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Complete List of Travelling Essentials
Figuring out what to take on your upcoming trip? This list covers all of the basics you shouldn’t travel without. From basic clothing, to toiletries, and more. It took me years of traveling to master the art of packing light. Start by packing these travelling essentials for women to avoid packing unnecessary stuff that you will never use. Even more, this list will help you to NOT forget anything important. Save this post on Pinterest for future reference!
Have a specific trip you are planning and need to know what to pack? Comment your requests at the end of this post!
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Packing Gear Basics
Before you can physically pack for your travels, you need to have your gear in order. I have been to Europe, the Caribbean, and all over the US, no matter where I go or how long the trip, these items go with me on every single trip.
A quality carry on suitcase is a great investment piece for any type of travel. From weekend trips to European adventures, a great carry on is sure to get a lot of use. This 3-piece set from Amazon comes in under $200 (when on sale) and has so many great reviews. You’ll always have the perfect size suitcase with this set. Plus, the price is hard to beat!
Small Backpack or Duffle Bag
When I fly, I avoid checking a bag at all costs. Therefore, I always pack a carry-on suitcase, a backpack or duffle (personal bag), and a small purse that can sit in my lap. This backpack is my go-to. It is truly intended to be a diaper bag, however it doesn’t look like your standard diaper bag! Also comes in this beautiful cognac color. What I love are all of the compartments, which help keep you organized, and the size is just right to fit under a seat. Also, the bottom of the bag has a thick rubber pad so I never worry about where I place the bag because I know it wont get damaged and is easy to clean! Under $100 and can often be discounted with a coupon!
Travel Crossbody or Convertible bag (Essential for everyday travel wear)
A small bag is a MUST for any trip. Keep your essentials close and secure & carry a few personal items on the go. An RFID bag is a great option when travelling internationally. If you aren’t concerned with RFID, this convertible crossbody is one you will use on your trip and everyday. It converts from crossbody, to waist bag, to a clutch. I use this bag everyday and cannot recommend enough, especially at under $30!
If you plan to shower on your trip, you need this bag. It holds EVERYTHING you’ll need for bathing, haircare, and skincare. I love all of the compartments and that it can be hung up to save on counter space! Everything from lotion to tweezers can fit into this bag.
Packing cubes are the secret weapon to staying organized on vacation. use it for yourself or for your kids. These cubes are great for clothing or for toiletries. They’re particularly helpful for packing up the kids!
Use plastic quart size bags for TSA liquids AND for packing individual outfits. If travelling with kids, I like to pack an entire outfit in a ziplock bag and then label the day of the week the outfit is for. This makes getting ready in the morning so much easier on vacation.
Ziplocks are also great for the beach. I like to throw my phone & charging pack in a bag to keep it protected from water! This variety pack of bag is great for travel! Use the large size for wet or dirty clothes to bring back home. Quart size for liquids. Small Size for Snacks!
Airtight packing bags: ultimate travelling essentials for women who (think they) pack light
Looking to pack light? A set of compression bags is the key to freeing up space in your bag! Simply put clothes inside then roll out the air to compress the bag. These come in handy when you need to free up luggage space for souvenirs!
Do not waste money on buying travel size liquids. Instead, fill reusable travel size bottles with your favorite products that you already have at home.
Most travels require walking. Whether in the airport, while sightseeing, or just exploring a new area. The last thing you want is sore, or blistered, feet on vacation. This pair of walking sneakers is sure to go with any outfit. They can be dressed up or down and worn all year, while still maintaining their style!
Great for camping, resort stays, or airbnb rentals. I never travel without a pair of rubber flip flops! They’re easy to clean and keep your feet clean from unknown surfaces (shower floors!). I love that they’re easy to slip on and off!
While these are not essential for every trip. If you are one who likes to take road trips or visit national parks, these shoes are a must!
Packable, washable, stylish, and comfortable. Highly recommend a great pair of travel flats like these! They’re not only great for travel, but for everyday wear as well.
Basic Tee: Top garment travel essential for women
An essential for any wardrobe, including your travel wardrobe. This t-shirt is something I constantly reach for in my closet. Wear it alone or layer it up with just about anything! My top recommendation for travelling essentials for women.
Lightweight, cute, and comfortable. The best part? Leggings take up very little space in your luggage! Do not wear leggings on you travel day. Instead opt for bulky pieces, like jeans or sweatpants, that would take up more space in your luggage.
Searching for comfortable, no show, full coverage undies. These are the only pair you need. Great under leggings and stay in place! I’ve tried several options to find the best pair without a VPL (visible panty line), and the Vince Camuto style are my favorite.
These are great for long road trips in the car. Also great for cold hotel rooms!
Particularly if you are travelling into unpredictable weather, or during cooler months. You will want a few jackets, cardigans, or zip ups to wear over basic pieces. Don’t forget, if flying, to wear your bulkiest items on the plane so that you don’t waist precious luggage space!
Toiletry Travel Essentials
Your toiletry list will vary based upon personal needs. These are some of my personal favorite items to travel with and hacks I find useful. I left out obvious items like toothbrush, toothpaste, and razors… so don’t forget those travelling essentials for women! Comment your must have toiletries at the end of this post!
My go to clean sunscreen is this one from Supergoop! I love that it is easy to apply and I feel good knowing their ingredient are cleaner compared to other household sunscreen brands. Their products are pricey, but I prefer to spend more knowing the product is safer for myself and more importantly, for my son! The liquid version is great and this stick version is great for babies and kids while travelling.
If you are not as concerned with ingredients, this sunscreen stick is a super affordable option. The solid stick version (think of it like a deodorant) is TSA frienly so you will be able to avoid using up precious liquid space if you are planning to fly carry-on only!
Mess free and TSA friendly. Lotion is not only essential for daily wear, but I like having it with my during long flights to keep my skin from drying out on the plane.
Solid for is ESSENTIAL in order to save liquid space & packing light. I love gel deodorant for everyday wear, but always pack solid form when travelling.
This is my favorite clean deodorant for light activity.
This aluminum free stick is great for heavy activity.
Shave Cream Bar (TSA Friendly Travelling Essential)
Do not pack liquid shave gel or cream. This bar is all you need to pack! Another item I regret not finding sooner. A #1 Travelling essential for women who are headed to the beach!!
Instead of packing individual eyeshadow, bronzer, blush, and highlighter. Get a pallet that has everything in one! Easy to pack and keeps you organized on the go. My favorite palette also has a generous mirror included which is great when you’re on the go and mirrors may be limited.
Makeup Remover Wipes
Another item to go liquid free! These wipes will remove all of your stubborn make up and leave your skin feeling refreshed!
Laundry Detergent Sheets
Even if you don’t have access to a washer and dryer, you can use these sheets to wash a few pieces in your sink. This is crucial for packing light or implementing a travel capsule wardrobe for a longer trip! I often will wash undergarments and basics (like my go-to white tee) on vacation. Multiple wears=less to pack!
It’s always a good idea to have a small first-aid kit in your toiletry bag. This will allow you to be completely prepared, especially if you don’t have easy access to a pharmacy on your trip!
Facial Cleanser Cloths
Reduce liquid space in your carry by taking these facial cloths. Just add water and watch the suds form! Love these for basic cleansing after a long day.
I wish I had found these before travelling to Europe (with only a carry on) for two weeks! I recently bought these to test out how my hair would take to the formula and LOVE them. TIP: Leave the conditioner on for an extra 2 minutes, as compared to liquid conditioner, to let it really sink in and smooth out coarse strands. These are pricey for the size, but they last a very long time!!
Misc. Travel Essentials
Here are some more travelling essentials for women that you may want to consider, depending on where you are going!
For the plane or hotel room, this mask will block out the light and help you get some rest! Even better, the silky smooth fabric is good for your skin! Avoid unwanted wrinkles and retain important moisture in your skin. Travelling can be so harsh on your skin, but sleeping on silk can reduce unwanted damage.
This hat clip is essential for carrying your hat (hands free!) through the airport. Secure the clip to your bag then use the magnetic closure to hold the hat. Solves two problems: Ruining your hat in your luggage and wearing your sun hat in the airport!
Portable Charger (Essential for all Travelers)
When you’re on the go you often end up using more phone battery (think of Google Maps, Spotify, Google Translate, photos, etc) but you will also have little time to charge your phone during the day. Having a power bank is great for staying connected while you’re on the move.
This charging station is great for charging multiple devices at the same time! If you take a lot of tech with you on the go, this will be one of the travelling essentials for women (AND men) that you don’t want to forget!
If you’ll have time to read, don’t forget to take a new book or an e-reader. These are great for relaxed beach trips! Also a must for an extended flight or long layover (without kids!)
Always have a clean, personal water bottle within reach. This bottle collapses down to fit into a small bag or carry on. Expand it out when you are ready for a fill up. Great for flights, hiking, and camping.
A packable jacket is a great option for saving space and will ensure you are dry and protected during your trip. There is nothing worse than walking around your vacation in wet clothes… or buying an over-priced tourist jacket on your trip!
Best Hair Ties (Essential for travel with long hair)
The only hair ties you will ever need. These reduce breakage to fine hair and are crease-proof. This allows you to go between hairstyles with ease during your trip. They come in thin banding for fine hair and thick banding to create full volume ponytails. I have both and love them. The thick banded ties are tighter, so I prefer to sleep with the thin bands to reduce tugging at night.
For all the ladies who love (or need) a full face of make up! This mirror is a must if travelling for a special occasion, such as a wedding. Also great if you are used toa makeup mirror at home as hotels often have poor lighting. This mirror is slim and easy to pack. A generous size and extra lighting will allow seamless makeup application on the go. Great for road tripping, glam mamas!
Other Items to Consider as Travelling Essentials
Travelling essentials for women can vary greatly depending on your destination. Check out some popular posts for outfits and packing lists specific to certain destinations. If you have an upcoming trip you need help with, let me know in the comments!
Beachwear This post covers several figure flattering & affordable swim suits for women.
Disney An ever-popular destination. The foundation to a successful Disney trip is packing & outfit planning. Read this post for my top recommendations.
Wardrobe Capsule for the Beach! This post helps you create a travel capsule for your net beach trip. Pack better, with less!