Why the list of travel essentials for women?
If you read this blog at all then you know that it’s dripping with adolescent humor that stems from the insane number of travel mistakes that I make, like my most recent debacle at an Airbnb in Naples, Italy.
Upon some not so deep reflection about my list of must have, international travel essentials, I quickly realized that to compile this list of essential items for travelers, I would need some expert advice.
I asked some of the travel bloggers that I love, trust, and admire to share their nominations for travel necessities that they just can’t live without!
And added bonus?
Some of these products are totally free, like some of the travel apps!
Yup, free is my favorite word.
So even if you’re broke like a joke, you can still travel like a total boss.
So take a peek, and add some of these essential travel products to your list of the best gifts for friends going abroad.
Because here at Girl with the Passport:
I’m all about reading a blog post and getting some Amazon shopping done since that’s the type of multi-tasking I do.
That and buying useless products on Amazon while lifting a spoonful of ice cream to my mouth.
Yes, it’s a difficult life I lead.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
One of my favorite, essential travel accesories is my Sigg Hot and Cold flask.
I’ve had it almost a year now and it comes on all of my trips with me!
Why do I love it?
Well, I enjoy hiking and it’s the perfect flask for big or small hiking trips.
You can drink directly from the flask, which means no messing around with balancing cups on rocks, something that was extremely helpful during my UK Hiking trip which included climbing the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis in Scotland.
The weather at the top can certainly be unpredictable and a lovely warm drink is exactly what I needed.
The Sigg Hot and Cold can also be used for trips through colder countries too.
The flask costs £22.95/ $29.95 for the 0.5 l version, with other sizes available too.
It may seem expensive for a flask, but you’ll quickly earn your money back when you don’t need to buy hot drinks while you travel.
Ever been lost in a new city where you don’t speak the language and your cell phone has died and there is no way of recharging it?
You can completely avoid this horrible situation with the help of a portable charger, an essential addition to any travel packing list!
It’s also compact and easily fits in your carry on (mine is approximately the same size as my cell phone).
Just bring your cell phone charger (with a USB extension) and you’ll be able to charge your cell anywhere!
Portable chargers also come with different features, such as waterproof, shockproof, dustproof or even some that are solar powered or have more than one USB port to charge multiple devices at the same time!
Its versatility makes it the perfect companion for exploring cities, hiking in the wilderness, or spending the day on the water!
Starting at $15 (with higher prices depending on the specific features):
This is a handy travel gadget that is also one of the most affordable products for travelers!
3. Google Maps
I have always been directionally challenged.
Reading a map was one of the biggest challenges that I faced while traveling.
That was until I discovered that tiny blue dot on Google maps that told me exactly where I am!!!
The next revelation I had was that it would tell me which direction I should walk in.
Getting lost got even more difficult once I figured out how to navigate using the maps directions.
As time passed:
I began to use Google Maps more I learned how to plan our trips.
I just place pins at all the interesting locations in the country I want to visit and then Shawn just takes my star-studded map and creates a travel route that covers every destination on the list.
I also drop pins at locations I have already visited, like my hotel. This way, when you’re taking a taxi or a tuk-tuk, you can just input the directions to your desired location and see if the driver is going in the right direction!
An easy way to make sure that you aren’t being overcharged.
4. Rooftop Tent
I’ll be honest:
I LOVE the outdoors, but I don’t love assembling a tent and sleeping on the cold, hard ground.
I finally invested in a Yakima Skyrise rooftop tent after eyeing one for months.
It has completely changed my travel life for the better!
With my hotel/campsite on the roof of my car, I can take spontaneous trips without worrying about where I’m staying or fitting everything into a backpack.
I just find a spot with a view, unfold the tent, and I’m all set!
It literally takes two minutes to set up.
The thick foam mattress is also super comfy so I can just fall asleep while gazing up at the stars through the skylight.
I waited to buy one because of the hefty price tag (my medium-size tent cost me $879’20) but it was 100% worth the investment!
Nowadays, thanks to my beloved rooftop tent:
I’m camping more than ever and planning some epic summer road trips through all the national parks in the Western United States.
Hopper is the best FREE app for tracking flight prices!
I discovered it last year and have been using it obsessively ever since.
As a frequent flyer:
I love it because it makes planning a vacation so much simpler.
Not only is this travel app is easy to use but it tells you exactly when to book your flight for the best price and provides specific price drop predictions by date.
All you have to do is put in your flight parameters and the app does the rest.
Hopper will then tell you to either book your flight now or wait.
If the app suggests waiting:
It’ll show you the lowest possible ticket price and the exact date at which the price will begin to rise.
How amazing is that?
Using this app has definitely saved us money so it is a must-have app for anyone who books flights.
You can download it for free for both iPhone and Android devices.
6. Panasonic Lumix G85 (with a 14-140mm Lumix travel zoom lens)
This year I upgraded my camera, after extensively researching all of the best cameras for travel photography.
I didn’t want a big DSLR since they take up way too much room in my bag.
I just wanted something that would take better quality photos than my pocket sized point & shoot.
So after testing a bunch of cameras:
I finally settled on the Panasonic Lumix G85, with a 14-140mm Lumix travel zoom lens.
It’s a mirrorless, Micro Four Thirds camera, so it has a smaller sensor that is still big enough to produce really high-quality photos!
Even though the lenses are small, they still a lot more reach with zoom lenses!
Not only can I get a decent wide angle shot but I can also zoom in on a bird or cute animal with the 14-140mm lens.
So convenient since I don’t have to switch lenses for 90% of my photos!
It’s the closest thing to a “one size fits all” lens that I’ve found.
The Lumix G85 may look like a DSLR, but it’s still on the smaller side (and if you want to go even small, it has a sister model, GX85).
But before you buy ANY camera:
Go to a store and try out different models to see which one feels the best in your hands!
Also be sure to invest in a nice crossbody camera strap with a padded shoulder.
Those dinky straps that come with your camera are so uncomfortable so a good strap (and camera bag) is a must!
My husband and I are travel photographers who spend a lot of time outdoors and in the elements.
For a long time:
We struggled to find a product that was easy to wear, breathable, and that whisks away moisture.
That is until we found Buff headwear which is multifunctional and can be worn in a variety of ways (as a hat, ear warmer, neckband, hair band, and so much more).
My husband is a very fair skinned man who shaves his head, so sun protection is a must.
He uses one band as a hat and a second around his neck.
But even if you’re not traveling in warm-weather:
Buffs can also help protect you against the cold and biting insects.
I use mine to keep my hair out of my face or to cover my ears when it’s cold.
They come in a variety of colors, patterns, and materials with prices between $12 and $30.
By: Amanda of La Vida Viva (Check her blog out on Facebook and Instagram)
Trail Wallet is my absolute must-have app for traveling.
Created by travelers:
This app carefully monitors everything that a traveler needs to know about their spending.
As someone who travels long term and through many different countries, sticking to a budget and tracking expenditures in various currencies can be tough.
That is until I found this app which is super easy to use and allows me to create different trips, set up a daily budget, and categorize where I am spending my money.
For every trip I take:
I just input all the applicable currencies, as well as my home currency, so that I can see how much I’ve spent in Aussie dollars (which is particularly helpful when you’re paying for things in local currencies and then booking tours for in USD).
The app can also be accessed offline so you can even export your spending to a spreadsheet for better budgeting.
It’s an absolute travel must have for anyone who wants to properly track their spending.
Trail Wallet is also free for the first twenty-five items and then costs an additional $7.99AUD for tracking an unlimited number of items.
It’s seriously the best money I’ve ever spent on an app and I don’t know how I ever survived without it.
When I started planning my year-long trip around the world:
I decided I needed a new backpack. During a visit to an outdoor store in search of the perfect backpack, I found the best wheeled backpack for travel.
Not just a duffel bag but a proper backpack with sturdy straps that can be carried or rolled around.
I’d never even seen a bag like this before but since my neck and shoulders get sore easily, I was immediately drawn to it.
The only drawback?
This Osprey Meridian isn’t exactly cheap, at $350 a bag!
I’ve been traveling with this backpack for four years now and it’s still in great shape.
So yeah, it was worth the investment (don’t worry there are cheaper alternatives with wheels too).
I’ll wheel the bag around most of the time and then the few times that I can’t use the wheels, like at the beach, I’ll just unzip the back, pull out the straps, and carry it on my back.
But the best feature?
It has a daypack that you can attach to it, making travel around the world a lot more fun and a whole lot easier.
There are all sorts of travel products out there that are designed to make your life on the road easier.
Sometimes, you just have to throw caution to the wind and buy a big, heavy, unicorn infaltable takes up almost an entire suitcase (because you have to pack an electric pump as well).
But you know what?
I would never consider a trip to the beach without my magical inflatable unicorn!
No, I wouldn’t take it backpacking across South America. But I do take it on camping trips or to Maui.
And if a relaxing float on the gentle ocean waves isn’t enough for you, it also makes a great bed for napping on at the beach.
I’ve even made anchors out of rocks and rope so that I can take a nap on the water without worrying about being swept out to sea.
And during our last trip to Maui:
We discovered this magical beast can even surf! It’s almost like riding a mechanical bull but on the water.
We’re talking serious amounts of fun.
Carrying a giant unicorn float down the beach is always an awesome converstaion starter.
“Hello stranger. Would you like to meet my unicorn?” HELLS YA!”
11. Original UNO Card Game
UNO seems like a totally obvious way to have fun with friends and family either at home or at a picnic.
This game has also turned out to be my favorite travel accessory over the past years.
Be it those long, boring hours waiting for a delayed flight or a dull train ride with no spectacular views or even a long haul flight that never ends, UNO has always been there to keep us entertained.
Not only that but it’s also a great way to meet other travelers during our trips.
The best part about UNO Cards though is that they are sold everywhere.
They are also easy to pack and carry, making them a fun and efficient travel item that should be on everyone’s travel packing list.
Being an avid diver and beach lover:
I’m always trying to keep my valuables safe, dry, and away from sand (those pesky grains cause havoc on electronics).
I was excited last year when I found the perfect solution, a dry bag!
These bags are specifically designed to keep your belongings dry, and not just from the rain. They can even withstand submersion in water for several minutes.
I bought a large dry bag (15L) to keep my clothes and towel in during a diving trip. And I loved it so much that I bought a second smaller one (5L) that is perfect for valuables at the beach.
I no longer have to worry about where to put my camera and purse when I go for a dip because I can just take them with me!
They’re available in a wide range of colors and sizes, so you can pick the perfect size and color to match any outfit.
13. Lip Balm
Lip balm is one of the best travel products of ALL TIME!
It’s amazing since it keeps your lips hydrated all year round; especially during the winter when the air is dry and chapped lips are everyone’s worst enemy.
Lip balm also has amazing healing and protective properties that make your lips look and feel younger.
I wasn’t a huge fan of lip balm until my first winter trip, when my lips started to crack and burn while smiling for photos.
From then on:
I invested in a tube of lip balm and bring it with me everywhere. Plus, it’s less than $5 and a total lifesaver.
14. Hair Ties
They usually arrive in threes, they cost less than $2, and they do way more than you’d imagine.
You can find them at most drugstores, and sometimes you might even get lucky and get them for free.
I’m talking about those little, women’s hair ties, made from coiled plastic, that are available all over the world.
If you have long hair like me, those hair ties stop you from inhaling your own locks during those wild days at the beach or when you’re taking in scenic mountain top views.
They’ve also stopped me from ripping my hair out on the velcro on a life jacket and have also kept my hair warmly snuggled inside my hat, while out in the snow.
But these little women’s travel essentials can also be used to attach your spare jacket to your bag or to corral that tangled mess of tech cables that seem to endlessly run riot through your house.
A total travel essential for women that must be added to your travel checklist.
My favorite travel product has to be the GoToob+ or GoToob by HumanGear!
Now if you haven’t tried this product before or haven’t heard of it then you need to buy it now.
You might be thinking, okay how is this any different from any other refillable shampoo, condition, or lotion bottle out there that holds all your travel beauty essentials?
What makes this travel must have so special is that not only are these bottles reusable but they are also squeezable.
You can get every last drop out of whatever product you’re using.
As a result:
You’re actually saving money and reducing plastic consumption at the same time.
These bottles have an innovative design that includes a wide mouth opening that makes the bottles easier to refill, a hook that allows you to hang the bottle in the shower (only available on GoToob+), a leak-proof design, and labels that you can customize yourself.
The perfect travel gadget for any woman on the go.
16. The Upwade USB Extension Cord
We’re currently on a family gap year trip around the world.
So when we initially packed for our trip, we made quite a few mistakes, including bringing about three hundred different international plug adapters and USB plugs.
Needless to say:
We ended up either not having enough outlets or not having the right type of adapter.
We ran into a number of problems with heavy, cumbersome chargers (looking at you, MacBook Pro) that hung precariously from loose plug adapters – raising concerns about safety and damage to our electronics.
During a wistful search on Amazon:
I came across a USB extension cord that solves so many of our problems.
Now, we only need one good-quality international plug adapter, the extension cord, and a cord for each device.
That’s because this extension cord comes with two US outlets and four USB plugs.
Therefore, we can simultaneously charge our iPhones, Amazon Fire tablets, a laptop, and a camera!
Such a great way to lighten our travel load as we continue our trip and travel to Southeast Asia.
“Getting blisters is such a joyful and intrinsically satisfying experience,” said no one ever.
You also don’t want a heinous pair of orthopedic, velcro sneakers that make you look like a total selfie stick wielding, fanny pack toting tourist.
So what’s the solution?
Converse! The ultimate cute and comfortable travel walking shoes!
Not only is this iconic brand perfect for men and women of all ages (talk about a cross-generational fashion icon), but they are also comfy, come in a variety of awesome colors, and can easily slip on and off (perfect for battling the perils of airport security).
NotConverse tend to run large (I’m an 8.5 and usually get an 8), but if you’re purchasing them on Amazon, make sure to purchase them from a reputable seller
LASTPairs and SHOEAMERICA are less than stellar purveyors of shoes who sent me the wrong size and/or two-toned shoes.
Talk about a downer.
So if you want a pair of Converse that really last, order them from a high-quality seller and get the Chuck Taylor 2 with canvas since they last longer, fade less, and provide your feet with better support.
***Be sure to get insoles if you have low or fallen arches***
I can now wear jeans on a plane, without getting a gross, jumbo size, muffin top, and actually feel comfortable.
I probably will never wear another pair of jeans again.
AND THEN THERE’S THE POCKETS!
Don’t even get me started on the pockets. They are huge and deep, like Grand Canyon level deep. And stylish too. And there are 5 of them! Yup, pockets for days!
When I wanna be all cheap and avoid baggage fees, I can just shove all my crap in my pockets and lighten up my luggage!
If only it was that easy to solve all of life’s problems.
These jeans are also SUPER high quality, so say goodbye to the days of heavy jeans that smell not so great after awhile.
Say hello to the retail beauty that is durable, flexible, breathable and super comfortable jeans, like stretchy yoga pant level comfortable.
The only downside?
They are $110 a pair. Yeah, don’t know about you but that is kind of steep for me.
They’re so comfortable and last so long that I feel like it’s an investment in a SUPER high-quality product.
19. World Nomads Travel Insurance
I am the queen of travel blunders and mishaps.
That’s why, when it comes to travel essentials for women, travel insurance is a must!
It would not be unlikely for me to literally plummet down the side of a mountain and whoops, end up in a body cast after a leisurely stroll through the woods.
So clearly, it’s a given that I always buy travel insurance.
But what is the best travel insurance out there?
Personally, I LOVE World Nomads Travel Insurance! Sure, they’re a little on the expensive side but so what?
I mean, if you can’t afford travel insurance then you probably shouldn’t be traveling.
Insurance is one of those things that you don’t skimp on, kind of like a pregnancy test. You just can’t afford to be cheap when it really counts (trust me, I’ve tried about a billion different companies and they are the best).
But more importantly:
World Nomads travel insurance covers pretty much any destination you might want to visit (besides SUPER offbeat places like Pakistan is a good example), they give you an amazing level of coverage that includes any travel disaster possible, short of being impaled by a unicorn, it’s super easy to customize, and you can even extend or change your travel insurance policy while you’re on the road.
Amzing no? However, the real question is, what plan should you get?
Easy! If all your gear is worth less than $1000, get the basic plan.
If you’re a not-so-fancy travel blogger like me and your camera, laptop, tablet, and phone EASILY cost over a $1000, then the explorer plan is where it’s at (both offer emergency medical coverage of up to $100,000).