Before we left for our round the world trip I had spent hours searching the net for ideas of what to pack, how to pack and how to fit everything in our tiny 35 liter backpacks. Yeap that is all we took so needless to say that space was limited. And we had to have both winter and summer wardrobe packed due to the route we decided on. As much as I had thought about the clothes and shoes and basic toiletries there are a few things that became an essential part of my life on the road and couldn’t have done without them to feel great. These travel essentials for women, may seem basic to you, but you need to remember that when you do op-in for the backpacking lifestyle, you already give up the seemingly luxurious stuff like beautiful clothes, shoes, bags and accessories.
Feeling and looking great in whatever you can pull out of that backpack will help you enjoy your trip more, I can assure you! And if it saves you a buck or two (or hundreds!) plus it’s great for the environment – it’s worth it, right?
1# Travel Essentials for Women – Cotton face cloth
Most girls, just like me, follow a specific skin care routine at home, but when backpack space is limited, how are you going to pack all these toiletries? And even when you manage to do so, think about replenishing them? Say you are in a middle of Mongolia or rural Myanmar and obviously they don’t have supermarkets with beauty counters there. You could order online but would they deliver to where you are or would you stay in one place long enough to receive it? To keep my pores dirt free on the road I used simple face clothes. There are women who swear by them and use them instead of facial scrubs etc. so I tried. They also come handy in humid environments to clean your face of dust and sweat. Bring a few, you won’t regret it.
2# Travel Essentials for Women – Menstrual cup
Not all girls are up for it and I have always been a true tampon fan as well. However I decided to give it a go as I did not fancy carrying a load of tampons around with me and also thought it would be more cost-effective. When you travel on a budget of $50 a day, then every little money counts right? It did save me a load of money over the 18 months and in places that are not particularly eco-conscious I know I did not leave more waste behind that I absolutely needed to. Also the cup allows you to be leak-free for up to 8h which comes very handy on long bus journeys where clean toilet with running water is nowhere to be found! If you need more info on which one could be for you, read here.
3# Travel Essentials for Women – Facial sunblock
That was probably the only expensive-ish piece in my toiletry bag and so worth it. I have a fair skin that freckles easily and 40-50 SPF is a must. Tinted option gives me a bit of make-up on my face all the time as well. I absolutely love and recommend Clinique Super City Block especially in more developed Asian countries where pollution is a major issue but I also like the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL. They moisturise, protect and even you skin – what else would you need?
4# Travel Essentials for Women – Epilator
That was probably most useful thing I took with me. In SE Asia you can enjoy beauty parlours and waxing salons but when you go off the beaten track you will struggle I can assure you. Razors don’t work for all, need more frequent usage and are not really recommended when you have exposure to sun and salty water. I once remember lending my epilator to a girl when we traveled around Indonesian Islands as she was desperate to get rid of that hair! True story – and think about the eco and budget friendliness of this gadget as well. I use Braun Silk Epil and could not praise it enough!
5# Travel Essentials for Women – Organic Body oils
Asia is probably the best place to try this. In different countries you can find different variations of face/body oil and I tried aloe in Malaysia, coconut in India and sandalwood in the Philippines. The beauty of it is that it can be used on your face, body and hair and you can replenish them as you go saving space and money. Women in those places use them as part of their daily routine and look amazing. Try it!
6# Travel Essentials for Women- Silk sleeping bag liner
Sleeping bag liners are quite possibly the most undervalued items on everybody’s packing list. Lightweight and extremely packable, they add valuable degrees of warmth or cool and play an invaluable role in your hygiene. You can wash them easily and they are quick drying. They will come handy when your hostel or guesthouse has questionable cleaning standards and most importantly they protect you from bedbugs and mosquitos. We bought them on Amazon. I love them!
7# Travel Essentials for Women – Organic Crystal Deodorant
I discovered this product when researching for our trip. There are different variations of them so make sure that what you chose is made using naturally harvested mineral salts. I do like them as they give you a whole day protection against body odour, are organic, paraben free and eco-friendly. And the best thing is that they last for months!
8# Travel Essentials for Women – Feet pumice
You will be showing your feet a lot, and I mean a lot! Especially if you are planning to go to sunny SE Asia. Salty water, dry air, dust and dirt and high temperatures won’t be helping your feet so this little baby is a feet saver. Takes almost no space in your luggage and it will help you feel better. I like Sheol ones that fold in half saving space.
9# Sun-kissed hair spray
It would probably only appeal to blonds but think about how you are going to keep your blond highlights while traveling around the globe. I thought that sun and ocean water would do the trick but it didn’t. We moved a lot and sometimes in cold-ish places like China or Bolivia my hair didn’t get the same sun-kissed highlights as when we were island hopping around SE Asia. I love the L’Oreal SunKiss products which really work this natural look for you. And they are so much better for your hair than permanent hair colouring!
Hope this helps!