Now that I’ve been on the road for a few months, and lived in a couple of different climates, I thought I’d share the gear that makes life on the road bearable for me as a woman. These are the gender-specific items I wouldn’t want to live without.
I love this purse from PacSafe, and I think I would use this even if I weren’t traveling — especially if I lived in the city. It is well-organized, with lots of pockets for credit cards, phone, reading glasses, pens. Goes with everything. Wipes clean easily. I can fit my Kindle or even my big camera inside it. But the best thing is, I feel absolutely secure when I carry it.
The sides are lined with slash-proof mesh. The zipper top hooks closed with a hook so it’s not easy to get into.
But my favorite feature is the slashproof shoulderstrap (which lengthens in a milisecond to wear cross-body). It has a double-locking mechanism where it attaches to the bag. (they’ve changed it since the photo below was taken, it’s actually much MORE secure now). This means I can easily LOCK my purse to the back of my seat in an outdoor cafe, so no one can grab it and run!. I’ve even used the strap like a bike lock to secure my backpack in a pinch.
I’ve never felt as safe as I feel when I carry this bag across my body. I think the 100 model is being discontinued, but PacSafe has a whole assortment of bags in different sizes with the same security features.
As a former bellydancer, I gave up a lot of rhinestones for my new life on the road. But I still need a lot of accessories to keep that one little black cocktail dress interesting every time I go out. This jewelry clutch holds a shit-ton of earrings, rings, necklaces & bracelets. It keeps them super-organized and protected, without adding a lot of bulk or weight to my pack. I even use it to protect my thumb drive and SD cards. I wish I’d had this for my gig bag when I was still dancing professionally!
Sorry, but we have to talk about this. Traveling around the world, as a woman, involves either carrying around massive amounts of menstrual supplies, trying to find what you need in a foreign language every few weeks — or this one tiny cup. I started using this a couple of years ago, because I have a very heavy flow and nothing else works for me. I used a Moon Cup at first (same concept, different brand) and it was a HORRIBLE experience for the first few months.
Switching brands was wonderful, I find the Diva Cup much more manageable. There was a learning curve (it’s easy-peasy now!) and using a cup requires a certain comfort level with your own body, but the fact that I will NEVER need to buy or dispose of another product for the rest of my life was sooooooooOOOOOooo worth it. I carry a cloth pad for backup, (which I also like more than I would have imagined) but I use it mostly for long flights and sleeping.
Dr. Bronner’s smells like hippies (the young, pretty ones, not the old smoky kind).
A few drops will wash my whole body and leave my bathroom smelling like “fresh girl” (per Craig).
Theoretically, you can wash your hair with it. That doesn’t work for me. But I’ve used it for laundry and, in a pinch, dishes.
It also comes in a bar soap, which might be good for travel. But according to the company, while the bar soap is more moisturizing, the scent isn’t as strong. I LOVE the scent. Plus, you have to grate the bar to use it for laundry.
This is another one that I loved at home long before I took it on the road. So is the next one!
Right now, the only thing I’m putting on my face is this Garnier BB Cream. This plus mascara is my daily makeup routine. Maybe some lip color. Powder if it’s sweaty-hot.
It is my moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup and it is doing the trick beautifully. It offers just enough coverage to make me feel good about how I look, but not so much that I need to use blush to put my color back.
When I was in Cartagena, where the weather was hot and humid, this felt a little greasy to me, and shiny. If I had much younger skin, I’d probably choose a different brand (I recently chose Smashbox for my daughter, and I’m tempted to try it myself).
A few other things I love
In the evenings I add Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner (they wear like iron) & Urban Decay shadow (Buck is the perfect shade for my creases & to fill in my blonde brows, the only other shade I carry is Midnight Cowgirl for when I want a little more glam) and some Orgasm blush from Nars (which also works on my lids when I want a fresher look).
Another product I’m loving is Silky Underwear Dusting Powder from Lush. It smells like heaven, moisturizes, comes in a durable container, and saved me from boob sweat and thigh chafing in the Cartagena heat. It didn’t quite make the can’t-live-without-it list, but that may be only because I’m not sitting in the sweltering heat.