Packing Tips: 11 Surprising Things Older Women Don’t Travel Without

by | Mar 27, 2022

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Last updated on March 25th, 2023

Featured image: Sometimes it’s good to be surprised / Photo from Envato

Experienced solo travellers share their packing tips

By Marin Scotten, Editorial Intern, JourneyWoman

Other than a passport, credit card and phone, what a solo traveller brings with her on her travels varies from person to person. We asked women on our private Solo Travel Wisdom facebook group to share their best packing tips for older women, and were surprised by some of the more unique, surprising things they told us. From cable ties to wash bags to a stand-up pee device, women use  some pretty unique tools to ensure they are prepared for anything.

(Please note: this article includes Amazon and other affiliate links, but we only ever recommend items we think are relevant for you and we’ve tried ourselves that will benefit you on your travels). If you decide to purchase an item through one of these links, we will receive a small commission that doesn’t add any cost to the purchase of an item.)

11 Surprising Things Older Women Pack 

1. Tinkle Belle

The Tinkle Belle was designed for women who love to get out there and explore without worrying about finding a bathroom or squatting in a bush. Created by a group of adventurous women from Montana, the Tinkle Belle is a discreet stand to pee accessory that allows women to pee fully clothed while standing up. 

It is designed to fit women of all different shapes and sizes and is lightweight and foldable, making it easy to travel with. With no need for a bathroom or toilet paper, the Tinkle Belle is perfect for women who want to explore and adventure without worry.

Tinkle Belle for women

2. Anti-diarrhea Medication

Though there aren’t usually serious complications to traveller’s diarrhea, the symptoms can make a trip rather unpleasant. Several over-the-counter drugs can be used to treat the symptoms of diarrhea and JourneyWoman Ladonna Idell says she doesn’t travel without them.

Pepto Bismol is often used to treat traveller’s diarrhea and stomach bloating, as is Imodium.

Xlear Nasal Spray
Dry-wicking underwear

3. Dry-wicking Underwear

JourneyWoman Anne-Marie LaPointe says she only travels with 4-5 pairs of underwear that are all technical, dry-wicking material. Merino wool is a comfortable, quick-dry material that makes for great travel underwear. 

This seamless underwear from SmartWool is made from merino wool and nylon, making them comfortable, quick-drying and perfect long wears and hand washes while travelling. 

Also made from merino wool, these underwear by Icebreaker dry in under three hours. They are lightweight, durable and odour resistant.

1. Bandana

JourneyWoman Kitty Panza says a bandana can be used for many things and is one of her travel essentials. It can be used as classic headwear, but can also be used to cool your neck down when wet, as an ice pack or even as a bandage if needed. 

With that in mind, we created the JourneyWoman Sassy Flamingo Travel Bandana, designed by JourneyWoman Dr. Mary Clark, It’s made from 100% polyester and perfect for multiple uses. It will help you stay fashionable and cool while travelling.

Mary shares the inspiration behind her Sassy Flamingo bandana.

Black infinity scarf

5. Multi-use Scarf

When travelling, a scarf can be used for much more than a fashion accessory. Wendy Brown-Baez says she uses a scarf for warmth, as a picnic blanket, head protection, to hang in the window for privacy and more. This loop scarf by Elzama is soft, light and even has a hidden pocket to store your phone, keys or passport. Its size and softness make it versatile and perfect for fashion and functionality.

Black infinity scarf

6. Cable Ties

JourneyWoman Pip Lark says cable ties are one of her travel essentials. They can be used for securing external bag zippers, attaching clotheslines, fixing things and more. These colourful cable ties by TravelOn are easily packable and come with a travel pouch.

A woman practises yoga in her hotel room.

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7. A Travel Journal

Carrying a journal or notebook is a great way to capture every detail of your journey while it is still fresh in your mind. The eco-friendly JourneyWoman Travel Writer’s Journal is lightweight and spiral-bound, making it easy to flip through pages and jot down all your travel memories. 

Blue and orange travel notebooks from JourneyWoman

8. AirTag

Worried about losing something important while you travel? The AirTag is an easy way to keep track of your things. Put one in your backpack and track missing items through your Find My app, where you can also track your iPhone and other Apple devices. 

Apple AirTag

9. Scrubba Washing Bag

The Scrubba wash bag is perfect for when you’ve been travelling for days but you’re nowhere near a washing machine. It is a lightweight bag used by over 250,000 travellers and campers, including our own Carolyn Ray who used it when she lived in Mexico for three months. Simply add water, clothes and cleaning liquid, close the bag and deflate. Press down and rub the clothes for 30 seconds to three minutes then rinse. 

Scrubba washing bag
Rubber door stoppers

10. Door Stopper

Safety is usually top of mind for most women travelling solo. This rubber door stopper be used for extra security at hostels, homestays and hotels. Simply place this device under your door to prevent unwanted visitors.

A hand holding a menstruation cup

11. Alternative Period Products

Managing your period when travelling can sometimes be difficult. Tampons can be hard to come by and if travelling for long stretches, it can take a lot of space to pack the necessary amount of period products. 

Period underwear from Knix saves you from using little to no pads or tampons. They are comfortable, absorbent and leakproof, providing you with full protection when menstruating. 

Another alternative to tampons and pads is the Diva Cup, a reusable and environmentally responsible period cup that is easy to use and pack.

Period poverty is real, so if you are travelling we always encourage bringing extra supplies to share with women and girls.  

What surprising items do you travel with? Share them with us below!

Discover More Packing Tips

A passionate solo traveller, Marin is JourneyWoman's editorial and social media intern. Originally from Toronto, she is completing her journalism degree at New York University (NYU).


  1. Samantha

    Very usefull tips 🙂

  2. Kay Tibbles

    I always travel with a good amount of duct tape wrapped around a small piece of cardboard. It takes up hardly any room and has come in handy several times. And you can easily wrap on more as you need to.

  3. Patricia Clark

    Clothes pins, and duct tape!


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