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34 Travel Essentials for Women: What I Like to Bring on Every Trip

travel essentials for women

After traveling to 57 countries, I think it’s safe to say I’m somewhat of an expert in the field. I’ve been on every type of trip, from an active safari to a relaxing Santorini escape, and have learned so much from those experiences. I get such a thrill from traveling and I feel so fortunate that my job has allowed me to do it regularly.

On the other hand, I know how stressful traveling can be, especially if you’re always running late to the airport. I’m guilty of this and my husband truly can’t stand it (sorry Matt!)

One of my greatest travel hacks, especially for a long haul flight, is to make sure you pack strategically. I’ve found that bringing the right items in your carry-on can make your travel experience much smoother, and dare I say even a bit enjoyable.

This packing list of the top travel essentials for women will help you prep and plan for your next getaway. Follow this guide and you’ll be able to combat your travel worries and arrive to your final destination feeling calm.

34 Travel Essentials For Women

Airplane Travel Essentials

Smooth travel starts with packing wisely. I swear by these 7 items for staying organized during a trip.

Calpak Clear Cosmetics Case
Calpak Clear Cosmetics Case

This cosmetics case is one of my holy grail travel items. I’ve recommended it to so many people and everyone is equally as obsessed as I am. It’s perfect for storing your toiletries and makeup and I love that you can see through the bag so you know exactly what you’re grabbing.

Beis Luggage
Beis Luggage

Having quality luggage is such a game changer. It makes a big difference in keeping what you pack organized and secure, and it also holds up better over time.

Packing Cubes
Packing Cubes

I remember when packing cubes were a relatively new concept and now it seems like everyone uses them to organize their suitcase. There are so many on the market but I think this $20 set from Amazon does the job. Bonus: it comes with a dedicated shoe organizer so you can keep your dirty kicks away from your clothes and toiletries.

Pill Organizer
Pill Organizer

I know this isn’t the most glamorous travel item but it’s important that you don’t forget to take your medications and supplements during a trip. This keeps them all organized without being too bulky. It scores extra points for not looking like it was designed for a 95 year old.

Hanging Toiletry Bag
Hanging Toiletry Bag

It’s always a good idea to bring a hanging toiletry bag on a trip. I find them to be so convenient to use in a hotel room. This one has almost 13,000 5-star reviews and it comes in several different colors.

Calpak Stevyn Duffel
Calpak Stevyn Duffel | Travel Essentials for Women

This carry-on bag slips over the handle on a suitcase for easy maneuvering through the airport. It’s roomy enough to house several outfits and toiletries. Plus, it has a compartment for shoe storage which comes in handy.

Jewelry Organizer
Jewelry Organizer | travel essentials for women

It’s no fun to arrive on a trip to find that all the jewelry you packed is a tangled mess. Keep it in check with a jewelry organizer, like this under $10 find from Amazon.

Pepper Spray
pepper spray can from amazon

If you’re traveling internationally or you’re simply going somewhere that doesn’t have the safest reputation, you might want to consider bringing along pepper spray. Keep in mind that you’ll have to put this in your checked baggage—TSA only allows one, 4 ounce can to be in each bag.

Carry On Travel Essentials

What you put in your carry on bag is probably the most important factor for airplane travel. You don’t want to show up to the airport unorganized. In addition to headphones and a laptop or tablet, these are the items I recommend bringing with you on board.

Cuyana Leather Passport Case
Cuyana Leather Passport Case

A good passport holder is key to seamless travel. I’m a big fan of this one from Cuyana because it can be monogrammed. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, this Amazon travel wallet has been a #SilbSquad favorite for years and is under $15!

Tip: Use your passport holder as a spot to store an extra/backup credit card.

Summer Fridays Lip Balm
Summer Fridays Lip Balm

My lips always feel like the Sahara desert after long flights so packing a lip balm is essential. This is a good one to reapply during and after a flight — it leaves you with a dewy, subtle glow.

Brooklinen Silk Eyemask
Brooklinen Silk Eyemask

I feel like people either love or hate the idea of using an eye mask on a plane. I personally fall into the latter category. This one is superior to others because it’s weighted. It will promote deeper relaxation and also doubles as a noise-reducing accessory — a total win-win!

Rechargeable Book Light
Rechargeable Book Light

If you feel somewhat obnoxious for having your overhead light on during a flight (I feel you), this mini book light is for you. It will last about 8 hours on the brightest setting and can be recharged afterwards.

LMNT Hydration Packets
LMNT Hydration Packets

There’s no doubt about it….flying leaves you soooo dehydrated. I always pack these hydration packets to drink during and after my flight. They actually taste good and aren’t filled with junk.

Stanley Quick Flip Bottle
reusable water bottle

Since it’s so crucial to stay hydrated while you fly, consider bringing along a reusable water bottle so you can fill it up before you take off. This one is really durable, comes in a ton of colors, and keeps drinks cold for up to 12 hours.

Touchland Glow Mist
touchland hand sanitizer

There’s no denying that airports are…ummm….disgusting. I love this hand sanitizer because it doesn’t have that harsh, sterile smell. It’s honestly scented like a light perfume and it’s also non-drying.

Travel Pillow
travel pillow

If you’re heading out on a long-haul flight, a neck pillow is a must. This one can be molded into different shapes so you can actually get comfortable.

Tip: If you don’t want to pack a reusable water bottle, just purchase one when you get through airport security — they’re always nice to have while you’re in flight!

Travel Wardrobe Essentials

If you’re stumped on what to wear during a flight, I’ve got you covered! I feel like I’ve finally perfected my go-to airport look (it’s all about comfort.) Here are the travel outfits that I always turn to for long flights, including my favorite comfortable walking shoes.

Zella Knit Romper
Zella Knit Romper

I’ve been recommending this knit jumpsuit for years and it’s still one my best-sellers. You might think that wearing a romper on a plane is inconvenient but it actually makes travel so much more streamlined (and comfy). Just throw a denim jacket or cardigan over it and you’ll be set.

Sam Edelman Low Top Sneaker
Sam Edelman Low Top Sneaker | travel essentials for women

After testing loads of sneakers I’ve found that these are the most supportive and stylish option out there. I love that they go with everything, which makes packing easier in the first place.

Annie Bing Sweatshirt
Annie Bing Sweatshirt

These sweatshirts have become so popular in recent years and I think they’re totally worth the splurge. They’re so cozy and I like the slightly oversized fit.

Vuori Everyday Sweatshirt
Vuori Everyday Sweatshirt

I swear by Vuori clothing for long travel days. This hoodie is so soft that you’ll basically feel like you’re wearing pajamas during your flight.

Zella High Waist Leggings
Zella High Waist Leggings | travel essentials for women

Leggings will always be the OG wardrobe staple for traveling. These are under $60 and have over 7,000 nearly perfect reviews.

Denim Jacket
Denim Jacket

Airports are inevitably chilly which is why I always like to bring a denim jacket with me. It’s easy to style with other outfits and it can be easily tucked inside your carry-on or travel tote if needed.

Graphic Baseball Hat
Graphic Baseball Hat - Travel Essentials for Women

Most of the time, it makes no sense to wash and style your hair before a flight. That’s when baseball caps come in handy. I’ve been eyeing this one from Abercrombie, which is perfect to wear throughout the spring and summer months.

Travel Tech Essentials

There’s nothing worse than facing complete boredom on a flight. Plan ahead by packing any tech finds that will keep you entertained during your trip.

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise Cancelling Headphones

Whether you’re jetting off on a 10 hour+ flight or there’s a screaming kid in the row next to you, noise canceling headphones are a non-negotiable for airplane travel. I bought these headphones years ago and can confirm that they’re well worth every penny, especially if you travel a lot.

Apple AirPods
Apple Airpods | travel essentials for women

If big headphones aren’t really your thing then I’d recommend the AirPods. These also do a decent job at drowning out unwanted noise. Just make sure they’re fully charged before you take off!

Power Bank Portable Chargers
Power Bank Portable Chargers | travel essentials for women

Power banks are totally essential when traveling, whether you’re flying four hours away or 14. This is the tiniest one I’ve come across, so it’s really easy to toss inside of your carry on.

Laptop Sleeve
Laptop Sleeve | travel essentials for women

Keep your computer safe by tucking it into a laptop sleeve during travel. This one is so chic and it comes with a small pouch for your chargers.

Travel Adapter
Travel Adapter | travel essentials for women

This travel adapter works in over 150 countries and it’s under $12. It has two USB slots and is super lightweight.

Apple AirTag
Apple AirTag | travel essentials for women

Put these in your suitcases so you can track their whereabouts during your trip. Trust me, you’ll be able to relax more on your flight knowing your luggage made it onboard with you.

Travel Toiletry Essentials

It seems a bit unfair that guys just throw some clothes and a few toiletries into their suitcases and they’re set for a week long trip. Let’s be honest: women’s travel is *much* more involved.

You have to pack hair products, skincare product, and makeup, leaving little room for your actual clothing. Travel-sized toiletries are key in this situation, and luckily, so many brands have started to make more products that are TSA-approved.

These are a few of my faves, and bonus, they can all be found on Amazon (perfect when you’re in a pinch!)

Elemis Cleaning Balm
Elemis Cleaning Balm | travel essentials for women

This is one of my all time favorite skincare products. I rely on it so much that I actually keep it in my carry on at all times so I never forget to pack it! It’s perfect for sloughing off makeup after a long day.

Supergoop Glow Screen
Supergoop Glow Screen

Sunscreen is always important to wear but it’s especially crucial that you have it on while flying. This is one of my favorites because it leaves your skin with a bit of shine.

Wet Brush Detangler
Wet Brush Detangler | travel essentials for women

If your hair usually looks like a hot mess after a long haul flight, keep one of these little brushes in your carry on or purse. They’re ideal for toting along on the go.

Bum Bum Cream

My hands always get SO dry when I’m traveling. This lotion has been a consistent repurchase of mine lately. I’m so glad they make it in a TSA-approved size!

Bum Bum Cream | travel essentials for women
Gillette Mini Razor
Gillette Mini Razor | travel essentials for women

Mini razors are the MVP in the travel toiletry game. This is the best brand I’ve tried.

Women’s Travel Essentials List

Just looking for a quick list of travel essentials for women? You’re in the right place! Here’s what to pack with you on every trip.

  • Wallet
  • Passport holder
  • Phone charger
  • Laptop charger
  • Laptop or iPad
  • Book
  • Headphones
  • Lip balm
  • Eye mask
  • Sunglasses
  • Baseball hat
  • Hair ties
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Travel pillow
  • Adaptor
  • Makeup
  • Travel size toiletries
  • Skincare and haircare products
  • Hair dryer, flat iron, or curler
  • Comfortable shoes (sneakers, flats, sandals, boots, heels, athletic shoes)
  • Tops (tanks, shirts, blouses, sweaters)
  • Bottoms (denim, pants, shorts, skirts)
  • Jackets/coats (don’t forget waterproof jackets if you’re going somewhere rainy!)
  • Bras/underwear/socks
  • Pajamas
  • Athleisure clothing
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance for costly/international trips

What’s on your travel essentials list? Let me know in the comment section below!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

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