But here’s the truth: You’ll do fine without that extra stuff. To keep you on the right track, we’ve curated a list of the top travel essentials for women below (along with some of our favorite product recommendations).
Top Travel Must Haves for Ladies
We’ll keep you comfy yet stylish during your trip, cover all possible travel emergencies and make sure your suitcase is organized. Ready to hear our list of essentials?
1. Hardshell Carry On Suitcase - One of the most important items for women is a durable suitcase with wheels. The last thing you want is to be lugging around a heavy duffle bag on your shoulders.
Try either this Samsonite or Amazon Basics suitcase, they’ve got lots of choices and colors. We like these options since they are affordable and they’ll last you a couple of years. If you don’t mind splurging a little, Tumi has higher quality suitcases that hold up well for a higher price.
If you’re more of a backpack kind of girl, we’ve got you. Check out the Osprey Fairview, a 40-liter backpack especially made for women. Read this blog post for our favorite backpacking brands!
Pro Tip: Never worry about losing your luggage! Attach a tracker device like this one which allows you to track your bag using a GPS-based app. Also, it makes it easier to find your bag on the conveyor belt.
2. Classic Leather Tote Bag - This is another essential travel product for the ladies! Pick something lightweight, spacious and neutral (can go with any of your outfits). This brown leather tote bag is perfect for sightseeing and has lots of space for all your knick knacks!
Traveling to Paris or any other hotspot for pickpockets? Bring an anti-theft bag instead! This crossbody bag has both RFID blocking and lockable zippering features. We also recommend the Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Backpack - it has RFID blocking plus slash-resistant straps.
3. Clear Packing Cubes from EzPacking - These cute rectangular pouches help you stay organized and keep your suitcase from becoming a total mess! They come in different sizes, from extra small to large. Use these packing cubes to separate tops, bottoms, delicates, toiletries and more. You can even use the smaller cubes to keep your tote bag neat and organized!
Here’s all the different size cubes and how you can use them to keep your travel items organized:
✓ Extra Small Cube - This size cube is the ideal TSA approved clear toiletry bag. Pack your travel size toiletries in it and breeze through airport security like a PRO!
✓ Small Cube - Pack your underwear, socks and bras into this size cube! Also works as a makeup or electronics organizer pouch.
✓ Medium Cube - Pack your casual clothes including shirts, tank tops, blouses, dresses and leggings.
✓ Large Cube - Perfect size cube for your jeans, sweaters or more formal clothing items.
4. Dr. Scholl's Slip Ons are a must! - Stylish, cute and comfy? Definitely need these in your life if you'll be walking around a new city. Save the wedges for formal nights out!
These adorable Slip On Sneakers from Dr. Scholls are perfect for long walks, touring the city and will match almost any outfit. They’re comfy, soft and have good arch support. Check out all their neutral color options!
In addition to your “daily shoes,” bring an extra pair (or two) of shoes. Maybe a dressy pair of booties for dinner and going out at night and a pair of comfy sandals for warmer weather destinations. Use shoe bags to keep them separate from your clothes.
5. Electric Toothbrush from Quip - An upgrade from your regular toothbrush but still portable and compact. It even comes with a travel case that doubles as a stand and mirror mount. This handy toothbrush also fits perfectly into EzPacking’s smallest packing cube, the Extra Small Cube.
6. Mini Travel Wallet from AINIMOER - A mini wallet is a necessity for traveling. Only take the cards you really need for the trip, AKA remove all your birthday gift cards. Also, this Travel Wallet from AINIMOER has RFID blocking capabilities too.
7. Clear Toiletry Bag - Must have when traveling with a carry on bag only or if you want to freshen up during the flight! You’ll need a TSA approved clear toiletry bag to make passing through airport security a breeze. Pack all your toiletries in this baby (including the 3 oz liquids) and you’re good to go.
8. Makeup Essentials Pouch - Use this clear makeup bag to keep all your items organized and in one place. This pouch is clear so you’ll easily find what you’re looking for! Opt for travel size makeup items to limit what you’re bringing. Also try bring powders instead of liquids, multipurpose products (like tints) and versatile colors for your cosmetics!
9. Safety Alarm Keychain - Traveling alone? Whether or not you’re alone, it’s always a good idea to have an alarm on you. This personal safety alarm keychain lets out a loud sound with just a push of a button and will scare potential attackers in an instant. You can attach it to your bag, keys or keep it in your purse.
You can also bring pepper spray. Just make sure to pack it in your checked bag, since TSA doesn’t allow it in your carry on. Multipurpose tools with knives are also not allowed in your carry on. For more about the TSA rules for sharp objects, check this link.
10. Adapter Cable & Portable Charger are necessary - There’s just not enough battery power for a full day of sightseeing (and picture taking). You’ll need a portable charger to keep all your electronics going throughout the day. We like this power bank with cute color options. Very handy when going out for the whole day!
Pro Tip: If you have a newer version of the iPhone, make sure you bring your little adapter cable. Here’s a pack of two adapter cables for the “just in case you lose it” days.
11. BOSE Noise Cancelling Headphones - Definitely an investment but for the best headphones you’ll never regret buying for yourself. These will block out all unwanted noises and can be connected by bluetooth as well! Do yourself a favor and get these as soon as possible.
12. Super Soft TRTL Neck Pillow - If you can’t seem to get those sweet zzz’s on the plane, it’s time to invest in a neck pillow that actually works! This one from TRTL works like a charm because it doesn’t let your neck fall into an uncomfortable situation. It’s discreet too, no one will know you’re actually using a pillow because it looks like a normal scarf!
13. Multi-Functional Pashmina Shawl - Let’s count the different ways to use a pashmina: As a beach coverup, as a picnic blanket, to keep you warm during the flight…we could go on! This functional but light piece is a must have for any lady’s travel bag. Go for a high quality pashmina shawl like this one. You can even choose a bold print to spice up your outfits if you plan on packing mostly neutrals.
14. Little Black Dress - Do you have that one dress you feel great in? Maybe we need to find one! Bring a flattering black dress like this one and you can dress it up or down, depending on your shoes and jewelry. You’ll need a functional piece you can wear multiple times. Add a jean jacket and slip on sneakers for a “day out” look, or throw on a leather jacket, booties and a long necklace for a “night out” look.
15. Scrunchies, Hair Ties / Headband - Unless you’re rocking the pixie cut, bring some products to keep your locks out of your face. Got long hair? Scrunchies and hair ties are your best friends. If you have short to medium length hair, bring some bobby pins or a funky headband to keep it under control.
16. Collapsible Water Bottle - This collapsible water bottle is ideal for travel! It’s one liter and can be folded in a compact size when not fully filled. Fill it with water after going through airport security. Bring it during a day of sightseeing, hiking or just walking around the town.
17. Cheap, Travel Sunglasses - When you’re traveling, you might not want to bring your nice sunglasses you got for your birthday last year. That’s why it’s always a great idea to bring a “cheap, travel version” that you wouldn’t care about losing or scratching. Try these fun Rose Gold shades for a great price too.
18. ALBA Facial / Body Wipes - Freshen up after a long flight or a day of exploring! Try these fresh smelling Pineapple Body Wipes for all day use.
19. Bausch + Lomb Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops - A long flight with dry plane air and no sleep can result in unsightly red, irritated eyes. A few drops of this redness reliever eye drops can help make them bright and white again!
20. Oil Blotting Paper (Travel Size) - A little more pricey than Clean and Clear, but they do the job way better and are made from better ingredients.
These are the travel essentials you can’t leave home without. We think we covered it all...style, safety, comfort, check check! But just for fun, we included a few more for you. Of course, these are optional.
Optional travel items for women
Here’s some more goodies to make your travel even better:
✓ Turkish Towel - Most hotels provide towels to guests. But if you’re staying in hostels or Airbnbs, or if you have sensitive skin, packing your own towel is a great idea. The best travel towel is a Turkish towel (we love this pink one). It’s ultra absorbent, dries fast and packs light! You can even use it to squeeze excess water out of your hand washed items (like delicates and shirts).
✓ Gillette Venus Swirl Razor - We like the Venus variant because of the pretty design and no-slip handle!
✓ Travel Size Ahava Hand / Body Lotion - Great for moisturizing without leaving a sticky feeling on the skin!
✓ Think Thin Protein Bars (Gluten Free) - Peanuts and crackers? Not doing it for us. Always bring a protein bar to hold you over.
✓ Oatmeal Packets - Not a fan of airplane food? We aren’t either. Ask for hot water on the plane and voila you have breakfast!
✓ Hand Sanitizer Spray (Lavender and Chemical Free) - Use it to keep your hands clean or to sanitize any surface you need to touch!
✓ Bring a Pillow Case - Fold up an extra pillow case and place in your personal bag. Once on the flight, you can stuff all your extra layers and jackets into the case to make a pillow for napping!
✓ Sewing Kit - Here’s a small travel size one, with just the basic tools to sew holes or rips from your travel clothes!
✓ Spray Dewrinkler - If you can’t help but bring a favorite clothing item (that wrinkles easy), then you must also bring a wrinkle release product. This Downy Wrinkle Releaser lessens the wrinkles in clothes. Just spray and smoothen the clothing item with your hands, done!
✓ Packable Jacket - Great for layering if you’re going to a cold place. We like this packable hooded jacket that folds into a compact size!
✓ Hat / Cap - For your no wash hair days, a cute Nike hat is a lifesaver!
✓ Detergent Packets - These Woolite Detergent Packets are perfect for washing clothes in the sink. Convenient for women traveling for the long term!
✓ PRO TIP: Know the Airport Wifi Passwords - Yup, that’s right. You can find the passwords for airport wifi all around the world on this map right here. You’re welcome.
✓ Travel Laundry Bag - Use our travel laundry bag before packing dirty clothes inside your suitcase. Once you reach home, throw in the dirty clothes and the laundry bag in the wash without any worries!
P.S. Still struggling to complete your travel packing list? Don’t worry, we got you! We created a FREE printable checklist on what you should take on your next trip. It's totally free - just enter your details below and we'll send the packing list your way. #PackingMadeEasy