Have you been wondering about travel essentials for women? I’ve got you covered!
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Trying to remember to pack all the things can be overwhelming.
There are also a million different packing lists out there but some things are essential for women and not really other people.
In the 10+ years of traveling to over 25 different countries, I have learned what works for me. I definitely made my fair share of mistakes along the way.
I am more of a minimalist when it comes to packing for a trip. My M.O. is if I forgot I can just buy it. As long as I have my IDs, cards, and passport, I’m good.
So this is a list of the things that I find super helpful. A couple of the items are on my list to buy when I get back to the States.
This list doesn’t include the real basics like, clothes, passports, documents, etc but they are included on the packing list download.
As you plan for your trip, I hope you will find these items as helpful as I did.
My 49 Best Travel Essentials for Women
This list of travel essentials is the things I have discovered along the way that I have found to be the most helpful.
There are a few that I haven’t been able to purchase yet but they are on my “to purchase” list when I make it back to the States.
Some of them will not make sense for you or for every trip. Sometimes you will travel without some of the items and other items will be on your “every trip” list.
I hope that my must-have travel essentials will bring you a bit of peace of mind and help your trip go just a bit smoother.
The items with the * denote I especially recommend them for a trip to Turkey.
Beauty Travel Essentials
1. Rose water mist
I recently started using rose water on my face and it has been a game changer.
I didn’t believe it until I tried it. Now there’s no going back. Since using it my pores feel more hydrated and my skin is softer.
Especially when you travel it can be quite refreshing.
2. Chapstick/lip balm
Maybe you’re more of a berry-flavored lip balm gal but I am all about that peppermint. Regardless of what flavor you choose, a lip balm should definitely be on the list.
Airplanes dehydrate you so having something handy to keep your lips moisturized is a win!
3. Make-up wipes
The older I have gotten the more I try and stay away from putting chemicals on my face.
I typically just clean with a washcloth but there is something about traveling that leaves you feeling gross. Since bringing a face wash is a bit difficult these will help keep your face clean without a lot of extra chemicals.
This is #1 for a reason. Because it’s lightweight you feel like you’re ready for anything.
I actually rarely use sunscreen. I look forward to purchasing this one when I head back to the States.
The great thing about this one is also that it is small enough to fit in your carry-on travel fluids.
5. Travel Mirror
Being a pretty simple traveler, I have never gotten into the LED-lit purse mirrors but seriously my mirror has been a lifesaver.
I remember one time trapped on the window seat with something in my eye. Thankfully I didn’t have to go to the bathroom to handle it!
6. Travel size key skin products
Favorite travel Tech Essentials
7. Universal adaptor*
An adaptor is absolutely essential! There are many options out there but why I love this one is that it has multiple USB slots as well as a type C slot.
You can charge your computer, phone, earbuds, and tablet all at the same time!
8. Travel Power bank*
I have used other power banks that weren’t Anker and they just aren’t worth it, in my opinion.
In fact, I have a couple right now that I am nursing til I can make it back to the States this summer.
they die constantly and aren’t reliable. But my last Anker lasted years! The only reason I don’t have it anymore is because I forgot it while traveling.
10. Electric organizer
11. Clothing steamer*
I don’t remember the last time I ironed anything, to be honest. Living in Turkey, dryers are quite hard to come by but it just is rarely worth it to me.
If it is too wrinkled to wear, I will just rewash it and shake it out really well before I hang it to dry.
But this little gem makes for the best travel companion so you can always have pressed-looking clothes no matter where you go. It is especially small and made for travel also!
13. Headphones or earbuds
I recently lost my earbuds at a hotel. I was devastated because the ones that I was using were not available right now. ?
Cue research for new ones. These are the ones I will be buying when I get back to the States. Great reviews but especially great on phone calls!
General Travel Essentials for women
14. Packing cubes
15. Portable hangers
Have you ever showed up at a hotel and there were two measly hangers?
This is one of the best inventions to solve just that problem. If you like to wear dresses or clothes that you need to hang up, these are a great option.
Plus they are quite lightweight.
16. Hanging toiletry bag
This waterproof bag is great because not only is it so incredibly cute, but it is also a bit smaller than some of the other ones.
This is great, in my opinion, because some of the other bags are so big it just encourages you to bring bigger products and more of them. It just isn’t necessary.
IMO, packing toiletries is not the most important on my travel essentials list. They can always be bought when I land where I am going.
This is such a helpful tool for travelers, especially solo travelers. This program allows you to stay up-to-date with any changes in safety or major issues going on in the country you’re visiting.
It is free and super easy to join. 10/10 recommend you sign up before you go.
There are so many options out there for insurance and it can definitely feel a bit overwhelming.
I was never a buy-insurance-for-trips kind of person until I had to for a conference and then it got canceled because of a pandemic.
Now I always buy travel insurance. I like using travelinsurance.com because there are so many options and you can see how they rank but also select what you actually need.
19. Gifts for locals*
If you have friends who live where you are headed I promise you’ll make their year if you ask them if there is anything they want from where you are/home if they used to live there.
When my friends come to Turkey and bring me peanut butter or anything mint chocolate or a great steal from Costco, I am over the moon!
I obviously have no specifics as everyone is different, just a recommendation to ask them before you go.
20. Travel scarf / bra wallet
21. Reusable shopping bag*
While these are becoming more popular in the States, they are a way of life here in Turkey.
You pay for each bag you use when buying groceries. Having a few reusable bags will be super helpful.
What I love about these specifically is how lightweight they are and how small they fold up.
22. RFID wallet/phone case
23. Lint roller
24. Portable luggage scale
Must-have travel gear for your Flight
25. water bottle*
I’m obsessed with Epic Water Filters. They have their own bottles which are great but recently they came out with THE ANSWER.
This allows you to turn your own water bottle* into filtered water.
*Make sure you check compatability but they work with a lot of different bottles. You can read my full review on Epic here.
26. Hand sanitizer / Kolonya
Since moving to Turkey, I have grown to love Kolonya so much more than hand sanitizer.
It leaves your hands feeling much cleaner and not filmy like with hand sanitizer. You can buy a small spray bottle and keep it in your carry-on for easy access.
These cleaning wipes are also great if you want a wipe to clean your area.
27. Travel pillow/blanket
If you’re blessed with the capacity to sleep on a long flight, I’m so happy for you and a bit jealous.
I am hoping to purchase this set when I go back to the States because of how compact it packs up. You get a sleep mask, a travel pillow, a cozy blanket, and earplugs.
And the best part is it all folds up together in its own zipper bag making it easy to carry around.
28. Eye mask
If you already have a pillow or really just looking for a great sleep mask, this is the one I use.
I hate when things are pressing on my eyes and I love the space this mask gives my eyeballs and makes it so blacked out.
I have tried a lot of masks and this has been my favorite by far.
29. Compression socks
30. Phone holder
31. Loop earplugs*
If you’re a sensitive person (to sounds and stimulation) have you tried Loop Earplugs?!
I can’t wait to get mine when I go to the States but my friend uses them here all the time with all the extra noises constantly going on.
You can completely cut the sound out or use a lower grade to just cut the harshness of the sound. They are brilliant.
If you take medication, don’t forget that you should always have them with you. Never put it in your checked suitcase in case it gets stolen or your bag gets lost.
Also, if you have prescriptions, bring them with you. Many people find that buying medicine in Turkey can be cheaper and some stuff doesn’t even need a prescription.
One that surprisingly to me does need one is Benedryl. I always stock up on that one when I am in the States.
There are many much more expensive options but I usually go with the cheapest cause I just need these when I am flying.
If you get dry eyes from the dry air in the plane, having a small bottle of eye drops can save you from burning eyes.
Health and Safety Essential Travel Items
34. Bug spray
I actually don’t use bug spray a lot and try to make my own with essential oils when I need it but sometimes in the summer, the mosquitos here are insufferable.
This is a simple bug spray that is clean and will help keep your skin bug-free on your vacation.
35. Key chain alarm*
There are a ton of styles and options for keychain alarms but I love that this one has an LED light on it.
If it isn’t your style, you can check out other ones.
This is great to have on your keys especially if you are a single woman traveling alone. Self-defense can be a bit tricky here so this is a safe bet.
36. First aid kit*
I had a friend who visited and got hurt and needed a bandaid. Because it happened after the pharmacies were closed, they couldn’t find any bandaids.
In the States, we would walk into any store and get bandaids but here they are only at pharmacies.
To make life easier, it is great to have a simple first aid kit on hand. You can make your own or this one is quite inexpensive.
I always just add the few things I might need and some basics like activated charcoal and pain reliever.
37. Portable door lock
When traveling in a new place it is always nice to have a bit extra security. This super easy-to-use, portable door lock makes sure no one is getting into your room if you don’t want them in there.
There are other styles but this leaves the least damage and is the smallest yet effective.
38. Menstrual cup/disk*
Menstrual cups/disks aren’t for everyone but I have been so grateful for mine. I especially appreciate them here in Turkey because bathrooms can be really rough.
Using these cuts down on the amount of times I have had to handle business in a public restroom, making them perfect for travel.
Just make sure to use it a month or two before you go so you know what you’re doing.
39. Microfiber towel*
I find having a small microfiber towel with me is a great travel companion. I use a Norwex one but these are much more economically priced.
You can use them for a myriad of situations and have never regretted bringing them along with me.
40. Nail clippers/file
I have had the same Revlong case that I just trade out the inside of it as they wear out. This 3 Swords Germany is what I will be purchasing on my next trip home.
I love that it has a much more sturdy case and has the few things that are important to me to have. Though I’ll add my favorite cuticle trimmers as well.
41. Sewing kit*
I usually just have one of those chintzy emergency sewing kits from a nice hotel in my bag but there have been too many times that I have needed more.
This simple, inexpensive travel sewing kit has all the things you might need. It can be difficult to find things like this since they aren’t necessarily where you would typically purchase them in the States.
42. Walking shoes – Xero*
After moving to Turkey, I started to have some tendonitis in my foot from going from a sedentary desk job to walking everywhere. Something that really helped was switching to barefoot shoes.
Now I run and walk in them. I don’t wear anything except barefoot shoes. My favorite brand is Xero and they have some great options.
Of course, if barefoot sneakers aren’t your thing, just make sure you have some comfortable shoes for all the walking you will do here. And for the love of God, make sure you break them in before you get here.
So to be fair, you can totally buy some knock-offs here in Turkey for not a terrible price. Whether you buy sunglasses in the States and bring them with you or buy them once you get here, having sunglasses comes in handy with the intense sunlight.
44. Anti-theft purse*
I am a huge Travelon fan. I love that they are made specifically for travel. The purse I use is no longer being made but I have loved all the ones I have used.
If you don’t love their style, you could also do an anti-theft travel backpack especially if you will be in a lot of touristy areas where pick-pocketing is common.
You can also try one of these crossbody fanny packs. This is my go-to for day-to-day use here in Turkey.
45. Extra outfit in carry-on luggage
A travel essential for anyone is an extra outfit and undergarments in your carry-on bag.
Sometimes the main bag gets lost or stolen and then you have nothing to make it through. They can even be perfect for long days of travel.
I always recommend keeping the things of importance and value with you in your carry-on. If you take photos of it before and after you will also make the process to find your bag easier.
46. Beach tote
If you plan on going to the beach at all, this is a great lightweight beach tote to carry all your essentials along with you.
Because it is mesh, the small pebbles and sand will just fall through and it won’t add a bunch of extra weight to your bags. Plus it has a pretty great price tag.
So half of my head is shaved and this hat wouldn’t be helpful to me right now but for most of my life, I have had a ton of hair and always wore it on the top of my head.
I’m thinking of you and think this stylish hat would be so much better for a great experience in the sun. This sun hat has a great hole in the top so that you can wear your hair in a cute bun while getting the protection you need.
48. Hat clip
If you brought that cute beach hat with you (or any other hat for that matter) but always hate trying to figure out what to do with it when you’re not wearing it…cue the perfect solution.
This hat clip allows you to clip your hat to your bag via a strong magnetic clip. It doesn’t damage the hate and works with most hats. Make sure you get it in enough time before your trip to ensure it works with your hat.
49. Long raincoat*
There is a good chance you will get some rain on your trip unless you come in the summer. When it rains, it is also often quite windy which means an umbrella doesn’t help much.
I have actually abandoned umbrellas altogether unless it is necessary. That being said, I recommend a longer raincoat like this one to give your legs a little protection.
BONUS: Travel Game
So it doesn’t have to be Monopoly Deal, though my mom and I played the whole time we waited for our next flight.
I do recommend having some sort of travel game. It is just so nice to get off the phone and connect with whoever you’re traveling with. If you’re traveling solo, bring a small coloring book or an actual book.
FAQs About Favorite Travel Essentials for Women
What should I pack for a 10 day trip?
Depends on where you’re going but I love the 5-4-3-2-1 packing hack. You pack 5 tops, 5 underwear & underwear, 4 bottoms, 3 dresses, 3 shoes, 2 swimsuits, 2 bags, and one each: hat, watch, sunglasses, or other accessories that you enjoy.
What should you bring with you when travelling?
Always make sure you bring your passport, printed copies of reservations and travel documents if you’re headed to Turkey, multiple debit/credit cards, and
Do packing cubes really save space?
Yes! And they help great cause you can use them in different ways. You can roll up entire outfits together and pack them as an outfit or use a cube per type of clothing. They allow you to cinch down the space the clothes would normally take up.
What have I forgot to pack?
Snacks, hair brush/comb, toothbrush (though I recommend this in your carry-on so you can feel fresh when you get off the plane), contact solution, bottle opener, and a Tide pen for stains are the things I usually double-check for.
Final Thoughts on Packing Essentials for Women
Every country you visit will have a little different twist on the packing list of essentials that you need. Every length of your trip will impact how much you take and whether you need a checked bag or if you’re traveling carry-on only.
Regardless, these items are things that have made my life easier as I travel. I hope they make yours easier as well.
Did you think of something I should add to the list?
Drop me an email and let me know. I always love discovering a new product!
- Headed to Fethiye to hit up the beach?
- Traveling with someone? Make sure you get a transfer for a better arrival
- Figure out which airport to fly into
- Planning to rent a car in Istanbul? Read this.
Turkey vacation basics
When I plan a trip these are the websites I use. Hope they help you plan your next adventure as well!
VISAS: You can use the free e-visa portal here but for a few extra dollars you can use iVisa and someone else will handle any issues that may come up.
E-SIM: When I traveled to SE Asia I discovered e-sims and I’m never going back. Airalo has been easy and cheap!
TRAVEL INSURANCE: I use TravelInsurance.com for my trips abroad.
CAR RENTAL: I have loved working with Discover Cars when I rent cars in country.
ACCOMMODATION: Find the best Turkey hotel deals on Booking.com.
CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: You can browse GetYourGuide’s website to find just the tour you’re looking for!