Top Ten Female Packing Essentials
As a kick-ass female traveler, you don’t want to be the diva with a giant hairdryer and five different bottles of nail polish, but you also want to look good while you’re sightseeing at the Piazza San Marco. With a little planning and creativity, you can still travel light yet arrive with everything you need.
Here are some female travel tips and ten items that should always be on your packing list:
- Your most comfortable bra, times two. Always travel with an extra bra. Backpacking around Europe is no time to try out the new red lace under-wire number; you want to choose your bra based on comfort. If you do get in a bind, you can always use your bikini top as an alternate- just tuck the straps in at your neck!
- A bandanna or two. These handy cloth squares are easy to wash in the sink, dry and reuse; they take up minimal room in your backpack and are very lightweight. Bandannas have heaps of uses: face or hand towel, impromptu pouch, belt, eye mask, headband, picnic napkin, tourniquet, and the best- an emergency do-rag for the inevitable bad hair days of travel.
- Tampons. Count out the number you will need and take them with you, as feminine hygiene products around the world often do not measure up to the brands at home. OB brand, without an applicator, will take up the least amount of room in your bag.
- Extra rubber bands. If you have long hair, this is a must. They are cheap, take up hardly any space or weight, and traveling through train stations or deserts is not the place for your hair in your face.
- Condoms. Brands in foreign countries are often inferior. Be smart and be prepared, even if you don’t plan on getting lucky.
- Lots of underwear. You don’t need fifty pairs, but most packing lists will tell you to bring just two or three and make them stretch. Those lists are for men. Women’s underwear is smaller and thinner and takes up less room; you can probably fit in at least a week’s worth. This is where you CAN pack a racy pair or two so you still feel sexy wearing a backpack and eating peanut butter out of the jar.
- One cute outfit. You are going to want to go out and party, dance, drink and dine at night, and occasionally you’ll want to dress up and look hot.
- Pared-down makeup. You don’t need a giant cosmetics bag, but neither do you want to look like a tired sap in all your sweet vacation photos. Powder, tinted lip-gloss, and mascara work for me; find your low-key beauty routine and rock it.
- Combo toiletries. Make the items in your bag do double-duty and you will save twice the room! Carry shampoo/conditioner, tinted moisturizer/sun block, and lipstick/blush stick.
- Ziploc bags of many shapes and sizes. Like rubber bands, these items are extremely lightweight and take up almost no room; like bandannas, they have a zillion uses. Take a few more than you think you will need.