Ultimate Female Travel Packing List for a Road Trip in New England

road tripping New England packing list for females

The following is a guest packing list by Nancy Yeomans. See all packing list posts here.

When you feel the need to hit the open road, few locations can compare with the New England states. Within just a couple of hours, you can drive from coast to mountain; from highway to am-I-the-first-person-to-drive-on-this-road?. Casual is the name of the game in all but the biggest cities, so leave your stilettos behind and bring your boots.

For a truly relaxing and unique visit, you’ll want to head to the north and eastern parts of the region. While Boston and the areas in closer proximity to NYC have their own appeal, the rest of the New England states are much more casual and laid-back – just what your ramble requires. Not to mention that parking is a breeze.

New England scenery
New England scenery

I’ve taken many a road trip around New England over the 25 years I’ve been living here. Throughout that time I’ve been both an under-packer and an over-packer. Here is my edited list of items to consider taking with you so that you’re prepared for anything. After all, the beauty of tripping by car is that you’re not limited by the size of your suitcase or the 3 oz. rule. This list should be suitable for a 3 or 4 day long weekend.

A word of advice: when in these parts of New England avoid any type of reference, verbal or otherwise, to our arch enemies – the New York Yankees.

Hit the road, Jackie!


  • 1 pair jeans – not too ripped up… you’ll be able to wear jeans to most any restaurant
  • 1 fleece jacket
  • 3 comfy t-shirts
  • 3 or 4 pairs Smartwool socks – if a walk in the woods beckons (visit our Keeping Warm When Traveling post for more details. Smartwool is good for warm and cool climates)
  • Coobie bra – absolutely the most comfortable bra
  • 1 scarf/wrap
  • 1 pair casual pants – you don’t have to go all khaki/preppy, any cargo pants will do fine
    1 pair shorts – if you’re really clever combine pants and short with these convertible pants from Prana
  • 1 swimsuit – if it’s summer you’ll hit the beach, in the cooler weather you might happen across a hot tub
  • 1 cute skirt – choose one that can be worn with your boots


  • 1 pair walking/running shoes – try New Balance Minimus for the ultimate traveling sneaker
  • 1 pair flat boots – such as cowboy boots or suede booties
  • 1 pair flip flops – for beaching in the summer and hot tub nights
  • 1 pair flats – for walking on cobblestones or uneven sidewalks
road trip shoes


  • perfume/scented lotion – nothing too heavy
  • hair oil – it tends to be dry around New England in the wintertime and this does the trick
  • hand lotion – ditto above
  • sunscreen – even though it’s cooler, the sun’s still out there
  • some hair elastics – for a ponytail or messy bun (try a headband)


  • ipod and cord for the car – soundtrack to ‘Thelma and Louise’ optional
  • GPS – use with caution: many roads won’t be on it, and some that are won’t be passable
  • a small set of speakers – for tunes at the beach or on your picnic

It’s a short trip, so your tech gear packing list will be much shorter than normally recommended.


  • 1 pair hoop earrings – stay classic here
  • 1 chunky necklace – to dress up your t-shirts


  • small bills – for any flea market shopping you may encounter
  • swiss army knife with knife and corkscrew – for the picnic lunch you’ll have
  • GoVino wine glasses – same as above (these are stemless, flexible, shatterproof, recyclable)
  • umbrella or rain jacket – New England changes in the blink of an eye and you’ll want to stay dry
  • camera – to photograph the changing leaves, rugged coastline, covered bridges
  • string bag/small backpack – handy to have for any spontaneous hiking or walking (have a peek at these stuffable bags)
  • small cooler – for the craft beer or local cheeses that you’ll want to purchase
  • sunglasses
  • Bananagrams – great for beach entertainment or for meeting new people
Nancy enjoying wine on her many travel adventures
Nancy enjoying wine on her many travel adventures

About the author: Nancy has traveled to all 7 continents, either via land, sea or air. Her favorite way to experience a destination is on foot so her running shoes are her constant companions. She has lived in the New England area for over 25 years and during that time has discovered many ‘roads less traveled’. Her next travel adventure will be spending 2 months in Paris living like a local. Cheers!

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

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