Travel gear tips for girls

One of the biggest struggles I have when travelling is what to pack – and I’m sure many girls (and guys) feel the same way! Without a doubt, I always end up taking a few things that never came out of the backpack, but over time I’ve become much better at culling that unnecessary stuff – and this post will hopefully give you some tips to help you decide some of the necessary and not-so-necessary travel items!


This is not an exhaustive list of everything you need to take – it’s just some (hopefully!) useful suggestions. We’ve previously published a post on what to take to Southeast Asia which is much more detailed.

Clothing + shoes

  • Cardigan/lightweight jumper – one of my must-take items! I have a black Zara cardi, and it’s perfect for that extra layer outside at night, at temples when you need to cover your shoulders, or in air conditioning on the plane.
  • Comfy pants/leggings for long haul journeys – you don’t want to be getting a wedgie in your jeans or freezing your butt off in shorts on those cold planes or buses! We’ve also written about how to survive long haul flights here.
  • Good walking shoes (preferably in a colour that doesn’t majorly clash with your outfits) – Nike Free Run trainers or similar are good. I also take a pair of black leather Converse Dainty sneakers.
  • Jandals/flip flops – a must on a beach holiday, but also great in scummy showers!
  • Merino wool long sleeve tops (if on a winter trip) – layering is king with these. I wear a singlet underneath, and a down jacket or warm jumper on top.


  • Take travel-sized bottles with your shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc. – don’t lug around your huge bottles from home! Always keep these bottles in a zip lock bag, you don’t want to open your suitcase after a flight to find an exploded shampoo bottle over all your clothes!
  • Don’t take a hair drier – hotels will have one you can use if you really need to.
  • GHD hair straightener – I have short-ish hair and it looks gross when it’s not straight when I don’t tie it up! Although I don’t bother taking it to places like SE Asia – the humidity there makes my hair go wavy as soon as I’ve straightened it anyway!
  • John Frieda Sheer Blonde Controlled Lightening Spray – this stuff is great! It lightens your roots so you can go longer between trips to the hairdresser. Thanks to this post from Alex in Wanderland for getting me onto it!
  • Lots of bobby pins (hair clips) and hair ties – I always end up losing them so it’s good to take extras.

Miscellaneous items

  • Sarong – use it as a blanket, shawl, shoulder covering at religious sites, towel at the beach… I have a great one I bought in Tahiti a few years back that accompanies me everywhere and takes up next to no space in the backpack!
  • Hard case for sunglasses – you don’t want to squash them accidentally!
  • Little bottle of moisturiser for dry hands on the plane.

Hopefully this list is useful 🙂 comment below with your suggestions!

Petra x

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