If you are a girl planning your first backpacking adventure, you have to read this post. Before I headed to South America with my friend, I read tones of articles about how to pack, what to take and what is not necessary. Many bloggers encourage to take only the most important things and I agree a lot because you don’t want to carry more than 10 kg on your back for weeks. However, being a girl means that you will take more stuff than recommended and probably twice more than your boyfriend. Why? Because there are things that boys would never consider to pack and which are essential for us. We want to feel fresh and gorgeous! To not make the list super long, check my suggestion of 10 must have beauty products in your backpack and head for adventure with style!
1. Travel jars and bottles
I never travel with a full-size shampoo or shower gel because they weigh too much and take up too much space. Nowadays you can find a small, travel size boxes in every pharmacy and drogerie. You can choose from larger travel bottles to smaller jars, perfect for your serums and moisturizers. They are refillable, so you can wash them and re-use as many times as you want.
2. Shampoo and conditioner
I don’t know how about you, but my hair is impossible to brush if I don’t use a conditioner. So apart from my favorite shampoo, I always have a good conditioner and also my recovery blisters. Now I use them almost every day because my hair is very thin and looks much better after applying the ampoule, but you can start with 2-3 times per week. It will be a real bless, especially in the middle of the jungle when you still want to look nice on the pictures 🙂 Another alternative is a mask, which usually results to be too heavy for my hair, but may work great for some of you! My boyfriend would tell you that you can use shampoo 3 in 1, but if you’re a girl, you know that we rarely use one product with 3 different functions!
3. Hydrating wipes
I don’t use facial wipes because I’m obsessed with my skin and there are only few face products I trust, but even though, I always pack hydrating wipes when I travel. You can use them to freshen up your neck and the rest of your body, and if you decide to apply them for your face as well, try to choose those made from organic ingredients.
4. Facial and body sunscreen
Being from Eastern Europe means that I always put a sunscreen on my face during summer. It doesn’t matter if I’m in Barcelona or exploring South America, this is a total must in my daily routine. Facial SPF is something really worth your investment before heading for a trip because the temperatures in South America are really tricky and some of countries lie on the equator line which means that the sun is very strong during all day. When I was traveling through Ecuador for two months, I was using the strongest protection every single day. The same happens with the rest of your body, don’t expose yourself for the sun without sunscreen, even if it’s 6 pm.
5. Facial sheet masks
Something I use a lot in my beauty routine are facial masks. They don’t take up any space and you can pack few of them. It’s good to apply them at least few times per month because they repair your skin’s elasticity and hydrate a lot. Backpacking means to face many different weather conditions and you don’t want to have a puffy face in front of Iguazu Falls 🙂
6. Tampons and pads
Something that we cannot avoid or postpone is our period. I personally prefer tampons because I feel more comfortable with them, especially when I have to sit in a bus for 10 hours or more, but I also pack some pads and slim pads. I suggest you to pack more than you usually need, because sometimes the period may change and result stronger because of the temperature change.
7. Face cream and eye cream
Another essential beauty product in your backpack will be a good moisturizer. I use two different facial creams – one for night and another one for day. If you don’t want to pack both, choose the best option for your skin which will work during 24 hours, absorb fast and calm your skin without creating shine effect. Don’t forget about something for your eyes as well. The eye cream I use is based on parsley and it helps me a lot to avoid wrinkles and puffy effect after tough summer night when it’s too hot and I can’t sleep. A good eye cream will be your rescuer after a long-distance flight or few hours ride in a bus.
8. Micellar cleansing water
I never wash my face with tap water, not even at home. You may say I’m a weirdo but I replaced it with micellar water when I was a teenager and nothing has changed since then. The only inconvenient is that they use to come in big size, from 400 ml to even 1000 ml. What you can do is to use your magic travel jars and distribute your cosmetic proportionally. Remember that the tap water in many countries has a really bad quality and there are no exceptions in South America, so even if you wash your face with tap water daily at home, I wouldn’t suggest you to do it on the other side of the ocean.
9. Make up stuff
Every girl stands out with her own, unique make up style. Some of us choose eye shadows and some others need only eyeliner. I am somewhere in the middle and I like eye shadows a lot, but I don’t consider them necessary in the Amazonian Jungle or in the middle of Peruvian dessert. The cosmetics I really find essential in my make up routine, no matter where I go, are my mascara, matting powder, blush, eyebrow pencil and BB cream. I also love colored lipsticks, so I pack few of them for my trips. I think it’s important for each of you to decide it personally – what are the make up cosmetics that you cannot imagine to not have in your purse? I know I wouldn’t leave my home without mascara, not even to the supermarket. Maybe for you it will be something else? Just remember not to pack 10 different eyeliners, even if you love all of them. Choose your favorite one or two and believe me, you won’t need the rest 🙂
10. Good hair brush or comb
There are many travel size brushes which include a mirror and are easy to fold. I don’t use brush because it’s not good for my hair, but since I bought a wide-tooth comb years ago, it’s been a must in my backpack. I use it to detangle wet hair and sometimes during the day, but I’m not a fan of brushing your hair every now and then. The less you do it, the better for your hair. Wide-tooth combs are also one of the best tools for thick curly hair, since it can detangle your curls without messing with their shape, and it’s the best weapon against hair poof-age.
There are some other products that I didn’t mention because I consider them obvious, like toothpaste, shower gel, or perfumes. The list I made is dedicated especially to women all over the world who like to look nice and wear light make up not only on their holidays in Greece, but also while backpacking Asia or South America. I tried this list to be universal because I believe that we don’t have to look like a vagabond, even after 4-days trek to Machu Picchu or 2 weeks in the jungle. I opt for beautiful pictures in your unique and easy to make style rather than dirty hair, trekking shoes and mountain pants on every single photo, but this is of course my personal opinion. I will write another article about packing tips for girls, including all clothing I took to Americas!:)
If you have any suggestions about what to add to the travel beauty list, let me know!