Over the years I have become very particular about how and what I pack for travel. I like to be packed in an organized way and have all my necessities within reach. If I can make a carry-on work, I will but I am also not opposed to checking a bag if it's for a longer trip.
I am the kind of traveler who needs to unpack my bag to feel settled, regardless if it's for one night; I like my clothes hung up or in the drawers. I started using packing cubes on our honeymoon to Thailand. We were going to be in 5 different hotels in 15 days and I wanted to be able to still unpack in each place. With the cubes I like to pack by category: shirts, shorts, items that need to be hung, undergarments, etc. That way when you go to unpack, all you have to do is move the cubes into the drawers. After wearing a bunch of the items, I usually shift the clothes a bit and start using one of the cubes for dirty laundry so it doesn't get mixed in with what's still clean. The packing cubes also allow you to fit so much more into your suitcase because you can move them around easily without making a big mess.
These are my absolute favorite because they are affordable and can be used for endless reasons. On a daily basis, I have at least two in my bag. One with some toiletry essentials like band-aids and chapstick and another with my charger and Kindle. When traveling, you can use them to separate out toiletries, electronics, snacks and documents. I always have one of the larger ones packed with all my travel sized toiletries and with the liquids all ready to go through airport security. Then I just add my toothbrush and I'm set to go!
Bose Bluetooth Headphones
Aside from my phone, this is my number one used electronic. I wear these on a daily basis on my subway commute, while walking around the city and always while I am traveling. Not having to worry about a cord, especially in winter layers is a life-saver. The headphones come with a cord so you can still plug in to the plane's entertainment system if you're not watching something on your own laptop or iPad. When Andy and I are traveling together, we like to use a headphone splitter if we're watching the same movie or series. There are also a more expensive noise canceling pair that Bose sells but I have found these to cancel out as much noise as I need. When I am walking around the city I don't want to be completely closed off to all sounds in case of an emergency. I can wear these headphones on a cross country flight and they never feel too tight or uncomfortable, I can't recommend them enough.
If you ask Andy, he will tell you my phone is always about to die. I have been holding out for the iPhone X so my 6's battery life can never last me throughout the entire day. I used to have the Apple charging case but it just weighed down your phone so much, it became a hassle. There are so many options out there but the reason I like this one is because you don't need an iPhone cord to use it, the charging cord is built right in! The stand-by charge also lasts days (probably more also but I always use it before that) so you don't have to worry about it being dead when you go to use it. The last thing you want to happen is end up in a seat without an outlet and have your device die mid-flight.
A chunky scarf is the perfect travel accessory; it makes you looks put together even when you're not and it can act as a cozier blanket in-flight than the airline ones. A cashmere one is an added luxury.
Away's suitcases are not only great quality, but a great price too compared to other similar brands! They have a huge selection of colors and you can also get them monogramed. I love that you are able to pack on both sides of the suitcase rather than it just being everything stacked on one side, this also helps with the packing cubes. My favorite part of their carry-on is the built in charger. This has come in handy on more than one occasion while waiting at the airport; now you aren't locked into the crowded locations around the wall chargers! When we got ours, the bigger carry-on wasn't available so we have the carry-on size. Our next purchase will definitely be the bigger carry-on for its ability to carry a bit more.
Lo & Sons O.G. Bag
I have been using this bag for years and it is still my favorite carry on, especially for international travel. Most of the time I just use my LV Neverfull but since that doesn't zip, it isn't ideal for all trips. This Lo & Sons bag is organized with the traveler in mind with its multiple compartments, sections and the ability to slide it over your suitcase. This feature is so handy when wheeling from place to place!
DryBar Detox Dry Shampoo
I have tried every dry shampoo on the market, from cheap to expensive and for my hair nothing works better. This is my #1 must-have product and I would never travel without it. It brings your hair back to life and leaves it looking fresh and clean. It also can be purchased in travel size if you are carrying on. It is worth every penny!
Molded Eye Mask
This mask has raised sections over the eyelids and is perfect for someone like me who can't stand feeling your eyes under a normal mask. The adjustable strap also allows for comfort on a long flight.