The Must Have Travel Gear That You Shouldn’t Do WithoutYou’ve bought your luggage or taken it out of storage. You’ve packed all your clothes and gadgets, like iPad, laptop, camera, audio player, etc. What’s left? The must have travel accessories for women!
From years of travel experience, I’ve learned what accessories are absolute necessities to keep things smooth and sane, and which ones I can do without or can get at my destination.
So, here’s my list of 15 accessories that I never travel without, depending on the trip I take. Of course, I know every woman is different, so don’t feel like you have to stick to my list while packing. In fact, if you’re going backpacking there’s a whole different list that you may want to check out. You can instead treat it as a helpful guide from a woman who’s been there and done that! These items also make great gifts for frequent travelers.
1. Neck wallet or Travel money belt or Anti-theft purse or Day pack
There’s no one that screams “Come mug me!” quite like a traveler. Of course, if you’re carrying luggage, that’s a dead giveaway, but even by the way you dress or the spots that you visit, you’re a magnet for thieves. Why make it easy for them to steal your money or passport by carrying your wallet in a backpack or ordinary handbag?
You have four options if you want to take extra precautions. Wear a money belt or neck wallet along with any other travel bag you’re carrying, or carry an anti-theft purse or anti-theft sling or daypack. The last two options also let you protect a tablet, and you can also carry a few more things, like a water bottle and jacket in a day pack.
If you choose a neck wallet, consider the very functional Zero Grid Neck Wallet that features RFID blocking and can even hold a passport along with cash, cards and a smartphone. There are two horizontal zippered pockets and one vertical one and each is capable of holding a passport. The neck strap is adjustable so both men and women can wear it but it also can be strapped to a belt to be worn at the waist. It is very lightweight and backed by mesh for breathability.
2. Gadget and accessories organizer
This is one of those must have business travel accessories that you may not think you need but proves to be invaluable when you need to find your phone, mp3 player, lip gloss, earphones, USB charger, pens, keys, etc. from the depths of your bag. By storing everything in this Grid-It organizer by Cocoon, cords don’t tangle and small items don’t drop to a crevice in your handbag. The design allows you to pack lots of these items in multiple configurations within the 8 inch by 12 inch surface area.
Another style of organizer for gadget accessories that I personally prefer is the Zero Grid Electronics Travel Organizer. It is a universal gadget cord and cable case that’s more compact so it can be stored in just about any handbag or carry on. Plus, it is also more secure since it is a closed zippered case and nothing can fall out while it’s in your bag.
This durable Rip-stop nylon organizer measures 9 inches by 4.5 inches by 2.25 inches and opens to reveal two double-sided panel flaps, each with 10 elastic straps that can hold all your gadget accessories and cords and even a smartphone. There is also a full length zippered pocket between the two panels for smaller items.
If you’d rather not spend money on the Cocoon or Zero Grid, I’ll show you how to make an organizer from bits and pieces at home.
3. Digital portable luggage scale
If you’re flying, you have to make sure your luggage weighs less than the maximum allowed for the airline. Otherwise, be prepared to shell out a hefty fee for those extra pounds. To make sure you’re within the limits, carry a small digital luggage scale like the Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale w/ 110 lb. Capacity. It is precise to 0.2 lb or 0.1 kg and an easy-to-read LCD display. The lithium ion batteries are long lasting too.
4. Compact umbrella and Flashlight
Never get caught in a downpour or drizzle if you have an umbrella like the Zero Grid Compact & Automatic Travel Umbrella with Flashlight Handle with you. Close and open it easily just by pressing the button. And that’s not all – at the end of its handle is a built-in flashlight and you switch on and off by just a twist of the handle! So useful when you need to see your way about on dark streets or countryside paths or just to unlock car and house doors.
The umbrella is very well made with a stainless steel and fibreglass frame that’s rust-proof and a canopy that’s not only waterproof but also gives you SPF and UV50+ protection. It comes in its own elastic storage sleeve and it can go in a side pocket, slipped into your purse or attached to your handbag or backpack using the sleeve’s carabiner clip.
If you feel that an umbrella is too cumbersome for you, consider a rain poncho. You’ll be nicely covered and have your hands free.
5. Smart luggage tags or a luggage tracking device
I don’t like personalized luggage tags that have my name, contact number and address on them for everyone to see. That’s like telling everyone that I’m away from home and the way is clear for burglars. If I have luggage to check, I always make sure they are tagged with these Dynotag Web/GPS Enabled QR Smart Deluxe Steel Luggage Tags that can be read by any smartphone or computer. That way if the bags get lost, whoever finds them can find my contact information by scanning the QR code, which sends an alert to the Dynotag Cloud Service that then sends me an alert about its location by email. These tags are 2.5 inches in diameter and you can choose from three designs.
Another nifty accessory is a luggage tracker from Trakdot. It is especially designed for plane travel if you check bags and turns sends you an SMS or email to alert you when the bag has reached its destination, whether it’s the right one or not. It also lets you know via bluetooth when you’re within 30 feet of it. No more waiting at the carousel wondering if your luggage will appear!
6. Travel neck pillow, ear plugs and eye mask
Whether you’re on a plane, bus, train or car, if you have a chance to snooze you should take it. But save your neck and your neighbor’s shoulder by using a good neck pillow. You can also shut out the light with an eye mask and drown out some noise with ear plugs. This MLVOC Inflatable Neck Pillow with Ear Plugs, Eye Mask and Drawstring Bag is just right to help you with all of these.
The soft PVC base pillow with soft velour machine washable cover is easy to inflate and deflate in less than 5 seconds and supports your head in such a way that there’s no side to side movement and your head remains as vertical as possible to prevent neck strain. You can store it and the ear plugs and eye mask back into the small provided drawstring bag when it’s time to go.
7. Noise cancelling headphones
Another accessory to help make my trips relaxing is a pair of noise cancelling headphones. While ear plugs are good, these are even better at drowning out the noise. Not only can you do that, but you can also listen to your favorite music at any time. The Active Noise Cancelling Headphones With Mic, Folding and Lightweight Travel Headset by Monodeal are popular because they do a good job with noise cancelling and provide excellent sound quality at a low price. You choose which mode you want – noise cancellation or common audio. The noise cancellation mode uses a lithium ion rechargeable battery that works up to 20 hours. If the battery drains, the common audio mode still works.
This pair features folding hinges to make the set compact for travel. It also comes with a 2-pin adapter, which is perfect for most in-flight entertainment systems.
8. Orei M8 Plus All-in-One International Travel Plug Adapter with Dual USB Charger
Leave the multiple gadget cords at home. Streamline your packing by taking an all-in-one charger and universal adapter that juices up all your gadgets at one time almost anywhere in the world. The Orei M8 Plus Travel Plug Adapter is an international travel plug adapter plus USB charger for almost all gadgets. It includes 2 and 3 prong grounded and ungrounded plugs of all international standards and can also be used for USB devices. You cannot use these as voltage converters, so make sure that you only carry dual voltage hair dryers, travel irons, etc.
Additional options include travel charging stations, some of which come with a built in battery pack and some are solar chargers. These are useful for when you don’t have ready access to a power outlet. A more high tech universal charger is the ChargerLeash that includes an alarm that sounds off when you unplug the device from it. This is meant to remind you not to leave the charger behind when you pack up to leave.
9. A wool scarf or shawl
You may not get a blanket on all flights or train trips and you never know when the air suddenly turns cold at your destination, so it’s always wise to carry a light wool scarf or shawl like this silky fringed pashmina shawl from Sakkas. There are 30 vibrant colors to choose from, so you you’re bound to find one you like!
Another option could be a nice travel blanket because planes, trains and even a car can get quite cold and it’s necessary to feel cozy to get some sleep.
10. Makeup removal and antibacterial hand wipes
Kill two birds with one stone by using makeup removal towelettes to keep your hands grime and germ-free when you can’t get to soap and water. They eliminate the need to carry cotton swabs with a makeup remover and an antibacterial hand wash. The Herban Essentials Cleansing Towelettes is the brand I use.
11. Sunscreen wipes
If you’re going to be outdoors all day, you’ll probably get sunburned if you’re not careful. Instead of packing sunscreen lotion in a non TSA-compliant bottle that may leak in-flight, I like to carry these towelettes with attached sunscreen SPF 30+ pouches from Coretex SunX. You can first use a towelette to wipe your face of oil and sweat and then use the pouch of sunscreen for fresh UV protection. Each one is enough to provide coverage if you’re in a t-shirt and shorts.
12. Travel thermos
While I’m on the road, my coffee and cold drinks are just as important as when I’m at home. Rather than rely on some of the worst tasting and overpriced hot and cold drinks that you typically find at airports and tourist site cafes, a thermos container filled in your hotel or good cafe is well worth the effort. This fun but well-designed 16 oz. travel Thermo LenZcup comes in 1:1 replicas of a few camera lenses from Canon and Nikon and is a great travel accessory for photography enthusiasts.
The exterior is made of a food-grade PVC and the interior is made of stainless steel. It is designed to be an insulated thermos, so it keeps your coffee hot and your juice cold, but it is not meant to be a travel mug for use while driving as there’s no hole for sipping through the closed lid. You have to unscrew the lid and there’s a small spout to drink from.
13. Hand and lip moisturizer salve
The dry air in planes and hotel rooms will cause dry lips and hands quickly, so keep a lip and hand balm with you everywhere you go. Tubes can get messy due to cabin pressure while flying, so a salve like Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve is perfect.
14. Travel door stop alarm
If you’re traveling alone, you may want to take extra precautions at your hotel. Hotel room doors can be opened by quite a few people, so before you turn in for the night, just activate and wedge this GE 50246 Smart Home Door Stop Alarm under the door. It will make it harder for an intruder to enter and also sound a loud alarm to wake you.
15. TSA-approved Travel Bottles
If you haven’t made the switch to reusable travel bottles for your liquid cosmetics and toiletries yet, why not do it now? The Kitdine Portable Soft Silicone Travel bottles Set comes with three 3 oz bottles that you can fill again and again with your favorite beauty products. This is more cost effective than buying individual travel sized products that may not be your first choice and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment by not discarding them once empty.
This TSA carry on approved bottle set features wide mouths and a no drip valve so they’re easy to fill and won’t get messy. They come in a clear zippered toiletry pouch that’s just perfect for use during TSA screening.
So that’s my list! Have I missed any of your must have travel accessories for women? Let me know in the comments below!