The 5 Items I Never Take Out of My Travel Bag

Last week, I wrote on about the travel items I always pack for a trip.  In addition to these travel essentials, I have some items that never leave my bag.

When packing for a trip, I always seemed to forget something essential, so I started buying  a travel set of everything so I wouldn’t forget anything.  I became so reliant on this, I forget so many essentials when I switch what bag I take with me.

packing list

When I’m home, these items don’t exist.  What I mean by that is, if I cannot find my charger, I can’t take the one out of my travel bag.  That stays in there no matter what.

1. A phone charger

If I had to rely on myself to pack my phone charger the morning of a flight, I would never remember to bring one with me.

So I ordered a second one that always stays in my bag.

It was an $8 investment, which is far better than having to buy a new (lesser quality, more expensive) one in the airport when I forget it.

2. Deodorant

Yup, I even have a travel deodorant. I keep a gel one (great for most scenarios) in my bag and only use it when I’m traveling.

In this case, I still try to remember to pack a deodorant so that my spare gets used as little as possible. (And if my spare starts getting empty, I’ll swap the one I packed out with it).

3. A toothbrush

I like using an electric toothbrush, and every time I’d travel–I’d need to remember to pack up the cord and find the travel case. I finally decided to purchase my own travel toothbrush.

I used to keep a regular manual toothbrush with me, but it never felt right since I was used to the electric toothbrush. I’m glad I made this investment!

4. A plain dress

I keep a cheap, plain dress with a built in shelf-bra in the bottom of my bag. If something happens to my bag, I’ll have one change of clothes.

I started doing this after I got stuck in Chicago on an unexpected overnight (I was flying in and out on the same day). I had the same set of clothes for sleeping and to wear on the plane the next day.

I carry a dress with a built-in shelf bra so I can keep my always-there-essentials as light and compact as possible.

5. A ton of ponytail holders

As someone with long hair, I can never have too many ponytail holders. And I never seemed to have one when I need one. So I try to always have them in my bag.

I also keep one around my wrist when I remember. But this is the one item I have to keep an eye on and replenish because I seem to just go right through them!

How about you?  Do you have any dedicated travel items?

Disclaimer: if you purchase any items through my Amazon links, I may receive some affiliate credit for your purchase.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. I’m a big fan of keeping a dedicated travel stash. I keep a rental car kit with a few USB cables, a 3.5 mm audio cable, 2 A USB car charger, Keno Airframe vent smartphone mount, and a few napkins (never know when you’ll need it!). The phone mount works surprisingly well considering how little space it takes.

    I’ll also keep an I-Pass in there for tolls on trips home to Illinois. I found a pretty handy zipper pouch for it, so I always just stash it in the front of my carry-on for easy access at the car lot.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I never thought about carrying an I-pass before! I travel a lot in San Fran and always have to pay the bridge tax ahead of time.

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