Top Travel Essentials For Women (with Active Lifestyles)
Looking for the best travel essentials for women with active lifestyles? Here are my go-to products I don’t leave home without.
As a travel blogger and photographer, I travel often, really often and the least fun part of every trip is packing. Luckily over the years, I’ve perfected it down to a T and the one game-changer is knowing what to pack for each trip.
Having these essentials or travel must-haves in your arsenal means you’ll pack your bags in no time and hit that beach faster than ever, stress-free.
Over the years I’ve learned which travel items are useful and which are a waste of money and luggage space. I’ve also tried to make my list of women travel essentials as sustainable as possible and free from plastic, wherever possible.
These travel essentials for women are perfect for any female traveller, but, especially active women who like to get moving on their travels.
As someone who prefers high-quality, well-made products that are also visually appealing, this list will include those rather than cheap items that break after one use. After so many years of trial and error, keep reading to find my list of travel essentials for women you need to pack today.
*This ‘women travel essentials’ post contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with top-quality content for free.
The Travel Essentials List for Women
I’ve separated all my top women travel essentials into different categories to make navigating this post a little easier. From activewear to long-flight essentials, grab my favourites below.
Activewear & Apparel
Long, tight, comfortable and flattering yoga pants are one of the top items on a women’s travel essentials list, let’s be honest.
They are so versatile and you can use a good pair of leggings for yoga classes, hikes, bike rides and even on travel days.
Unsure of some bodyweight workouts to do while travelling. Check out my workouts here.
Resistance bands are perfect for working out when travelling. They are easy to use and they create a lot more resistance than doing just bodyweight exercises.
When used well and with the correct resistance they can really be effective. Each set of resistance bands includes many different weight equivalents, perfect for you to adapt any workout on the go.
They pack down so small that you can just slip it down the side of your bag.
For hotter climates one of the most important travel essentials for women are shorts. You’ll definitely want some shorts instead of leggings, just in case especially for working out.
I find that shorts give you complete freedom of movement and can be less restrictive and lighter.
Check out my favourites from Lululemon here.
Sports bra/Crop top
A fantastic fitting and comfortable sports bra lies at the core of most active women travel essentials. Just like with leggings, a great sports bra is both a necessity and incredibly versatile.
Wear it not just for working out but pretty much anywhere you wish. Wear it alone as a crop top or underneath a t-shirt or sweater.
I love the versatility and comfort of Lululemon’s sports bras, this one is my favourite.
Compact Training Shoes
Your favourite pair of training shoes is definitely worth packing, not just for working out. Running shoes are often bulky and can take up a lot of space in your luggage.
For this reason, I use training-specific shoes such as the Nike Free or Nike Training models or if you’re a runner make sure you travel in your running shoes to have more space in your luggage.
Nike Free feels like you’re training barefoot and their soles are really bendable and flexible meaning you can easily squeeze them into your luggage. They are ridiculously comfortable and supportive too. There are many models and styles to choose from.
Travel Yoga Mat
Rolling out a yoga mat gives you the space to turn up and exercise, whether that’s a full-on workout or a morning flow.
You might not need a yoga mat if you’re heading on a yoga retreat or planning on going to studio classes as you travel but for those planning their own practice, it’s essential.
Yoga mats can be heavy and bulky so make sure to choose the right one for travelling. There are a few on the market designed specifically for travel. My personal favouirte is this one from Jade Yoga as it’s travel friendly as well as non-toxic and sustainable. Get the Jade Yoga Voyager Travel Mat here.
There are some trip where hiking boots are a real must, especially when you’re traveling to more outdoorsy destinations. Sturdy, supportive footwear options offer comfort and protection while exploring diverse terrains.
Invest in a pair that’s lightweight, waterproof, and offers excellent traction to keep you safe and comfortable during hikes and outdoor adventures on your journey. These are mine
There’s nothing quite like music to set the tone of your workout or a great podcast mid-flight. Filter out background noise and zone in on your workout with the right headphones or AirPods.
No one wants to run out of battery on their phone especially when arriving in a new country when you need access to documents, camera, apps and messages.
With only some airlines offering an in-seat USB charger, you’re going to want to bring a power bank if you plan to watch anything on your phone in flight.
No doubt you’ll also be using it when out exploring all day because we all know how much taking photos and videos of amazing destinations eats at battery life. Get the Anker Power Core Charger via Amazon here.
On those shorter trips where I don’t need my laptop, my iPad is a must. While many can get away with travelling with just their phone, which is great, if you find that you need something more, something with a bigger screen, an iPad is perfect.
You can use it to watch Netflix in the evening, do a little work, book onward travel and anything else that needs your attention while you’re away.
I recently bought a set of Airtags when I had to check in luggage on a trip to Thailand and they really are a game changer. If you are flying long-haul, with layovers, especially in the busy travel season these are a must.
Just throw it in your luggage and you’ll be able to track it from your phone. If that airline does misplace your bag and they can’t find it you’ll be able to help out. Get Airtags here.
Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or simply want to take stunning selfies, a tripod ensures your shots are steady and well-framed.
A tripod is a godsend for solo travellers wanting to capture memories with themselves in the shots or for people who want to take better and steadier photos.
A tripod lets you experiment with different angles, long exposures for night photography, and even group shots without needing assistance.
What a tripod is to photos, a gimbal is to videos. Nobody likes a shaky video so if you want to upgrade your travel videos getting a phone gimbal might be a great idea.
Even though the iPhone’s stabilisation is amazing, there’s still room for improvement. For all my client work shot on iPhone, I also use the DJI Osmo 6 which just takes your travel videos to a whole new level.
We know that wearing SPF daily is important so make sure not to travel anywhere without it. What’s also important is which sunscreen you go for. Avoid chemical sunscreen and go for mineral.
Sunscreens today are loaded with ingredients, both chemical and mineral but it’s often hard to know which are good for us and which aren’t just by looking at the bottle. Labels and bottles can be misleading. Luckily we wrote The Best Non Toxic Sunscreen Options to help you decide.
Traveling can be a source of stress and anxiety for many, me included. Yes, even with the amount I travel, I do get travel anxiety more than I’d like to admit. One product that really helps, however, is CBD.
I swear by traveling with CBD gummies which are a must for me when I need to calm those nerves.
My personal favourites are Morning Person Strawberry Gummies with CBD and added caffeine from Onyx + Rose for an extra boost.
Wind, sun and cold can wreak havoc on sensitive lips and no one like to have dried, chapped lips. I make sure to never travel without at least one lip balm. This one from EltaMD is my top pick.
Essential oils have so many uses for travel. You can refresh a not-so-fresh hotel room, use them to relax or even treat migraines like me.
I know many people who travel with travel-size bottles of their favorite essential oils like lavender which is great for relaxation and relieving anxiety.
I personally travel with Saje’s Peppermint Halo. It creates a refreshing ‘halo’ effect on the head and is literally, the best thing for relieving migraines. If you suffer from migraines, you’ll need it.
Ladies with long hair… there’s nothing more annoying than going for your yoga class or workout and realising you didn’t bring a hair tie, am I right?
So essential for travel yet often overlooked and forgotten, make sure to throw them in your carry-on next time you’re heading out.
Hanging Toiletry Bag
A sturdy and compact toiletry bag is a must when traveling to keep all your cosmetics together and to stop any leaks from getting all over your fancy clothes.
Many styles are available today including the zip-up case but my favourite are the hanging ones which allow you to have access to all your cosmetics in a blink of an eye.
Perfect for hanging behind the bathroom door in the hotel. This one via Amazon is a great option if you’re looking for an upgrade.
I really don’t understand why travel professionals don’t rave about this more. If you’re travelling with carry on only then depending on where you’re flying from you might be restricted with how much liquid you can take.
Solid shampoo doesn’t count as a liquid so it means you can bring more other liquids through security in your carry on.
Not only that, solid shampoo is also plastic-free. It’s genius. There are so many different brands of solid today and many are hit and miss.
My go-to is Ethique St Clements as I have oily hair but they have bars for all hair types.
While you’re at it, you may as well also upgrade to a solid conditioner. I’ve been using this one for years.
Refillable Cosmetics Pouches/Bottles
A refillable cosmetic bottle is a game-changer for women who travel. These compact containers allow you to carry your favorite skincare products and cosmetics without lugging around bulky bottles and tubes.
With leak-proof and TSA-compliant designs, they prevent messy spills and make passing through airport security a breeze. Fill up them with your favourite shower gel, body lotion and more. Get some here.
A Good Moisturizer/Facial Oil
There are few things that are more essential for your skin than a good moisturizer or facial oil, especially when you travel.
In-flight dehydration, days in the sun on the beach and long nights all have their effects on our skin. This is why a moisturizer or facial oil is so essential- bonus if it’s travel-sized.
If you have dry skin you might prefer a facial oil, especially at night, I swear by Le Prunier’s Plum Beauty Oil.
I never travel without a good exfoliator, especially on summer trips. All that sunscreen, sweat and dust just has a tendency to really clog pores. The GoopGlow Microdern Instant Glow Exfoliator is one of my favouirtes.
Makeup is a versatile travel essential for her and I feel most of us women already know this.
Opt for long-lasting and multi-purpose products that can withstand various weather conditions and activities. Don’t forget sunscreen with SPF to protect your skin.
I prefer to go for a natural look when traveling and I always pack foundation or tinted serum, concealer, mascara, eye-liner and lip balm. I’m partial toward Ilia, they just have the best natural makeup without nasty chemicals.
Hygiene Travel Essentials for Women
Hand sanitizer – Must haves for women when travelling and going through an airport. You don’t want to get sick before even reaching your destination. Get some here.
Menstrual Cup or Disc – I started using a menstrual cup almost 11 years ago now and it’s been the best choice. It does take a few tries to get used to it but then you’ll never have to carry round bulky boxes of tampons or be in that uncomfortable situation when you realise you’ve started your period in the middle of a hike.
The menstrual cup is small, light and can go with you anywhere. It’s so travel friendly and very sustainable too. This is the one I use.
Baby Wipes & Tissues – You never know when you’ll step into a public bathroom without an inch of toilet paper in sight or need to wipe down something after a spillage. Get them here.
Deodorant– Because it’s just a good idea. I use Native deodorant.
Not sure which deodorant to choose? Read The Best Non Toxic Deodorants That Really Work
Luggage and Packing Essentials
The Ultimate Carry-On
Having a good quality, sturdy carry on is a must when travelling, especially if you travel frequently. It really pays to invest in good luggage and have it last you years.
Some top things to look for in a carry on are a good sturdy outer shell, portable charging and airline compatible sizing.
The same goes for checked luggage. It’s a good idea to have both a medium-sized check in suitcase and a larger one for those longer trips.
I also swear by Away for those.
A travel wallet is a compact yet invaluable accessory that helps you stay organized and secure while on the move.
With dedicated compartments for passports, boarding passes, credit cards, and currency, a travel wallet streamlines the often chaotic airport experience.
This super stylish travel wallet by Aspinal of London helps you to organise all your travel documents and keep your currency safe.
While you probably don’t need this on every trip, having a compression bag for winter trips in a game changer. We all know how bulky those winter knits and coats can be which leaves pretty much no room in your luggage for anything else.
Compression Bags change all that. They work to take out all the air inside the bag after you finish packing it and it frees up so much extra space. These Amazon Basics Compression Bags are affordable and have some brilliant reviews.
A foldable canvas tote is the perfect accessory to fold up small and slide into your carry on. It’s useful for so many different occasions like doing some extra shopping, as a beach bag or simply an overspill bag when you’ve bought too much on vacation.
You can pretty much get a canvas tote anywhere these days and you’ll most probably also have them lying around the house. I love this super stylish one from Amazon.
Self-Cleaning Water Bottle
A re-usable water bottle is probably the thing I never travel without. Buying plastic bottles constantly is less than ideal even though at some destinations it is the only option.
One of the best reusable water bottles is the LARQ Self Cleaning Water Bottle. Not only is this bottle cleaning it also uses non-toxic mercury-free UV-C LED technology to sanitize water and clean the inner surfaces of the bottle by neutralizing odor-causing bacteria and viruses.
It’s the perfect bottle for hiking and when you’re filling up from streams in nature. Get yours here.
One of my must-haves on a long flight is a good travel pillow. Whether you’re on a plane, train, or bus, a quality travel pillow provides much-needed neck and head support, preventing stiffness and fatigue.
Look for memory foam or inflatable options for maximum comfort and compact storage. The trtl neck pillow is one of the most popular and compact travel pillows on the market today.
Electrolytes are a crucial travel companion for, especially on long flights and in destinations with hot climates or strenuous activities.
These essential minerals, including sodium, potassium, and magnesium, help maintain proper hydration levels and support overall well-being. Carrying a few sachets of high quality electrolytes mean you’ll be hydrated and with lots of energy.
The LMNT Keto Electrolyte Powder Packets are my go-to. They contain no extra sugar.
For those times when you want to rest and tune out the outside world. Whether that’s crying babies on flights, noisy neighbors or construction noise.
These Loop Quiet EarPlugs have over 64,000 great reviews on Amazon.
A Kindle is a travel essential that adds an entire library to your suitcase without the bulk and weight of physical books. The Kindle offers access to countless novels, travel guides, and magazines, ensuring entertainment during long flights or downtime.
Its glare-free screen makes it perfect for reading in various lighting conditions, even under the sun. Get the latest Amazon Paperwhite Kindle here.
Travelling hungry isn’t a good idea and you never know when some snacks you packed earlier might save the day. Whether it’s a short or long flight, train trip or road trip, don’t leave home without a few snacks.
Healthy snack bars are perfect for travel because they are nutritious, protein-filled and they aren’t messy to eat. My go-to travel snack is GoMacro bars which are vegan, gluten-free, natural and delicious.
Other Travel Essentials to Consider
A small padlock can be useful for a bunch of different occasions when travelling but it does depend on your travel style and destination.
Safes in hotel rooms work great but you never know when the need will arise and you need to lock something up. Plus, taking a small padlock with you doesn’t take up any room in your luggage. Here are some good ones to buy for your next trip and they are TSA-approved.
Now more than ever, make sure not to leave home without travel insurance. With all the airport delays, lost luggage, medical emergencies and travel chaos we’ve faced in the last few years, the last thing you want is to loose thousands of dollars because you didn’t have travel insurance.
For the last few years, I’ve been using Safetywing Nomad Insurance for all my individual trips and digital nomad lifestyle and there’s no better company for all my insurance needs.
Cover starts from as little as $42 per month. Get your quote below now.
Have you got any questions about these travel essentials for women? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
Planning to update your wellness routine? These are just some of my favourite websites I use to buy everything from CBD oil to fresh fruit!
Amazon.com for just about anything
The Detox Market for clean and natural skincare
Book Yoga Retreats also for best deals on yoga retreats worldwide
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