There are certain things you don’t want to forget to pack as a female traveller. A new t-shirt is usually easy enough to find, but there are some things that may be harder to acquire in new places. Having forgotten each of these eight items at some point in my travels, I can promise that your life on the road will be that much easier if you bring them.
1. A thin scarf or sarong
This is my go-to travel item. It can be used as a blanket on chilly bus rides when the A/C is blasting. It’s an amazing replacement for a heavy towel when you’re hitting the beach. It will be a lifesaver if you need to cover up your shoulders or knees to enter certain religious sites. And if you buy a scarf or sarong in a fabric you love, it may just become your favourite accessory to dress up any outfit.
2. A travel dress
Even if you’re more of a jeans-wearing girl at home, you may just come to love travel dresses on the road. They’re breathable in hot weather. They can be dressed up for a night out or down for a day at the beach. They don’t weigh much in your backpack or suitcase. Plus there are some really cute ones on the market, so you can even be ultra fashionable at your hostel.
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3. Dry shampoo
Sometimes the queue for the hostel shower is just too long and you have a bus to catch. Sometimes you’re on a multi-day trek with nowhere to wash your hair. And other times you’re just feeling lazy. Enter dry shampoo! This life-saving powder helps remove oil from your hair and saves you a ton of time. There are lots of dry shampoo options out there, so do your research and find one that works for you.
Sandals might seem like only a beach item, but they truly aren’t. Useful for wearing into shared bathrooms at hostels, slipping into when you have terrible blisters, or putting on when your other shoes get soaked in a downpour, a pair of sandals are a necessity for any girl on the road.
5. Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
This is a big one if you’re travelling to places where sunscreen can be incredibly expensive or have skin whitening properties. It’s also important to find sunscreen that doesn’t harm coral reefs. It’s easy to forget to pack a lip balm with sun protection, but don’t make this mistake, or your lips are going to be causing you unnecessary post-burn pain.
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6. Feminine hygiene products
Not a glamorous item, but an incredibly necessary one. Whether you use a menstrual cup, tampons, or pads, it’s a good idea to come prepared with these so you don’t end up on a 24 hour train ride through India without these difficult to find items.
7. A headlamp
This may seem like an odd one for a female travel list, but I can’t say how many times a headlamp has saved me on the road. It’s a lot easier to navigate your way through dark situations when you don’t need to use one hand to hold up the flashlight on your phone. It’s invaluable for finding the PJs inconveniently located in the bottom of your backpack at 4am without waking up all of your hostel mates. And if you’re travelling somewhere with frequent power outages, a headlamp will definitely be your new travel best friend.
8. A notebook and pen
“But I have my laptop/phone/tablet,” you might be saying. True, but I’ve been caught with dead batteries and power banks too often on the road. It’s always good to have a backup with your hostel information written down somewhere. Even if you trust your tech items, journaling on the road can be a nice way to spend some downtime. Looking back at your travel journal when you get home from your adventures is a great way to remember all of the amazing things you saw, hostels you stayed at, and people you met.
Author: Anika is an avid adventurer and the co-founder of Banana Backpacks, a travel community and travel gear company dedicated to creating meaningful change in the world. Passionate about travelling responsibly and exploring countries through hiking, she’s always looking to check out hidden corners of the globe. She’s lived in Canada, England, and Hong Kong.
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