Carry-on Packing Guide for Women

by | Sep 20, 2017

Carry-on Packing Guide for Women

Whether you’re a road warrior who travels half the year, or simply a lady who enjoys frequent weekend adventures: you need a quick, go-to carry-on packing guide, right?  I’ve created this list of carry-on packing items especially for the female traveler who like a little bit of luxury while on the road…but on a budget!

If this sounds like you, & you appreciate feeling like a girl when you travel ~ then this post is for YOU.  Whether I’m staying in a hut while hiking the Andes, or in a high-rise in Bangkok: either way,  I want to feel at least a pinch of luxury.  And I don’t want to smell.

Carry-on Packing Guide…

Carry-on Packing Guide for Women

Let’s pack in some luxury….on a budget.

Smell Good on the Go!

1. Rose Water Spray – Smelling roses gives you a mental & physical uplift in about one second flat.  I keep rose water spray in my purse when I travel, and LOVE using it on planes, on trains ~ even before & after working out.  It gives me a mental & physical “reset.”  Rose water provides moisture, acts as a toner, & sets your make-up.  Once you discover rose spray: you won’t be able to live without it.  I use at home & abroad.  Where You Can Buy: Whole Foods or Amazon.  Brand I Love: Heritage Rose Petal Spray.  Price Tag: $6-10. 

2. Small Candle of Favorite Scent – When traveling, you’re going to come across some funky smelling rooms.  I’ve been in many rooms where I wished I had a candle!  I’ve acquired this habit only in recent years, & now a candle is always with me.  While it may seem like a luxury to bring a candle ~ I beg to differ: if you find a nice, small one – the benefits it provides will greatly outweigh its small weight.  Where You Can Buy: Anywhere.  Brand I Love: Pacifica (small sizes & heavenly scents).  Price Tag: $10. 

3. A Great Scent or Perfume – Two months into a three-month South America trip, I ran out of my favorite perfume.  And believe me, I MISSED it!  You don’t realize how nice it is too smell good until, well, you simply don’t smell good anymore!  And the perfumes I like are hard to find abroad.  Scent, to me, is #1 on any carry-on packing guide, in terms of giving me a feeling of luxury. Thus, I bring several travel-size scents with me on the road, & keep some in my purse ~ others in my toiletry bag.  Jo Malone & Pacifica both make travel sizes, and their scents are divine. Where You Can Buy: Whole Foods, Amazon or Nordstrom.  Brands I Love: Pacifica & Jo Malone.  Price Tag: $9-65.

Carry-on Packing ~ Moisturize!

4. Coconut Oil – If you travel a lot, there’s one thing you 100% need: MAJOR MOISTURIZER!!!  So many aspects of travel dry the skin out: from stale air on planes, to sunburns, to long train trips & hot, dusty hikes.  For this reason, moisturizer is essential on any carry-on packing list.  And the great thing about coconut oil is that it can be used to moisturize your entire body: hair, nails, legs…even feet!  So you get mucho bang for your buck.  And the good news is: you can buy coconut oil almost anywhere, in any country.  Or pack some of your own in a small container.  Where Can You buy: Pretty much any market.  Brand I Use: Anything organic.  Price Tag: $10.

5. Jojoba Oil – Jojoba oil is my secret weapon.  While coconut oil is great for moisturizing the body & hair, I find it too greasy for moisturizing my face.  That’s where jojoba comes in: it has a similar pH balance as your skin does, which means that it will “sink in” to your skin much more easily than coconut oil does. And there is just one ingredient in it (not a bunch of chemicals), which makes it a great on-the-go moisturizer for just about everyone.  Where You Can Buy: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or Amazon.  Brand I Use: NOW Organic.  Price Tag: $10.

6. Sunscreen + Moisturizer – While coconut & jojoba oils are great for use at night, I prefer a lighter moisturizer with sunscreen for day.  And keeping it natural, I like Yes to Carrots line’s day-time moisturizer with SPF 15.  It uses zinc & titanium dioxide instead of chemical sunscreens, which means it starts blocking the sun immediately without parabens or chemicals.  It’s 95% natural, & includes shea butter & sweet almond oil for extra moisturizing ~ is reasonably priced & travel-sized at 1.7 oz.  Where Can You Buy: Most markets or Amazon.  Brand I Love: Yes to Carrots Fragrance-Free Daily Moisturizer, SPF 15.  Price Tag: $9 for 1.7 oz.

Sleep Well!

7. Silky Eye Mask – There’s nothing luxurious about getting no sleep.  And when you travel, there are many sleep variables you can’t control.  Too much light in the room interferes with sleep, which is a why a silky, natural eye mask is one of my greatest luxuries as a traveler.  I ended up liking this mask so much that I use it at home as well.  Total darkness = a damn good night’s sleep.  Where You Can Buy: Amazon or your local drugstore.  Brand I Use: Sleep Mask Purefly Natural Silk Eye Mask.  Price Tag: $8.

8. Melatonin – If you really have difficulty getting to sleep on the road, then you may want to add some melatonin to your carry-on packing list.  Melatonin is made naturally by your body in order to regulate sleep cycles, & it’s also a free radical scavenger.  Looking at screens all the time (TV’s, tablets, laptops) can interfere with our body’s production of melatonin, so I find this to be an excellent supplement to use at night for better sleep.  It should have you asleep in about an hour, & is a natural alternative to Tylenol PM.  Where Can You Buy: Most markets or drug stores.  Brand I Use: NOW.  Price Tag: $10 for 180 capsules.

9. Ear Plugs – On planes these days, I find that good ear plugs are a MUST.  I always seem to find myself in front of screaming children or babies, much to my dismay ; )  And not all ear plugs I’ve tried have been comfortable ~ these are the best I’ve found.  Where Can You Buy: Amazon.  Brand I Use: Flents Quiet Please Ear PlugsPrice Tag: $11 for 50 pairs.

10. Silk Pillow Case – This is a new addition to own my carry-on packing list: silk pillow case.  Think about how much BLEACH the average hotel uses to launder their sheets….like, a lot, right?  Clearly, they’re using bleach for sanitary reasons ~ but we all know how drying it is, & there’s no need to rest your head on that all night.  So, the solution is easy: pack your own pillow case.  You’ll always have room for it ~ minus the bleach & bed bugs.  Win-win.  Where Can You Buy: Anywhere.  Brand I Use: MommesilkPrice Tag: $18.

Carry-on Packing ~ Stay Well!

11. Probiotics – One of life’s greatest, underrated luxuries is having a happy, flat stomach.  Taking probiotics before & during your trip is the best way to achieve this, & they will keep your immunity robust as well ~ since 70% of your immune system lives in your gut.  Where Can You Buy: Most markets.  Brand I Use: Jarrow (look for a brand that is room-temperature stable & doesn’t need to be refrigerated).  Price Tag: $22. 

12. Wellness Formula – This is one of the BEST wellness formulas out there: it’s packed with vitamins & immune-boosting minerals & antioxidants.  It’s POWERFUL.  The second I feel a cold coming on, or my throat gets scratchy, I take six capsules ~ & that’s usually enough to stop the cold in its tracks.  Otherwise, take two capsules daily for overall health.  Where Can You Buy: Health food stores or Amazon.  Brand I Use: Source Naturals Wellness Formula.  Price Tag: $23 for 240 capsules.

13. Ginger Tea – Few things calm me as instantly as tea does, especially if I’m worn out from traveling all day.  I love packing Organic Ginger tea with me when I travel, as ginger calms the stomach, is a powerful antioxidant, & helps with nausea.  And it’s easier to pack than you think: just place a few packets in a zip-lock bag or small compartment in your carry-on.  Where can you buy: Any market.  Brand I Use: Yogi or Traditional Medicine.  Price Tag: $5.

Carry-on Packing ~ Miscellaneous

14. TSA-Approved Travel Containers – Pack all of your favorite shampoos, conditioners, & cleansers into these colorful travel-size containers, & breeze through TSA.  Where Can You Buy: Amazon.  Brand I Use: Kaptron BPA-Free.  Price Tag: $15. 

15. The Perfect Hanging Toiletry Bag – Personally, I love my hanging bag SO much ~ I use it at home too, because I can SEE where everything is!  This one is a great size & should fit all your essential toiletries with no problem.  Where Can You Buy: Amazon.  Brand I Use: ProCase.  Price Tag: $19.

16. The Perfect-Sized Hair Towel – I CAN’T travel without this anymore.  Have you ever been to a hotel that had a towel meant for drying your hair?  I haven’t!  Usually, you’ve got large bath towels & small hand towels ~ & nothing in between.  If you’re a guy, this means nothing to you.  If you’re a woman with long hair though: you know how frustrating this is!  Traveling with a good, absorbent hair towel is the ultimate luxury ~ & makes life on the road SO much easier.  Plus, you can always use an extra towel & they pack easily.   Where Can You Buy: Amazon.  Brand I Use: AuroTrend Micro Fiber.  Price Tag: $12.

17. The Perfect Passport Holder – No explanation needed.  Where Can You Buy: Amazon.  Brand I Use: Bambina di Cioccolato.  Price Tag: $25.

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A Few “Wow” Pieces

Finally, no carry-on packing guide would be complete without a few “wow” pieces.  Whether you’re traveling to Iceland or Tulum ~ a show-stopping swimsuit, bright scarf, & some highly photogenic outfits are essential.  To shop a greater selection of show-stopping swimsuits, click here.

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Adios…Carry-on Packing Guide!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this carry-on packing guide, & I hope it gives you some great ideas for adding a little budget luxury to your next trip.  

Small Personal Momento

And since feeling loved is the best luxury of ALL ~ pack a small, personal memento on your next trip, something that means a lot to you, & will raise your spirits every time you look at it.  Personally, I love bring hand-drawn cards from my niece & nephew.  They make me smile no matter where I am in the world, & remind me that I am not alone.  And that, is priceless.

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Noelle Bertram is a restaurant owner, former fitness coach, Huffington Post writer, & all-around entrepreneur who travels full-time now & writes all about it! Catch up with her on Instagram or at her website about being the ultimate, fearless travel girl:
Why I Use World Nomads Travel Insurance

Whenever I travel ~ especially if I’m traveling solo, I always buy travel insurance.  It gives me the peace of mind to go out and have all kinds of adventures, because I know someone’s got my back.  Who do I use? World Nomads. They cover more ADVENTURE activities than any other company ~ from sky-diving to spelunking to volcano-boarding.  They’re not your average insurance company.  Read more about travel insurance here.


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