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19 Travel Essentials for Women

This article is for anyone interested in a travel packing list and packing essentials. Here you can find product tips and recommendations.

When packing for a vacation, there are a few things you need to keep in mind: destination, the length of your trip, weather, and any non-standard clothing or gear you may need. But there are also some travel essentials you should have, regardless of where you travel. 

I believe that to save money you need to invest money, and this is why I opt for durable and long-lasting equipment. Below you will find my travel essentials for women and basic must-have equipment that I find necessary no matter where I go.

1. Sony A7III Camera

Sony A7III Camera

The great combination of speed, resolution, excellent image quality and all the other features makes this camera my absolute necessity while I’m on the road. The images are sharp and the colors are great. Whether I’m in a city or outdoors, Sony A7III Camera can save my life! With its excellent battery performance, I can use it for longer periods of time both for taking photos or recording videos.

2. Sweat Proof Underwear

Travel underwear should always be comfortable, breathable, and quick-drying. The fit and comfort come down to a personal preference, but there is quite a lot of choice out there.

I would recommend the New Balance Women’s Ultra Comfort Performance Seamless bikini pack because NB has a strong focus on comfort, and performance without sacrificing style.

Travel underwear is not something people usually give much thought to, but when you walk and sweat a lot, you realize how important the little things are.

3. Quick Drying Socks

You need socks that will keep your feet comfortable, dry, and warm. I recommend the FEIDEER Outdoor Recreation Socks (pictured above). Any socks that are lightweight and quick-drying (so that you can wash them daily) will be your best bet during a long trip.

wanderonwards travel packing list for women

This is especially important if you go hiking, climbing, cycling, or any other outdoor activity.  Other than spending time at the beach of course – no need for socks when you have flip-flops 😉

4. Medicine Pack

A medicine pack is one of my travel packing essentials. Apart from packing the medication that I need regularly, I always make sure I have a first-aid kit that contains just enough to deal with any potential problems I may encounter on the road.

I think the Paerma Empty First Aid Bags are super cute and functional, but don’t forget to fill them up with medicine and supplies before you leave! You can also add things as you go along on your trip.

medicine bag wander onwards travel packing list

Pharmacies are easily found in most major cities, but it can be a little difficult trying to translate the names of specific medicines you might need so be sure to pack enough of your most essential drugs.

Some essential items to pack: band-aids, bandages, antibacterial cream, antihistamines for allergies or bites, and painkillers.

5. Passport Protector

I like my stuff organized and keeping things simple. My passport holder has space for IDs and vaccine documents, so I am ready and prepared for anything I might need when traveling to a new country.

Also, having important things in one place prevents you from putting them just anywhere and potentially losing them. I would recommend GDTK RFID Blocking Leather Passport Holder because it’s cute and practical: the best of both worlds. 

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6. Summer Sun Straw Hat

I never go anywhere without this one! It protects my skin from sunlight and it fits my ponytail so that I can still look my best! It’s great for beach and pool days, walks, or hikes.

I specifically have the Pineapple & Star Vienna Visor Women’s Summer Sun Straw Beach Hat which flattens easily in my luggage and has UPF 50+ (Ultraviolet Protection Factor).

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7. Osprey Aura 50 L Backpack

I choose the Osprey Aura 50 L backpack because it’s created for the female body type (i.e. hips and curves) so it fits snugly and carries like a dream. This bad boy also holds EVERYTHING you could possibly need… without giving you the chance to overthink and overpack.  

Remember, you have to carry everything that you bring. I decided to ‘turtle shell-it’ and carry one back of camera equipment on my chest and then my Aura backpack on my back during my 3-month backpacking tour through Asia. 

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8. Powder Cosmetics

Yup, never going anywhere without those. We all know the traveler’s struggle, especially when traveling with hand luggage only.

Say bye to liquid restrictions and replace your regular shampoo or foundation with powder ones! I can recommend the Bare Minerals Loose Powder Foundation with SPF or the Laura Mercier Loose Powder Foundation. 

Mineral makeup is very light which makes it great for any kind of travel. 

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9. A Laptop Bag

Increasingly, I’m working on the move. Whether it’s updating all you lovely people, doing emails and putting out fires at my day job, or jotting down some notes, my laptop usually comes with me nowadays.

With digital nomadism and remote work on the rise, the likelihood of you traveling with your laptop – even if you just want to watch Netflix in your hostel or AirBnB is high.

So, there are plenty of cute laptop bags and sleeves out there depending on your model,  but this one from Omnpack is stylish, affordable, and has a ton of straps and pockets depending on your carrying preference.

Complete with a luggage strap on the back that means it snugly and securely fits on top on your roller case, it’s an ideal laptop bag for a weekend getaway. It’s got the added benefit of being coated in water-resistant fabric, so if you’re caught out in a downpour, all your gear is safe. 

10. Cable Organizers

Look, my biggest pet peeve with travel cable tidies are that they’re either the size of a huge make-up bag or it’s like a fancy elastic that’ll tie one charger. That’s why this UGREEN model is the ideal size for a carry-on.

It doesn’t take up a ton of space in your bag but still has loads of different pockets and compartments for your gear. As someone who travels with a camera, having somewhere for spare batteries, SD cards, and connecting cables is a huge priority.

It’s also hard sided which is amazing for putting in your handbag or jostling around in a rucksack. I love this, it’s super handy and versatile whether I’m working, exploring, or just relaxing and need to look after my chargers on the road.

11. Water Bottle

Especially if you’re planning on going on a lot of day trips and excursions in hot countries, bringing a reusable water bottle is a must. Not only is it a sustainable option, but it also makes you think about drinking water more.

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Obviously, there are a ton of amazing options out there, depending on your preference. I know people who love collapsable water bottles when they’re traveling, but I find they’re not always as durable or long-lasting. 

This combo bottle from Hydro Flask might be a bit more expensive but it’s super high quality and is suitable for hot and cold drinks – perfect if you’re going out on an early morning adventure and desperately need coffee.

It’s got a load of amazing reviews and you can get them in different colors, sizes, and lid styles.

12. Breathable Raincoat

Unfortunately, even in the sunniest of places, we can’t guarantee the weather. That’s why having a breathable and lightweight raincoat that’s still cute is a must.

Mountain Warehouse has a lot of affordable raincoats online, but this lightweight shell is ideal for putting in your backpack just in case the weather turns. 

As it’s lightweight, you won’t end up overheating if it’s a tropical rainshower either, which is always a plus. It comes in a range of colors and it’s one of the more affordable outdoor raincoats on the market.

It’s pretty fitted too so doesn’t feel like a shapeless tent like some cheaper lightweight raincoats. That does mean if you want to put a sweater underneath it, you might want to go up a size as it can be quite snug.

13. Hiking Boots

If you’re racking up the miles walking around different cities or you’re hitting the hiking trails, you might be better off with hiking trainers rather than your normal gym sneakers or sandals. Columbia are well known for making gear that lasts and suits all kinds of terrains.

These Peakfreak hiking shoes are a great option if you’re planning on doing a lot of walking on your next trip or if you’re going from trails to mud to concrete.

Nothing ruins a trip quicker than sore feet and blisters, so investing in some comfy and versatile hiking boots or shoes and wearing them in before you go away is always a good idea. 

14. Anti-Chafing Shorts

A ridiculous reality of being a human woman with thighs in a hot country or city is that chafing happens. It sucks. I want to wear cute sundresses and skirts, explore my surroundings and not have to be constantly applying moisturizer for the rest of the trip.

So, packing anti-chafing shorts is a lifesaver. Basically, it’s a set of relatively thin bicycle shorts that you wear underneath your skirts and dresses to prevent chub-rub. This three pack has a range of colors so you can match it to your outfit, just in case they peak out or are a light color.

15. Long Charging Cable

Another thing that annoys me when I’m traveling is the power outlets are on the other side of the room from the bed. It happens a lot in hotels and it’s super irritating to have to crawl across the room to turn off alarms in the morning or not be able to scroll before bed.

So, investing in longer charging cables are a must. This three pack of 3 meter long charging cables mean that you can utilze power outlets from all around your room, if you’re working from a cafe, or you’re trying to get a battery boost when you’re waiting in the airport. 

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16. High SPF Cosmetics

Look, we want to look good when we’re on our vacation. I’ve spoken about bringing powder cosmetics, but looking after your skin is super important, especially in warmer or drier countries. When I’m traveling I want to make sure my moisturizer has SPF to protect my skin and keep me looking fresh and hydrated.

This L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Day Cream, Face Moisturiser With SPF 30 is ideal because it’s only 50ml so you can take in it your carry-on without it taking up too much space and you only need to apply it once a day.

17. Versatile Scarves

I love a good scarf when I’m traveling. It’s an easy way to switch up an outfit and give yourself more options without packing multiple looks.

Whether you’re traveling with a bigger blanket-style scarf that can double up as a duvet on a flight or covers your shoulders in temples, or you’re going for a circle scarf with hidden compartments like this one by The Pack Wolf Company, where you can discreetly store your valuables, scarfs are a versatile travel accessory.

I don’t tend to take a ton of specific anti-theft options with me, but the amount of stuff you can fit in this scarf is kind of insane and it never looks bulked out. Definitely a cuter option than some of the anti-theft backpacks and trousers!

18. Make-up removing pads

We love a sustainable travel moment! As we all know, makeup wipes largely aren’t biodegradable and get stuck in landfill, and can get dumped in cities and oceans. Instead, bring these cotton and bamboo reusable make up remover pads with you.

You can wash them in the washing machine, they’re kind to your skin, and they’re great for the environment! They also come in a handy bag to keep them all in one place – perfect for when you’re trying to find things in a backpack or rucksack. 

19. Shampoo Bars

Staying with sustainable travel, shampoo bars are quickly becoming a travel essential. It took a minute for the companies to get them right, but the Eco Warrior Deep Nourishing Shampoo Bar makes your hair feel fresh, clean, and conditioned.

It’s got a ton of great reviews and is ideal for hand luggage or on-the-go travel as it doesn’t break and liquid requirements and is super lightweight.

I would suggest getting a small soap dish to keep your shampoo bar in so it doesn’t rub off on your stuff, but there are plenty of travel-safe ways to carry shampoo bars for your next sustainable travel adventure. 

Are You Ready For Your Next Trip?

Even after being a long-time traveler, I still find it hard sometimes to pack my bag efficiently. You just never know what you may need. But at the end of the day, some things you can survive without while others will always stay on your travel essentials list for years to come.

I find the more I travel the less stuff and travel gimmicks I tend to need, I have a lot of go-to products that always have a guaranteed spot in my suitcase. 

What are some things you can never travel without? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts – I’d love to hear your recommendations! 


Wednesday 11th of March 2015

Do you usually carry on the osprey when you travel or are you required to check it due to size?

Vanessa Elizabeth

Thursday 12th of March 2015

I'm able to carry it on. I will admit that I've been able to get away with hiding it on the floor in-between people at immigration/check-in and that's how I've snuck it on haha.