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Whether you travel alone, with your bestie, family, or boyfriend, you should check out these essential items. Packing for a big adventure is not always easy, but when you know what to put in your luggage, the whole trip becomes much more pleasant.
Continue reading to discover must-have items in your packing list that you might need during a calm beach holiday, safari, hiking through mountains, or discovering an old European town. Literally for every trip.
Here are the Top Travel Essentials for Women:
1. Good Headphones
Having a moment of peace while traveling can sometimes save a day. Listen to your favorite songs wherever you are. You might want to invest your money in noise-canceling headphones thanks to which you will be able to fall asleep easier and cut out external fuss. Noise-canceling headphone is especially useful on a long flight to cut off plane engine sound, chatters, or even crying babies around you.
- Budget: Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Active Noise Cancelling
- Premium: Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Cancelling Headphones
2. Sunglasses/Hat/Nice Dress – accessories for your pictures
All the mentioned accessories can be used while you travel, but also add some charm to your pictures. A long dress, a big hat, or extraordinary sunglasses can spice up your travel pictures. Whether you are an Instagrammer or just want a nice souvenir to hang on your wall after your explorations, consider packing one of these (or all of them) into your luggage.
Protip: wear a hat and sunglasses while boarding a plane. Thanks to this, you will get into a travel mood, but also save space in your luggage.
- WearMe Pro Reflective Lens Sunglasses
- Furtalk Women Wide Brim Straw Hat
- Exlura Women Lantern Sleeve Tie Back Casual Dress
3. Make-up Remover
This item is essential for all girls who use make-up. After exploring for a whole day or flying for long hours, you will surely want to clean your face. Use make-up remover or humid wipes to get rid of color cosmetics and prepare your face for deep cleaning. On the market, you can also find solid make-up removers which you can pack in case you are flying somewhere for a bit longer with just hand luggage.
Remember that not removing make-up can worsen your face skin condition.
Recommendation: Garnier SkinActive Micelllar Facial Cleanser & Makeup Remover
4. Your Favorite Book
Be ready for hours spent on a plane, in waiting rooms and on public transport. To make your time fly by, remember to pack a nice book. Even if you are not expecting a long journey, you might enjoy reading it before sleeping or while getting a tan on the beach.
If you don’t have much space in your suitcase or like to read a few books at the same time, you might prefer to swap traditional books for an e-reader.
5. Tripod and Camera (optional)
If you love good pictures from your trip, you should consider packing a camera for your trip. Some people prefer traveling with just a phone, and that is a good solution too.
Just as important are accessories. Remember to take a charger and check if you have enough space to take breathtaking photos and videos.
While traveling alone it’s essential to take a tripod with you (regardless of your preference to use a camera or a phone). Thanks to this you can take a perfect picture of yourself in front of your bucket list destination.
6. Power Bank
On a trip, you might naturally use your phone more. Searching for a route on Google maps, listening to Spotify, using Google Translate and taking videos might drain your battery. This is why you should always have an additional source of energy with you.
You can choose a classic power bank that you charge with electricity before leaving for a trip. The best option is a power bank that can store energy for a few charges, especially if you are traveling to areas where access to electricity is not easy. Check that before purchasing this product.
If you care about the environment and want something that you can recharge while you visit places, choose a solar-powered power bank. This way you don’t have to completely rely on mains electricity.
Recommendation: Iniu Portable Charger 10,000 mAh (0.5 inch thick, weighs 7 ounces)
7. Toiletry Bag that you can Hang Up
I bet all of us know the pain of cosmetics floating in water or getting scattered around the bathroom. It’s especially unpleasant if you are staying in hostels.
If you like to keep your cosmetics in order, you should get a hanging toiletry bag. Thanks to it, you can transport all your toiletries and hang them in the shower. It’s one of the most important item in women’s travel necessities list.
For extra comfort, choose a bag with mesh pockets, thanks to which your items will dry while you travel.
Recommendation: Bagsmart Toiletry Bag
8. Suitcase Dividers
Want to keep your luggage in order and not have to panic when looking for your favorite T-shirt? Try suitcase dividers. Thanks to them, you can separate dirty clothes from clean ones but also pack selected items separately. You can also use each compartment to prepare an outfit for a day. This way you won’t be wasting time making decisions on what to wear and on finding items that go well together.
Recommendation: Bagail 8 Set Packing Cubes
9. Feminine Products
All travel girls have to remember about preparing feminine products. Even if you are not expecting it, the change in climate, lack of sleep, long flights, etc. might make your period come a bit earlier.
Remember that in some countries it’s not so easy to get feminine products, especially tampons. Don’t risk using uncomfortable, wrongly sized pads. You can also consider using a period cup (diva cup), which can make your traveling much more comfortable. It’s reusable, so it will only take up a tiny space in your luggage, and it’s eco-friendly.
10. Solid Shampoo
When talking about eco-friendly, let’s remember solid shampoos. They are much more common nowadays and you can get them almost anywhere. You can find a bio-natural cosmetic store in your area, check popular brand Lush, or even verify if your supermarket sells solid shampoos made by some popular cosmetics brands, such as Garnier.
Solid cosmetics last longer and take up less space in luggage, so they’re a perfect choice for travel. Moreover, with solid shampoo, you can be sure it won’t burst during a flight.
Recommendation: Ethique St Clements Clarifying Solid Shampoo Bar
Cream that will protect you from UV rays is a must on every trip. Many people think they should only use it while going to the beach in a hot place. That’s a mistake. Be ready to use it when you go for a hike, especially in mountains, and don’t forget to protect your skin while enjoying winter sports!
Recommendation: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch travel size
Whether you are planning a whole week of laying on a paradisical beach or mountain hiking, you should pack some swimwear. Who knows, maybe your hotel will have a pool or you will find a hot water spring? Or even feel adventurous and take a dip into freezing-cold water? Better to be ready than sorry!
Recommendation: check the Eomenie collections!
13. Comfortable Shoes
Even if you are going on an all-inclusive hotel trip, comfortable shoes should be on the list of your essentials. You might want to explore the area or go for an adventure.
Some places have a lot of hills, and it would be devastating to have to walk and discover a stunning city with blisters on your feet. Remember to not take brand-new shoes for a trip. Walk in them for a bit to be sure that they will adjust to your feet and won’t hurt your Achilles tendon.
14. Anti-theft Travel Purse
Nobody wants to lose their documents and money while traveling. You can protect yourself from this sad experience by taking a good anti-theft purse with you. Here’s our top recommendation for the best anti-theft travel purse.
Be sure that you can fit everything you need in the purse. This type of purse should have slash-resistant material, RFID-blocking pockets, and other features that will prevent it from being stolen. For extra protection, remember to always wear your bag cross-bodied.
15. Water Bottle
While traveling, you should especially remember about hydration. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. Thanks to this, you will save some money (you won’t have to buy bottled water) and the planet (you will reduce plastic use).
You can choose from various types of bottles: from simple ones, through insulated, to bottles with special filters. Always remember to check if you can drink tap water in the place where you travel!
- Solid water bottle: Stainless Steel Insulated Modern Water Bottle (32oz)
- Collapsible water bottle: Nefeeko Collapsible Water Bottle (27oz)
16. Waterproof Shell
Even if you plan your trip perfectly, the weather can surprise you. Whether it’s sunny or rainy, you will most probably just want to keep exploring. Be ready for the possibility of rain and take a light, waterproof jacket.
While picking a waterproof shell, check if it’s breathable. Otherwise, you might get very sweaty while walking and get overheated. Neither of these is a great travel experience.
- Packable Rain Jacket: Avoogue Lightweight Waterproof Rain jacket
- Fashionable Rain Jacket: Lomon Waterproof Long Hooded Trench Coat
17. First Aid Kit
Having a basic aid kit is a must while traveling. Whether we think so or not, accidents can happen while traveling. Be ready for them. Pack some band-aids, alcohol wipes or solutions, and painkillers.
Thanks to this, you will be ready for a headache, scratches, or blisters. You can buy a compact first aid kit or simply collect all the items yourself. Just remember to keep them all in one place, so you can easily reach for them whenever you need them.
Recommendation: Mini First Aid Kit (6.4 x 4.2 x 1.9″)
18. Tote Bag
Tote bags are perfect to take with you. You can easily fold them, so they don’t take up much space in your luggage. Whenever you need it, you can pull it out from your backpack and use it. It’s a perfect thing when you need to carry some groceries to your Airbnb, get too carried away with your souvenir shopping, or need something to store your beach accessories.
If you don’t own one yet, get some as a souvenir from the place that you visit!
Recommendation: TopDesign 16″ Cotton Tote Bag (you can choose other sizes)
19. Cozy Jumper
Even if you are heading to a warm country, consider taking some cozy jumpers that you can use in the evening. Having a sweater or a hoodie is also a good option for places with strong air-con and planes.
Recommendation: Merokeety Casual Pullover Sweater
20. Small Backpack
Whenever you have an opportunity, take a small backpack with you – do it. It’s a perfect option when you already have a suitcase because this way you can avoid carrying a handbag.
A backpack can be handy not only while boarding a plane, but also later on when you are heading for hiking or some other adventure. You can pack a water bottle, first-aid kit, favorite book, and much more, without worrying that your arm will hurt like with a purse.
Here’s our best backpack recommendation to be paired with a suitcase. Check it out!
21. Hand Sanitizer
Having hand sanitizer is a must, not only because of the pandemic! You never know how many people touch surfaces or if there will be soap in the bathroom. Our article about the dirtiest things in your hotel room showcases why you need a sanitizing wipe with you at all times.
Put a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse, pocket, or use one that you can attach to your backpack.
You might skip the gym during your holiday, but it’s always good to have a spare pair of comfy leggings in your luggage. You can use them during an unexpected hike or even during your flight.
Stretchy, comfortable pants can give you that extra coziness and comfort that you might need while traveling.
23. Eye Mask and Earplugs
While traveling, you need proper rest. However, sometimes the environment is not very relaxing. Flashing lights and noise from the street or other rooms can ruin your night.
This is why it’s worth packing some earplugs and eye masks. You can use them to reduce noise and light exposure. They are also a must-have for long flights.
You have a huge choice of masks, from fancy silk ones to simple ones, to ones with funny images.
Eye mask recommendations:
24. Plug Adaptors
Okay, let’s be honest. It’s easy to forget that some countries use different plugs! While you can get away with countries such as Mexico that use a similar plug type with the US, not having one in some other countries can be a problem.
If you find out last minute that you need an adaptor you won’t be able to use any electronic devices. You might be lucky enough to get an adaptor in a store nearby, but that’s unlikely too.
If you travel a lot or choose various destinations, the best option for you might be a multi-adaptor. It can fit many different plugs. If you are worried you’ll forget to take it with you, just put it in your luggage after every use.
Recommendation: SublimeWare Power Plug Adapter
While traveling, your hair might get a bit crazy. Always have a hairband with you to quickly do a comfy ponytail. You can choose from durable invisible hairbands like Invisible or more comfortable, stylish silk scrunchies. Whatever suits you and your style goes!
Recommendation: Qarwayoc Durable & Stretchy Hair Band (50 pcs)
26. Travel Jewelry Organizer
Good jewelry can bring your whole outfit to the next level. It doesn’t matter if you carry cheap rings you got on a past trip or expensive earrings and golden necklaces – keeping these items safe and sound is always a good idea.
Don’t risk that your pieces will get scratched or tangled together. Pack a travel jewelry organizer that will help you to keep all your favorite pieces in a good state – whether in a fancy suitcase or a backpack.
Read more useful tips in our dedicated article about how to travel with jewelry.
- Plush Velvet Travel Jewelry Box Organizer
- BagSmart Travel Jewelry Case (foldable for less footprint)
27. Laundry Bag
While traveling, you don’t always have an occasion to freshen your clothes. That’s why it’s so important to keep your dirties separate. Sometimes a simple plastic bag is enough, but if you want something more elegant and organized, check out multiple laundry bag options, including odor-blocking ones.
Recommendation: Miamica Travel Laundry Bag (foldable into smaller footprint)
28. TSA- Approved Bottles for Perfume
Do you have a bottle of perfume that you simply love? It would be nice to take it with you while traveling. However, carrying a big, glass bottle might not be too comfortable. First of all, you risk the bottle breaking in your luggage – you’d lose not only your favorite scent but also have a problem with your clothes being covered with it. Secondly, if you want to travel light, you need to avoid any excessive luggage.
It doesn’t have to mean resigning from your beloved scent. Try TSA-Approved Bottles into which you can pour your perfume and put it into your hand luggage. They are small and light, but you can still pour enough liquid into them for that special occasion during your trip.
If you are traveling long-distance by plane or train, it’s worth taking your tablet. It’s extra luggage but if you have some spare space, you can use it to enjoy watching movies. Doing this on a phone is not that much fun, plus you can hurt your neck.
It is also handy to have another electronic device in case you lose your phone. Remember to save your tickets on your tablet as well, so you won’t be surprised when your phone decides to stop working right before boarding the next plane.
- Browse iPad on Amazon (iPadOS)
- Browse Samsung Galaxy Tab on Amazon (Android)
- Browse Microsoft Surface Pro on Amazon (Windows)
If you love books, you might want to take more than one with you on your trip. Since books tend to be heavy and clunky to travel with, you should consider getting an e-book reader. These devices are sleek, slim, and very light. Plus you can have as many books as you need on them.
Do you need more reasons to only take an e-reader? When you find a lovely book in a moody Parisian bookstore, you can always take it with you back home. After all, you saved some space in your luggage!
31. Essential Oils for Anxiety
Traveling makes you anxious? Or maybe you suffer from social anxiety and getting on a plane or crowded touristy street makes you nauseous? Essential oils can be a good way to relax a bit and help you to get through the hard part of the journey.
Classic essential oils are available in small bottles. They can be burnt or used in special diffusers. Of course, that is not a great way to do it while traveling. However, you can get special rollers that allow you to smoothly spread essential oils on your wrists or other parts of your skin. Anytime you need it.
There are also essential oils that can help if you suffer from motion sickness.
Recommendation: UpNature Essential Oil Roll On (multiple scents to choose from)
32. Travel Bra with a Pocket
Going for a day of climbing and need your hands to be totally free? Or you simply don’t have a purse that suits your outfit? You should try a travel bra with a pocket.
This is a very smart solution that will allow your things to be close to you. It’s also a good option when you travel in places with crowds where it’s easier for pickpocketers to steal your things from a backpack or a bag.
Nothing motivates you to walk and discover streets more than a new place. If you like tracking your steps while discovering and you are curious how many miles you walked over the whole day, you should get a sport band, such as a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or Huawei Band.
It’s a wonderful way to know how much you explored, but also a great reminder for you to rest a bit.
34. Urination device
Public toilets can be truly horrifying. Whether you need to pee on a plane, in a crowded bar, or in a porta-potty at a festival, you won’t want to touch anything. Squatting above the toilet is an option, but it’s not comfortable and sometimes it’s not possible (for example, when you wear a floaty dress).
For some time already, a urination device has been a star among many women who want to enjoy the benefit of peeing while standing. It is also a perfect choice when you are planning to explore the great outdoors, especially during cold weather, when you don’t want to take all of your bottom clothes off!
- Disposable (paper): PeeBuddy 10 Funnels Portable Female Urination Device
- Reusable (silicone): Sunany Female Urination Device
35. Travel size razor
While any type of disposable razor can be carried in your bag, you might want to choose a smaller size to save some space. Choose special travel-size razors with a much shorter handle to enjoy smooth skin, without the need to stuff your cosmetic bag with clunky products.
Recommendation: Gillette Venus Mini ComfortGlide Razor for Women
Do you have creations that cannot go without ironing? Try getting a travel-size steamer that can help you to keep your outfits neat and picture-ready!
Recommendation: Polardo Handheld Portable Steamer
37. Supportive neck pillow
From inflatable ones, through material ones, to options with hoodies – the choices are endless when it comes to supportive neck pillows. It is a must-have for everyone who is traveling long hours, whether on a plane, in a car, or by bus.
Neck pillows allow you to relax, sleep more easily, and avoid neck and back pain the next day.
- Memory Foam: MLVOC Memory Foam Travel Pillow
- Inflatable (easier to carry): Sunany Inflatable Travel Neck Pillow
Should I carry pepper spray?
If you’re going to visit a place with high crime rate against women, then by all means do. Just remember to check the regulation about this and make sure your pepper spray is still good to use. Don’t forget to keep it in checked luggage during a flight as you’re not allowed to bring it to the cabin.
Recommendation: Fightsense Self Defense Pepper Spray
Can I have a safety razor in my carry-on luggage?
Blades can be very easily removed from safety razors. Since they are very sharp, they can be considered a weapon and a dangerous object. This is why safety razors with blades are not permitted. However, you can take your razor without any blades in your carry-on luggage and place the blades in your checked luggage or buy them after arriving at your destination.
Can I pack all my essentials into a carry-on bag?
While carry-on bags aren’t big if you are traveling light and for a short time, you might be able to fit everything into your carry-on luggage. If you want to travel just with a carry-on bag, be sure to focus on truly essential things, without which your travel would be impossible or significantly harder. Pack those items first and, only if you have some spare space, add some extras.
What should I put in a travel kit?
A suggestion for your travel kit would be a set of fresh underwear, two pairs of trousers, a few t-shirts, a jumper and, if you’re traveling to a colder country, outerwear. In your cosmetic pack, remember to put a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and shower gel. Don’t forget about medication and sanitizers or wet wipes. Check if you have packed your wallet, phone, and charger.
Remember to pack all the things that are necessary and irreplaceable. For example, if you forget your toothbrush, that won’t be nice, but you can probably quickly buy one at your destination. If you forget your wallet, that might be a bigger problem.
Travel purse or backpack?
Depend on where you go and what you need. More about this here.
Travel essentials might differ based on where you go, when you go, and what kind of traveler you are. Treat the list above as your basic list, add and remove items as you travel more to find a good set for that works for you. Safe travel!