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Packing for a trip, whether short or long, can be a daunting task. What should you bring? How do you prepare? What if you forget something? These are all questions running through my head while trying to prepare my bag. It is especially so, as I plan my next big adventure: traveling across the globe for 1 year. Luckily, I am part of a wonderful girl travel group on Facebook, Girls LOVE travel. After making my initial checklist, I compared to their best travel accessories. With the help of my travel sisters, I have compiled my final ultimate travel accessory list for women travelers. Some items have a longer review for your knowledge, but many listed items have my recommendations for you. Just click on the item to be taken to my recommendation. If you would like a simple, printable checklist, please click here.
Best Travel Bag and Accessories
Getting ready for a trip should start with a great bag. Since I do most of my traveling with a carry on, I will be suggesting a great versatile backpack. I try to stay away from wheeled suitcases, as those are tricky to be in overly crowded places. I also visit older places with uneven ground, and rolling suitcases just aren’t built for those kinds of places.
Osprey Porter 65 – This backpack is so versatile! Don’t hold me to it, but I bet you can even slip through as a carry on for most airlines, as it straps up all snuggly. If you do have to check it, there is a compartment to safely tuck away the straps, as to not damage the bag in airline luggage conveyor belts. There are many compartments, both large and small to tuck away all your travel essentials. It is also lightweight, at just 2.6lbs!
Packing Cubes or Compression Bags? — For shorter trips, packing cubes work well. They help organize all your travel items for easy access. Pro tip: roll your clothing instead of fold to increase space. Also, tuck your underwear and accessories in your shoes to maximize space. For longer trips, compression bags are the best. They take out all the fluff and allow for much more space. It is amazing the amount of space it saves! Just be aware, your clothing will be wrinkled when taken out of the bag.
Other Travel Bag Essentials
Clothing and Accessories to Pack
One of the biggest issues I have when it comes to a trip is over packing. It never fails, I pack way too many things, and end up lugging them around for no reason. It is not only unnecessary, but a pain in the tush! If you are like me, a budget traveler, it is essential to pack everything into a backpack, no matter the length of the trip. My best advice I can give is just to pack 1 week’s worth of versatile clothing and find a laundromat on the road. The one week rule has held up well in the past, and I plan to follow this same rule on my one year backpack journey. This is truly a clothing travel essentials for women list that can get you through most events, both expected and unexpected. Feel free to add or take away items to fit your personality.
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 2 regular bras
- 1 sports bra
- 5 pairs of socks
- 2 tank tops
- 3-4 versatile tops
- 3 pairs of shorts
- 2 pairs of longer pants/jeans
- 2 sundresses
- 1 little black dress
- 1 set of pajamas
- 2 work out friendly outfits (I prefer yoga pants and tank tops)
- 1 pair of sandals that can be dressed up
- 1 pair running shoes
- 1 pair hiking boots
- 1 pair comfortable walking shoes
- Shower Flip Flops
- 1 infinity scarf/shawl
- 1 cardigan
- 1 light jacket/sweater
- 1 Bathing Suit
What Toiletries Should You Pack?
These are one of those less prioritizes travel essentials for me. It’s really nice to have your own stash of products, but if you forget something, don’t fret. You can buy most anything you NEED out on the road, when it comes to toiletries. Word of warning, though, it can be vary hard to pick the right products on the road if you don’t read the local language. I found myself needing feminine products in Japan and finding what I needed was an adventure all in itself!
Hanging Toiletry Bag — This is one item I didn’t know I needed until I actually got it. I have always just packed my items in a small packing cube or bag. Once I had the hanging bag, I truly entered the world of pack and go. I could just hang it on the shower head and pull items straight from it instead of having to pack and unpack every time I needed to shower. It only saved me a few minutes, but those precious minutes sure add up!
Microfiber towel — If you are a hotel traveler, a microfiber towel probably isn’t a huge asset in your life. It can come in handy, but not a make or break. However, if you are a hostel or AirBnB traveler, this thing comes in handy! It is super absorbent and dries quickly. You won’t have to worry about reusing a rented towel, or be stuck without one.
Make-Up Remover Cloth — Traveling can be rough on your skin. The different climates, diet change and stress can cause major issues. It is important to make sure you are washing away all the debris of the day, as to not add to the stress of the skin. I highly suggest a make-up remover towel instead of liquid washes. Not only does it save space, it doesn’t add any chemicals to your face.
Other Travel Acessories for Women
Electronics for Your Travels
Electronic needs on the road can vary greatly. I have even met a fellow traveler once that did not even carry a cell phone while traveling, so he could be completely disconnected. I, on the other hand, am not that person. I like staying connected and having my everyday conveniences. Some of these things may or may not be able to be found on the road if you decide you want them later, depending on your destination. It is best to pack these before you head out on your adventure.
Cable Organizer — I traveled many years without one of these. Truth be told, I was fine without it. However, I spent many frustrating hours of my life untangling the mess unattended wires tend to make. I also often forgot valuable cords because they didn’t have a permanent home in my travel bag. The cable organizer was the answer to both of these issues. You can survive without it, but I wouldn’t suggest it.
Universal Plug Adapter — There is nothing more disheartening than to pack all your electronics for a trip, just to realize the plug was the wrong type for the place you were visiting. A universal plug to keep in your travel bag is necessary if you travel internationally.Noise Cancelling Headphones — If you are stuck on public transport with an unhappy child, snoring neighbor or loud phone talker, you will be happy you have a pair handy! It is also helpful to have a pair if you stay in an especially loud hostel on your trip.
The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 headphones has exceptional quality and worth every penny!
Camera — Of course, you’ll want to document the wonderful memories you will be making during your trip. If you have tons of space, I suggest the Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera, as it is very user friendly and produces amazing photos. Unfortunately, it takes up too much space for me, so I use a Cannon point and shoot camera, the Cannon GX7 Mark II. It has great video and still capabilities. It takes wonderful shots and allows me to vlog all my adventures. Don’t forget an extra battery!
Other Electronics Not to be Forgotten
Extra Power Bank
Of course when you travel, you should always bring any prescription drugs you may need. Also, if you are leaving the country, you should carry a copy of your shot records and speak to your physician about any necessary shots for your destination. There are a few items you can buy over the counter that may come in handy on your adventures, though.
Travel Accessories for Women Who Desire Comfort on Airplanes
Airplanes, boats and trains… These spaces can often be cramped uncomfortable. The more prepared you can be, the better! The ladies at Girls LOVE Travel Facebook group came in with some stellar recommendations for those items to make your travels just a little easier.
- Travel Pillow
- Compression Socks
- Face Moisturizing Spray
- Lightweight Travel Blanket
- Eye Mask
- Disinfecting Wipes
Other Travel Essentials You Might Not Even Know Will Come in Handy
You cannot always plan for every situation out there in this big ole world. However, there are a few versatile items that can help you through some unexpected times.
- Lightweight Luggage Scale
- Clothing Line
- Ear Plugs
- Extra Pillow Case
- Variety of Ziploc Bag Sizes
- Scotch Tape
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Small Magnifying Mirror
- Prescription Glasses/Contacts
- Resistance Band for on the go exercise
Must Have Travel Apps
We are in a time where we have access to almost any information on our devices. Having that little ole app can sometimes help us through a tough time. These are the most recommended apps thus far.
- Viewranger App
- Currency Calculator
- Google Translate
Final Thoughts on the Best Travel Accessories
The key to packing is writing down your personal necessities and going from there. I suggest gathering your items and pare down from there. Traveling light doesn’t always mean going without. With proper consideration, you can have all you need, while not over packing. It can be a literal weight off your shoulders!
Oh, and don’t forget that passport!