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14 Must-Have Travel Items Every Female Traveler Needs

Best Travel Items For the Female Traveler

I started traveling abroad at age 17, and 21 years later I’m still chasing the thrill of the unknown. My first trip abroad was to the Netherlands; I still remember the Samsonite suitcase stuffed with 75 pounds of mostly useless travel items that I had to lug around with me for three weeks. Fast forward to today and I’ve managed to identify my must-have travel items and fit everything I need into a carry-on for a month-long trip back home.  

My Favorite Travel Accessories for Women

It has taken me a long time to learn what items are essential, but the past two decades have gotten me close to packing perfection. The more you travel the more you hopefully learn to pack lighter and ditch what’s not essential. Along with personal experience, I’ve gathered recommendations from fellow travelers to come up with a list of 14 must-have travel items every female traveler needs!

The Zoppen multi-purpose travel wallet is my new favorite travel companion. I purchased this stylish wallet for traveling but it was so handy that I use it daily.

travel wallet

The wallet comes in more than 20 colors and is made from ECO-friendly PU leather, (aka synthetic leather) plus it has space for all of your travel essentials: passport, boarding pass, cash, coins, credit cards, ID, SIM card, pen, a key, and more!

wet dry bags

Annette included these adorable chevron travel bags in her 40th birthday bash totes—an item I didn’t even know I needed! Sold as a water-resistant diaper bag, it comes in a variety of patterns, but I’ve used mine to store everything from dirty clothes to lingerie, bathing suits, wash cloths, and a wet shower cap. These bags are great for separating wet items in your luggage.

collapsable water bottle

Another fabulous find from Annette! This collapsible water bottle has become an essential in my travel pack and has made hydrating more convenient, less expensive, and less of an environmental burden. I use it at airports, in places with potable water, and at home. Except this if you are a coffee lover then don’t forget to have this travel mug for coffee with you.

Foldable and lightweight, it easily clips to your backpack or day bag. If you’re looking for a foldable bottle with a hard exterior, check out the KHEY Collapsible Water Bottle.

travel pill case

A pill box is definitely not an item that was part of my travel essentials 20 years ago, but now there are few pills that I won’t travel without: Advil, a multi-vitamin, and my B12 supplements. This cute, compact case has four compartments to keep everything organized. They are quite wide and deep and serve me well for my month-long travels.

travel scarf

I do a lot of solo travel and when I go out exploring I like to carry as little as possible. Even carrying a purse or tote has felt like too much lately. Instead of investing in a fanny pack (hey, they’re back!) I thought this might be a more elegant alternative.


The travel scarf serves a few purposes: it’s functional, fashionable, and most importantly, it hides your valuables! Leave the khaki money belt at home—this chic scarf has a hidden zipper pouch to safely tuck away your phone, passport, money, keys, or wallet. It also comes in a variety of patterns and colors.


If you’re looking to splurge on the fancier version, check out the Speak Easy Travel Scarf for more variety.

travel towel

If you aren’t already traveling with a microfiber towel it’s time to add this must have item to your suitcase. While I prefer using a regular towel, they are just too heavy and bulky to justify bringing along.


Lightweight, fast-drying, and absorbent, this compact towel can be used in the shower, on the beach, a hike, or even while camping. This one comes in sizes ranging XS to XXL and seven different colors.

compression socks

Compression socks aren’t just for runners or your grandmother! Doctor recommended, they are great for the long-haul traveler. Compression socks help with circulation, reduce swelling in your legs and feet, and lower the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).


You can wear them on flights, trains, and buses. I carrying my trusted pair with me in my travel backpack for long flights and put them on once I’m in my seat. I’d suggest putting them on at home under your clothing as they can be difficult to put on in small spaces. These Physix Gear are particularly stylish.


travel padlock


You never know when a small padlock will come handy. This three-dial combination lock makes it easy to secure your backpack or luggage on planes, trains, buses, and in hostel lockers. I like that it is a combination lock and not a key lock, since small keys are so easy to lose. I always keep one in my backpack and another in my suitcase just in case.


travel adapter

The number one item for every world traveler is an adapter. With all the cords, plugs, and gadgets that we travel with, traveling without an adaptor is as crazy as traveling without a toothbrush!


I used to travel with a universal power adaptor but managed to lose it while traveling and have been struggling with a bag of random plugs ever since. In my search for the perfect compact international power adaptor, people recommended this Uppel. It can be used in over 150 different countries, fits four different worldwide outlet types, and has two USB ports.

external battery charger

I love technology but I’m just not a big phone person. I’m always running around with an outdated smartphone which means that after a few hours my phone battery is always in the red. It’s such a hassle to have to worry about my phone battery dying every time I walk out the door.


Other than buying a new phone, the most economical solution was to finally invest in a quality external battery. Connect it to your phone and pop it in your purse or backpack to conveniently charge your phone while you’re on the go.


I love this model because it is both affordable and one of the smallest and lightest external charges on the market. Don’t just take my word for it, It has great reviews: 82 percent of reviewers gave it 5 stars.

packing cubes

Have you tried packing cubes? I’m a pretty good packer so I’ve been a bit skeptical about packing cubes, however, frequent travelers swear by them, so I’ve decided to give them a try. No more digging through layers of clothing to grab what you need out of your suitcase.


Packing cubes keep all of your items organized and neat in your luggage. These packing cubes by Bagil have a mesh panel so you can easily see what’s inside each cube. They also help compress your clothes, conveniently stack on top of each other, and fit into check-in or carry-on luggage.

travel shoe bags

These durable waterproof bags are on my wishlist and will soon be replacing the grocery bags I currently use to cover my shoes. Why do I wrap my shoes? To keep all the dirt and grime on the soles of my shoe off of my clothes and luggage.


I’m active and easily blow through a few miles a day of walking around a city and stepping in all kinds of things that I don’t want touching my stuff. Travel shoe bags keep everything clean and orderly.

travel jewelry box

I just discovered this little gem! Compact and elegant this travel jewelry box is a much better idea than the coin purse that I’ve been using to hold my jewelry.


With synthetic leather on the outside and velvet lining on the inside, it has three removable compartments, a ring holder, and an elastic pouch. Great for small earrings, rings, and necklaces, it zips right up and can fit in your purse.

14. Foldable, Reusable Bag

No need to buy a cloth bag, just pack your favorite one from home. A cloth bag comes in handy for shopping, going to the beach, and for carrying any items you pick up during your travels that don’t fit in your luggage. Carrying a cloth bag also helps reduce plastic consumption. Be sure to take it with you on your day-to-day exploration.


My travel needs have evolved over the decades, and although I’m a pretty simple traveler I’m always looking for items that provide ultimate comfort, convenience, and address the needs of a woman my age. Hydration, medication, and deep vein thrombosis may not have been on my mind in my twenties but priorities change with age. Now that I can afford to, I don’t mind splurging on a few items that are functional, compact, and built-to-last.

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