Most of us don’t feel as though we are at our most glamorous when stepping out of a plane or car after a long trip. However, when your profession involves business travel, long hours and schedules packed with events, sometimes there are only a few minutes to freshen up before heading to a meeting. But leaving a favorable impression is crucial, so it’s well worth it to find an travel routine that works for you. This list of portable items can help you ensure that the basics are handled. It’s especially relevant to planners, who work in a fast-paced profession that typically involves a lot of travel and in-person interaction.
1. OTC medicine
Aches of all kinds, from your stomach to your back or head, can make any event unbearable. Make sure you’re covered with a few Ibuprofen to stave off the most common pains. Keeping a few Pepto-Bismol and Tums in your bag probably couldn’t hurt, either.
Product recommendation: Advil, Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, Tums and Zantac.
2. Comfortable shoes
Carrying a spare pair of shoes can seem like a pain, but it doesn’t compare to the actual pain of a day wearing ill-fitting shoes. In addition to the trauma your feet will endure, you could be wincing and limping throughout the event. To prevent this, carry a pair of flats in your purse to change into. Flats are ideal for this because they are lightweight and versatile.
Product recommendation: FlipSlips and The Spare Pair Shoe Bag by Rebecca Minkoff (for holding your shoes)
3. Personal alarm
Personal alarms are small devices that can make loud horn sounds with the press of a button. These keep you safe and are much better for travel—and security screenings—than mace or pepper spray. For ease of use, alarms come in keychain versions, too.
Product recommendation: SABRE (various types)
4. Dry shampoo
Avoid the unappealing appearance and feeling of greasy hair with a travel-sized dry shampoo bottle. Bonus points if it has a nice scent! Spray at the roots and brush it out to give the illusion of a recent shower.
Product recommendation: Travel Size Dry Shampoo by Batiste
5. Nail polish remover pads
Chipped nail polish is a problem almost every woman has faced. It can make your nails look unkempt and may be especially noticeable during a handshake. It’s better to opt for a natural nail when this happens. A few portable nail polish remover pads will do the trick.
6. Perfume sample
Dabbing a little scent on your neck and wrists after a flight can go a long way in getting rid of your “sat-in-a-cramped-aircraft-for-six-hours” aura. Samples are the perfect solution, as their miniscule sizes will get you safely past TSA liquid requirements.
Even if you don’t believe you smell, those around you might not feel the same way. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so swipe on some deodorant in the bathroom if you’ve been traveling or moving all day.
8. Oil blotting pads
Even those with dry skin might want to keep these on hand. After a long day of being trapped in a tiny compartment of recycled air, you’ll want to dab away the oil with a few of these sheets.
Product recommendation: Green Tea Blotting Linens by boscia
9. Breath mints
Mints, peppermint spray, Listerine Strips or a mini-mouthwash will make you much more appealing person to converse with. So pop, spray or swish it around!
10. Hand lotion
Aside from getting rid of the discomfort of having dry skin, you’ll likely benefit from moisturizing your hands for all of the meetings and handshakes on the schedule.
Product recommendation: Ultimate Strength Hand Salve by Kiehls
11. Spare glasses or contacts (if needed)
Keep these with you even if you’re only gone for 24 hours. Eyes can become dry or irritated at the drop of a hat, especially when you’re flying and suffering from dry cabin air. It’s essential to have a back-up so you’re not squinting at a client or walking into walls.
12. Lint roller
Tons of small but visible particles can get stuck to your clothes. Coming in stain and lint-free shows professionalism. Even if you don’t see anything on your clothes at first glance, do a quick roll-through—you might be surprised.
13. Facial mist
This product has three wonderful functions—cooling down, moisturizing and restoring skin. Whether you’re made up for an event or going bare-faced for the day, you can use this spray to instantly boost your skin’s appearance for a healthier and brighter complexion.
Product recommendation: Beauty Elixir by Caudalie