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Travel Essentials for Women: 28 Must Haves

Use this travel essentials list for women to prepare for your trip 

Ladies, figuring out what you need to take with you on your trip can be a major headache…am I right? So, take the mystery out of it all and use our list of travel essentials for women

From clothing to shoes and personal care items, we’ve totally got you covered. 

So, before you start packing, make sure you keep reading this travel essentials list for women. 

This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See disclaimer.

This is my #1 recommended essential travel item for women. I never travel without it.  

Need help more planning your trip? Check out our list of the essential travel planning resources.  

Traveling woman sitting on the edge of the water.
Travel like a pro with these travel essentials for women.

Bags 

Anti-theft travel purse 

An anti-theft travel purse is an absolute must. I never travel without mine. 

A good anti-theft crossbody also makes a good bag to carry everything you’ll need for day trips

This particular anti-theft crossbody is remarkably roomy for the size and includes must-have anti-theft features: slash resistant body panels and strap, locking zipper closures, RFID-blocking pockets, lockdown strap. 

Don’t miss my full review of the Travelon classic crossbody bucket bag for more complete details and my personal photos of the purse, so you can see how it looks in real life. 

Affordable laptop backpack 

While an anti-theft travel purse is essential for your trip, you might also need something a little larger. 

A backpack designed to carry a laptop is a great option and makes an ideal personal bag for taking on flights

This backpack has a separate laptop pocket designed to hold laptops up to 15.6 inches. 

It also includes a roomy main compartment to hold everything you need to survive a long flight

The front compartment will help you keep smaller items organized. A strap on the back of the pack allows it to fit over your extended rolling carry-on handle. 

It even includes a small anti-theft pocket. I love anti-theft features in travel bags.

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travel essentials for women

Travel insurance is an essential travel item 

You invest a lot of time and money in planning your travel. You want it to go perfectly, but let’s face it…sometimes life happens. People get sick, accidents happen, things get lost or (sadly) stolen. 

We’re blessed to have never needed to file a claim with travel insurance, but we love the peace of mind that comes with knowing our travel investment is covered. 

It’s a good idea to have travel insurance in case something goes wrong.  

If you get injured or seriously ill while you’re abroad, do you know that you’ll be able to get the medical care you need? 

Take a few minutes to find out more about why travel insurance is important for your trip. 

Get a travel insurance quote here. 

Essential travel accessories 

Sleep mask 

Does your trip include a long-haul flight? Then a good quality sleep mask is a must to help you sleep on your flight

This mask is adjustable so you can get it to the pressure that’s perfect for you and completely block out light. 

And there’s plenty of room for your eyelashes so you can blink freely and won’t destroy your eye makeup.  

It’s hand washable and comes in a ton of fun colors and patterns to show off your personality.

Water bottle 

I never leave my house without a water bottle while I’m traveling. You’ll really love this sport water bottle. It’s lightweight and spill proof. 

I love that I can toss it in my bag and I don’t have to worry about it leaking on anything. 

If you’re looking for an insulated bottle, you can’t go wrong with this one

I love that it’s dishwasher safe. That’s a big selling point for me.

Portable charger 

Ladies, don’t forget that making sure that your phone is fully charged is an important part of keeping safe while you travel.  

It’s essential to pack a portable charger to make sure your devices never run out of juice. If you listen to music or watch videos as you travel, you can drain your battery much more quickly than you might realize. 

This one is ultra-compact. It’s perfect for packing into your carry-on or day bag. 

Or try this high-capacity power bank so that you can charge more than one device at a time if you need it. 

Plastic storage bags in assorted sizes 

Pack at least a few each of several different plastic storage bags. You never know when you might need one when you travel. 

They’re great for random everyday uses like packing snacks in your day bag or keeping wet swimsuits away from the rest of your clothes in your suitcase, etc. 

You can even find them in variety packs like this

Shoes and clothing 

A fashion guru I am not, BUT there are a few basic items that I will recommend to any woman who loves to travel. 

These are things that I believe should be on every packing list…depending on your destination and time of year you’re traveling of course. 

The most comfortable flip-flops ever 

These flip flops are essential for me any time that I travel. They’re super comfortable and stylish enough to wear out and about. 

They’re also great to just wear around your hotel room or to slip on quickly to make a quick ice run down the hallway. 

Comfortable casual shoes 

If you find a casual and comfortable shoe that works with many outfits, make sure you grab ahold and never let go. 

These are my go-to casual slip-on shoes for travel. They’re perfect for any kind of city break day trip. 

And they’re exceptionally lightweight and can be machine washed. I always air dry them to help them last as long as possible. 

I haven’t found another slip-on casual shoe that I like better. 

They even make vegan-friendly options.  

Hiking shoes 

Although a good pair of comfortable slip-on shoes are great for exploring in the city, there might be times when you need a more substantial shoe. 

If you’re going hiking, you’re going to want good support. I find hiking ankle boots too constricting, so that’s why I wear these hiking shoes

They’re comfortable and waterproof. 

In fact, they’re great for any outdoor activity, not just hiking. 

Their substantial soles are great for uneven terrain, like exploring ancient ruins in Rome…just as an example. 

Breathable waterproof rain shell 

Weather happens. You don’t want it to ruin your day of exploring. 

So, don’t forget to take a lightweight, packable, waterproof, breathable rain jacket with a hood. 

This jacket is quite popular. And will easily pack into any day bag…even a fairly small one. 

You really do want to make sure that it’s breathable. Other waterproof jackets can be quite stifling and it can be very easy to get overheated quickly. 

Warm packable vest 

If you’re going to be traveling in colder weather another great outerwear option is to take a light and packable puffer vest. 

This one from Eddie Bauer is machine washable which I think is a great feature. Just give it a tumble dry on low and it will come out looking great. 

My Eddie Bauer down vest has last me for many seasons and I can’t imagine trying anything else. In fact, mine has lasted so long they don’t even make it any more. 

Set of travel bottles and towel in plastic bag inside a backpack
Don’t forget your toiletry travel essentials.

Beauty and personal care 

Okay, honesty time. 

Packing makeup and toiletries can be the thing I nitpick over even more than clothes, especially when traveling carry-on only

These are my top recommendations for toiletries  

Travel size skin care kit 

Favorite skin care products in travel sizes are perfect for your packing list. 

I never leave these products behind when I travel. 

They’re small enough even to fit inside your one-quart liquids bag when packing toiletries for carry-on

High SPF sunscreen for face 

Sunscreen isn’t just for beach days. 

Wearing a good sunscreen on your face every single day can help slow the signs of aging and even help prevent the effects of environmental damage. 

I wear this SPF 50 sunscreen for face every single day. There’s no white cast and it works great under makeup. 

It comes in a travel size too. 

Healing lip balm 

A good lip balm makes a wonderful travel companion. 

I never travel without this one, especially on those long, dry flights. 

Re-usable beauty product bottles 

If you don’t want to purchase travel size beauty products, you could purchase a variety of sizes of re-usable containers so that you can just take with you a bit of your favorite full-size products from home. 

This set comes with several different kinds of containers in various sizes. 

These containers are also really popular. 

Makeup remover wipes 

I never travel without these dry cloths that you activate with water. That way I can travel with the exact amount I need. 

They never dry out like the moist towelette ones. 

When I travel, these replace any need for a liquid cleanser. 

You can even cut them in half to stretch them farther and save money! 

Wet wipes, tissues and toilet seat covers 

I know these are far from glamorous but you’ll be glad that you have them. 

Travel packs of wet wipes are a good idea to pack especially for using on planes, car rides and just about every other traveling situation. These are my favorites. 

Travel packs of tissues and/or toilet seat covers (depending on where your traveling) make good additions to your travel purse or day bag. 

Miscellaneous first aid 

Pack a few first aid items like band-aids, alcohol wipes and pain relievers just in case. You want to be prepared in the event of a minor injury (like a cut or scrape) or headache or something. 

You can build your own kit from items you have at home and a small plastic storage bag. 

Or purchase a compact first-aid kit made for travel like this one

Solid toiletries 

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a big believer in traveling with carry-on luggage only, but doing that requires keeping toiletries to a minimum. 

If you’re staying in a hotel, you can minimize the toiletries you pack in your carry-on by using the products the hotel provides. 

To help travelers out with minimalist packing, there are a lot of liquid toiletries that can be replaced with solid versions. They don’t need to be packed in your 1-quart liquids bag, which will free up space for you. 

For example, if you use a shampoo bar like this one you can leave shampoo out of your liquid toiletries bag all together. 

You can also get solid conditioner bars like this one

This is my favorite solid sunscreen stick. 

You can even buy solid lotion like this to help keep you moisturized while you travel (a great idea for long flights with all that drying air). 

Final thoughts on travel essentials for women 

Part of having a great trip is being well prepared. And when you have all of the essential travel items you need, you’ll definitely be well prepared. 

From clothing to shoes and from bags to personal care, these travel essentials will help you travel like a pro. 

More articles related to women’s travel essentials 

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essential travel products for women

Travel Essentials for Women: 28 Must Haves 

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