Packing Hacks & Products For Adventurous Women Travelers

Responsible and ready for anything: it can be done, with our pick of the best products that help make traveling lighter on the planet – and your backpack.


A woman hiker on a rope bridge Photo ©

Everyone has a party trick for traveling light, from wearing layers of clothes on the plane, to rolling everything or carrying a Kindle instead of a pile of books. Great ideas, but we’ve got a few more: the essential items that will make your trip safer, more enjoyable, and won’t weigh you down – literally.

Regardless of whether you’re staying in a hotel, a hostel, or camping on the side of a mountain, these products are must-haves for any woman adventure traveler aiming to reduce her impact on the planet and her backpack.

Dealing with periods

The most sustainable way to deal with your period while traveling (and at home), is by using a Ruby Cup or wearing Modibodi menstrual underwear. Both products are reusable, hygienic and ideal for women staying in remote areas. Made from soft, medical-grade silicone, the Ruby Cup can be worn for up to 12 hours and lasts approximately 10 years.

Plus, for every Ruby Cup purchased, one will be donated to girls in need across the world.

Modibodi menstrual underwear safely absorbs up to 20ml of fluid (the equivalent of about three tampons worth), fights bacteria and stops odor, with extra waterproof technology so you can get on with your adventures. They’re made from natural, breathable fabrics and come in a variety of cute colors and styles.

Lightweight bags

For the streamlined traveler, WANDRD’s award-winning Prvke Pack is a perfect choice, available in 21 or 31-liter sizes. If you need more space, upgrade to the Hexad Carryall Duffel, a duffel/backpack hybrid with 40 or 60-liter capacities. Both designs are sleek, stylish and crafted out of ultra-durable, water-resistant tarpaulin. With handy features like a leak-resistant pocket for toiletries, and expandable sections, plus a lifetime guarantee, you can stress less and enjoy your trip.

When you are out and about or visiting a local market, Flip and Tumble’s ripstop nylon shoulder bag is the perfect reusable bag. It can carry up to 15kg but rolls up into a tiny sock-sized ball so that it takes up hardly any room in your luggage. Have it on hand for shopping, day trips, and to avoid single-use plastic bags.

Also, check out Kathmandu's range of women's backpacks.

Toiletry products

Get rid of your bulky towel, single-use face wipes and paper napkins: Nomadix lightweight all-purpose Microfiber quick-dry towels are made from recycled plastic bottles and pack down into a tiny roll. They dry quickly and contain an antimicrobial treatment to ensure they smell fresh even after prolonged use. Nomadix towels are not available outside of the US, so as an alternative try these Fouta Bath Beach Towels from The Fair Line, which can be used as a towel, wrap, blanket or scarf. When you buy one, another is donated to Women's Crisis Center in the USA. 

The ultimate versatile traveler's companion, Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 pure-castile soap is chemical-free and organic and can be diluted and used for 18 different purposes, including as a shampoo, face and body wash, dishwashing liquid and clothes detergent - just decant into a smaller container and go. Bonus: it’s made with fair trade and biodegradable ingredients. and its packaging is made with 100% post-consumer recycled bottles. It's also available in the UK and US.

Aluminum and paraben-free, Schmidt's deodorant is a natural deodorant paste. You only need to use a tiny amount to neutralize odors and absorb sweat, making it perfect for adventure travelers.  There’s also a recycling program, where you can trade in five empty jars to receive a free deodorant of your choice. Plus, your old containers will be sanitized and reused by Schmidt’s.

Water storage

Vital for any traveler, Vapur collapsible water bottle with filter is a thin microfilter that eliminates 99.9% of waterborne bacteria. It can also be removed to squash or roll the bottle for easy packing.  The Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier offers full-spectrum protection against pathogens (viruses, bacteria, and protozoa), particulates, chemicals and heavy metals. Both are a great way to avoid using plastic water bottles or cups - and ensure you stay safe and healthy while traveling.

Travel wardrobe

Instead of packing half your wardrobe, invest in some multifunctional clothing that can be worn in a variety of ways. Encircled offers several convertible items, such as their Revolve dress that transforms into a top, tunic, and dress, and the Chrysalis Cardi which has eight different styling options: a sweater, scarf, wrap dress, and skirt, to name a few.

For a comfortable travel bra, try Boody, an eco-clothing brand.

For more ideas on what to pack, check out Nomadic Matt's Ultimate Packing List

What travel packing hacks can't you live without?

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  • Timothy Arnold Ssessaazi said

    Thanks for sharing this well thought of literature. What has caught my eye the most is supporting girl travellers during their menstrual periods as this is so vital.

    We @DrotyUganda are also passionate about supporting The vulnerable rural adolescent girls keep in school.
    As found out with the recent research that the onset of menstration is the leading cause of school drop outs in our community. We are inspiring girls to keep in school by training them to make reusable sanitary pads and also by improving their learning environment by constructing girls only pit-latrines in schools with high populations and where by the boys and teachers share with the girls.

    Thank you and looking forward to more discussions.


  • Clover Ananda said

    All these hacks with the exception of menstruation one - would apply to all genders.

    An article on that aimed at women would be more appropriate rather than all of them being labelled as for women travellers.

  • Ruth said

    What a luxury it is to be a nomad nowadays...

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