Skip To Content

    28 Practical Things You'll Want To Keep In Your Bag

    Yes, pocket planners and portable speakers are necessities. I won't be taking questions.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A pocket planner so you can have your daily schedule on you at all times. This will come in so handy when you need to make note of an appointment (or a future happy hour) before you forget.

    the pocket planner with watercolor cacti pattern and a pen in the pen holder

    Promising review: "I purchased this calendar for the size and design. I needed something that would fit in my purse. I care for my Aunt full-time and needed to keep track of her appointments. The cover of this planner is a soft, velvet matte finish. The sturdiness of this calendar has held up with being in my purse like I hoped. The thickness is about the size of a checkbook. This is a good value for the money. It is also super cute." —Shayla

    Get it from Amazon for $8.19.

    2. A pack of multicolored pens to keep your aforementioned pocket planner organized and beautiful. Color code your appointments and hangout sessions and you'll never have to wonder whether the next thing on your calendar is a chore or a party.

    Promising review: "I looked at these pens because I am so into multicolored ink pens these days. Gave them a try based on the reviews I read but, man! Let me let tell you, these are probably the best multicolor pens I have owned. They write so smoothly and do not smudge! Love them, love them, love them!" —Jie Z

    Get it from Amazon for $13.97.

    3. A tube of Glossier's Ultralip to give you the feeling of lip balm with a hint of color to spice up your day. Not only will this lip necessity be the perfect thing when your lips get chapped, it will also add a touch of glamour to an otherwise ordinary day.


    Promising review: "It just feels like a lip balm, but it’s pigmented and doesn’t move around. I got the shade 'Villa,' and it’s super pretty and buildable." —Delaney

    Get it from Glossier for $18 (available in nine colors).

    4. A bottle of dry shampoo that will come in handy on those humid days when you seem to be drenched in sweat by noon. Give your hair a spritz of this and you'll be ready for your next meeting.

    Promising review: "I love this dry shampoo — and I have tried everyone out there. The spray has a light powder in it, and it actually does absorb any oil at your roots that is the result of only shampooing every other day or two. It's not heavy at all, brushes through beautifully, doesn't build up or show as having anything on your hair, and smells wonderful. I buy two at a time so I don't ever run out." —Layla

    Get it from Amazon for $12+ (available in two sizes).

    5. A portable fan so you can stay cool in the summer heat. Carry this thing in your bag when there's no breeze whatsoever and you can't take it anymore. Plus, it's rechargeable so you can plug it into a car or power bank and stay cool all day.

    the portable fan with charger
    The Grommet

    Promising review: "I love this portable fan. I also love that it's rechargeable and I can just plug it into a portable charger if I'm using it out most of the day instead of having to run out and buy batteries. The different speeds are great. I've received quite a few compliments." —Roselyn

    Get it from The Grommet for $19.99.

    6. A pair of folding scissors because while they might not seem necessary, you never know when you're going to need to cut a rogue thread from a shirt or a tag from those sunglasses you just *had* to buy.,

    Promising review: "I love how small these fold up. I throw them in a pocket in my already-full tool bag and they barely take up any room. They are very well made. Very strong and very sharp. I use them for cutting wires while running cables for my job. They even have a hole to attach them with a string or keyring." —Babycat42

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    7. A four-pack of gum for those days you were just craving garlic fries for lunch and now have to rush off to meet a friend. Also, gum is just good to have around for a refreshing burst during the day — even if the only human contact you have is winking at yourself in the mirror. ;)

    the pack of spearmint gum

    Promising review: "I'm a gum fiend! I always have to be chewing on gum, so these car packs are a must!" —Britt

    Get a pack of four from Amazon for $11.44.

    8. A box of plant-based No Cow protein bars so you can get all the protein you need for a productive day. AND they come in mouth-watering flavors like cookies 'n' cream, blueberry cobbler, birthday cake, peanut butter, lemon meringue and s'mores. YES PLEASE!

    two of the cookies n cream no cow protein bars

    Promising review: "I love these bars. The flavor is great and they really keep me feeling full for hours. They are the right amount of chewy and moist in texture. Very high in protein and high in fiber. Love that they are low sugar too." —Des T

    Get a pack of 12 from Amazon for $27.99 (available in 15 flavors).

    9. A pair of stylish sunglasses in case you forget your go-to pair at home. Nothing worse than being blinded by the sun while driving or walking down the street. Keep a cute pair of sunnies in your bag at all times so this problem is never unsolvable.,

    Promising review: "Got these as a gift for my sister and absolutely loved the style of these glasses. Was looking for something like these exactly and stumbled upon them. The quality of the sunglasses is really good and sturdy. I also loved the design. It fits really well for my face, and has great polarization as well." —alan

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99 (available in ten colors).

    10. A 40-ounce insulated S'well water bottle because there's nothing worse than warm water in the middle of the day. This super cute water bottle will keep all your cold beverages *chilly* and your hot bevies *steamy.*

    model holding the pink topaz traveler in front of their jeans

    Promising review: "Love my new S'well bottle. Works so well I need to let my hot tea cool some before putting it in the bottle because hours later it’s still too hot to sip. We no longer have water coolers at work so bringing this size every day helps me stay hydrated all day and helps me keep track of making my daily water intake. The quality of S'well’s bottles never disappoint. Love the handle that comes with it—it makes it easier to carry and I’m more hopeful I won’t be dropping this one." —Elizabeth M.

    Get it from S'well for $50.

    11. A portable charger so you don't have to worry about running out of juice when trying to order an Uber home at the end of a long day. Just make sure you pack a cord too!

    reviewer photo of the black and white chargers

    Promising review: "These are WELL worth the price! I am buying these again. I have already had other people ask where I got them! I have charged my iPhone SE four times to full charge before this battery needed a charge. 100% will be buying this as presents. We can charge two things at once on one battery!" —kdaisy2012

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    12. An extra mascara for those days when you need to freshen up by 1 p.m. Or maybe you just didn't have time to throw any on this morning and have to finish your glam on the bus.,

    Promising review: "Uh oh. I messed around and found a new favorite mascara! I have super short lashes and THIS WORKS GREAT. Separates beautifully and doesn't give that spider-eye look. It doesn't dry fast so it's easy to apply layers and not get clumpy. I did about four layers and my lashes still feel soft. I'm stupid happy with this purchase." —Crystal Valentine

    Get it from Amazon for $5.99 (available in six colors).

    13. A bunch of super cute scrunchies to tie your hair back when you just can't deal with it anymore. Having these in your bag is great on days when you don't feel like wearing one on your wrist but know you're going to throw your hair up later.,

    Promising review: "I am loving these scrunchies! They are so soft and hold my hair back. I think it’s great that they are protecting my hair from ripping, too. The colors are perfect for me since they are pretty neutral. I have used them every day since they arrived. LOVE!" —Amy P.

    Get a pack of five from Amazon for $5.97+ (available in eight color combinations).

    14. A small wallet that will take up minimal space in your bag so you can keep all the other essentials on this list in there as well. Get rid of the receipts, keep the necessities (ID, cards, local coffee shop punch card) and make room for everything else!

    Promising review: "Love this wallet! Very pretty color and the compact size is exactly what I was looking for. This wallet forces me to keep just the main cards needed, and when at a cashier, it's easy to grab and open quickly. It sounds silly, but it really made it hassle-free—I already carry large bags, a small wallet makes things easier!" —Josette

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99 (available in 26 colors).

    15. A tube of slightly-tinted Think face sunscreen because putting sunscreen on daily is important—your skin and mom will thank you—and it's always good to have a gentle, nontoxic option for reapplication throughout the day. Plus, it acts as a great makeup base and the slight tint reduces whitening from trace minerals.

    Promising review: "I've tried many mineral sunscreens and I'd have to say that this one is by far the best. The texture of the sunscreen isn't gritty or grainy and the tint isn't super strong. It's able to be rubbed in and look natural. This is the only sunscreen that I will use for my face, as it doesn't irritate it at all. I plan on buying plenty more in the future. Highly recommend!" —Anna

    Get it from Think for $12.99.

    16. A little bottle of Mio water enhancer for those people who know they need to drink more water throughout the day but just can't seem to convince themselves to do it. These water enhancers will help you keep hydrated and not feel like you're drinking nothing.

    reviewer photo of the four pack of water enhancers

    Promising review: "These are great. They’ve really helped me increase how much water I drink. I’ve liked all of the flavors I’ve tried and compared to the powder sticks they are a great value and very convenient." —Amazon Customer

    Get a pack of four from Amazon for $11.92 (available in two flavor packs).

    17. A pair of wireless noise-cancelling earbuds for when people try to talk to you on the subway and you want to be left alone. Or maybe you feel like the star of your own movie and need a fire soundtrack to listen to while walking down the street. No matter the scenario, these babies are never a bad idea.,

    Promising review: "These earbuds fit my ears perfectly and it’s extremely comfortable. I’ve never had earbuds with active noise canceling so the moment I put one earbud on it felt very weird, you could hear the static. The moment I put both earbuds in everything went completely silent and I was impressed. For the price I think it’s a very good deal. The sound quality is really good especially for music with a lot of bass. I definitely recommend them." —Angel

    Get it from Amazon for $129.99 (available in three colors).

    18. A light-up compact mirror so you can give yourself a once over before that job interview. Or maybe you just like looking at yourself throughout the day — no judgment here!

    Promising review: "I bought this for my purse and it's the perfect size. The LED lights are bright, but for my older eyes, if I open the case to 90 degrees and use the magnified side, I can see perfectly and am well-lit. I will probably get another for my office and they would make great little gifts." —CheshireQat

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in three colors).

    19. A bottle of lavender-scented hand sanitizer because we know by now that it's never a bad thing to sanitize your hands after being out in public. Instead of smelling like rubbing alcohol all day, spritz this fresh scent on your hands for an aromatic recharge.

    the bottle of lavender hand sanitizer

    Promising review: "I really like this product. It works very well, I love the smell of it and it doesn’t dry out my hands. It’s a wonderful product and worth the money." —Motz4life

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

    20. A four-pack of Burt's Bees lip balm that will be so refreshing when you can feel the sun literally baking the skin on your lips. Now you don't have to worry about accidentally leaving your lip balm at home because you keep a spare one (or four) in your bag at all times.

    reviewer holding four lip balms in different flavors in hand

    Promising review: "I have been using this for well over a decade. I've tried many many other lip balms and treatments but continue to go back to this — my holy grail! It has a thick consistency and stays on much longer than others. The refreshing peppermint is soothing when my lips are cracked and painful. This multipack is the best value I have found. I keep one in my bathroom, bedroom, purse, and kitchen. I use it every single night before going to bed and wake up with improved lips. They get very chapped during the winters. Can't be without it!" —Jhall626

    Get a pack of four from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in 14 flavors and combinations).

    21. A bottle of setting spray so you can give yourself a mist if you feel your makeup starting to slip. Plus you'll be the favorite friend in the group with this always on your person.,

    Promising review: "This is one of my top three favorite products ever! My makeup stays put all day and evening until I remove it, and I've got oily skin, so for me to say this is seriously amazing. I love this stuff!" —Tina LaRea

    Get it from Amazon for $8.47.

    22. A mini moisturizer set to keep your skin smooth throughout the day, especially after all the hand-washing and sanitizing. This pack comes with three travel-size lotion options so you can choose if you want to hydrate + nourish, hydrate + refresh, or keep it classic with all-day moisture.,

    Promising review: "Love this lotion. I liked all the fragrances. Now I can order any of them with confidence. This lotion is wonderful for moisturizing my hands without being greasy. We live in a desert area and I suffer from dry skin—even with a water softener." —Amazon Customer

    Get a pack of three mini bottles from Amazon for $11.79.

    23. A self-defense key chain that, hopefully, you never have to use but is good to keep on you just in case (better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it). Plus it has a light that will come in handy if your phone dies and you need to see where you're walking.

    the keychain with alarm, glass breaker, bottle opener, hand sanitizer and poof

    Promising review: "The alarm is very loud, definitely would’ve wished to have read the manual first before setting it off accidentally. But overall, love the color and how safe I feel with it. It comes with a whistle, window breaker, alarm with a very powerful led light that does light up pretty far, hand sanitizer bottle with holder, two lipstick holders and a can opener." —Eulalia Bustamante

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99 (available in 10 colors).

    24. A reusable and foldable grocery bag since single-use plastics are not the vibe anymore. With this in your bag you never have to worry about accidentally forgetting your reusable bag when shopping.

    reviewer image of two of the bags folded up

    Promising review: "I thought these would be a great idea just to keep in my purse for trips to the store and I am not disappointed. They fold into themselves so it's nice and neat in its own little bag and not flopping all over the place. The designs are very fun and attractive to look at. The bag itself is very sturdy and easy to unfold and refold. They are very well made. I definitely will be buying more! These are a must-have!" —Anna

    Get a pack of six from Amazon for $11.99.

    25. A pack of washable masks in case you forget your face coverings at home. These super cute, breathable masks are important to have around no matter what.

    Promising review: "Awesome! Super comfortable I can wear it all day without needing to take it off. I work at an animal hospital and all my masks kept getting ripped by crazy little dogs. These are super durable! No dog has yet been able to rip this one off my face, haha. The washer hasn't claimed any of them either. They are breathable, soft, structured well, GREAT!" —Bali Capers

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in all black or multicolored combination).

    26. A Tide pen because you never know when you're going to accidentally spill a drop of pasta sauce on your white pants during a night out. These are a necessity.

    Promising review: "These were a lifesaver. I was walking to the bus and decided it was a great decision to drink coffee while walking. Like a scene from an infomercial, I spilled coffee all over my white shirt. Yes, the classic coffee on the white shirt. Luckily I had one of these in my bag (I put one in each of my most-used purses in anticipation of my clumsiness). I went into a store bathroom and quickly scrubbed the Tide-To-Go on my shirt. All of the coffee blobs went away and once the awkward wet splotches dried up, my shirt was perfectly white again. You've got yourself a big fan, Tide." —NAD

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $6.97.

    27. A pack of super cute floral sticky notes for a pretty way to leave yourself (and others) messages and reminders.

    Promising review: "These are so pretty! I use a lot of sticky notes for reminders and these are so much nicer than standard yellow or any solid colors. The sticky part on the back is wide and stays sticky even after moving the post it around several times. A big plus is these are individually wrapped. Keeps them clean in a desk drawer, and are cute enough to toss into a goodie/gift bag, stocking stuffer, stationary/note-themed gift basket, etc." —Musicbookfan

    Get a pack of four from Amazon for $9.99.

    28. And a small JBL Bluetooth speaker that you can whip out whenever you're at a gathering that desperately needs a better soundtrack. Having this in (or clipped on) your bag will make you stand out because you always have the tunes.,

    Promising review: "This little speaker goes with me everywhere. It’s small enough to fit in my purse or backpack. The sound is exceptionally good for how small it is. The Bluetooth connectivity is flawless. And it’s waterproof! I love using it all the time, every day and everywhere. It’s my new best little friend." —KG

    Get it from Amazon for $49.95 (available in 12 colors).

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    illustrated banner

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.