Weekender bag – Having a weekender bag is totally a game changer. There's nothing more annoying than having 2 small t shirts in a carry-on suitcase for a 36 hour trip (which I go on a lot of for work) or a tote bag that is bursting at the seams. A weekender is the perfect size for packing just enough for a quick trip. I think the cognac color is classic.
Flats – Every woman should have a pair of flats in her bag at all times. Have I told you about that time I ended up on the beach in Florida in heels because I realized I didn't pack anything other than stilettos? Having a pair of flats will avoid that drama.
Refreshing Mist – This may sound frivolous or unnecessary, but I can't tell you how good a quick mist feels after being stuck in a plane, train, or automobile. My favorite is by La Roche-Posay, but I think Evian makes a “drugstore” version. Seriously, just get one, and thank me later.
Scarf – A scarf is an absolute travel must-have. It can work as a scarf, a blanket, a pillow (when balled up), or even a “fragile souvenir protector”. I'm always freezing on planes, so I have to have one at all times.
Socks– Speaking of being freezing on planes, socks are always good to have. If you don't need them, no problem, but you'll be thankful you remembered them if you get that inevitable icebox plane. PS- How funny are these?! It's true, though.
Styling Tape – This is more of a nice-to-have, but fashion tape is great if you end up somewhere and realize the bra you packed wasn't really the right one or you want to rock that dress you just aren't sure of. I got mine at the Hustler store, but Amazon has a bunch of great options, too. Who knows, even if you don't need it, maybe you could help a fellow sister out!
Wallet – Having a wallet that can operate as a clutch is key. Earlier in my career, I would always forget to pack an actual purse aside of my computer bag and then I'd end up at a business dinner with a bulky bag that had my laptop in it. Having a wallet/clutch in your bag will ensure that you can go from desk to drinks without any hassle.
Sunnies – Just pack them. There's nothing worse then realizing you're going to be somewhere for 2+ days without eye wear. You'll save the expense of buying a (tacky) gas station pair if you always have some in your bag.
Fun statement jewelry – Jewelry is something that can actually make your suitcase work smarter for you. If you pack basic pieces (ie- black pants and neutral tops/shoes), you can actually create more outfits by mixing and matching statement jewelry pieces. Adding a fun necklace or earrings can elevate an otherwise basic look and allows you to pack less bright/printed pieces, and more mixable neutrals.
Book – Always have a book on hand. When I'm on a plane, it's one of the few times I force myself to unplug from a screen and get my entertainment the old-fashioned way.
Dry Shampoo – This is a savior when it comes to traveling. Much like how jewelry can make your packed wardrobe work smarter, dry shampoo can make your hair work smarter, too. Often times, if I'm going on a quick trip, I'll pack dry shampoo and skip packing my hot tools. Giving your hair a break from heat is always a good idea and dry shampoo ensures your style will last until you return home. I love this one from Redken that is specially formulated for lasting through a few sleeps.
Snacks – If you know me well, you know I am always hungry. If I'm traveling and hungry, that's even worse. I always keep some snacks in my bag to hold me over until I reach my destination. Nourish Snacks have been my favorite lately! They're healthy and yummy and convenient for travel since they come in pre-portioned pouches. My favorites are “mind your Ps and BBQs” (savory) and “Monkey Love” (sweet).
Back-up phone charger – I can't tell you how many times I've been traveling and stuck with a dead phone. How about that time I was lost in NYC with no phone?! Yeah, that was NOT fun. Having a (cute) back-up charger in your bag ensures that you'll always stay connected (and never get lost).
Ipad + Case – I always travel with my iPad so I can give my phone a break and surf the web or watch a show on a bigger screen. Having a protective case is important so it doesn't get banged up in your bag.
Headphones – These are pretty self-explanatory. I've gotten on a plane MANY times without headphones, so now I stock up on cheap pairs so I can have one in every bag. If you're looking for a pair to invest in, I'm obsessed with these.
Feminine products – I saved the best for last. There is NOTHING worse than getting a visit from your monthly friend while traveling. I love U by Kotex because they're comfortable and convenient, and the relatively small packaging makes it easy to just throw the box in your bag and be on your way. I know I'm covered from day to night with these products and I (try to) never leave home without them! They have a bunch of different styles/options, so they can cover any needs you may have.