Business trips can put you in a strange predicament. You may be going to a new place, but chances are, you’ll most likely be stuck in a convention center or an office that’s eerily similar to the one where you usually spend your days. It’s almost too easy to pack your paperwork and work equipment, such as laptops and cameras, but just as easy to leave some of your basic necessities behind. Don’t forget your must-haves at home and get stuck doing a late-night drugstore sweep. Use this guide as your handy dandy checklist.
A portable brush or comb is essential. You can change your hairstyle at a moment’s notice, and it’s important to have options. Try the Sephora Luxe Combo Travel Brush ($15, Sephora), a pint-size brush made up of both synthetic and natural boar bristles that will help detangle hair as well as smooth it back into a ponytail or bun if the weather is truly atrocious. Speaking of ponytails, make sure you pack good old bobby pins and a versatile hair elastic like Vidal Sassoon Extra Long Thick Black Elastics ($3.99, Ulta), perfect for keeping thick or curly hair in place.
Deodorant may seem like the most obvious item to bring with you, but when you’re rushing to catch your flight, it’s not impossible to forget to grab the stick in your bathroom. Go with a portable solution, like a mini deodorant stick or deodorant wipes that you can stash in your luggage. Whish Deodorant Swipe with Hair Inhibitor ($7 for 8 wipes, Ulta) refreshes gnarly pits and slows down hair regrowth with botanical extracts.
Don’t forget your toothbrush! You’ll be getting up close and personal with industry VIPs, and the last thing you want is to pitch your brilliant idea with stinky breath or spinach in your teeth. Pick up an all-in-one package like the Rite Aid Dental Travel Pack ($2.99, Rite Aid), which has a travel toothbrush, mouthwash and toothpaste.
Keep your tech in check with these nifty tools. If you have to travel internationally, it pays to have an adapter that makes it easy for you to use your devices throughout the world. Flight 001’s 4-in-1 Universal Travel Adapter ($25, flight001.com) has four different adapters that work for a total of 150 countries and is color-coded to make it easy for you to find the correct adapter for your appliance. Flight 001 does remind consumers: “Adapters do not convert power. Ensure that your electronics are rated 100-125 or 220-250 volts.”
To organize your cords, try the Cord Taco ($29 for 3, flight001.com), an adorable way to keep your small cords — think USB and the like — from getting hopelessly tangled, and keep your tech clean on the go with Well-Kept screen cleansing towelettes ($5 for 15 wipes, flight001.com).
Nothing is going to start your day off on the wrong note than realizing that you are sans skivvies. (Pro-tip: always pack one more pair of underwear than you think you need. Always.) A smart way to remember your bras and briefs is to keep them in a pouch that you won’t forget to throw in your luggage. Try The Laundress Wet & Dry Bag ($36, thelaundress.com), which you can unload when you get to your destination and refill with your used unmentionables as you go, keeping them stored separately from your other clothing.
Another potentially day-ruining event: the button on your favorite shirt pops off, and you have no replacement. No worries, with the No Sew Button Kit from Luckies UK ($20, flight001.com), replacing a button is as easy as putting on an earring. The kit comes with six buttons total, two each in black, white and grey, so you’ll likely have a match.
Keep a pair of flats on hand for those times when your feet just can’t take another minute in your work pumps or you’re going to be on your feet but can’t go the sneaker route. Foldable flats take up hardly any space at all and are indispensable for work functions. Sidekicks Women’s Foldable Flats ($18.99, Walmart) are a budget-friendly option and come in a variety of colors. A more luxurious brand is Tieks by Gavrieli, which make packable flats that come in many beautiful patterns and textures to suit any look. A failsafe option is Obsidian Black ($195, tieks.com), but you can really use your imagination here.
With these tools, you’ll be ready to rock your business trip!