travel essentials for the solo female backpacker

travel essentials for the solo female backpacker | little cup of j

Prepping for your next adventure? Maybe even your first solo trip?

While I count down the days until my next flight (hurry up, March!), let’s get you all sorted for your own travels.

We’ve already chatted about easy carry-on only packing, so it’s quite fitting now to go over the absolute essentials (in my opinion) for the solo female backpacker!

Here’s what I can’t travel without:

Packtowls (body & face size) – I cannot tell you how much I love my Packtowls. Not only are they incredibly compact (a fraction of the size of a normal towel), but they really do dry much much faster, as well. *Bonus: need some extra peace and quiet in that dorm-style hostel room? If you’re on the bottom bunk, hang your towel from the bunk above you, making a little curtain. One of my fav simple tricks that didn’t seem so obvious until I saw another lady doing it.

dry shampoo – let’s be real for a minute. You’re traveling around a new place, staying in hostels and living out of your backpack…so the last thing you’re going to want to worry about is your hair. I promise. Dry shampoo is everything!

tinted chapstick – the ideal balance between all-out lipstick and plain old chapstick, which means it works for every occasion! Perfect for traveling, when you don’t know what each day (or night) might hold.

shower flip flops – you don’t want to shower in a hostel without shower shoes. Seriously, gross. A cheap pair under $5 is perfect, and you can just leave them behind before your return flight to lessen the load.

universal plug adapter – aka your key to technological survival.

sunnies – some people opt for a pair that they don’t mind beating up, though I always bring my nicer Ray-Bans to ensure that I pay closer attention and don’t lose them. Whatever your style, definitely pack a pair!

camera! No explanation necessary 🙂

Converse or any easily-paired, comfy pair of everyday shoes.

headphones & music – I learned the hard way that I wouldn’t be able to rely on my Pandora app, as I usually do in the states. If you have a long bus ride or just feel like laying in the park with headphones in, make sure to have some music on-hand for the occasion. Thank goooodness for the 3-month free trial of iTunes radio that I took full advantage of – there are so many little loopholes to these types of travel dilemmas!

map app (or load Google map directions before leaving a wifi spot) – for those who are easily lost like myself, a map app is a lifesaver. I mean it, lifesaver! Finding directions in a touristy part of town is difficult enough with plenty of signage and available info, but in a remote village or scenic backroad? Forget about it.

notebook & pen, or your phone’s Notes app readily available. I tend to keep track of my trip in sporadic blurbs here and there, whenever inspiration strikes. Having a small notebook always on hand is super helpful!

So, I’d love to know – what are your own travel essentials?