them once you depart. You can use your earbuds or headphones on the plane and the cab, on your morning jog/walk, and even in the supermarket. If you want a change of scenery and some music in your ears, you just prop them in and go about your day.
Ultimately, the most important benefit of bringing earbuds is the noise-canceling properties when your neighbors are too loud or your husband is snoring his jet lag away.
Unless you’re going on a spiritual trip and you plan on leaving your phone at home or turning it off as soon as you leave the house, you’re going to need a charger at some point. You may need multiple chargers since most travelers forget this item and they may come to you for a spare. Fortunately, there are charging stations that can charge many devices at once and cables with multiple charging points for all the different phone types.
26. Power bank
After you’ve packed your standard electrical charger, you may think that you’re good to go when it comes to charging devices. As it turns out, you may need a charger when you’re out and about and far away from a source of power. In this case, you’ll need a power bank to charge your devices on the go. Solar chargers are an even better choice than regular power banks, as you can charge them in the sun wherever you go.
27. Mobile work kit
There are many items that can go into a mobile work kit, from a laptop or tablet to a Bluetooth headset. If you plan on getting any work done on your trip, you’ll need some of your regular items, but in a more compact way. A good rule to have when it comes to work kits is to take everything that fits into your laptop bag and leave everything that doesn’t.
- KROSER Laptop Bag for Women
- Adjustable Aluminum Foldable Portable Notebook Stand
- emotal Bluetooth Headset Dual-Mic
28. Universal travel adapter
The plugs that they use in different countries are all very different and your plug from home may not fit into any of the sockets at your destination. Luckily, there are universal travel adapters that work in more than 100 countries across the world. These adapters will ensure that your plugs fit into the sockets, regardless of the shape and size, so you’ll be able to charge your devices.
29. Travel wallet (+ documents)
If you’re flying or traveling internationally, there are many documents and papers that need to be traveling with you. While many aspects of travel are handled digitally now, there are still items like passports that need to be carried along. Plus, you may still enjoy the feel of scanning your paper boarding passes, rather than scanning a digital version on your phone.
To keep all of these documents neat and easy to access, you’re going to need a travel wallet. These wallets have a space for your passport, extra papers, and even some cash that you may need along the way.
30. Waterproof phone pouch
If you are going to be swimming in a pool or splashing around in the ocean, you need to keep your phone safe. There’s nothing worse than getting your phone wet on a trip and returning home without it. So, get yourself a durable phone pouch that’ll prevent unnecessary damage and disappointment on your trip.
31. Self-defense keychain
To keep yourself safe, you need one of these babies. Self defense keychains contain all the necessities to keep prowlers and common criminals away from you, especially if you’ll be traveling alone as a woman.
- HerTime2 Personal Safety Alarm for Women
- MUNIO Self Protection Keychain
- SABRE Pepper Spray (only in checked baggage)
32. Travel hangers
If you’re traveling with garments that need to hang to prevent wrinkles, you need a packet of travel hangers. These hangers fold up very compactly and you can even fit them in your carry-on to hang your clothes immediately when you get there.
Side note: Have a look at our article on whether you should roll or fold your dresses to prevent wrinkles and damage.
33. Travel umbrella
The weather is very unpredictable and even if you’re visiting the Saharan Desert, there’s no guarantee that a sudden outburst of rain won’t spoil your trip. Luckily, you don’t have to pack up and head back home because of a little rain, as a compact travel umbrella can save the day. Plus, travel umbrellas double as sun shades when the sun is scorching hot during the day.
34. Sewing kit
If you know how to repair a hole or fix a button, you’ll know that these issues arise no matter where in the world you find yourself. So, in order to be able to fix your clothing right then and there, you need to take a mini sewing kit. These kits have just enough needles and the most standard colors of thread for emergencies.
35. TSA-approved luggage locks
Safety is very important as crime plays a major role in many of the destinations that you’ll visit in your lifetime. To ensure that your luggage is locked and safe from pick-pocketers and people with long fingers, you need luggage locks. It’s important to choose locks that are approved by the TSA so you don’t pick up any problems at the airport.
36. Insect repellant
The last thing you want is to be bitten by a strange bug, poisonous spider, or a mosquito carrying Malaria. If you’re as afraid of bugs as I am, your insect repellant was in your bag long before I started making this list.
There are wipes, lotions, sprays, and even bracelets to repel insects and bugs from you and your family. If you happen to forget your repellant or it doesn’t work as effectively as it should, there are just as many products that’ll provide relief.
37. Lint roller
Retractable lint rollers take up very little space in your suitcase and you never know when you’re going to need them. You can use your roller to remove the fluff from your sweater before heading out, or even to get rid of the B&B-cat’s hair before dinner. Plus, if you’re a significant other or a mom, you can use your lint roller to remove fluff and hair from your loved ones.
38. Stain remover
Accidents happen; and so do stains. I’m sure you know that getting a stain on your favorite dress is almost inevitable, it just depends on what causes the stain. At home, you can run to the laundry room and get your stain kit or try every one of the old wives’ tales until the stain is out.
However, what are you going to do if you’re miles away from home without a dry cleaner or supermarket anywhere near you? If you pack a stain remover into your bag, your problem will be solved before it even happens. There are stain-removing wipes and pens available, so you can choose which you’d prefer packing.
Stain on dresses aside, there’s a slim chance that you ended up with a blood stain on your hotel bedsheet. Here’s our guide on what to do with bloodstain on your hotel’s sheet.
Now that you have a list of accessories to add to your packing list, the chances of forgetting anything important are much smaller. The next thing you should do is check out our other list of travel essentials for women, for more must-bring items like your swimsuit, activewear, and a urination device.