No matter where your next trip is taking you, there are a few travel essentials for women things that you should have on your packing list. This list of travel essentials is a great way to make sure that you have everything you need for your next adventure. It’s also an awesome place to get some inspiration for gifts for any savvy travelers in your family or group of friends.
Keep reading to find out what essentials you’re missing from your packing list and how you can be best prepared for your upcoming trip.
Want more resources on packing lists and creating a capsule wardrobe? Find more in the following posts:
- How to Create the Ultimate Travel Capsule Wardrobe
- 10 Best Compression Packing Cubes: Pack Like a Pro.
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Travel backpack or tote bag for day trips
Travel bags are one of the best ways to keep all of your belongings organized on travel days and when you’re out and about exploring a new city. The best packable travel backpacks have designated anti-theft spaces for your travel documents and other valuables. That way everything stays safe and you don’t have to carry a separate money belt while you’re traveling.
I’m all about packing light and if you’re new to packing light or just need a little help fitting everything in your suitcase, try out some these Taskin packing cubes. These are an essential item if you travel frequently with just a carry-on bag. Compression packing cubes will help you fit all of your most important items in your bag with ease.
If the idea of packing cubes is new to you and you want to see how to use them and a few more options, check out this post:
A trusty suitcase
One of the most important things that you can own as a woman who loves to travel is a great suitcase. Having a high-quality, durable suitcase like this Briggs and Riley Spinner is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success when you’re traveling. Good travel bags will help keep everything on your packing list organized so you have easy access to everything you need.
I actually use the Briggs and Riley which, admittedly, is a bit pricey. My husband treated me for my birthday! If you are looking for a suitcase and would like to see other options in various price ranges, check out these posts:
Another one of the travel essentials for women is a great day bag. I like to carry this Travelon Anti Theft travel purse with me because I don’t really need a lot during the day and backpacks can get a bit heavy if you’re carrying them for eight hours. There are a lot of different day bags and travel purses on the market, but luckily I’ve reviewed some already to help you choose one that works best for your travel needs.
A toiletry or makeup bag is another great way to keep everything in its place while you’re traveling. Many people like a toiletry bag that can hang on the back of a hotel room door. Those bags often fold up and have a lot of different storage compartments so you don’t have to empty the entire makeup bag in order to find the one thing that you’re looking for.
I prefer this ebags Pack-it-Flat bag. I find it packs very well. Sometimes, if space is tight, I don’t use one or two of the side pockets and they collapse easily so I can fit the bag in a tight space.
I always like to carry hand sanitizer wherever I go, but it’s especially important now that Covid is an ever-present thing in our lives. Traveling, by nature, can expose you to a lot of different germs because there are tons of people who pass through airports on any given day. A pocket-sized hand sanitizer will hardly take up any space at all and will help you stay healthy while you’re traveling.
I’m sure I’m not alone on this, but my regular everyday wallet can sometimes accumulate a lot of things that I don’t really need but still keep around anyway. A travel wallet is just designed to hold the essentials like your credit card, ID, and cash.
They often have RFID protection so your identification and credit cards are safe. They’ll also fit easily in your travel purse or backpack so you can access them quickly without digging around in your bag.
A neck pillow is a must for any long-haul flight that you have coming up. First-class seats, especially to international destinations, can be super expensive, so in order to get some sleep on a long flight, get yourself a quality neck pillow.
Whenever I travel, I don’t want to waste time sleeping the day away after traveling, so being able to sleep on the plane is really important. A quality neck pillow is the key to this and even makes a great gift for anyone in your life that loves to travel.
It’s happened to all of us — you’re so excited to get tan at the beach you forget the sunscreen and spend the rest of the trip hiding under an umbrella burnt to a crisp. Sunscreen is a must-have for any short or long trip you have coming up. Do yourself a favor and apply sunscreen regularly so you’re not miserable for the rest of your vacation.
Using Google Maps or other navigation apps on your phone is pretty common when you’re exploring a new city, and unfortunately, they can drain your battery pretty quickly. If you’re on the go and don’t know when you’ll be able to charge your phone again, be sure to carry some kind of power bank or portable charger with you in your bag. When you’re in an unfamiliar city you don’t want to be stuck with a dead phone battery!
Reusable water bottle
When you’re expending a lot of energy walking around, dehydration can be a looming threat and can really ruin your day. Although international healthcare is great in some countries, avoid a hospital trip by keeping a reusable water bottle with you and staying hydrated during the day.
This item is not just on the list of travel essentials for women, it is really for anyone travelling out of the country.
If your next trip is out of the country, be sure that you pack an international adapter for your electronics. In most other countries, your regular phone charger or hair dryer won’t be able to plug into the outlets in your room.
You can find a lot of multi-country adapters online so you can use them for all of your trips out of the country. Importantly, remember that some countries have a stronger current. It’s important to have either dual voltage appliances or a dual voltage adapter like this one.
Another travel essential that will ensure you have a restful flight on the way to your destination is noise-canceling headphones. Block out the sound of crying babies and loud conversations so you’ll be well-rested when you land. These are a great idea for anyone in your family who loves to travel because they can be used at home, not just while traveling.
First aid kit
No one plans to have an accident while traveling, but you can be prepared for minor injuries and mishaps when you keep a travel first aid kit with you. These shouldn’t take up too much room and they can save you a lot of precious time while you’re traveling. Finding medical care in a foreign country can be challenging so it’s much easier if you can take care of the situation yourself.
Solid shampoo & conditioner
If you’re like me and you like to travel with a carry-on, you’ll have to pack travel-size liquids. If you’re going on a shorter trip, these work fine, but you still have to go through the process of taking everything out of your bag when you go through airport security.
One of the best travel tips I learned is to pack solid toiletries when you can. These will often last much longer than a travel-size shampoo. And, you don’t have to worry about them exploding all over the contents of your suitcase.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared for that time of the month when you’re traveling. One of the difficult parts about traveling as a woman is having to worry about packing feminine products or trying to find them while you’re traveling.
Candidly, this is not an issue for me anymore. If you do have your cycle though, it’s good to have essentials at all times. A menstrual cup is also a great alternative that’s reusable so you don’t have to worry about purchasing pads or tampons while you’re traveling.
Comfortable walking shoes
One critical piece of the travel essentials for women is a comfortable pair of shoes. One of the best ways to see a new city is to walk the streets like a local.
Cobblestone streets in cities like Rome, Lisbon and Paris can be hard on your feet. The best way to set yourself up for success is to pack a pair of street sneakers that won’t hurt your feet after 30 minutes. These Taos sneakers have an amazing insole. I wear them for hours and hours and never have an issue.
Water Resistant or Waterproof jacket
A light waterproof jacket is always a top travel essential for anyone who loves to travel. Depending on the season you’re traveling, the weather can change very quickly and you don’t want to be caught without some kind of rain gear.
Walking around wet and cold is a surefire way to ruin a trip. It’s best to be prepared and keep some kind of lightweight jacket in your bag in case you need it. This Jones New York Parka in a Pocket is great for packing down.
Looking for other ideas for a packable raincoat? This post can give you inspiration:
On beach vacations, even though a bathing suit seems like a no-brainer, a lot of women still forget to pack one. Even if you’re not going somewhere warm, I still always recommend bringing a swimsuit. You never know when you’re going to come across an impromptu opportunity to take a dip or relax in a spa.
Dressier clothes for the evening
I like to pack at least one dress for dinner when I’m traveling. After walking around all day or being on the beach, the first thing I want to do before dinner is shower and freshen up. Trying local food is one of the best ways to experience a new place, and since breakfast and lunch are usually grab-and-go, dinner is when I get to sit down somewhere nicer.
A great way to make the same dress work for multiple days is to bring a few different accessories that you can mix and match to create a few unique outfits. This will save you a lot of space in your bag.
You may not wear activewear during the day, but if you’re traveling to a place where you’ll have the opportunity to hike or see some local nature, it’s a good idea to have something comfortable to wear. In many European cities, activewear is a little too casual for every day, so if you’re going to be spending all of your time in a city like Barcelona, you may not need to bring any activewear at all.
Sunglasses don’t take up much space in your purse or carry-on and they’re a great way to keep yourself comfortable when you’re traveling. Especially in warm climates, you’ll be glad you have something to protect your eyes from the strong sun.
Makeup remover and moisturizer
After long days it feels great to take off your makeup and let your skin breathe. Makeup wipes and face moisturizers will be your best friends when it comes to keeping your skin happy and healthy.
I keep a couple of these LA Fresh Make Up Wipes in my purse for long flights.
Book or e-reader
For any long flight or even short trips to the beach, I like to make sure I have something to read with me. It’s nice to have a break from my phone screen and it helps me relax and fall asleep. If you’re short on space and don’t have room for a chunky book in your backpack, e-readers are a nice alternative that doesn’t take up much room but also have a great capacity so you can have your choice of books.
Scarf or hat
No matter what the weather is at your destination, it’s always a good idea to have some kind of hat or scarf with you that you can throw on when needed. A hat is a great option when your hair isn’t cooperating. Some countries also require you to dress more modestly when you’re visiting important landmarks, so if you’re wearing a tank top, you can cover your shoulders with a scarf.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes the things we need the most are the things we forget. In addition to keeping a toothbrush in my toiletry bag, I also like to keep a travel-size toothbrush and some toothpaste in my day bag in case I eat something especially garlicky and need to freshen up after a meal.
Long dresses or skirts
A great long dress or skirt will work for any place you travel, no matter what the weather is. In warmer places, they are a great way to keep your clothing light and keep yourself cool. In the winter or in places where the weather is much cooler, a long dress or skirt that is a heavier fabric will help keep your legs warm from the cold wind.
Another of the travel essentials for women is a comfortable pair of sandals. You probably won’t need these for winter trips, but whenever you travel anywhere warm, I guarantee these will pay off.
A good pair of sandals that match with everything and don’t kill your feet are a must-have for any travel wardrobe. These Naot Kaylas are a staple in my closet.
Safety accessories like pepper spray or a personal safety alarm are especially important if you’re traveling alone as a woman. There are also some great new products on the market that allow you to double-lock your hotel or hostel room so your room won’t be broken into. If you have a woman who likes to solo-travel in your life, or if you have a solo trip coming up, consider gifting some kind of personal protection for a little extra peace of mind.
Hair ties & lip balm
The last thing that should be on your ultimate packing list of travel essentials is for women? Hair ties and lip balm! Again, these are things that feel like they’re so obvious they shouldn’t need to be mentioned, but they’ll make your life a lot easier while you’re traveling.