Whether you are going away for a week or planning a trip for a year, choosing the right travel products can be essential for your trip. They can help you pack lighter, make your trip easier and once you’ve bought them, you’ll be wondering how you ever managed without them. Here are our pick of the best travel products that have been tried and tested during our solo trips around the globe…
* If you need to book flights, accommodation or tours, check out the Recommended Travel Resources for solos
Solo Travel Starter Kit
Gain confidence and inspiration to travel solo with our range of digital products. Feel confident on your solo trip with the Solo Travel Starter Kit. Includes A Female Guide To Solo Travel, Solo Girl's Survival Kit, Itinerary Organiser, Last-Minute Checklist and Travel Budget Planner. Contains everything you need to get you on your solo adventure whether you are a first-time solo or have travelled before. All these products are also available individually.
Universal Plug Adaptor
If you’re travelling to more than one country this plug adaptor is great for multi continents such as Asia, Europe, Australasia and the States and you only need one. Just slide the unlock button to whichever plug you need and lock the rest. It’s so much easier to pack than taking several with you.
Cable Roll Up
Having lots of electrical devices such as a laptop, kindle, phone, hairdryer and electrical toothbrush means more cables and chargers to carry. Instead of carrying them all loose in your bag where they can get tangled up, this handy cable wrap keeps them all in their own individual pockets so you know exactly where to find them. No more untidy cables.
Although the torch on our phone is great for when we need some light, a head torch is the perfect travel accessory for us adventurers. If you are planning to camp, or are heading somewhere off the grid with hardly any electricity then pack a head torch.
It allows you to be hands free so you can pack your bag or do whatever you need to do in the bush without using your hands. It’s also useful for reading a paperback book in bed if you don’t have a bed light. Keep your torch on the red light if you don’t want to attract the bugs at night.
If you are planning to go off the grid and stay in a treehouse in Costa Rica, camp in the Sahara Desert, or go diving for a week then a portable charger will charge your electrical items without the need for electricity. Portable solar charges don’t need batteries either. Just put them in the sun and the solar panel will charge your phone, USV device, tablet and MP3 player.
First Aid Kit
Plasters, rehydration formulas, insect bite cream… the list is endless. There are so many situations that you could find yourself getting into that it’s important to take a first aid kit along. Instead of having to think about everything that you need in a first-aid kit separately, this first aid kit has everything in one kit. It includes:
Waterproof Phone Case and Pouch
The last thing we want to happen when we’re away is for our phone is to malfunction. Taking speedboats, spending time on the beach, and partaking in water sports can put our phone at risk. Having a waterproof phone case helps to protect our phone from any splashes from the sea or in monsoonal weather. If you are planning any water sports, or even just travelling on a boat to an island then consider getting one to protect your valuables (and passport too!).
If you’re not a good traveller and suffer from travel sickness then there is no worse feeling in the world than feeling sick on a windy road journey, or on a ferry crossing. Maybe you travel well but there have been times when you have taken a boat journey which has turned rough or felt the turbulence on a plane? Instead of having to take travel sickness tablets, you could wear sea bands instead which work by putting pressure on your acupuncture points on your wrists. I swear by them.
Ear plugs are essential for travelling. You can use them in so many situations: on a plane when you’re trying to get some sleep, on a night bus, and in bed to drown out any outside noise such as dogs barking or late-night party dwellers. If you are sharing a dormitory room in a hostel they are an absolute godsend to muffle any snoring or people talking.
Depending on your budget, a cheap foam pair usually does the trick but if you are very sensitive to noise then consider buying these ones which are amazing for cutting out any noise. You can wear them to concerts too.
If you are sleeping in a hostel dorm room with others, then leaving the light on isn’t a problem when you are wearing a sleep mask. You can have an early night and not be disturbed. You can also use it for night buses, overnight trains, flights or even during the day if you are feeing weary from travelling. If you are a light-sleeper and have trouble sleeping with light then it’s worth getting one.
Portable Washing Line
Laundry costs can add up if you are travelling longer-term. You may not want to keep paying for a laundrette or hostel or hotel laundry services. Taking hand wash and a portable washing line makes doing your own laundry easy. If you are only away for a short time, a portable washing line is great for the times when you just need to wash a handful of things. In hot countries you may want to wash your beach clothes, bikini and towel. Take a sink plug with you in case there isn’t one.
Travel pillows are great for journeys, especially if you are travelling at night. Hard airline seats or uncomfortable overnight buses are so much more comfortable when you have a soft pillow to rest your head on. You can also use it for camping when you don’t have a proper pillow. If you are worried about packing it, it deflates and stores in its own pouch so it doesn’t take up much space.
When you are travelling to cold countries, the last thing you want to happen is to catch a cold when you are travelling by yourself, especially if you have a fixed schedule with no time to rest in between. Not everywhere provides hairdryers so take your own portable one instead. A travel hairdryer can fold up in your bag so it’s easy to pack. You can also finish drying any clothes with it too.
Water Filter Flask
For the countries where tap water is drinkable, the use of plastic bottles isn’t an environmental issue but for those where we can’t drink from the tap, that’s where a water filter flask comes in. It helps reduce our plastic consumption. It works by filtering our water as we drink and removes 99% of all bacteria. It may seem like a big investment but if you drink a lot of water it’s ideal.
Instead of taking a normal bath towel (which are usually bulky to pack), consider taking a microfibre towel instead. Microfibre towels are not only smaller than ordinary towels, they dry much quicker too. The fabric is soft, super absorbent and antibacterial. You can use them for the shower, beach or sports.
Although there is a wealth of information out there including blogs and travel articles, you can’t beat a guide book to help you to travel extensively through a country. Guide books give detailed information including the history of a place, how to get there and what to see.
Lonely Planet are the most well-known and cover the entire globe. If the main country guides are too bulky, their pocket series include itineraries and recommended restaurants. They don’t need to be paperbacks anymore either as you can download the eGuide instead of carrying a guide for each country you are visiting.
Gone are the days where we have to carry heavy hardback books with us that weigh down our luggage. Thanks to the Kindle, which allows us to travel with a multitude of books and fits in our hand luggage. For the bookworms among us, this is ideal for long plane or bus journeys, or even for a sunbathing holiday where we want to just relax and read book after book. If you don’t already own one, it’s definitely worth the investment (you can download your guide books too!).
Netflix has revolutionised the way that we watch movies. Being able to stream a movie or the latest episode of our favourite series at the click of a button makes those long flights or bus journeys so much more manageable, (download it when you have WiFi connection). Netflix is just perfect for those solo nights when all we want to do is snuggle under a duvet and watch a good movie. Losing yourself in a series really helps to eliminate any homesickness too. The membership is payable monthly and you can cancel at any time.
Padlocks are ideal for us solo travellers (or any type of traveller). You can lock your daypack whilst you walk around during the day to prevent any would-be pickpockets, and lock away your valuables in the hostel room. Most hostels charge for padlocks so having your own will save you money during your trip. Padlocks are either lockable with a key or a security code, and some have a long cord to wrap through your bag. We prefer padlocks with a security code instead of a key in case you lose the key.
If you are visiting cities known for pickpockets (e.g Barcelona), then money belts are a good way of hiding your money. You can keep your credit and debit cards in them as well as your passport. They are easy to disguise and wearing a money belt under your jeans is a great way of avoiding pickpockets. This one is more pricey but has a softer material than the cheaper ones which have a tendency to sweat with your body heat. You can hand wash it too.
There is always so much to pack, especially if you are travelling through more than one season. You may need to take summer dresses, vest tops, bikinis, jumpers, jeans, a bikini and even thermals. Unless you are a very organised packer and know where everything is then invest in some packing cubes.
You can pack your underwear in one, t-shirts in another, and anything else that you are bringing with you. It helps keep everything organised in your bag and you don’t need to get everything out to find that one thing that you’re looking for. They come in funky colours too.
These bags are ideal for those of us who want to take a lot of stuff but don’t have the room to pack it all. You can either get vacuum bags which aren’t ideal as you need a vacuum cleaner to use them, or compressor bags which you just press the air out of. They compress everything down so that you can pack more. They are ideal if you are moving somewhere and want to take everything with you, or going on a long trip.
P20 Suntan Lotion
P20 is great for active Girl about the Globes who are going to be in the sun all day. No matter what you’re planning to do, whether playing volley ball, trekking in the sun, sailing or just sunbathing, you just apply it to your body before you go out and it lasts all day. It comes in factor 15 to factor 50, and covers all skin types for up to 10 hours.
You still get a great tan if you’re in the sun all day. You only need to apply it once and it covers you for the whole day (10 hours anyway). It’s very water resistant too.
Pickpocket Proof Pants
Not only do these cargo trousers look stylish and come in a variety of shades, they are ideal for stashing away your money and valuables too. Manufactured with pickpockets in mind, they are the safest trousers on the market. They have a skirt, shirt and dress too. We think they are an essential part of any solo’s wardrobe.
If you are worried about where to store your valuables, how about packing them in your bra? The sports bra is perfect for solo travellers. It comes in ultra-light, comfort bamboo, beach bra, and also a sports style.
Here's what Emma, a solo female traveller from our Girls about the Globe Facebook community thinks of the travel bra:
“I love it! The size is perfect for me and it is comfortable to wear, the pockets are really handy and the material is really soft. The pockets are perfectly sized for credit cards and documentation such as a passport and driving licence. The two tiny pockets on the front of the bra are absolutely perfect for jewellery! I tend to swell up when I fly so these pockets would be ideal for putting my rings in.”
“I have a habit of re-checking I’ve got everything I need when I travel…. this bra means I can very quickly pat myself down and know I have everything close to me. The design, even in the nude colour is really cool, I’m so pleased with it and can’t wait to put it to good use on my next trip!”
Bottles of shampoo are not only heavy but they can be difficult to take if you are only planning on taking hand luggage with you. That’s where shampoo bars come in.
They do cost more than a regular bottle of shampoo but these compact shampoo bars from Lush last so much longer (up to 80 washes). They are smaller to carry, reduce your plastic consumption and the most important – keep your hair nice and glossy. Our favourite is the cinnamon bar which helps hair growth.
With hostels providing bed sheets and linen we no longer need to take a sleeping bag with us when we travel. But if you are camping or embarking on an overland trip, then a sleeping bag is essential. Sleeping bags come in seasons depending on where you are travelling and how warm you want to be.
If you are travelling to a cold country then you’ll need a 4 season bag (or 3 season if you are warm blooded). For warmer countries, a 1 or 2 season bag will usually suffice. Don’t forget that the higher the altitude the colder it can be too so look into getting a warmer sleeping bag if you are planning on mountain trekking. The Eurohike Down 500 is one of the best we have tried and it packs really small.
Sleeping Bag Liner
Sleeping bag liners are ideal for extra warmth in addition to a sleeping bag. You can also use them as a sheet for hostel beds whose cleanliness may be questionable. If you are travelling to warm countries then a liner is a good alternative to carrying a sleeping bag with you.
Travel Cash Card
This is more of a necessity than a travel product but taking a travel cash card with you helps to avoid those bank fees. You simply load up your card then swop it to whichever currency you need and withdraw your cash when you arrive. They work with several different currencies so unless you are going somewhere completely off the map, your currency should be included. I use We Swap.
For everything else, take a look at the Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk sites. We are affiliated with Amazon so every time you make a purchase through them you're helping a vulnerable girl about the globe. I donate 10% to children's charities around the globe. Thanks for helping. Lisa x