I’m not suggesting you need everything on this list of travel essentials for women, but after years of travel, here are all the female travel must haves that’ve served me well. Pick and mix!
In packing for my many jaunts across the globe, I’ve come to cherish a mosaic of female travel essentials. My luggage is a trove of flight essentials, transformative toiletries, and tailored holiday necessities, all packed ready to help me have a successful, and hiccup-free, trip away.
Boarding the plane knowing that my carry-on is finely packed – complete with lip balm, cosy scarf, and a full water bottle – relaxes me no end for the flight ahead of me. I like to know I have everything to hand, particularly my earphones and power bank.
Within the hallowed zippered compartments of my chosen carry on bag, there’s a list of thoughtfully chosen items, a harmonious blend of the practical and the indulgent, fragrant beauty products to moisturise and sterilise on long flights.
Executing a well-assembled travel essentials list just makes me feel more confident about travel, and takes one more thing off my mind with all the things you need to think about when you travel. So, today I thought I’d share my list of travel essentials for women, to give you the same confidence boost I enjoy, when leaving the house for my travels.
List of travel necessities for women
Once you’ve got all your important documents sorted, these are my favourite female travel essentials I’d add to your list.
Female travel essentials: carry-on must-haves
Alright, let’s dive deep into what makes a carry-on bag the ultimate sidekick for any savvy gal on the go.
1. Small clear toiletry bag
First things first: the toiletry bag – it’s not just a pouch; it’s my personal treasure chest. Inside, there’s a clear bag, meticulously packed with travel-sized wonders that keep me fresh from takeoff to touchdown. It always features moisturiser.
2. Kindle e-reader
But here’s the real game-changer, my trusty Kindle e-reader, loaded with some great books. It’s like having a library at my fingertips, without the weight, which, let’s face it, is a godsend during those layovers and unexpected delays.
If you’re flying with a toddler or child, Kindles are much better for making the most of moments of peace than books, as you can turn the page easier, and more quietly, than the old-skool kind. You can also balance them better when a baby / child is leaning / sleeping in your space.
3. Really good headphones / earphones
Headphones are non-negotiable for drowning out the rumbles of engines and chatter. They’re my personal bubble of calm, my escape pod when I need to zone out and just chill to the playlist of my travels.
If you can get noise cancelling headphones, all the better.
4. Warm hoody / jumper
Travel essentials for women? Let’s not forget a snuggly sweater – because airplane cabins have this notorious knack for turning into arctic tundras. A cosy knit isn’t just comfort; it’s an armour against the in-flight chill. These are obviously also very useful when you’re at your destination too.
Maybe this should be higher up the list of travel necessities for women?
Snacks, aren’t just important for toddlers. I definitely recommend loading up at WHSmith at the airport, or even before if you want to pay half as much. Dried fruit, gummies and some Cadbury’s choc should cover the main food groups.
6. Fluids in a reuseable water bottle
This isn’t just about quenching your thirst, it’s a conscious choice to sidestep the ripple effects of single-use plastics.
Refill your trusty companion at the airport fountain before you board to save a few quid on what they charge for bottled water on board. You definitely need a reuseable water bottle for your travels!
7. Knee-high compression socks
Might sound a bit granny-ish, but those knee-high compression socks could totally upgrade your in-flight comfort game. They’re definitely one of my top female travel essentials.
Ever since I went to Samoa and wore them all the way, I’d swear by them for long haul.
If you’re a regular flyer knee-high compression socks should definitely join your female travel essentials repertoire. It’s all about that squeeze they give, promoting blood flow and keeping the fear of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) at bay.
Seriously, DVT’s no joke and long stretches of immobility at 30,000 feet put you right in the danger zone. But these socks, they’re like a silent guardian for your legs, something about the pressure helps the blood in your veins wage war against gravity’s pull.
How far are you going? Again, another female travel essential for a long haul flight: the toothbrush. And toothpaste, obviously. Something about having fresh teeth just revitalises you all over. I’d definitely recommend packing this in your carry on, even if it’s just a small one.
9. Hand sanitiser
Planes, trains, airports – what do they have in common? Yep, they’re all dirty.
You might not be able to keep your environment clean, but you can definitely keep your hands clean. Pack some hand sanitiser to keep those dirty germs at bay.
Female travel essentials: tech
10. Portable charger
Diving into the tech haven of my carry-on, the portable charger reigns supreme. Trust me, this nifty little lifesaver is a perennial travel buddy – one of my must-have travel essentials.
Make sure to check my guide to the best portable chargers, and choose one from the list before you go away.
Stuck in transit with a dead phone is akin to being marooned on a desert island, so a power bank is non-negotiable. Also, very useful when you get to your destination given the millions of things we now use our phones for on an adventure!
11. Cords organiser
Next up, chaos meets its match with a sleek tech organiser. Knotted earbuds and elusive charging cables are so annoying. With one of these in tow, every cord and gadget finds a harmonious home, giving easy access. Great when you’re desperate to put your earphones in or charge up your phone.
Travel essentials for women: footwear
Ever stood in front of an open suitcase, eyeing a pile of shoes and wondered, ‘How many are too many?’ Trust me, been there, done that.
Some people swear by having a ‘trio of footwear’, which includes trainers, walking shoes and flipflops. I’d say you need at least one more in your female travel essentials packing list, but you do you. Boo.
11. Trusty trainers
Female essentials packing tip?
Go for shoes that have already seen some miles; the ones that have moulded to the contours of your feet like a trusty companion. A comfy pair of trainers could be all you need. When I travelled the world for four years as a digital nomad I had one pair of trainers, and one pair of flipflops. Done.
12. Hiking boots
Now, don’t get me started on hiking boots – those beauties are a whole different ballgame. Are these really travel necessities for women?
If you’re planning to traverse rocky paths or scale peaks, they’re a no-brainer. Just wear them on the flight; it’s a smart move to save space and avoid overweight luggage. Plus, you’ll look like a seasoned adventurer striding through the airport. Win-win!
If you’re not. Don’t bother. Trainers will do the job. Hiking boots are heavy and take up loadsa space in your back. Unless hiking is a big part of your trip – not just walking – you don’t need them.
Oh yes, VickyFlipFlop – would I be me if I didn’t recommend you take some flipflops with you? They’re so easy to wear, don’t take up much space, and are easy to replace. I definitely recommend for your list of travel essentials for women!
You might want to add some sandals to your female travel essentials packing list. They’re good for when you want to feel a bit special in the evening. I find a pair of nice sandals and some eyeliner does the job for me – even if I’m wearing what I wore in the day. Works wonders!
Women travel essentials: personal health and safety
15. Travel insurance
Never overlook the peace of mind that comes with travel medical insurance. You’d always hope for an adventure without hiccups, but, just in case. This should be on a list of ladies travel essentials for sure.
HeyMondo offer 24/7 worldwide assistance with travel cancellation and interruption cover. They also have tailor made policies and cover medical expenses up to $10 million.
Click here and you’ll get 5% off your travel insurance with HeyMondo.com too. Check out their App for more details.
Trust me, the little extra cost up front for travel insurance is nothing compared to the security it provides if you’re ever in a pinch, health-wise. It’s one of those essentials for female travel that you’d rather have and not need than the other way around. I’ve used mine loads around the world for dental care, health care and lost phones.
Reaching into my experience as a seasoned sojourner, I’ve learned that doubling up on prescription medication can save you from unexpected detours. You never know when a flight’s going to be delayed, or a road trip extended. Carrying that extra stash is an assurance that no matter what the journey throws at you, your health isn’t compromised.
17. Safety gadgets
A good idea, and frankly a non-negotiable for me, is a solid safety plan. Always know your exits. A small vial of pepper spray can be a compact yet powerful ally, or if you’re less inclined towards sprays, a simple personal alarm may do the trick.
I’ve even travelled with a door stop before, although, didn’t actually feel the need to use it.
Female travel essentials: packing accessories
18. Packing cubes
Delving into the depths of my suitcase, I swear by packing cubes – those nifty little lifesavers that make finding a pair of socks less like a treasure hunt and more of a smooth glide. Packing cubes compartinentalise my garments and gadgets, transforming my luggage into a neatly organised wardrobe that even Marie Kondo would nod approvingly at. They’re an absolute game-changer, trust me on this.
Comfort and style
19. A travel scarf
Pack a travel scarf for a saviour from the relentless sun and a shield against the chill of a sudden breeze. If you’re planning on visiting any religious sites, this is definitely a travel essential for women!
Toss it around the shoulders for an impromptu picnic blanket or twist it into a makeshift tote for those unexpected market treasures. But let’s not forget about the all-important style element: drape it elegantly, and voila, you’ve just amped up my travel wardrobe without overstuffing my luggage.
20. A hat
A hat isn’t merely a statement piece; it’s the first line of defense against the scorching rays, especially when out exploring from sunrise to sunset.
Whether donning a chic wide-brim for a touch of Riviera glamour or a snapback for those laid-back beach days, it’s not just about looking good. It’s practical, it’s prudent, and frankly, it’s a non-negotiable part of my travel ensemble.
Women travel essentials: Maximising your experience
21. Research and Google Maps
Let’s talk Google Maps – my trusty sidekick on every globe-trotting adventure. With this nifty app, I dive into crafting my very own, bespoke itineraries that turn a simple holiday into an epic exploration. Here’s the easy way: drop those little pins on every must-see spot and hidden gem. Soon, you’ve got a personalised map that’s more than just a guide; it’s a story waiting to unfold.
But there’s more magic to it. See, Google Maps isn’t just pragmatic; it’s a canvas. I add notes to each pin, anecdotes, or why a place tugged at my curiosity. This way, when my feet finally tread those cobblestones, the excitement is palpable, the connection, real. Plus, sharing my map with travel companions? It bridges gaps and syncs our wanderlust.
22. SIM card
High up there on the list of ladies travel essentials should be a working SIM card for the country you’re visiting!
Make sure to get this sorted before you leave. I’m with Three and certain destinations are included in my monthly allowance, while others I have to pay for. Do your research before you go!
Few last women travel essentials
Never discount the discreet heroics of lip balm and hair ties, or how an eye mask and travel pillow transition from optional to essential above clouds or on a long-haul road trip. Even in the hum of the unknown, our affection for the familiar – a scent, a texture, the reassuring ink on a map – can give us reassurance.
23. Sunglasses organiser
I’ve just bought this awesome sunglasses organiser from Amazon. I love it!
25. Hanging toiletry bag
A hanging toiletry bag can really help when you’re packing your travel accessories for women. This is just another way to stay organised, and so you don’t leave your precious lotions and potions around the bathroom where they could be easily forgotten.
Just DON’T hang it on the back of the door – that’s a guaranteed way to lose things in my experience!
26. Mini jewellery organiser
Buying a mini jewellery organiser is the best way to keep your rings, earrings and necklaces in one place. These little boxes will really help you to keep those precious stones in your possession!
27. Facial mist
Oo this is so nice to have on a flight, and when you come in from a long day sightseeing. Buy a nice facial mist to freshen up your face, and your room, with a nice fragrance.
28. Travel size containers
More travel necessities for women?
You don’t need to buy especially made travel size containers for your bits and bobs, you can just buy them full and then keep them for the future. Refill and reuse!
29. Plug converter / travel adaptor
Oh you definitely need a travel adaptor on your women travel essentials packing list. I like to have one of the multi-country ones so I don’t have to worry about what the plug sockets are when I travel. Just don’t forget it in your hotel room!
You might also want to take a plug bar so you know you’ll always have access to electricity!
30. Tile or Apple Tag
Travel essentials for women
So there we have it, all the ladies travel essentials you could possibly need.
Pepper spray or personal alarms tucked in an easy-to-reach pocket offer peace of mind as we navigate new streets. Our trusted toiletry bag – that tiny command centre of beauty and hygiene – seals away our little luxuries. Sure, a hotel room will hold the promise of rest, but the right travel insurance means sleeping soundly with coverage as a silent sentinel.
With every packing cube snug in its place, tech essentials charged, and your reusable water bottle twinkling with eco-pride, it’s almost time to lock the door behind us and stride into adventure!
Simple hacks, but they’ve revolutionised my travel game. Easy access, easy life – that’s the mantra that gets me from A to B with minimal fuss and maximum flair.