As a travel woman, I make it a point to research about the destination and ensure I pack well. But regardless of where I am traveling to, there are some important items that I always include in my packing list. So here are my top 25 travel essentials for women – that are a MUST for every female traveler.
BONUS: I have also included a DIY survival kit at the end of this post.
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25 Travel Essentials for Women – Travel Packing List
1. Travel Purse or shoulder bag for the MOST important items
The first and most important travel essential for women is a travel purse or a shoulder bag. Highly recommend the Travelon Anti theft Signature Hobo – it is an anti theft travel bag and it can be worn in 3 different ways – as a shoulder bag, hand held and cross body. Not only versatile, the bag can easily hold your passport and other ID, wallet, phone, mirror-less camera, charging cables and a small cosmetic pouch.
The anti theft material keeps your important documents and items safe and away from slashing by thieves or pick pockets. This travel bag also comes in different colors, but I am in love with the leopard print and it goes with everything!
Read our reviews on best travel purses and handbags
2. Carry on luggage or backpack for clothing and other items
Carry on luggage or backpack to store clothing, shoes and other items. Depending on your travel style and occasion, a travel girl will need a luggage or a backpack. I personally travel with a backpack (even if they are a month long). My travel backpack has a 45 litre capacity and it fits into all overhead compartments. I use packing cubes to organize and compress my clothes and other essentials. Whenever I travel for work, I prefer using a carry on size luggage. It not only looks professional and clean, but it also helps if you are carrying a laptop bag on your shoulder for work. Here is my ideal carry on luggage and this product has received great reviews everywhere due to the sturdiness and organisational capability.
Backpack colors and variety, click on each item to purchase
3. Packing Cubes in varied sizes
Don’t forget packing cubes. I started using packing cubes like 4 years ago and never looked back. They are super handy when you are packing clothes into a tube like backpack, easy to take them out, organize clothes and I can just go on and on. Invest in a good packing cube and it will last you for years like mine.
This packing cube ensemble comes with 5 different sizes including a laundry bag. Use the largest size for your clothing, followed up the next size for under garments or for shoes (if carrying extra one). Laundry pouch can be folded and used when on travel to separate clothes. I have also used mine to keep wet swim wear back to the hotel.
4. Passport Wallet Organizer
I highly recommend investing in a passport wallet organizer rather then throwing your passport and other IDs inside a backpack or a purse. This passport wallet comes with RFID protection, thus protecting you from identity theft, while keeping the documents organised and in one place. You can also store your credit cards here instead of carrying a separate wallet while on the go.
Looking for a fancier travel wallet organizer, here is a great one > Click here to buy
5. Clear cosmetic pouch or toiletry bag
Clear cosmetic pouch or toiletry bag makes security a breeze more then anything else. Don’t be that person who has to throw items out of the bag as they are over the limit. Use a clear pouch and store your travel size shampoos, perfume, make up items, lip balm, facial mist and wipes, medicines and lady essential kit (more on that below)
6. Travel Insurance for your trip
Travel Insurance is so essential. If you have been following us for while or reading our posts, you would know we take travel insurance and recommend the same on each and every post/itinerary of ours.
Travel insurance might seem expensive, but the peace of mind it provides, is priceless. Dont worry about flight delays or trip cancellations or any accidents, medical emergencies, it covers all. Using this World Nomads Insurance link , fill out your details based on your travel dates, age and what coverage you need and get an instant quote.
7. Comfortable Walking Shoes
Because we are talking essentials, here is a MUST buy comfortable walking shoes. Your feet will thank you. If you plan on walking at the city center, gardens, parks, mall, cobblestone wherever – this is a MUST. I highly recommend Dr Scholl’s products.
8. Pack-able and lightweight Travel Jacket
Packable travel jacket is so so important – in-flight, or evening cruises, walks and what not. Because they are lightweight and packable you will not even feel that its there. But they will be handy should the temperature drop or it starts to rain, in an unpredictable weather city. Or if you are like me, you might need one in a place like Mexico too (A/C is too cold – heard that before?)
9. Shoe liners – To keep beautiful smelling shoes and feet
If you are wearing one pair of shoes in your entire trip, you need this. Insert one when you leave the house and carry a spare with you to refresh the shoe. Your shoes, nose, feet and your companion will thank you!
A pack of shoe liners has 8-10 pieces in it. They come in one size – for shoe size 4-10. You can pack as many or less as you want. Liners are scented to make your shoe/feet feel fresh. There are unscented ones too that you can take.
Buy shoe liners below
10. Compression socks for long flights or walks
One of the important travel essentials for women which is also handy in long haul flights are compression socks. They help in blood circulation whether you are hiking, continuously walking or stuck in a overnight train or flight. They are also great for toning down swelling feet.
11. Cool Sunglasses – for protection & photo props
Sunglasses are an important accessory. They are of course great for sun protection – but did you know that they are great photo props too!
I LOVE my Rayban Aviators – I have them in black and multi-color glasses.
12. Bright colored scarf – Travel essentials for women
A bright colored scarf or a pashmina can brighten your day. Scarves are super handy and this is ONE item that I will never leave behind. They are useful in-flight as well as to brighten up an outfit (say you are wearing all black or mono chrome).
I have a few different types of scarves, with patterns or solid colors and depending on what I plan to wear for the trip and the season, I pack one. Here are some of my favorite scarves. You can click on each item to view more and buy
13. Trendy faux leather or denim jacket
For styling your outfits, always carry a black or brown faux leather jacket, they can really help in uplifting an outfit. It can also go from morning to evening look and make you look put together. Denim jackets are a close second and if you are traveling in late spring or summer time – they are perfect. You can click on each item to view more and buy
14. Little Black dress or blouse
A little black dress or a pretty blouse is super handy for a concert, fine dinner, date or just if you wish to look a bit fancier and put together. It is great for travels – business or personal. Use a bright colored scarf to jazz it up or wear a leather jacket on top to create a different look!
A black dress will be packed in any day. But if you are more of a skirt or denim girl, then switch the black dress for a blouse.
Here are some of my favorites
15. Travel Neck Pillow for in-flight comfort
I always travel with my neck pillow. It is super useful in flights, trains or buses. It not only provides neck support, but also helps me to keep my back alright. I highly recommend this essential travel item.
I have this exact one that I carry it on my backpack or luggage handle. I don’t like the inflatable one, prefer something that is all ready to go!
16. Tablet or Kindle (electronics) for travel reading/entertainment
Tablets are handy for long flights or lay overs. Download your favorite movies, documents or books to keep yourself busy on the go. I am an Apple fan, so I do recommend an iPad mini size. But Salil uses an Android tablet and loves it too.
Kindle is an alternative to tablet if you love to read. Kindle can store thousands of books and is light weight to carry around, uses no wifi if you have already downloaded books and a single charge can last you for a month under normal usage.
17. Noise Cancelling Headphones by Bose
Noise cancelling headphones are such a life saver when you are in a long haul flight and wanting to watch a movie, without the chitter-chatter (or cries). These headphones might look bulky, but the coolest thing is that they are wireless and that makes carrying it easy. The special ear piece is cushy and makes listening to music so comfortable, you won’t know that its there. I definitely regard these wireless headphones from Bose as an investment piece as it is pricey, but it will last you for years. Imagine you drawer wont be cluttered with too many (million) tangled earphones.
18. Multi port charging cable – travel essentials for women
With so many different gadgets on the go, a multi port charging cable is one of the top travel essentials for women. And I LOVE this cable and this is something I carry and use on my travels and everyday while at work. So so versatile to charge my iPhone, my work android phone or tablet and of course our mirror less camera.
As you can see, it has so many different port to suits all types of electronics.
I have included more options here below – click on each item to learn more
19. Universal Adaptor or Adaptor -convertor duo
Girl, pack this. Buy one that will last you for years. The one that I am using right now is 10+ years old. It is an universal adaptor that is compatible for use in over 150+ countries. Definitely get one. Buy one right here.
Note: An adaptor is different from a convertor, convertors are used to covert the electric voltage on appliances as different continents/countries have different frequencies. You should carry this all in one converter and adaptor if you plan on carrying hair straighteners/curlers, etc. Buy you’re here from Amazon.
20. Power back up or portable charger
Whether you are taking a day tour or traveling on the go, a power back up is essential to keep your electronics all charged up and ready to go to take the next shot or share a selfie!
With 2 USB ports to charge two electronic appliances, this is a powerful battery back up pack from Amazon. Also includes a flash light to indicate the charging status.
21. Mirror-less camera by Sony – lightweight and powerful
We shoot our pictures using a mirrorless camera. Salil and I both take turns while capturing the beauty of landscapes and buildings. (He takes my photos of course, no turns there!)
Okay, so here is our super light and efficient Sony mirrorless camera. We have been using it for 3 years now and loved it. It fits in my travel bag and of course the backpack if we decide to put it there. The battery is in –built, we only need to carry a charging cable/adaptor. Super super handy and takes very less space in your bags.
22. Collapsible water bottle
Staying hydrated is super important. Carry a collapsible water bottle that is easy to carry around and you can fill it up with water to stay hydrated anywhere.
While proceeding to security checks, empty it and carry it as a collapsed bottle inside your purse or backpack. Takes very less space.
23. Jewelry portfolio
This may or may not be the ultimate travel essential for women, but if you carry jewelry or any accessories then consider taking this jewelry portfolio with you.
I don’t recommend carrying diamonds or gold and flash them on the go. But it is okay to wear cosmetic jewelry while you are attending conference or wearing a nice watch.
Heading to a concert? Carry some bohemian accessories to complete the look!
Very pretty and will hold all of your earrings, bangles and other accessories well.
24. Clothing and What to wear? Travel Packing List
My travel style is being comfortable and trendy. I include a few comfy pieces like a over sized sweater or tees, leggings and dresses. If I am traveling for 12 days, I usually plan my clothes for the 12 days. It will have 3-4 dresses, 1-2 pants (including one denim), 4- 5 tops, a scarf, a jacket (depends on weather where I am heading).
Here is a list of clothing that need to pack
- Tops – Blouses or sweater
- Pants – 1 denim and 1-2 leggings (carry warm leggings or long johns if traveling in colder months)
- Dress – 2-4 pieces long, flowy or a midi (if traveling to tropical areas or South America flowy dresses look best)
- Jacket – 1-2
- A faux leather or denim jacket – great for evenings and all seasons
- If traveling to Europe, except for winters, carry a rain proof lightweight jacket as mentioned above
- Winter travel – Carry winter jacket with hood and deep pockets
- Gloves and warm hat for winters
- Sun hat for summers or beach vacation > Buy this cute hat for perfect instagram pictures
- Snow boots – 1 Buy my favorite Ugg boots (great for US/Canada or European winters)
- Booties for fall – Perfect for European weather, this is water proof as well. Buy waterproof booties here
- Hiking boots – 1 (if traveling during fall-ish climate or on road trips, hiking in national parks, etc) Here is my favorite hiking/waterproof shoes
- Sandals – 1 Check out my beige wedges
- Swim wear – 1
25. DIY Survival Kit – cosmetics and lady essentials (travel essentials for women)
This is my ultimate survival and comfort kit, knowing that its in my purse or backpack somewhere makes me feel good. Feel free to customize it, but I find myself needing one or the other items in my travels. I have also included my favorite travel products in the list below.
- Sanitary pad, tampon or menstrual cup
- first aid kit > Buy yours here
- dry shampoo > Here is my favorite
- painkillers > Advil liquid gels is my go-to for cramps, headaches, fever – everything
- facial mist > I love the Aglow Mist and Body Shop and mix them up
- facial wipes > Love these facial wipes
- ear plugs > Get yours here
- eye pencil > My absolute favorite Rimmel waterproof eye pencil
- lip stick bright color > Get my favorite long wear Mac lipstick
- lip balm > In LOVE with this lip balm from Nars…..so pretty!
- hair ties,
- hand sanitizer,
- hand lotion > Loccitane is GOLD, check out my favorite – Rose fragrance hand lotion
- deodorant or perfume > Get a travel size Loccatine perfume
- panty liners > Buy yours here
- mouth wash,
- nail file,
- small snack
For more travel product faves visit our Amazon Shop
Read some of our additional packing lists, travel tips and buying guides
- Packing list for Mexico
- Packing list for Canada in winter
- Ultimate packing list for Europe
- Packing guide for Cuba and travel tips
- Best waterproof tents for travel
- Top and Essential Travel Items for every traveler
- Best Travel Travel Blankets for flights
- Best anti theft backpacks for travel
Last Update: 29 July 2019
Pin: 25 Top Travel Essentials for Women