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20 Things All Women Need To Have In Their Suitcases When They Travel

Whether you’re going to a tropical, exotic location like Thailand or to a chalet in the Swiss Alps for some posh ski time, there are some things that you might not think to pack when preparing for a trip, but those are some of the very things that you may realize you should have included on your to-take list.

Women are traveling more these days and often, solo. The world is your oyster and you can (and are) exploring this incredible planet -- even going to places that are out of the ordinary. So, by making what you have in your suitcase count, you're apt to get the best experience out of your journey. There are parts of the world where some of these things might be readily found, but not so much in many other places, We've put together a list for you of things you might not have thought about, but that you might be happy you decided to include in your suitcase.

None of these items will take up a lot of space or weigh your luggage down. So, you won't have to worry about paying for over-the-weight-limit bags. Here are 20 things that will help you to have happy and safe travels!

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20 Sunscreen Is A Skin Saver

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The sun's rays can wreak havoc on your skin. There is nothing worse than suffering the pain of a sunburn while on vacation. There are a number of good sunscreens on the market today that will provide you with adequate coverage. According to dermatologists, a sunscreen with an SPF of 45 will block 98 percent of the sun's damaging rays. The American Academy of Dermatology says you should be using a sunscreen with an  SPF of at least 30. And if you're sweating a lot or swimming, remember to reapply it often. By the way, SPF is an acronym for sun protection factor. If you have fair skin, you might want to consider a sunscreen with an SPF of 45.

19 A First Aid Kit For Possible Ouchies

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As the saying goes, "s**t happens." You don't want to be left in the lurch if you get a cut or a bug bite or any other kind of minor medical issue. Leaving those things unattended could spell infection and that's the last thing you want to have happened on your trip. Packing a travel first aid kit can be a lifesaver. These kits can snuggle easily into your travel bag and are small enough to include in a backpack for those scenic hikes you might be taking. A good travel first aid kit contains a number of items that may be useful including: Bandages, a small pair of scissors, sterile gauze, surgical tape, anti-diarrhea tablets, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, antibacterial wipes, pain medication like Ibuprofen, antihistamine cream and tablets and crepe bandages that will protect larger cuts until you can get medical attention.

18 TP Because You Never Know ...

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There are some essentials we take for granted. When we travel we just assume some of this stuff will be easy to find. But, there are some places that have a shortage of something we use every day and by no means do you want to be scurrying about in a foreign land looking for whatever you can to use to take care of business after you've gone to the bathroom. That's why packing a few rolls of virtually weightless toilet paper may be in your best interests. There have been instances in my travels when I have come up short and believe me, newsprint (or whatever other usually harsh things you can find) doesn't bode well on your delicate bits!

17 A Quick Drying Towel Is A Travel Treasure

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You'll find that on some trips you're often on the go -- moving from one place to another sometimes within hours. Since that may be the case on some days, including a quick drying towel as one of your essentials is pretty much a necessity. You won't have time to sit around waiting for a conventional towel to dry and who wants to carry around one that's soggy from a swim or a shower? Microfibre towels are super absorbent but thin enough that they will dry in no time. They can be rolled up to a small size, so one will easily fit into your luggage. Other pluses to these towels are that they're really soft, won't leave fuzzies on you and sand doesn't stick to them. They also will provide sun protection.

16 A Hat Or Two

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A hat is sunscreen's best friend. You definitely don't want to leave home without packing a couple of fashion-forward, yet practical hats, The most popular and well-known travel brand is the Tilley hat. Their designs are unisex and they're intended to be able to withstand the harshest elements. They even float! They're crushable, foldable and very easily packable. In any case, you'll want to find a hat that is water-resistant, blocks the sun's harmful rays, breathable and will last from trip to trip. Your hats shouldn't be rigid or you'll have a heck of a time fitting them into your suitcase. Shelling out a little extra dough for a hat that loves to travel as much as you do is money well spent and this hat will pay for itself many times over.

15 Blowing The Whistle On Danger

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Staying safe on a trip is a top priority. You may be going to a place you've never been before where the customs, language, attires and the treatment of women are vastly different than they are in North America. It's important to follow safety rules and to get acquainted with the basic laws of the places you're visiting before you set out on your journey. You should have tools to put off a potential attacker -- to protect yourself and your property. Those who prey on tourists, particularly women, are likely not prepared when you make the effort to protect yourself. Attackers definitely don't want to call attention to their stalking and may be put off by loud noises. That's why packing a small, but the mighty whistle is crucial. You can carry it with you at all times on your journey. Here's hoping you never have to use it, but it will give you peace of mind knowing you have something that may make a potential attacker run the other way!

14 The Quick Duct Tape Fix

Bob Vila

There's almost nothing that duct tape can't make better, so throwing a roll or two into your suitcase should be a no-brainer. It can help everything from painful blisters on your heels to patching up a hole in your tent if you're roughing it. You don't want to be in the middle of nowhere and have rain or bugs coming into your home away from home. Duct tape is strong and it can be used for many hacks. Since duct tape has a cloth back, it can be easily ripped, so you don't need scissors or a knife to cut it. Duct tape can also be used to hide objects in a hotel room or hostel. You can even use it to tape your passport and money to your body. It's more secure than a money belt.

13 Oops, That Pasta Sauce Left A Stain

As careful as you may be not to get food on your fancy top, accidents happen. Packing a stain remover stick will be able to help get a stain out of your clothes in a pinch. There are many good ones on the market and they pack a punch, even though they're small and can fit into any nook or cranny. These sticks, or pens as they're sometimes called, can remove even the most stubborn stains like grass, red wine, ketchup, blood, grease, and even underarm stains from your white T-shirt! In addition to these pens, you can also get individual travel size packs of stain remover towelettes which you might prefer since they don't have a cap that might fall off in your suitcase.

12 This Is Sew Necessary

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You never know when you might need to replace a button, adjust a hemline or fix a seam. When you're halfway around the world from home and your sewing kit is sitting in your craft room, it's not going to help you. The good thing is that there are travel sewing kits available that will provide you with everything you need to fix these things in a pinch. These are the things to look for in a good travel kit: Basic thread colors like black, white, red, green, brown and blue; a needle threader; a thimble; safety pins; a tape measure and scissors. You can purchase a ready-made kit or put your own together with thread colors that correspond to the wardrobe you're packing.

11 Dryer Sheets Aren't Just For The Dryer

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There is something to be said for including dryer sheets on your list of items to pack for your travels. Not only will they make your suitcase smell nice (they'll keep your shoes from smelling up your clothes), they are magic when it comes to other things too. A dryer sheet is perfect for wiping the dust off your electronic screens. It can also be used to light a campfire. If you're going on a road trip, they can be tucked under the car seats to keep the cabin smelling fresh and they can also be put into hotel room drawers since they absorb old odors and will leave your clothes smelling just-washed fresh. And while you're at it, you might want to throw one into the hotel room trash can. It could probably stand a freshen up, too.

10 A Cache Of Colorful Scarves

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Scarves can be a girl's best friend and on a trip, when you want to pack as lightly as possible, scarves add a pop of color to a neutral wardrobe. Most scarves are lightweight and thin and roll up nicely to take up little space in your suitcase. You might even want to pack a big wrap scarf which you could also use as a swimsuit cover-up. Some places frown on women showing their shoulders in public, while another place also wants women to cover their hair. A scarf comes in handy in these locales. You could also tie it around your waist to cover your legs. Many destinations offer beautiful scarf choices, so you might want to save some space in your suitcase for bringing back some new additions. Not only will a scarf save you in places where you need to cover up, but it will also protect you from the elements.

9 The Saving Graces Of A Swiss Army Knife

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For a while after 9/11 small knives were a no-no on flights. But that has since changed and travelers are allowed to bring small blades – less than 2.36 inches – on board. They also can't be more than half an inch wide. This is great news since a Swiss Army knife is full of little gadgets that will make your travels much easier and more enjoyable. Want to get that full-bodied bottle of red? No problem. Your knife has a corkscrew attachment. A Swiss Army knife also includes a can opener with a flat-head screwdriver, a key ring, large and small blades, a bottle opener with a screwdriver, wire stripper and wire bender, tweezers and a toothpick. All this on such a small, compact gadget! No wonder it's been called a traveler's best friend!

8 The Merits Of A Reusable Water Bottle

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We're all thinking about doing what's best for the planet, right? Then you won't think twice about getting a reusable water bottle to bring with you. There are working water fountains at all airports and you can easily fill your bottle once you've passed through security. By filling your bottle before you get on the plane, you won't have to keep asking the flight attendant for your hydration fix. When you get to where you're headed, your next fill up is as near as the closest drinking fountain. When the water is questionable, you might want to think about buying a large jug of H2O and refilling your water bottle when it's getting low. A reusable bottle also helps to keep your water tasting clean and fresh and not like chemicals.

7 Shedding Light On The Situation With A Headlamp

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There's nothing worse than being in an unfamiliar place in the dark! A headlamp can be so much better than a flashlight in this respect. For one, your hands are free. They can also be folded down, so they won't take up as much room in your suitcase. It also makes reading in bed a delight. They're great when you're out walking at night and since the light is directional, it gives you a terrific perspective of your surroundings. If camping and caving are on your agenda, it's a must-have item. You can get a headlamp that weighs as little as 1.6 ounces, while most tip the scale at about four ounces.  Those who have tried a headlamp on their travels wouldn't leave home without one now!

6 Getting A Charge Out Of A Universal Plug Adapter

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A universal plug adapter could actually prove to be a savior on a trip. If you're banking on taking your electronics with you wherever you go, make room for this little gadget when packing. This type of adapter will work anywhere you want to work. They're perfect if you'll be visiting more than one country since most have various plug styles built right in. Just flip some dials to find the plug type you need to use. There are many types of adapters on the market. Make sure the adapter has a voltage converter since there are countries that use a different voltage from the 120 that is used in North America. For instance, Europe and other areas use 240 voltage.

5 Get A Jolt Out Of A Portable Power Bar

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Electrical outlets in some places -- including hotel rooms -- are scant. You may thank yourself for packing that portable power bar. They're especially handy to have if you're a frequent traveler. In this technological age, we find it hard to breathe without our electronics, so if you find you don't have enough outlets to plug your toys into, you may become a little anxious and who wants that when you just want your trip to be an enjoyable experience? Turning a single outlet into several can be accomplished with even the wee-est power bar. You may even want to up the ante and bring along a surge protector. You can even buy one that doesn't have a cord. That's a bonus when it comes to saving space.

4 Stepping Out In The Right Shoes

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Shoes can make or break your trip. It can be absolute hell on your feet and your overall psyche when your tootsies hurt. Trips usually entail lots of walking around seeing the sights and exploring, so the proper shoes are not an option, but a necessity. Make sure to have properly-fitted walking shoes. Comfort is the name of the game even if you have to bring along a more dressy style. Stilettos really should be left at home. Shoes can be cute and still be comfortable. A  lot depends on your destination too. If you're just going to wind down and soak up the sun for a week, chances a pair of light walking shoes, sandals and flip-flops will do. If you're planning on hiking, invest in a lightweight, yet sturdy hiking boot that you've worn a few times so they're broken in. Blisters are painful and when you're used to your footwear, your feet will be happy campers.

3 The Basics In Your Toiletry Bag

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Every woman has to have a toiletry bag packed when she travels. There are things every bag should include. Here they are: Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash; deodorant; shampoo and conditioner (you might want to include a dry shampoo to use in a hurry); hairbrush or comb and hair ties if you have long hair; moisturizer; lip balm with a SPF factor; personal  and feminine hygiene products; prescription medications with the labels affixed in case you get questioned by security; any contact lenses, contact case and solution; prescription glasses and sunglasses. If you want to pack cosmetics, keep it to a minimum. Some mascara and a nice, neutral lip gloss would do. I even like to throw in an eyelash curler. There is no right or wrong here. Include those things you think you'll use most. Personally, I never go anywhere without my good pair of tweezers and something for sore muscles from all that walking.

2 Green-Friendly Foldable, Reusable Bag

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There are some who suggest bringing plastic bags on trips. But with plastic creating such problems in the environment, there is a better solution! You'll soon forget about those plastic bags when you decide to use a foldable, reusable bag. There are many colors and styles available and they're a much more earth-friendly way of carrying items around. Not only will you look more stylish, but you'll be helping the planet, too! Even though these bags are light and can fold up to become very small, they hold a lot of gear and those souvenirs you'll be buying will need that space. It would also be able to hold extra clothing that you'll want to shed when it gets warm during the day.

1 Stop The Stomach Gurgles With Snack Bars

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With all the adventures you'll be experiencing, you might feel pressed for time and forego food for fun. But, you'll need to keep your energy levels up too. Throwing some protein or snack bars into your suitcase will ensure you'll at least have some nourishment until you can stop for a proper meal. Choose ones that are good quality with ingredients that don't melt easily. Stay away from anything chocolate coated. If you've got some time before your trip, you could always whip up a batch of your own using healthy stuff like quinoa, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, honey, coconut, dried fruit and other tasty ingredients. That way, you'll know that what you're eating is good for you and will provide you with a more-than-likely needed pick-me-up!

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