Essential travel items for women

Want to make sure you always have everything you need on hand for your next trip? After years of traveling and living abroad, I’ve put together my most complete list of travel essentials for women!

Now that I think of it – my very first trip abroad was when I was sixteen and going to Italy and Greece on a school program! I was obsessed with being as chic as I could while knowing I’d be doing a lot of walking and sightseeing. You should’ve seen the way I agonized over what to pack! And the funniest part was, most of my outfits definitely did not stand the test of time. Plus Europe was a lot cooler in early April than I thought, so I wound up wearing a my swim team jacket everywhere to stay warm! Definitely not the stylish image I had in my head.

On top of that I wound up bringing a lot of things I didn’t need. Like a money pouch. I cannot emphasize how much you really do not need a money pouch. Think about it this way. Most of the places we travel to, people live here everyday. Do you really think they’re slinging on a money pouch? No! Plus, I had the one that went around your neck and every single photo I looked a little pregnant because of how it made my shirts and dresses protrude.

That high school trip was in 2008, and I’ve been traveling a lot since then. This even includes living abroad in multiple places. I’ve experienced all sorts of minor inconvenience as well as tested and tried multiple products. I’ve traveled for months in only a carry-on and gone away for a weekend with a full-sized suitcase! You could say I have almost tried it all, which is why this list is so exhaustive.

Obviously, no two people are alike, so feel free to substitute or just get rid of anything on this list as you see fit. And, of course, chances are you are not going to need every single item for every trip, so don’t feel like you’re already looking at packing sixty items every time you prepare to travel!

Anyway, let’s get on to my list of travel essentials for women! I broke this up into multiple sections; just click below to jump to a specific one.

Travel Essentials for Women (A COMPLETE List)

For the Face

1. A good pair of sunglasses

I mean, this is a no brainer. Sunglasses are an absolute essential no matter who you are or where you’re going (unless you’re going somewhere like Svalbard during polar night). Besides the obvious factor of protecting your eyes from the sun, I find they also come in handy for two other occasions:

  • On the plane when they still have the overhead lights on but they’re too bright and you’re not ready for a full on eye mask
  • In photos when you’re not exactly feeling photogenic. (My ultimate tip for looking stylish while traveling)

I also strongly recommend buying sunglasses in a style that suits your face not necessarily what’s trendy. Like aviators are cool, but they absolutely dwarf my face and make it look weirdly long! Not cute. I personally like rounder styles, and the one pair I specifically tend to buy often are these ones from Amazon. On the nicer end, I like the Ray-ban Erika style. As a bonus, get a decent sunglasses case so you can prevent them breaking when you’re not wearing them.

2. Any skincare products

This is your reminder to not forget your skincare. Sure, if you’re going on a weekend trip you probably don’t need the whole she-bang, but you’d be surprised at how quickly your skin will turn on you when you take away your routine. (Or maybe that’s just me!)

At the very minimum have a face wash and a good face cream. I’m still experimenting with face washes as I suddenly started getting hormonal acne in the last year, but the one cream I like buying over and over again is the Innnisfree Brightening Sleeping Mask. It’s really moisturizing while still feeling quite light and it lasts forever.

3. The perfect face sunscreen

This should hopefully go without saying, but you do need a different sunscreen for your face than the rest of your body. Face sunscreens are formulated differently as our skin there is more sensitive and prone to irritation and acne. Don’t try to save room by skipping it.

I recommend finding one that doesn’t feel greasy and is good for daily wear. Personally obsessed with La Roche-Posay’s stuff, specifically the fluid face sunscreen! Ever since Elissa introduced me to the wonders of French pharmacy skincare, I’ve been trying some different things. This and the melt-in sunscreen from LRP blows every other face sunscreen I’ve tried out of the water, and this includes the Neutrogena face stick, the Sun Bum stick, and Innisfree’s offerings! The fluid face bottle is also quite small, so you won’t need to decant it or anything to make it travel-size.

4. Innisfree’s no sebum primer

Hear me out – this stuff will change your life. If you’re prone to shiny forehead syndrome like I am, the Innisfree No Sebum Primer is the closest we’ll ever get to a miracle cure. I pretty much never wear make-up, but when I’m in more humid climates, I always make sure to put this on my forehead and nose. It’s feels really lightweight and has none of the chalkiness of normal primers. A little goes a long way, so it lasts ages.

5. A lip balm that’ll actually work

This is your reminder to remember to pack one (or three) lip balms in your bag, carry-on, and checked suitcase. Nothing is as torturous as having dry lips but not being able to find a good chapstick! I’ve gone through a lot of brands, but my preferred ones are Innisfree Green Tea Lip Sleeping Mask (lasts forever), Burt Bees, and Lisa Eldridge’s lip glosses. I find poorly made ones feel thin and like they just sit on your lips instead of sinking in and doing their job, but all three of those always work really well!

6. A good face mist

Face mists are a bit of a debated item as some people just think their superfluous. I disagree. A face mist is the perfect thing to have in your bag for a quick pick-me-up, especially on a long plane ride or if you’re out and about sightseeing. I love, love, love the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, but I have quite a few favorites I need to put in a post!

7. A chic lipstick

As I said in my intro, I do like to be somewhat stylish when traveling unless I’m on some multi-day trek. This isn’t easy if you’re traveling through different climates, packing light and more functional, and wearing the same clothes over and over again.

Cue – a good lipstick. Specifically a good red lipstick. You could have the puffiest face but throw on a pair of sunnies and swipe on a red lip, and bam! Easiest way to look and feel a bit more glam.

As for my choices? It depends. Over all, I am obsessed with Lisa Eldridge’s velvet lipsticks. I have Velvet Ribbon, Velvet Dragon, and am hoping to get Velvet Cinnabar! For non Velvet, I’ve gotten her Spirited Away, Painterly, and Rainbow Spill. The ONLY one I didn’t like was Rainbow Spill as the formula is really drying, but the rest have been dreams. They nice thing about them is that they go on and sit on the lips really nice and they come off quite easily when you sit down to eat. So I know I can start eating and just lift my napkin up and clean off my lips without it being weird. Nothing I hate more than when you get that outline of lipstick that won’t come off!

Some other favorites are Maybelline Liquid Lips. That formula will cling to your lips like its life depends on it; though I’ve had mixed result with more oily food. My only problem is that if it does start to come off, it flakes off and is really, really hard to fix or take off all the way.

Another long time favorite is the Etude House Ink. It’s more a light stain so it’s nice if you want something a bit more low key.

8. A black silk face mask

In this day and age, we might as well always be traveling with some sort of face mask. By far the best material to get is a silk one and preferably with adjustable ear straps and a little thing to pinch at the nose. Silk feels the lightest and is the most breathable for your skin. Linen is also great, and I love my sparkly linen ones but I definitely prefer silk. Etsy has a ton of brands, and I personally ordered this one in black. Definitely do black as it won’t show any make-up or lip stains!

9. A sheet mask

I know this seems superfluous but I promise it’s not. Sheet masks are so moisturizing and do wonders to combat drier air, especially when on an airplane. Like, you should be the crazy looking one who whips out a sheet masks and relaxes with it on for 20 minutes before the end of a flight! Again, I defer to Innisfree. I’ve been using sheet masks since I studied in Korea in 2011, and they still make my favorite. I don’t recommend getting any that are more silicon-y as they tend to slip and slide more.

10. A weighted eye mask

I always think an eye mask is good to have on hand regardless. However, you have not lived until you’ve tried a weighted sleep mask! My mom got me one for Christmas a few years ago, and I’ve had it with me ever since. I can’t even begin to describe how superior it is to a normal eye mask.

For the Rest of the Head

11. Any hair products you can’t live without

Listen, if you are the type of person who can get away with just using the hotel shampoo on your hair, snaps for you. I, and most women, I know are not like this. I get dandruff pretty easily and I find my hair gets this almost straw-like dryness when I used the wrong products. For me, this means I always need to travel with my own Head & Shoulders shampoo and a good hair serum for after. If it’s a longer trip I’ll bring some conditioner, but I can getaway with hotel conditioner or none at all with short trips. I hated the OGX Coconut Milk Serum. Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine is okay, but I wound up re-buying the camellia hair oil serum from Innisfree as it ultimately felt the nicest. Just one or two pumps through damp hair!

12. A scrunchie or two

This is your reminder to not forget your hair tie and back-up hair ties! I know I said nothing is worse than dry lips and being unable to find chapstick, but wanting to get your hair out of your face and off your neck and not having a hair tie is at least equally as bad. I prefer scrunchies since they don’t leave a dent in your hair or on your wrist, and since I have dark hair, the black scrunchies blend in for the most part. My secret to photo-ready hair even in the Moroccan dessert is to gather your hair in a pony and then do a loose wrap around bun and secure with a scrunchie. When it comes time to take the photo, shake your hair out, do a little head flip, and boom!

13. A patterned hair scarf

Hair scarves are by far my favorite accessory. They’re so easy to wear that they dress up a simple ponytail and the style with a scrunchie at the end can be used as a hair tie! I bought a few fun, patterned ones from Anthropologie a few years ago. Mostly what I do is either a low pony where I wrap the scarf part around once and let it flow with my hair or I put all my hair in a high bun and wrap the scarf ends around and tie at the bottom. My other favorite is just a plain black and white polkadot scarf from Uniqlo that I usually wear with ponytails.

14. A mini hair brush

Just a little one! I have an old one from Target. Bonus if you can find the one that’s better to use on wet hair in the shower. Most of the time hotels just have these crumby little plastic combs, so you want something better than you know will make it through your hair in one piece.

Unsalted Honey Lil Thickies

15. A cute pair of small hoops

More than any style, I think a cute lil pair of hoops is always good to have on hand. A prefer smaller pairs most of the time, but I do like a bigger hoop if I want to dress up a look. I have these Lil’ Thickies from Unsalted Honey which are great if you have more sensitive skin!

31 Bits Coin Necklace

16. A cute, simple necklace

In the last few years, I’ve really liked adding at least a necklace to my outfits. I will admit, back in 2017 I got drawn into what was dubbed the “French Girl coin necklace” trend as I though the looks all looked so easy and stylish! I did hold off just to make sure I wasn’t reading too many fashion blogs and I actually liked the trend. My sister wound up getting me this very cute 31 Bits coin necklace for Christmas and it’s been a staple ever since! I also bought this cute Letter Necklace from Unsalted Honey to mix it up a bit.

For the Body

17. A strapless bra

Listen, in my perfect world I’d never wear a bra. Quite a few things I had made in Vietnam, I had made specifically so I wouldn’t have to wear a brand underneath them! In the cases that I do wear something strappy and need a bra, I hate hate dealing with visible bra straps. Cue a strapless bra.

Now, most strapless bras are insanely uncomfortable. I’ve gotten the two from Wacoal after my friend told me hers was so nice she wore it on a flight. I have the underwire and a wireless one. As someone who prefers to never wear a bra, the underwire isn’t 100% comfortable but I do really like the wireless one. My friend who ordered them prefer the underwire one, so it’s up to your preference!

18. A Girlfriend FLOAT bra

Again I prefer no bra, but there are definitely a lot of occasions where I need some sort of bra, especially with T-shirts and cotton tanks! In this case, I want to wear a bra so comfortable I forget I have it on. Cue: Girlfriend’s ridiculously soft FLOAT collection. I wrote all about my obsessed with Girlfriend’s sports bras here, but if you only buy one for comfort, let it be a FLOAT bra. They have multiple styles, but I’ve only tried the Juliet so far. I’m telling you, this is the bra you wear for a long haul flight across the Pacific!

19. A comfy sweatshirt or jacket

Even if I’m going to the tropics, I like having an oversized sweatshirt or a comfortable jacket. You never know how cold your airport, airplane, or hotel room can get! Plus it doubles as a pillow if you need it. I remember having a jean jacket going to South Africa and scrunching it up to sleep on with a long layover in the Frankfurt Airport! Personally, my favorite sweatshirt is just an oversized one I’ve had since college.

See More: 11 Fall Wardrobe Essentials

20. At least one conservative top

This is your reminder to bring a top that covers your shoulders and cleavage. Even if you’re not going to a more conservative country, most religious sites have some sort of dress code even if it’s unwritten. It’s good to have a top on hand just in case! I personally like loose linen tops or tunics in this scenario or, at the very least, a good white or black box cut T-shirt!

21. A cute long skirt or loose pants

In the same vein, it’s always good to have a loose, long skirt or pants on hand for these same occasions. I like the mid-length skirts with a slit. They’re still conservative enough, cute, and don’t come off as blah as just a straight cotton maxi skirt. For pants, I think a wide or straight leg linen pants work best and are easy to make look chic. The ones with paper bag waists are the most comfortable. I do like Old Navy’s pants but the thigh part rubs out SO quickly in hot temperatures.

22. A travel outfit

It’s always good to have one or two travel day outfits. You know – something comfy that doesn’t take up too much space. By all means, get a matching sweatsuit look if that’s your style. I prefer a T-shirt and leggings, a plain shirt and linen shorts/pants personally, or a long dress. Basically anything that I can cross my legs in and not worry about flashing anyone! Heck when we took a car from Anantara Quy Nhon to Da Nang and then another to Hue, I wore my giant tier dress!

23. A swimsuit that dries quickly

As cute as ruffle swimsuits are, many of them take forever to dry! Get a swimsuit that dries quickly – usually simpler styles work best. I like one pieces with lower backs and have been eyeing this yellow one from Girlfriend.

24. A skirt that goes with everything and lasts forever

You know just a jean skirt or a black skirt that you know looks good and can pretty much pair with everything. Pair with tights in the fall/winter and wear normal in the spring/summer! I used to have some H&M black skirts which honestly last forever (only got rid of them because they didn’t fit anymore), but my ultimate skirt is this jean wrap one I thrifted back in Oregon.

25. Period underwear

I go into period cups below, but you should also have a pair of good period underwear on hand. Sometimes the body just doesn’t want to deal with a cup or you have a really long journey where you don’t want to use the bathroom. In this case, it’s good to have a cup and some undies on for a full proof trip. My life is perpetually in the hands of the THINX high waisted ones. I’d get two pairs so while one is drying, you can wear the other.

26. Quick dry underwear

In that same vein, have a few pairs of quick dry underwear for those longer trips where you can’t wash your clothes. Underwear is the easiest to just wash in the sink with some soap! If you get the lacier styles or the thinner, seamless styles (like at UNIQLO or Old Navy), they practically dry instantly! It’s the 100% cotton ones that sometimes take too long.

27. A nightlife/going outfit

I won’t go into all the outfit combinations in this post, but one thing to add that you might not want is some sort of cute going out look. You never know! You could decide to go on a date or meet new friends who want to go out to a bar. A cute lil dress ready to go and takes up very little room can save you from feeling frumpy or underdressed. Can’t go wrong with a lil LBD!

28. A good set of pajamas

Nothing like a nice, crisp, clean pair of pajamas to put on after a day of sightseeing. Definitely go for 100% cotton poplin for the most breathable. I was gifted my Printfresh pajamas and bought myself a night shirt as they come in so many cute prints!

For the Feet

29. Good all-purpose sneakers

I think it’s always good to have a pair of sneakers no matter what. Even if you don’t workout or plan on doing any sort of strenuous activities, you never know! I twisted my ankle in South Africa, and literally couldn’t wear anything less supportive than running sneakers afterwards.

When I got home, I ordered the Allbirds Tree Dashers to try as they were the brand’s answer for running shoes. While I still think if you’re serious about running, you’re better off going to a proper running store, I do actually like these for working out and the light runs/walks I’ve been doing. I was gifted these really comfortable insoles from Fulton which has made walking and running in them ten times more comfortable too!

See More: 9 Stylish White Sneakers for Women

30. Sandals you can walk in for miles

Just say Birkenstocks, I know, I know. Birkenstocks are my favorite sandals ever, and I think they’re stylish in a more hippie way. I prefer the Mayari style for something that’s a little more feminine. For me and my low arches, Birks take 0 break-in time, and they offer all the support I need to walk for miles.

31. Cute sandals or flats

As much as I love my Birks, I do think it’s better to have a more “delicate” sandal or flat for dressier occasions. Circling back to the going out dress commentary above. For warm weather, I actually have these sandals from Old Navy that have held up surprising well. Once they die, I’m eyeing Nisolo to try! For cooler weather, I’m obsessed with these leopard slides I ordered from Birdies!

32. Waterproof sandals/flip-flops

You need these if you’re doing more outdoorsy travel and/or doing the super budget trips where you have communal bathrooms. Also if you’re going somewhere during rainy season. Do not, under any circumstances, go barefoot into a communal shower! Foot fungus is not fun. Any rubber flip-flop will do, but I also do like the rubber Birkenstocks if you need them more for walking, etc instead of just throwing for a shower.

33. Actually good socks

You know what I mean – socks that are just the right thickness and won’t slip down your foot when you’re walking or hiking. I know a lot of people like the over ankle ones, but I personally hate when I can see my socks. I ordered some ankle Bombas after my mom and sister liked them, and I have to say they’ve been worth the hype!

General Toiletries

34. A waterproof toiletry bag

No matter what, you need some sort of waterproof toiletry bag to protect the rest of your suitcase. I mean, obviously you could go the giant ziploc bag route, but we’re trying to be a little more environmentally-friendly over here! I’ve had the same clear zip top bag for so long, I have no idea where I got it from. This one from Amazon seems to do the job nicely!

35. Hand sanitizer

A little bottle just in case! You have no idea how many shoddy restroom stops won’t have soap all over the world. Not to mention general health and hygiene while traveling. Shockingly, most people still don’t understand coughing into their elbow pit and NOT their hands.

36. A period cup

Let me tell you, once you’re on the period cup train you will never get off! I haven’t had to use a tampon in 2 years, and it’s been *chefs kiss*! Like imagine not having to worry about bringing a week’s worth of tampons on a trip and just a little cup that folds up into nothing. Also just a reminder – if you’re a picky tampon user, many countries may not have the kind you like! *Flashback to being in South Africa and only having the non-applicator options*

I wrote a review of the Lily Cup Compact which is great if you have a lighter flow. It folds up into a little container and is perfect for travel. However, it really doesn’t hold much compared to other cups, so I bought the Diva cup which lasts much longer.

37. Eye care

You know – contacts, glasses, contact solution. If you, like me, are particular about your eye care, then you definitely want to make sure you have enough contacts and solution to hold you over! For example, you can really only find contact solutions at glasses stores in Vietnam, so don’t expect to drop by a pharmacy or convenience store to grab a bottle (lesson learned the hard way).

Bite Toothpaste Bits

38. Toothpaste bites

One thing I’ve been missing is the ease of toothpaste bites! I’m always a fan of swapping something solid for something liquid, and I used toothpaste bites quite a bit in 2018 and 2019. Since being home, I’ve been obsessed with Bite Toothpaste Bits as they use nano-hydroxyapatite, a fluoride alternative!

39. Hair removal cream (or razor)

Or nothing if you don’t mind a little hair! Strongly recommend trying hair removal cream if you don’t want to deal with a razor. It works so well and no risk of nicking yourself. Otherwise I always like the Schick Intuition ones since you can replace the blades and the extra bit makes it easier to shave if you don’t have shaving cream on hand.

40. Sunscreen that doesn’t feel greasy

You do want another sunscreen for your body (though in some cases you could probably use your face stuff on your body). I really wish La Roche Posay made even bigger bottles of their melt-in sunscreen because it’s been my favorite so far! It can be used on face too, but like I said above I use their fluid face more.

41. Nail clippers (& a nail file)

Two things you forget about until you need them! Nothing is worse than when you accidentally get that hang nail or one of your nails breaks and you have nothing to properly fix it. Trust me, don’t forget your nail clippers and nail files!

42. Clear deodorant

I’m telling you, clear deodorant is the future. I don’t know how people still use the white, powdery deodorant that show up on your black clothes instantly if you don’t wait long enough. Or worse they start doing pilling during the day! I swear by Secret Clear Gel. Ever since my friend introduced me to it four or five years ago, it’s all I buy and wear. I do want to try Bite’s new deodorant but am holding off for the reviews and for when I use up my current Secret stash.

43. Some bandaids at least

You never know when a blister might strike. While most places have some sort of pharmacy or convenience store nearby with bandaids, some don’t! Or they’re the crappy kind that fall off easily. Always good to have a few of your own waterproof ones in case of emergency.

44. A body lotion

I have pretty dry skin, so I also need my own body lotion. I have yet to stay in a single hotel that has a good formula. As much as I want to be a solid lotion convert, most of them are made with stuff that melts in the heat so don’t travel well at all. I usually can find Vaseline when abroad or I like Aveeno! For something a little more indulgent, I also loved Yves Rocher’s Lavandin Blackberry Lotion. It’s not as moisturizing as Aveeno or Vaseline, but it smells so good.


45. A nice camera

Here’s my view on this. Chances are you’re going to take photos on your holiday no matter what. Even if you’re not interested in photography or Instagram or yadada. Why half-ass it with a shitty old cell phone or one of those ancient point and shoot cameras? Even if you just upgrade your phone (Apple, Samsung, XiaoMi, Google Pixel — they ALL have good quality cameras on their last few models), you’ll have much better photos. Of course, since I take about 300+ photos on most trips, I prefer something with RAW capabilities that I can edit better.

My camera is a professional one, Canon EOS 6D, but you definitely don’t need to spend that much. Even the Sony A6000 does a pretty good job and is very easy to carry around!

46. Good headphones

I’m the type of person that needs music for most things I do. Like if I’m on a plane for 4 hours and I’ve forgotten my headphones? Kill me now. It’s always good to have some decent headphones on hand! I will say I was skeptical of the Airpods but I’ve been loving mine! They’re not totally noise cancelling, but I prefer this so I can still be somewhat aware of my surroundings. If you prefer over the ear ones, I recommend looking for ones that cover your whole ear. It’s a LOT more comfortable.

47. A power bank

Almost every traveler I know has one tucked into their bag! You never know when you’ll be stuck without a plug, and nothing is worse than having your phone die while you’ll in the middle of getting from one to foreign place to another! I’ve always heard good things about the Anker PowerCore.

48. An e-reader

Do yourself a favor and get the most non-frills e-reader to most feel like you’re ready a real book. Ever since I bought my Kindle Paperwhite, I’ve brought it with me everywhere! Obviously, it’s highly impractical to bring a paperback book on trips, so to me this is the next best thing. I’d even argue it’s slightly better as it will always be the same size, and with the backlight you can read it at any time without needing an overhead light. Don’t be that one person in the middle of the night on a flight who’s got their bright light on!

49. A universal plug adapter

I actually have too many of these! Really you only need one. This one is nice because it also has the socket (?) for just charging cords, so you charge multiple things in one. And, take it from me, buy a black one. The tan ones really show their wear after a while.

Packing, Bags, & Accessories

Away Travel

50. A really good carry on suitcase

More of than not, I prefer to travel carry-on only. Cue a good, hardshell suitcase! I got the Away carry-on back in 2017 and it held up really well for a while! It’s definitely showing its wear a bit now as the handle and inside frame are a bit broken, so I need to get it repaired.

51. A really good check-in suitcase

I splurged on the Delsey Chatelet right before I went to Vietnam. It’s such a pretty suitcase that’s durable as hell, but I will say getting the white version was probably a slight mistake as it gets dirty fast. Nothing an hour with a magic eraser can’t fix, but I still think Delsey should sell a luggage cover for it! If I bought it again, I’d get the all black version which wasn’t available when I got mine.

Troubadour Goods Ember Backpack

52. A really good backpack

It’s funny because I used to be very anti-backpack through high school and college, but as soon as I graduated and moved to Korea I became a total backpack person. The key is getting one with a nice, breathable back so you don’t sweat or rub the fabric of your clothes off. I did have an Ebags one but gave it to a friend when my leaving Vietnam packing reached its absolute limit. Troubadour Goods gifted me the Embers backpack, and I’m excited to try it out! It’s much chicer looking than my past backpacks.

53. A daypack

A nice daypack is good to have on hand if you plan on doing anything outdoorsy. They’re usually pretty thin and can fold up, so they don’t take up much room. I have this Gonex dayback for short day hikes. It’s thin but it can hold a lot and has been put through the ringer.

54. A weekender bag

This is debatable but sometimes you just don’t want to deal with a suitcase, and a weekender bag comes in handy. My tip is to look at the weight of the bag. I got this really cute brown one back in the day and it was just way too heavy once you filled it up. I specifically picked the adventure weekender bag from Troubadour Goods (gifted) as it was only 3lbs empty!

55. A cute day bag

I think it’s always good to have a smaller day bag that’s a little dressier. Something you could toss on for the day, bring to a fancier dinner, and out at night to the bars or clubs. For the safest option, crossbody bags are by far the best. You definitely do NOT need one of those anti-theft ones; I find them so ugly. Just get one with a good zip and keep it shut!

I’ve had this little brown one from Michael Kors that’s been my go-to since college. Lately, though, I’ve also really like the little shoulder bags. For luxury, I think the Celine Ava bag is the cutest but I’d like to see it come out in solid black leather.

For warmer climates, I still think a cute circle basket bag will always be the cutest! If you’ve going to Vietnam or Indonesia, wait and buy one there so you can see it in person. Otherwise, there are a ton on Etsy. My other summery obsession is the Vienna straw weave, so I ordered this bag from Miuccia Studio! It’s seems small but actually can fit my full camera!

56. Packing cubes

Listen, these things are absolute life savers. They seem gimmicky but I promise they’re not! Ever since I got myself some (and then got some for free at a conference), they’re my go to for packing. They just keep everything so neat and organized! Plus, for me, they offer another layer of protection for my white clothes. I recommend getting the Eagle Creek ones. They’re a bit pricier but the fabric is a lot stronger so it holds in the clothes better. I can always tell the difference between them and my free ones!

57. A wet bag

If you’re going anywhere where you think you’ll use a swim suit, bring a wet bag. Nothing is worse than realizing you have figure out how to fit a damp suit into your suitcase without ruining the rest of your clothes! Just find a good bag that’ll act as a barrier. I picked mine up at a sports store in Vietnam but you can find them at most spots. Target has a bunch of cute ones.

58. Travel-Size Containers

If you’re planning to check a bag in, I don’t really think you need travel-size containers. I wind up just putting in my regular bottles in that suitcase. If you do buy them, silicone is the way to go. Remember – you’re going to have to clean these and the plastic ones are a huge pain! GoToob has always been the most recommended brand, but I haven’t personally tried them. I did have similar ones I picked up at an Artbox in Korea, though.

Travel Essentials You Always Forget About

59. Reusable tumblr or water bottle

Always good to have on hand, especially as more and more places offer some sort of refillable water station (or have clean drinking water to begin with)! Get something like Hydroflask or the Simple Modern brand at Target; this way you’ll never have to deal with condensation on cold drinks.

60. Any medication you may need

Motion sickness pills, Tylenol, Benadryl, etc – this is just your reminder to make sure you have any medication you think you’ll need while traveling! I usually take those little pink Benadryl pills in case I have an allergic reaction.

61. A mini-sewing kit

Most hotels have this, but it’s always good to have a little kit on hand for those little tears while on the road. Make sure it always has at least white and black thread!

62. A travel pillow

Another way to make sleep on a plane, train, or car more bearable is to bring along a travel pillow. I still really enjoy the Trtl Pillow. It’s more secure than the normal travel pillow and, to me, more comfortable.

63. Sex stuff

Here’s your reminder to stay safe! Plus, you never know what’s out there brand wise, so it’s always better to have your own preferred brands on you.

64. A rain coat or small umbrella

Not always necessary but if you know you’re going somewhere rainy, it might be good to have your rain coat or a small umbrella on hand. You’d be amazed at what kind of travel-size umbrellas are out there these days!

Intangible Travel Essentials for Women

65. Any medical notes

Like a vaccine card! But also any allergies or medical issues that may impact how someone treats you in an emergency situation!

66. Government protection

Ok well, not exactly, but I always say enroll in the STEP program (for US citizens) when you go somewhere new. It allows the embassy or consulate to keep you up to date in case anything happens AND will help them should something happen to you abroad. Also good to know: emergency contact information! I know for the US, they have a 24/7 hotline for emergencies in most places.

67. A knowledge of self-defense

Being a women, amiright?

But it’s always good to at least know some self-defense. Remember fingers to the eyes, palm of hand to the nose (push up), groin kicks, and stretching their fingers back. Can’t hurt to take a class or two!

68. Travel insurance

Always good to have protection, and it really isn’t that expensive. I just purchased Allianz for the year but if you don’t travel as frequently, Safety Wing or World Nomads are great choices.

And that, my friends, is my exhaustive list on all the best travel essentials for women. If you have all this, you’re pretty much prepared for all kinds of trips!


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