In my bag all the time.

I’ve been traveling a lot lately.  So much that there are certain things I just don’t unpack because they go with me on every trip. It8-8-14-1 makes packing for a trip so much easier when certain things are already in my travel purse and suitcase. This method is not for everyone.  If you travel once every few months it probably makes more sense to unpack your suitcase fully, but if you’re traveling several times a month like I do you’ll thank yourself later for having these items pre-packed and ready to go.  This does mean you end of having two of certain items (one for home and one for travel) but that’s the price you pay for convenience.

Toiletry bag. Other than doing a quick refill of things running low when I return from a trip, my toiletry bag is something that has a permanent home in my suitcase during travel marathons.

Curling iron. I have one curling iron for home and one for the road that stays in my suitcase.  They cost so little (and it’s such a hassle when I forget it!) I figured why not.

Umbrella. You never know when the weather will change, so I always have my umbrella stashed away in my suitcase for a rainy travel day.

Chargers. Finding all of my chargers scattered throughout the house is often a challenge the night before I travel.  They don’t have a permanent home at home, but they do have a permanent home in my travel purse because I have a separate set for travel.

Glasses. I wear contacts a lot of the time but when my contacts are out I still need my glasses.  My glasses have slipped by me in packing on more than one occasion.  It’s because of this that I have one pair of glasses for home and an older set stowed away in my suitcase.

Office supplies. In my work purse I always have a small bag with a pen, highlighter, notepad, flash drive, and headphones with microphone.  They are so small and cheap it makes sense to leave these items packed.

Comfort items. I always have Emergen-C, an eye mask, lip balm, tea bags, Splenda, ibuprofen, and Tums in a small bag and replenish as needed.  Again, they’re cheap so it’s nice to have these items already to go.

Makeup. In a perfect, financial-worry-free world I would have a makeup bag for travel and one for home.  However, I don’t have that luxury so for now it remains as something I pack.

Pashmina. My pashmina only leaves my carryon purse for an occasional wash.

Sunglasses. I have one pair for home and one cheap pair for my carryon purse.

Note: While all of these items stay in my suitcase or travel purse, once home I do my best to unpack everything else and put the suitcase away in the closet. That way the Home Warrior and I can spend the few days I’m home not being constantly reminded that I’ll be on the road again soon.

I have a complete packing list here, with specific lists for packing toiletries and packing my travel purse as well.

Readers, what do you keep in your suitcase ready to go?


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  1. I keep a ziplock bag packed with extra, small, versions of my travel essentials in it, including toothpaste, facial cleanser, toner, moisturizers (day and night), eye cream, and hair styling cream. If I need to bring my own shampoo and conditioner, I throw that in. Same with skin serum. I also keep in my travel bag a bar of multi-use soap, solid deodorant, cotton pads and swabs, an emory board, and a travel shaver. I unpack everything else, unless I am heading right back out again.

    I carry a tote bag to work every day that includes my daily essentials of other kinds (including Airborne, antacids, decongestant, analgesics, food bars, drink mixes, another emory board, lip gloss, mascara, make-up pencils, etc.). I am a sinus sufferer and have some reflux at night, so the OTC meds are particularly important. I also have been stuck in airports at night and in blizzards, so the food bars and drink mixes have come in handy. I use the tote bag (I switch totes around regularly) as my carryon bag for most trips.

    Hope this helps someone.

  2. Just recently added belts as I was always forgetting them at home. I do have two make up bags. Thanks for all your posts, very helpful!
    Donna M.
    (Travel 28 weeks/year, domestic and international)

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