As Ruth Dewitt Bukater (Rose’s mother in Titanic) once eloquently put it, massaging her daughter into marrying that creep Cal, “we are women, our choices are never easy.” This may no longer be the case for women in other parts of the world, but it is especially true for Middle Eastern and North African women today. From marriage to careers, all the way to grocery shopping, women can’t seem to catch a break. Thankfully, some things are a little less complicated, but no less messy. Travel tops the list of not-so-female-friendly spheres, but thanks to technology and the rise of consumerism, solo female travel has never been easier.
Travel is freedom, so break free from the shackles of your skincare routine and lose the lavender bath bombs – think multipurpose, compact, reusable, and hassle-free while packing. Enjoy the ride!
Menstrual Cup via Patricia Moraleda
Many Arab and North African women may find this one a little problematic for obvious reasons, but the only way to lose your virginity is to have sex, and your vagina is capable of great elasticity. Menstrual cups are reusable, easy to use, and can hold 8 to 12 hours’ worth of menstruation blood – twice as much as most super absorption tampons. And the better news is: they’re perfect for swimming!
Buy from: Organicup Egypt
Period Pantiesvia Thinx
If menstrual cups sound too invasive and pads give you diaper rash, period panties are the way to go. They’re comfortable and keep things down there smooth, no lumps, and it just makes moving effortless and comfortable. It’s like you’re 10 again, which is what travel is ultimately all about. Like menstrual cups, they’re reusable and can be washed after each use. The catch? They’re not for the heavy of flow, and you will need 2 pairs to alternate between and they’re kind of pricey. Also, if you wear it for too long, it’ll end up smelling like you’re keistering dead rats.
Go Girlvia Loriver
This is perfect for camping or other ‘rough’ travel arrangements. It’s also great for those with no measurable lower body strength, but who would still like the full benefits of a UTI-free stay in the wilderness! It is as easy as sticking it to your lady parts and going number 1. Alternatively, you can literally just use a small funnel. Not even kidding.
Buy from: Souq
Aloe Vera GelSource: InLife Healthcare
Aloe Vera gel has many benefits, not least among which are its anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties, making it the best natural substance for a smooth shave. So if you find yourself running behind on your pre-travel grooming, throw in a razor and a jar of aloe vera gel and you’re good to go. This natural cure-all is the very definition of multipurpose as it also doubles as a moisturizing and styling hair gel, or even as a potent remedy for sunburns.
Buy from: The Body Shop
Sports Bravia Max Pixel
Sports bras get a bad rep, but hear us out. They’re durable, comfortable, and it’s the 21 century and the world has finally figured out how to make sports bras sans the uniboob. A good place to start is a front-zip sports bra – those are literally uniboob-proof – or one with underwire, depending on your body type. If you’re top-heavy, look for a structured sports bra with slightly padded straps for extra comfort. In any case, find something that will double as a sightly crop top!
Buy from: Any women undergarment store
Waterproof Travel Money Beltvia Go Travel
This is like a stealthy fanny pack that can be tucked under your clothes, so you can safely keep your money, credits cards, and identification documents on your person on all times, because the best way to protect your valuables is to keep them undetected. Opt for a waterproof waist wallet, especially if you’re travelling solo, so you can wear it while doing water sports or even in the shower.
Toilet Wipesvia Mario Guti
Women can be very particular about where they go, anything that’s less than squeaky clean is a deal breaker. These towelettes will put your nervous bowels at ease and transform you from a clenching, vein-popping grump to a carefree explorette!
Buy from: any available pharmacy
via Leyna Faye Singh
There is no reason why you can’t live everyday like it’s a runway show and you’re Gigi Hadid on the road. A travel line is a portable clothesline that you can hook to anything in your room to hang your clothes to dry overnight – there’s literally nothing like the smell of fresh laundry in the morning. It’ll save you a lot of money on hotel laundry service.
Buy from: Any home supplies store
Packing Cubesvia jdltmaxson
If you can’t let go of your inner diva, this one is for you. Packing cubes not only allow you to pack your clothes neatly, they can also minimize wrinkling – provided you don’t just stuff your clothes in there. They allow you to organize and compartmentalize everything your packing, giving you space to pack more stuff. You can also use them as pillows if you ever find yourself stuck in an airport for a 12-hour layover!
Buy from: Jumia
Kitchen Paper Tubevia RoonakTube
There’s no excuse to step out with a crinkled hijab or scarf when you’re travelling, unless it was like that when you bought it. Wrap your scarves around a cardboard kitchen paper tube while you’re travelling to keep them wrinkle-free.
Buy from: used tinfoil or napkin
Portable Travel Empty Cosmetic Containers
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to pack your entire 2L bottle of conditioner while traveling – especially not if all you have is a carry-on. Why pack entire creams and conditioners and perfume bottles when you can take what little amount you need in empty plastic containers?
Buy from: Aliexpress