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5 Unusual Things Women SHOULD Have in Their Backpack

What to pack?! One of the most common travel-dilemmas. Packing for a (world) trip is always slightly more difficult for women. Of course you would like to travel with all of your comfortable and sexy clothes and shoes. And don’t even get me started on the toiletries. Thank god we are personally not big on make-up, it would make it even more difficult. Of course there are many packing lists online on what to bring: we will not bore you with an extensive article on what should be in your travel first aid kit or how many socks you’ll need. We want to share a few items that might not be on your packing list, but have proved UNMISSABLE during our world travel!


On number one: a menstrual cup. Isn’t that gross? Really big? Weird to empty in a toilet abroad? I can hear the questions popping up in your head. We had questions too, and we hadn’t even heard of this thing until a few weeks before we started travelling. But when we tried it, we wondered: why isn’t every woman using this already?!? Honestly, you need some practice and find the right fit, but when you do, you do not want anything else. You can go 12 hours without changing (yes, also the heavy flowers), or even longer if you flow only a little. It is better for your privates (no scary tampon diseases!), for the environment (half of the UK women flush their tampons), and for your wallet (you are likely to spend $2000 on tampons in your life).

And the final argument: it is simply the best solution for travelling. While travelling, you will experience different levels of hygiene. From “how can they call this hole a toilet” to “wow this toilet seat has music options”. And especially when standing in the former, you do not want to struggle with your sanitary products every couple of hours. Nor do you want to deal with leaking problems when there is no (clean) water to be found. And if you were planning on avoiding these things by continuous use of your contraceptive pills, think again. With the time differences and having no routing while travelling it is so easy to forget it or taking them a few hours too late, your flow will start immediately.

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Number two: sweat pads. Okay, sorry, that doesn’t sound sexy. But, honestly, your smell after carrying around a heavy backpack in tropical temperatures isn’t sexy. The best thing: sweat pads and/or baking soda! A sweat pad is like a panty liner for your t-shirt. You just stick them into the underarm of your shirts and voila, it will absorb your sweat. Not only will it reduce the smell, it also prevents awkward sweat stains from happening. And you can cheaply buy them online.

A more sustainable solution: baking soda. It is a natural alternative to deodorant, which absorbs the smell rather than masks it. Just put some baking soda on your hands, combine it with water and put it in your armpits. There are also recipes for more ‘fancy’ baking soda deodorant, but this is the easiest (and cheapest).

Can’t go without smelling nice? Simply take some perfume-testers with you when travelling: you’ll smell nice, it doesn’t take up a lot of space and you can easily throw them away after use!

travel essentials women


Doesn’t everyone love tea and/or coffee? We definitely do and that is why we carry a kettle in our backpack. No worries, it isn’t the big kitchen machine you have in mind. It is simply a heating element to put in your cup. Not only a great way to make tea and coffee on the road, and what about instant noodles? In addition, it is convenient to make drinking water in countries where water from the tap isn’t the cleanest. Just boil the water to purify it and let it cool off before you put it into a bottle. Another great way to purify water on the road: bring a bobble bottle!

travel essentials women


When you’re travelling together and you’re in yet another long flight or bus ride and there is simply nothing left to talk about, an audio splitter comes in handy! Watching a (offline) Netflix series or listening to a Spotify list or podcast together is a lot of fun! Looking for more interaction? We always bring two stocks of cards with us, perfect to play lots of shithead with other backpackers.

travel essentials women


Going on a world trip is amazing and naturally, you’ll have lots and lots of photos afterwards, and of course, you promise yourself to make a photo album of it – later. Maybe you also collect your receipts, flight- and entrance tickets; we do. But realistically, it is going to be impossible to stick the right receipt with the right picture in a year (or never). And honestly, who likes carrying rubbish all around the world? We thought of a solution: a scrapbook! We buy a new notebook in every country, cut and paste all of our tickets, funny napkins and much more in it, and voila: a perfect memory is there, and the stories are still ‘fresh’. In addition, we bring a ‘friends book’ with us and we let people we meet write something in it. Is there a more beautiful souvenir than memories?

travel essentials women


5 Unusual Things Women SHOULD Have in Their Backpack | Once Upon A Journey LGBT Travel Blog #womentravel #femaletravel #menstrualcup #cup #travel

These are our not-so-common unmissable travel essentials, what are yours?

Kate Rice

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

I will definitely try the menstrual cup. It's not very common where I live and I've been avoiding it for a while but after eading this will definitely try it. Thanks for the tips

Roxanne & Maartje

Thursday 21st of February 2019

That's great to hear! We actually don't hear many women around us using them either, and we can't understand why - it's amazing!


Thursday 14th of February 2019

I'm using the menstrual cup for over 10 years and I wish they make more advertise for it in the Netherlands, so all woman are aware of it existence.

On my long journeys I just make sure I have a bottle of water so I can clean it without a sink.

The kettle seems really handy. I think I'm going to buy one!

Roxanne & Maartje

Saturday 16th of February 2019

We don't get it all, why isn't there more advertisement of menstrual cups? I'm also trying to convince my little sisters but they won't listen, no clue why! And yes, just grab a bottle of water easy peasy.


Monday 27th of November 2017

Wat een handig lijstje! Ongebruikelijk zijn ze inderdaad, maar wel handig en sommige dingen kende ik nog niet :)

Roxanne & Maartje

Monday 27th of November 2017

Leuk om te horen! Welk item komt er in je backpack bij na het lezen :P ?


Monday 27th of November 2017

I'd never have thought to take sweat pads and baking powder but it makes total sense. Haha, great post, thinking outside the box.

Roxanne & Maartje

Monday 27th of November 2017

Haha funny, right? It never appears on packing lists, but it's been a life saver (for people around us hahaha)

Lisa // Fjords and Beaches

Sunday 26th of November 2017

These are some great tips! I never new about baking soda - that's so clever! All though I'll wonder what they'll say if I have a plastic bag of it trying to get through airport security, haha! :)

Roxanne & Maartje

Monday 27th of November 2017

Haha that SO is what we thought! But it's been okay so far haha, we have it in a convenient little box though!

Once Upon a Journey