Randi | November 27th, 2018 | 5 Comments

Travel Essentials for Women

Essential Travel Items for Woman – 2018

What items should ALL women travel with?

When I left NYC in 2014 to travel for a year I was a packing rookie. It was the first time I had to pack for a trip that was longer than two weeks, and I felt a bit over-whelmed.

I did some research online, and my travel buddy Michael gave me a list of essential gear for traveling that was helpful. However, all the information I had on what to pack came from men. Needless to say, I made a few packing mistakes. I should have left behind the duct tape and paracord Michael convinced me I needed, and brought along more tampons, for starters!

Now, almost two years later, I dare say I’ve learned a thing or two about packing, for both long and short-term travel. I’ve also learned what the most essential travel items for women are. I’d never leave home without these nine lifesavers!

So ladies, if you are planning on hitting the road, make sure you have the following. It will make your life soooo much easier.

Essential Travel Items for Women

Travel Backpacks for Women

travel bag essentials

Despite the name of our website, I travel with two backpacks. One for my clothes, shoes, toiletries, and other essentials, and a carry-on size backpack for the electronics and valuables I prefer not to check into flights or store in luggage compartments on buses and trains. Both are travel bags for women specifically designed to fit our bodies and meet our needs.

My larger bag is a Sierra Designs Jubilee Women’s Backpack. It is designed to comfortably fit women’s bodies, has a special suspension system, S-curved shoulder straps, and a pre-curved waist belt. It also has , and a top-loading main compartment and several other smaller compartments and pockets for storage. It’s roomy but even when fully loaded it’s never too heavy to carry around. It even has a nifty little bottle opener on one of the straps! I couldn’t be more pleased with this pack.

travel items list

My smaller bag is a The North Face Women’s Recon backpack. It’s made for smaller frames, has a back panel that’s nonabrasive against exposed skin, and has multiple storage compartments. It’s also super lightweight and highly durable. After almost two years of travel, mine is still in perfect condition.

Travel Yoga Mat

travel size items

I love traveling but it’s not always fun. Long flights and bus rides usually leave my muscles feel tight and sore for a few days. Carrying a travel yoga mat means I can do some extensive stretching after a long travel day or night. It’s also fantastic to have for sunset or sunrise yoga sessions and means you’ll never have to rent a mat when taking yoga classes. My travel yoga mat is one of my favorite travel items.

Essential Travel Items for Women – Sarong

women traveling

I bought my sarong on the beach from a local guy in Phuket, Thailand about 8 months into our trip. It was hands down the best investment I’ve made thus far for travel gear because it’s so versatile. I use mine as a towel, a scarf, a head cover, a beach blanket, and a a bathing suit cover-up. I also use it to stay warm on bus rides and planes and to cover my shoulders in temples and cathedrals in Asia and Europe. It’s one of the best travel accessories for women I can think of.


best travel clothes for women

Anyone who knows me knows that I can feel cold even when it’s 90 degrees outside. A hoodie is a lifesaver on long overnight bus rides or plane trips when the air conditioning is cranked up to unnecessary levels (which always seems to be the case in Central and South America and Asia).


traveling essentials

Tights are great to help stay warm during sub-zero bus rides and flights but also come in handy when traveling around Asia or Central and South America. They’re nice to have to cover your legs when visiting temples and cathedrals or when riding scooters in a skirt.

Essential Travel Items – Water Bottle Filtration System

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle

Traveling to foreign countries often means encountering undrinkable water sources, which can make staying hydrated difficult and increase your changes of getting food poisoning.  Having food poisoning abroad is not fun and most travelers resort to buying loads of bottled water, contributing to “plastic pollution”, and increasing their daily budget. Buying a water bottle filtration system is one of the best items you can bring with you to stay healthy and keep your skin hydrated and soft.

A water bottle filtration system guarantees drinkable water anywhere. We recommend the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle. It filters up to 264 gallons of water, removes 99.9999% of Waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, is BPA-free, and is leak-proof.

Organic Coconut Oil

best travel items

I spent almost an entire year soaking in the sun and swimming nearly every day. It was fantastic but after a while my skin and hair started to suffer. Now I travel with coconut oil keep my skin hydrated and soft and my hair shiny and strong.

Essential Travel Items for Women – Bikini Shaver

single women travel

If you’re traveling for a while, you won’t want to leave home without one of these bikini shavers. They are really hard to find abroad and if you’re anything like me, waxing one of the most sensitive parts of my body is not an option. Also, don’t forget to stock up on razor refills and batteries.

Sewing Kit

travel sized items

My sewing kit has been a lifesaver so many times. I’ve repaired shirts, dresses, bags, and other items quickly. The kit also comes with a handy little pair of scissors.

Essential Travel Items for Women – Menstrual Products

Feminine Hygiene Products When Traveling

Tampons are not easy to find abroad. Last year I found myself in a small surf town in El Salvador desperately going from tiny shop to tiny shop looking for tampons and never found them. There wasn’t a single store in that town that sold them. Tampons are taboo in some countries and if you do happen to find them they usually come without an applicator.

A better option to tampons, in my opinion is a menstrual cup. They’re reusable, better for the environment, non-toxic and animal friendly. Read more about why I think the menstrual cup is the one thing all female travelers should pack here.

Intimates Laundry Bag

When you’re traveling for an extended period of time bras and panties can take a beating when you send your laundry out to be cleaned. Traveling with an intimates laundry bag to put them in before sending them off to the washer/dryer will ensure that they keep in good shape for longer. Alternatively you can wash your intimates by hand in the sink of your hotel or hostel and line dry them. It’s cheaper and more gentle on your undies.

Need more packing advice? Check out our full packing lists here.

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5 thoughts on “Essential Travel Items for Women

  1. Great info for your fellow lady backpackers. I will never be able to do what your doing, but I’m always interested to see where you go and hear about your adventures.
    Keep trekking on my darling daughter.
    Love mom

  2. This may seem like a stupid question but, have you two ever considered doing The Amazing Race?
    I loved my travel days in my youth. As an airline employee it was nothing to just decide to go to London for High Tea on a day off or hoping a plane from one island to another while sitting near the cockpit and chatting with the pilots (pre 911). I am thankful that I am still able to travel the world for free. My children both benefitted from this amazingly incredible perk when they were young. If you are ever in the Caribbean, be sure to visit Vieques PR. One of the last truly unspoiled islands.
    Safe travels my friends.

    1. Hey Ana,

      Not a stupid question! I don’t think the Amazing Race is for us though…we tend enjoy much slower travel. 🙂

      Sounds like you had a fantastic job. Oh to work for an airline and have free flights! Sounds fantastic.

      Best, Randi

  3. Thanks for your information about menstrual cup. Because its a reusable, non toxic, non irritant, animal friendly and most better for environment. I assure i read all information about menstrual cup. That’s why i relief most when travel specially for period time.

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