Thinking of taking a solo trip some time soon? Don’t know what to pack or where to go? Well you’re in the right place! In this guide, we’ll share with you some of our favorite packing tips and essentials for women traveling alone.
See our list of the best credit card bonuses and top flight deals here on HMB!
Even if you’re not backpacking, bringing a backpack makes traveling more convenient. The backpack can act as your carryon for easy access to important things while you’re moving from place to place. In addition to avoiding annoying bumps the you encounter with a suitcase, the backpack is less work to drag around especially in places with stairs and to the restroom.
This may seem like an obvious tip but make sure to pack matching clothes. It’s easier to plan out your outfits ahead of time with versatile pieces that you can mix and match. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that each item you pack matches with more than one other item.
If you’re traveling by yourself, you will most likely carrying everything on your own so you don’t want to overload luggage. Make it easier for yourself and pack a light load. For starters, take out all the extra clothes and toiletries that you won’t miss. I know it’s hard when you want to be prepared, but do you really need those extra jackets that you probably won’t wear?
Make sure to have some extra cash and a credit card, separate from your wallet. This is important in the case that your purse or wallet gets lost. Good places to stash some cash would be in an eyeglass case, a make up bag, or an empty shampoo bottle.
If you need a good credit card with travel protection then check out the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. For more travel credit cards, check out the link at the bottom of the post.
What to Pack
Long-Sleeved Shirt & Pants: Even if you’re not heading anywhere cold, it’s important to bring at least one set of warm clothing. Not only can airplanes get cold, there are also places such as temples that require visitors to be covered up.
Crossbody Purse or Daypack: Bringing a day bag is great for wandering around the city or going on a day hike. This bag can carry your essentials like wallet and glasses.
Sarong: These versatile staples are ideal for tropical destinations. Not only are they usually light to pack, they can be used for multiple purposes: as a towel, beach wrap, scarf, blanket, pillow, or knapsack.
Pocket Knife: These small, multi-use pocket tools are helpful when you travel and absolutely necessary for camping. Usually pocket knives come with tweezers, nail clippers, a serrated knife and a can opener. These are great for self-defense as well.
Headphones: Especially important on public transportation, headphones allow you to stay entertained without bothering those around you.
Flashlight or Headlamp: Keeping a small keychain flashlight or a headlamp is a lifesaver if your phone dies. We recommend keeping one in your shoe while you sleep, so you don’t have to dig around for it in the dark.
Power Bank: It’s important to have backup power, especially since most travel information is connected to our phones these days: boarding passes, hotel confirmation numbers, rideshare, safety apps and etc. Keeping a spare power bank on you makes you prepared and from worrying about finding an outlet.
Adapters: Make sure to check what type of plugs your destination uses. If it doesn’t match American plugs, you’ll need an adapter. In the case that the destination has different voltages, you’ll need a converter. Most electronics have a built-in converter, but we suggest playing it safe and getting a universal adapter just in case.
Selfie Stick: This is a must if you’re a photo taker traveling solo.
Tissues: You can use tissues as an alternative to toilet paper and napkins. Toilet paper is a luxury in many places abroad. Having a small pack on you keeps you prepared just in case.
Hand Sanitizer: You never know if your destination is packed with soap so be prepared with a bottle of hand sanitizer to stay clean and healthy.
Feminine Hygiene Products: Although readily available in the United States, tampons aren’t as popular worldwide. Pack some for your trip, or even better, a reusable menstrual cup.
First-Aid Kit: Your first- aid kit should include bandages, disinfectants, painkillers, bug repellent, anti-itch cream, ear plugs and upset stomach medication. This is important in case you get sick or hurt. In addition, many places abroad might not have medicine readily available.
Safety Whistle: Always be sure to keep personal safety gear on you while traveling alone. Unfortunately pepper spray is not an option while traveling because it is banned in most countries and not eligible for planes. Instead, you’ll need a safety whistle to prevent issues.
Lock: Keep your doors secured for important belongings and for your own safety.
Pack a Credit Card With No Foreign Transaction Fee
As we mentioned early, it is important to have a good credit card on hand. In addition you may need to access money and not just cash that can be lost or stolen. We recommend a card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee when you’re traveling internationally. Here are a few we recommend you carry with you.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a great choice for new travelers because of its simple earning structure and no transaction fee. For travelers, you’ll receive credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee. Continue reading to see all of the outstanding benefits from this mid-tier card.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a one-time bonus of 75,000 Miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
You're able to earn:
• 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
• 5 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
This card does come with a $95 annual fee. Enjoy no foreign transaction fees and receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre?®.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is the best luxury option with no foreign transaction fees. This card offers a wealth of premium benefits that you need as a traveler including Uber credits, airline credits, access to airport lounges, travel protection and more. In addition, you’ll get automatic Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status. Read more below.
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
This card comes with an annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees), but you cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only. Terms Apply.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a fan favorite no-foreign-transaction-fee card with a big welcome bonus. The card rewards you with Ultimate Rewards points, one of the most valuable rewards currencies in existence.
Consider transferring your rewards points to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners for maximum value. To find out more about this card, keep on reading.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
• 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
• 3X points on dining
• 3X points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases
• 2X points on all other travel purchases
• 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit and when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll get 25% more value!
This card carries a $95 annual fee.
For United Airlines frequent flyers, this card is for you. The United? Explorer Card offers many benefits to frequent flyers and it charges no-foreign-transaction-fee. Continue reading for all of the benefits you’ll get from this card.
The United Explorer Card offers 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
• Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United purchases
• Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining including eligible delivery services
Perks of this card include:
• Getting up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS fee credit
• Get your first bag checked for free (up to $140 savings per roundtrip). Terms apply.
• Get priority boarding perks & visit the United Club with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
• 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks
• Get one-year complimentary DashPass, a membership for both DoorDash and Caviar that provides unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders. After that, you are automatically enrolled in DashPass at the current monthly rate. Activate by 12/31/24.
This card does come with a $95 annual fee, however, the annual fee is waived for the first year.
Find out more no-foreign-transaction fee cards in our post Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees.
Hopefully this guide helps you when planning your next solo trip. Remember to pack lightly and wisely while keeping yourself comfortable and safe. For more posts like this, check out our list of credit card bonuses!
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