I Travel At Least Once a Month—These Are the Packing Essentials I Swear By

Pack like a pro.

By Isabelle Eyman
Packing travel essentials for women.

We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Your flights have been booked for months and your hotels are locked in. The down-to-the-minute itineraries are laid out and you’ve secured reservations at every bucket-list restaurant. But… your trip is just days away and you haven’t packed. A. Single. Thing. Luckily, we have all the best travel essentials for women to ensure you’re ready for whatever comes your way.

At this point, packing for a trip should be a profession (with years of training to back it up). The anxiety of losing your luggage feels inevitable, and unless you’re flying first-class, you’re often forced to check your carry-on anyway. Ugh. It’s a challenge to strike the perfect balance between packing just the travel essentials and leaving room for your creature comforts.

Travel Essentials Every Woman Should Own

To save your future jet-lagged self, we’ve curated all the best travel must-haves to keep in tow. From wardrobe pieces that work overtime (hello, wrinkle-free wonder dress!) to wellness products that let you take your healthy habits with you—these are all the essentials that will elevate your travel game.

Packing Travel Essentials

Sure, what’s inside your suitcase is key, but travel accessories themselves can level up your trip. (No one wants to be lugging an overstuffed suitcase as you’re darting toward your gate.) Start here to ensure smooth, comfortable, and stylish travel—from the moment you arrive at the airport.

A Solid Suitcase

When it comes to choosing the best suitcase and travel gear, functionality and style are key. These days, there are plenty of brands to choose from that offer high-quality options that combine durability with sleek designs. We love a carry-on and check-in set like the affordable option from Quince, but we’re also obsessed with the minimalist, on-trend options from July and Béis. Plus, with so many colors to choose from, you’re sure to get a travel look that’s all your own.

A Versatile Personal Item

Your personal item needs to do the most. Because your carry-on will be stowed away overhead, your personal item has to house your in-flight essentials. It should hit the sweet spot of being compact yet spacious enough to hold everything from a book to snacks to your water bottle. 

While many opt for a backpack, we lean on lightweight totes that can pack down should you need to consolidate later on during your trip. Be sure to take elegance and functionality into account—your personal item should seamlessly transition from travel to everyday use. As with all travel essentials for women, remember: comfort and convenience are key.

Packing Cubes

If you’re not prepping for your trip with packing cubes, now’s the time to start. Packing cubes are game-changer travel essentials for women. They let you organize clothing and accessories efficiently while also making your belongings easily accessible. What’s more, packing cubes help maximize your suitcase space by allowing you to compress your items.

Look for durable materials like nylon or polyester, as your packing cubes will be taking the brunt of your travels’ inevitable wear and tear. We also love options with a mesh top so you can easily see what’s inside. Lastly, if you’re buying packing cubes in bulk, opt for a variety of sizes. That way, everything you pack has the perfect home for your trip.

Toiletry Case

For many, editing down your skincare and makeup products can be the most challenging part of packing. Step 1: Steal our beauty editor’s tips for packing all your products in a carry-on. Step 2: Find a toiletry case that’s compact yet spacious enough to hold everything you need. (Yes, “need”—not want.)

Cases with multiple compartments or pockets help keep everything neatly organized. Consider the option from Lambert below if you have a little extra room for your beauty must-haves. The sturdy leather exterior ensures nothing gets squished—helping keep spills at bay.

In-Flight Essentials

We’d be remiss not to mention all the best travel essentials for women that you’ll need in-flight. There’s nothing worse than getting to your seat only to realize you didn’t prep for the hours-long voyage. From entertainment to hydration to our favorite way to keep warm in the inevitably chilly cabin, this is everything you need to turn on airplane mode with peace of mind.

Compression Socks

TBH, I was anti-compression socks for a long time. Beyond not fitting my aesthetic (*rolls eyes*), I simply didn’t know all the in-flight health benefits they boast. Sitting for a long time can cause poor circulation, swelling, and even more serious conditions such as an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Compression socks work by applying gentle pressure to the legs, encouraging blood flow back to the heart.

These compression socks from Bombas come in nine colors and are stylish enough to slip under any pair of elevated sweats.

A Reusable Water Bottle

Named one of our favorite water bottles, this pick from Free People comes with a removable cup and lid. It’s a three-in-one option that’ll keep you hydrated all the way to your destination. (Just be sure it’s empty before you hit TSA!)

A Wrap for Chilly Flights

I know you know: even in the middle of summer, flights can be freezing—and you don’t want to be caught without an extra layer to wrap around you for warmth. This cashmere wrap feels super luxe while still clocking in at just under $100. It comes in nine colors—so you know I have at least three.

Weighted Eye Mask

Even if you’re sitting pretty in business class, getting quality zzz’s on a flight can feel like an impossible feat. Slip on this weighted eye mask and those restless flights are a thing of the past. Think of it like a weighted blanket for your eyes—complete with all the calming benefits. Designed in therapeutic Terraclay™ and silky soft Cloudweave, it hits all the right pressure points to whisk you off to sleep.


I’ll admit, I’m a forever hard copy girlie—and I’m paying the insanely-heavy personal item price. (You’ll never catch me on a flight with fewer than three books.) But if you place efficiency and ease above bibliophilic nostalgia, an e-reader is a must. The Kindle Paperwhite is thin and lightweight, i.e., perfect for travel. It’s also designed with an adjustable warm light, so you don’t have to worry about bugging your neighbors to turn on the overhead.

Reusable Food Storage

While there are more healthy, nourishing food picks available in airports today, they still cost a literal arm and a leg. ($25 for a salad? No, thanks.) Meals and snacks served on flights are also notoriously packed with sodium—not ideal if you’re trying to keep travel bloat at bay. For longer flights, I like to prep a flight-friendly meal and store it in this stylish, compact bento box. Pro tip: I recently brought this bento box with me to Portugal. After I used it for my in-flight dinner, it was the perfect container for bespoke, on-the-go picnics.

For shorter flights, I like reusable silicone bags for storing nuts, energy bites, and whatever will satisfy my travel cravings.

Style Travel Essentials

Let’s face it: how you dress on vacation is different from your day-to-day wardrobe. (They call it “resort wear” for a reason.) We’ve outlined our travel capsule wardrobe, but ahead are a few style travel essentials for women that deserve a spot in your carry-on.

Cozy Travel Sets

Matching sets make easy work of putting together endless outfit options when packing space is limited. We love a stylish but soft and breezy set to slip on for the flight. Just be sure to build a few layers into your outfit—temperatures are bound to fluctuate in the cabin and you want to be prepared. (See cashmere wrap above.)

Because we’re taking a minimalist approach, what I wear on the plane needs to do double duty when I get off. Based on the trip, I’ll wear any of the following outfit formulas.

The Wear-Anywhere Option

This is elevated loungewear at its finest. It’s like wearing your pajamas on the plane, minus the unflattering, frumpy look. The top’s classic boatneck cut stretches wide across your neck and sits just past the collarbones, drawing the eyes outward and—for my benefit—creating the illusion of better posture. I also love the fitted sleeves which elongate the arms (perfect if you’re petite like me). The pant is my favorite cut, featuring a slight crop and wide leg flare. Crafted of Supima cotton, it boasts an unbelievably comfortable, luxurious feel. It’s effortless and elegant, as all the best airport ensembles are.

The Cozy Option

No one does sweat sets better than Daily Drills. (I’m also obsessed with the brand’s Resort collection of silky basics). Their unisex crews and sweats come in an array of colors—perfect for the neutral obsessives or the brighter-the-better enthusiasts. Trust me: prepare to want to live in these.

The Workout-Ready Option

If my trip involves hiking or if I want to sneak in a few workouts at the hotel gym, I’ll wear a leggings and elevated sports bra set on the plane. While other compressive options might be uncomfortable for hours in the air, this set features just the right amount of compression—making the soft fabric ideal for catching zzz’s on your flight. I also love the ribbed design, creating a universally flattering shape.

The long lines gracefully elongate your legs, while the light compression enhances your silhouette and leaves you feeling lighter than air, making these leggings perfect for all-day wear. I’ll layer this with one of Losano’s cozy, but elegant cardigans or comfy pullover hoodies for a streamlined look that will take you anywhere.

Airy, But Elevated Basics

A one-and-done dress, breezy maxi skirt, and a cozy cardigan. With vacation vibes to inspire your outfits, the intention is to keep things as easy and elegant as possible. These are the staples that make it happen.

A Flowy, but Flattering Dress

I can’t count the number of compliments I (without fail) always receive when wearing this camisole maxi dress from Love, Bonito. It’s designed with an optional waist tie that I use to define my waist. The resulting look is so elegant and a literal breeze to wear on the plane. I layer it with my cashmere wrap for a European summer vibe. I also pack this short cotton wrap dress from Sézane. It can be worn anywhere—from exploring museums to wandering through markets to going for drinks and dinner. I love pairing it with a strappy sandle and raffia bag for daytime or a gorgeous shoulder bag for night.

The Summer’s It Skirt

All the fashion girls are wearing long, draping skirts that graze the ankle. The look carries a distinct 70s vibe, and the lightweight fabrics (often linen or cotton) are practical but elegant for any setting. I love this elastic waist linen maxi from Love, Bonito as the impact is ethereal while still being comfy enough to wear on the plane or cross-legged at a café. The J. Crew option is designed with a sweet tiered hem, maximizing the feminine appeal of this classic piece.

A Cardigan You Can Drape Over Everything

As much as I consider myself a blazer girl, you can’t travel far without a cozy cardigan sweater. I’m obsessed with the 90s WASP-y trend of draping your sweater over your shoulders. It’s refined while still feeling casual—and your sweater won’t take up any precious space in your bag.

Crossbody Bag

I make a rule of only bringing one bag in addition to my personal item. As such, this bag has to check all the boxes—including practicality, security, and style. You’ll be navigating a lot during your trip, from crowded airports to bustling cities. A crossbody bag is easy on your body while also keeping your stuff front and center right where you can see it. Also, hi—no hands needed.

Travel Beauty Essentials

Beauty Travel Essentials

We have our at-home beauty routines locked and loaded, but that gets thrown into a tailspin the minute we board our flight. Travel messes with our sleep and we’re often puffy post-plane ride. To keep all of that at bay, these are the best beauty travel essentials for women to keep within close reach.

Hydrating Eye Masks

Formulated with peptides to improve texture, amino acids to boost hydration, and aloe leaf to soothe inflammation, these eye masks are perfect popped on underneath your sleep mask. Will you look extra? Of course. Will you walk off the plane looking like you got the best sleep of your life? Absolutely.

TSA-Approved Skincare Essentials

A reliable cleanser and moisturizing lotion are the hardworking bookends of a minimalist skincare routine. This set includes travel-sized versions of a hydrating cleanser to remove inevitable travel grime and a hyaluronic acid-infused lotion to soothe your stressed-out, post-travel skin. I keep this duo in my personal item for a quick refresh right after my flight.

A Tried-and-True Moisturizing Mask

Viral? Check. Camille-approved? Also, check. Pop the mini-sized version of this hyped-up hydrating mask—formulated with niacinamide, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants—in your personal item for a quick, post-flight glow. Named one of our favorite face masks for sensitive skin, this fragrance-free formula will leave you glowing and ready for your next travel adventure.

An Ice Roller That Defines “Snatched”

Puffiness is par for the course when it comes to your post-flight face. Luckily, game-changing tools exist to help you get that instant, snatched look. This facial roller helps reduce inflammation while improving circulation and lymphatic drainage. And while it’s ideal used after a few hours stored in the freezer, this ice roller does *work* on your face with or without the added cooling component.

Silk, Skin- and Hair-Friendly Accessories

If you’re looking for a luxe experience at every point of your trip, this silk bundle delivers. The eye mask is perfect for in-flight use and at every hotel, while the washable silk pillowcase guarantees smooth and shiny hair upon waking. And because you’ll be on the go during every point of your trip, the silky scrunchy keeps hair out of the way without any pulling.

Camille Styles Athleisure

Wellness Travel Essentials

It’s a vacation: you’re not meant to be at your most locked-in, committed best. But! You still want to feel energized and connected to your body, so you’re always on the lookout for small, impactful ways to keep your wellness up while traveling. Don’t worry—we have the travel essentials for women that’ll be worth the extra carry-on space.

Travel Yoga Mat

A travel-friendly yoga mat is your on-the-go bestie. Want to do a 30-minute FORM workout? You’re covered. Craving a juicy, wind-down stretch? Your mat’s got you. Whatever form of movement your body needs, a yoga mat is here to deliver. They come in clutch when we need a quick hotel-friendly flow or want a bespoke, heart-pumping routine on the beach.

Digestion Support

We’ve alluded to it before—and we know you know—travel messes with your digestive system in all the most inconvenient ways. Luckily, our favorite supplement brands have taken note, and they’ve formulated effective capsules and tinctures that’ll keep things going (and flowing) all throughout your trip.

Sleep Supplements

Oof—jet lag. While it’s hard to fight off the inevitable, there are some key supplements (hello, magnesium) that make the transition between time zones a little easier. Pro tip: For my last trip to London, I used the Timeshifter app to proactively reset my circadian rhythm to align with the new time zone. Doing this a few days ahead of my trip made the transition so much less jarring, and it only took about a day of being in the UK to adjust.

Greens Powder

While the market is now saturated with an array of greens powders, there are a few OG brands we stand by to flood our systems with all the nutrients our bodies need. We love the two options below not only for their delicious flavors (nothing artificial-tasting here) but their convenient stick packs that are so easy to store in your personal item for on-the-go nutrition—when you need it most.