As a woman, there’s a list of travel essentials that you should always remember to pack for the next big adventure. Don’t risk leaving the absolute must-haves at home!
I get asked so regularly about my favourite travel essentials that I’ve decided to compile this ultimate packing list for women, to make it easier for all other female travellers out there to be sorted for their next adventure.
Here are a few things you’ll likely be needing on your trip, no matter where you decide to go.
- 1 Hand luggage / overnight packing list for females
- 2 Toiletry Packing List
- 3 What clothes to take on holiday for females
Hand luggage / overnight packing list for females
Whether your overnight pack is for a long overnight flight, or a one night stay, you’ll need a few travel essentials to get you through.
I used to think travel pillows looked ridiculous, but now I never board a plane without my Trtl travel pillow.
It’s built to support your neck but is also small and straps on easily to the outside of your backpack, without taking space in your bag.
I’ve been on 12+ hour flights where I’ve comfortable slept for the whole thing thanks to my Trtl travel pillow. It’s not an essential only for women but if you’re trying to get your beauty sleep during long journeys it will make things easier!
If you want high-quality photos taken during your trip, and your phone camera just won’t do, then packing your camera with its’ essential accessories is a must.
Be sure all the accessories are in the bag before packing it – especially the charger if it’s a longer trip.
Double-check that the memory card is in your camera, and that it has enough memory to hold your entire trip’s worth of photos.
Choose a bigger memory card, I have a 128GB one, so that if you’re going on a long trip where you won’t be able to download the photos, you’re sure you won’t run out of space.
I wrote a full travel camera gear that you can check out if you’re interested.
When you’re on the go you often end up using more phone battery (think of Google Maps, Spotify, Google Translate etc) but you will also have little time to charge your phone, so having a power bank is great for staying connected while you’re on the move.
Be sure to charge it up before your trip to ensure you get a few chargers out of it, before having to charge it again on your holiday.
This is particularly handy if you’re going somewhere remote, where electricity is in short supply.
I have a solar powered power bank so that it can recharge itself a bit while I’m on the go and isn’t completely reliant on having to be charged at home at the end of the day.
Noise-cancelling headphones are the way to go while you travel. You’ll be able to zone out and listen to your favourite tunes. Whether there’s a baby screaming on the plane, or construction going on next to your hotel.
Nothing can ruin your holiday quite like the discomfort of cracked, dry lips. Flying can also further dehydrate your body which often leads to chapped lips.
Be sure to take a lip balm with you in your hand luggage or a handbag so that you can easily access it at all times.
Whether you’re chilling on a beach in the scorching sun, or strolling the chilly streets of a mountain town, a pair of polarised sunnies is an absolute non-negotiable.
Keeping your eyes comfortable and protected from the sun’s harsh rays is extremely important.
At the end of a long day of exploring, or an overnight flight, the first thing you want to do is remove your make-up. Be sure to have either make-up wipes or make-up remover accessible so you can remain comfortable at all times.
You never know how long you’ll have to go without access to soap and water while you’re out and about on your travels. Hand sanitiser is the perfect solution to keep your hands clean.
It’s best to make use of this before meals to ensure you don’t transfer unnecessary germs from your hands to your mouth. If possible, keep this with you at all times.
You’re sure to have a little downtime on your travels. Whether that’s before bed, or while you lie sun-tanning on the beach, having an e-reader with you will help you stay occupied.
It’s also lighter and more convenient than taking physical books with you as you’ll have access to thousands of books at your fingertips.
Toiletry Packing List
We’ve all been there. You start unpacking at your first hotel stop and realise you left your toothbrush at home. It’s 11 pm at night and none of the shops are open in the small town you’re visiting.
This is where this section of the female packing list comes in handy.
A toiletry bag can double as a container that holds your shower essentials, if you get the right one. A hanging shower bag is a perfect solution to the problem.
It’s easy enough to hang in the shower, giving you easy access to all of your toiletries.
It also has a wide range of pockets, giving you ample space to store all of your essential travel toiletries. Some bags also have mesh pockets that allow your items to dry while you travel.
This could be anything from a shower sponge to a face cloth.
On a summer holiday, you want to be able to bare your legs without a care in the world. So be sure to pack a razor in your toiletry bag.
Depending on how long your trip is, and how often you plan to shave, it might be a good idea to bring extra blades because nothing cuts deeper than a blunt razor.
Although these can easily be bought while you’re on your trip, it’s always a good idea to go prepared as you never know what shops have in store in remote areas.
Keeping your skin hydrated on a summer trip is an absolute must, especially after spending long days in the sun.
Be sure to pack a moisturiser that your skin is familiar with, as many people have sensitive skin. It’s best to use something that you’ve already tried and tested before your trip.
If you’re going on a holiday to a summer destination, and you plan on spending loads of time in the sun, you need to ensure that your skin doesn’t get damaged.
Using after-sun lotion is the perfect way to do this. If your skin burns easily, this is one of those travel essentials women simply cannot leave behind.
Now I don’t know whether they actually work, but after spending so much time and effort in building my tan, I definitely didn’t want a whitening moisturiser.
Save yourself the hassle and bring one from home to be sure it’s one you like.
As essential as they are, these items always seem to be easily forgotten. You could always purchase them along your journey, but ideally, you don’t want to have to skip a single brush.
So be sure that your toothpaste and a toothbrush are right at the top of your packing list.
Broken or chipped nails can cause a whole host of unnecessary discomfort during your travels. Having your nail kit handy is the perfect way to bypass this problem.
It’s important to note that in some countries, tampons aren’t as common as they might be in Europe or the US, so being prepared is a must. When I went to Sri Lanka none of the shops sold tampons, only huge uncomfortable pads.
And considering I got my period as soon as I arrived at the beach, you can imagine how annoying that was. I was lucky my friend had a stash of tampons she had brought from London or my beach days would have been very limited.
I’ve personally never used one but I have a lot of friends who love the period cup. The period cup can be a great solution as its reusable, which means you don’t have to pack more than one product.
If you’re going to be on the road for a while that can be very handy since it will avoid you packing supplies of tampons.
In case of emergency, it’s definitely a good idea to have a small first-aid kit in your toiletry bag. This will allow you to be completely prepared, even if things do go wrong.
I always bring a small first aid kit with me, even if I’m not going anywhere particularly remote, as I’d rather have everything I need than have to venture out to find medicines in a foreign country while I’m not feeling well.
Although this is an easy item to buy along the road, it’s best to have it from the get-go. Pack it in your hand luggage so you can refresh during your layover.
Having it on hand will make you feel a lot more comfortable during your lengthy travels.
Since I started travelling more I always buy a shampoo and conditioner bar from Lush. I know it sounds weird, I was a bit perplexed at first too, how does a conditioner bar work?
But they’ve actually become my favourite travel essential and I started using them at home too.
Shampoo and conditioner bars last much longer than a tub of shampoo or conditioner, and they take up considerably less space!
If you’re flying internationally you either have to pack under 100ml of shampoo and conditioner if you’re flying carry on, or wrap big bottles of shampoo and conditioner in cling film and hope they don’t burst in your checked in suitcase.
These will not only save you space and last longer, but you will also reduce your plastic waste. In our current age this is just as important, if not more, as our own personal comforts.
What clothes to take on holiday for females
The exact type of clothes you will take travelling with you obviously depends on the destination and the weather you will find. Your Iceland packing list will look very different from your Thailand one for example.
Within this travel essentials for women list I’ve tried to include some types of clothing that can be useful regardless of the weather.
Your travel essentials should be tailored to the climate you’re about to encounter, so use this only as guidance. Here are a few of the bare essentials that you should be taking with you in order to create the ultimate packing list.
I’m also not going to tell you exactly how many socks or underwear you should be taking, that one is up to you.
Good sunscreen is a must on any vacation. Regardless of whether you’re going to the beach or mountains, you would be surprised at how often I got burnt skiing on the slopes!
Water-proof sunscreen will protect your skin from the harsh sun rays even while you’re swimming, or from the strong reflection of the sun on white snow.
Bear in mind that some destinations require you to dress a little more modestly, so be sure to keep this in mind when picking your outfits.
Long skirts and dresses are generally everyday essentials when you’re travelling to religious or conservative destinations.
Wearing tops that will not only keep you cool but can be worn with a variety of different bottoms is so important. This keeps your luggage light-weight and allows you to make a variety of outfits with just a few items of clothing.
Regardless of where I’m going, I always take swimwear with me. Even if I’m going on a mountain adventure, the hotel might have a pool or spa for all I know! For me taking swimwear on any vacation is essential.
Whether it’s a beach destination or inland, you’re bound to encounter a swimming opportunity somewhere along the line. Don’t rule out pools and lakes just because the ocean is far away.
Having open shoes is an absolute must in warm weather, and having comfortable sandals that you can wear to walk around and explore is a great idea. Birkenstocks are my personal favourites.
While they might not be the most stylish (I’ve been turned down by clubs in Italy before for wearing Birkenstocks) they are super comfy and I’ve occasionally also worn them to hike.
When you’re travelling abroad, it’s likely you’ll be doing a fair bit of exploring. While you spend the day on your feet, it’s important to feel comfortable and well-fitting walking shoes aid a great deal in the comfort of your feet.
If you have sensitive feet, I recommend getting proper trainers, brands like Adidas have ranges dedicated to bringing you extra comfort.
If you plan on doing a bit of mountain climbing during your travels, then hiking shoes are an absolute must. Sneakers often have trouble gripping to rocks and you’re likely to slide on sandy surfaces.
Hiking shoes will ensure your safety with great grip.
While they might not be the most stylish, I like waterproof jackets and have lots of different ones, from lighter jackets that are just to keep you dry and out of the wind, to heavier jackets that are also warm for cold destinations.
Being stuck out in the rain while travelling is never pleasant, so make sure to have the right jacket in your essentials if it happens!
Final thoughts on travel essentials for women
After reading this packing list for women, you’re sure to be all set for your next big adventure. Rest assured you’ve packed all the essentials for your time away.
No late-night excursions to the 24-hour shop, or having to go without on your incredible holiday. Be sure to take note of all these essential things to pack for travelling, to ensure a very comfortable, worry-free trip.
Happy packing! To the ladies reading this, is there anything else you consider to be a travel essential for women that I haven’t listed? Let me know in the comments below!