10 things a female traveller should never be without

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Our latest guest post is by Francesca Harper . You can also keep up-to-date with Francesca on Twitter.

On their home turf, girls can be rock solid. Shrugging off unwanted advances, fighting for the last Starbucks blueberry muffin (other muffin brands are available) and a no-pain, no-gain regime of plucking, epilating and scrubbing (or not); the vast majority of girls certainly know how to look after themselves. But abroad, even the toughest female can find herself uncomfortable and unsettled from time to time. From personal experience, here are 10 things that female travellers should never be without.

1. Sarong

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The sarong is a girl’s best friend; one day, you can find yourself using it as a pretty skirt or scarf, the next, it can double up as a towel or bed sheet. The possibilities are endless!

2. Fake ring

Vast cultural differences mean that, in many parts of the world, men can be quite confrontational towards women. But wearing a fake wedding ring can help ward off this unwanted attention.

3. Harem trousers

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Harem trousers, palace pants; whatever you want to call them, these lightweight slacks are great for warmer climates when you need to cover up, whether it be for religious reasons or because you simply don’t want to be attacked by mozzies.

4. Condoms

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s the aphrodisiac effect of travelling. Just remember: no glove, no love.

5. Email and hard copies of important documents

Just as safety precaution, carry hard copies of important documents – passport, insurance, flight details, etc – when you travel, and scan and save them as email drafts so you can access them anywhere.

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6. Tampons

They may be a part of our everyday wash-bag at home, but in parts of Asia, Africa and South America, feminine hygiene products are almost impossible to find. Consider taking an ample supply if you are travelling to these areas so you don’t get caught short.

7. 2-in-1 toiletries

Shampoo/conditioner, body wash/shaving cream, after-sun/body lotion; 2-in-1 products really are great space-savers. And anyway, after a couple of weeks on the open road, you’ll find better ways to spend time than preening yourself!

8. Pumps

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These comfy slip-on shoes can be dressed up or down and don’t take up much space in your backpack. Just remember, they’re no substitute for sturdy walking shoes if you’re heading into wilder territory!

9. Minimal make-up

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A healthy glow gained from warmer climates is all you really need, but if you insist on taking make-up with you, then keep it minimal; concealer, waterproof mascara and a bright lip-gloss or lip balm should do the trick. Anything more will probably just slide off your humid face, anyway.

10. Diary or notebook

You may think that you’ll remember the name of that remote lake in New Zealand, the place that served the best Pad Thai in Thailand, or the name of that dude who you spent one amazing day (and night) with on the beach in Fiji, but, alas, time goes by and you simply forget. Write down key words and experiences, or even cut and paste tickets, flyers and stubs, and you’ll be thankful later.

Thanks to DahonFeeling my AgeStacie and Robert Bejil for the images off Flickr. Please note, these were held under the Creative Commons licence at the time of publication. 

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