Skip To Content

    30 Incredibly Useful Things To Keep In Your Bag

    Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. The products in this post were updated in July 2018.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the thing that they ~always~ carry with them. Here are are helpful results:

    1. A tube of 100% natural Burt's Bees lip balm; with a huge variety of flavors, you'll want to keep a different one in every bag.

    "I have tubes in my car, purse, in a drawer at work, and in my husband's car!" —jenniferz3

    Get a four-pack from Amazon for $9.49.

    2. A to-go pack of Kleenex for any potential allergic sneezes or movie-induced tears.

    "You never know when you're going to need one (also because my mom constantly nags me about bringing them)." —abigails4299324fa

    Get 16 packs from Amazon for $6.43.

    3. A double-USB portable battery to keep your phone (and the phone of your bestie) fully charged for any situation.

    "Portable or wired, but ALWAYS have one! Just in case of emergencies." —nataliescott511

    "A portable battery, because my commute to school is really long and I would also die if my phone died." —s428cdb6f3

    Get this one, with two USB ports, from Amazon for $19.99. Available in four colors.

    4. A lavender sanitizing spray that's 99.9% effective at killing germs and 100% effective at smelling amazing.

    "The smell is so calming and addictive and it's 99.9% effective!" —hadhinahfawwazahn

    "Usually two little bottles. Use it on everything!" —courtneyjewellb

    Get a two-pack of Dr. Bronner's lavender hand sanitizer from Amazon for $15.78.

    5. A couple of ponytail holders to get your hair off your face ASAP — especially when the mercury is pushing 100°.

    It's also a great way to meet a new best friend.

    "I absolutely have to have my hair ties." —savannahh41c909d89

    "I always have at least four ponytail holders." —missykgin

    Get a pack of 20 from Amazon for $5.95.

    6. A book or a lightweight Kindle Paperwhite for anyone who wishes they could carry thousands of books with them at all times.

    "I feel naked all day without a book. Even if I will have no time to read. And when I don't have one, I will continue mentally to convince myself I need to buy one. Yes, I do know that it is crazy." —anoukvanderz

    Get a Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon for $119.99+.

    7. Stylish earbuds that don't take up a ton of room, but provide excellent sound quality.

    "Even if I'm pretty sure I won't need them, I bring them just in case. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it." —mayas468676b47

    Get these elegant wooden ones from Amazon for $25.49.

    8. A Swiss army knife for any situation; it's a classic for a reason.

    "The tiny scissors, the emergency toothpick, the itsy-bitsy nail file. Everyone needs a Swiss Army Knife." —Katyna Singleton, Facebook

    Get it from Amazon for $14.14.

    9. A compact of E.L.F.'s mattifying balm, which is actually *better* than blotting papers when it comes to reducing pesky shine.

    "It keeps me from looking so oily and I prefer these to blotting papers." —Angela Christine, Facebook

    Get it from E.L.F. for $6.

    10. A mini keychain bottle of Sriracha so you can always have hot sauce in your bag. Swag.


    Get a two-pack of mini Sriracha keychains (one 1.7-ounce and one 1-ounce) from Amazon for $11.99.

    11. A few compact tampons that stow away neatly for those emergency situations.

    "Someone always needs one somewhere." —emilyslehman

    Get an 72-pack of compact tampons from Amazon for $15.36.

    12. An aloe and rosewater facial spray to refresh and hydrate your face whenever you need a pick-me-up.

    "It has aloe and rosewater. I use it as a setting spray once I put my makeup on, and then freshen up throughout the day!" —babybunbun

    Get it from Amazon or Anthropologie for $7.

    13. A handy dandy Tide to-go stick so you don't have to sit around the office all day with tomato sauce on your shirt. Again.\

    "It really comes in handy and it allows you to come to the rescue for others who have stained clothes." —allisonn4524eac7e

    Get a three-pack from Amazon for $6.45.

    14. A pretty in pink manicure set to touch up your jagged nails, fix a hangnail, or even remove unwanted hanging threads from your garments.

    "I'm always breaking my nails at work, and since I work in personal care, if I have sharp nails they could scratch my clients. Carrying a file's been a lifesaver for both me AND my coworkers." —philliamthegreat

    "Rough edges, breaks, and hangnails make me go ballistic if I can't fix them right away." —daniellems

    Get this set from Papersource for $16.95.

    15. A fan favorite brightening concealer perfect for touchups throughout the day.

    "If I cry and there's mascara under my eyes? Concealer. Makeup fading? Concealer. After-gym sweat all over your face? CONCEALER!" —hollys4af76bd26

    Get it from Sephora for $30. Available in 16 shades.

    16. A soft pocket-sized set of Moleskin notebooks for jotting down information or inspiration when the mood strikes.

    "You never know! You might need to scribble down an address or a phone number if your phone is dead." —nataliescott511

    "Any kind of inspiration can happen anytime." —sararonai

    "I always always ALWAYS have pens (at least three in different colors) and an extra piece of paper or mini notebook or index card. Never know who you're going to run into or when inspiration for something will strike! It has saved my butt so many times. I keep extra pens and paper in every purse I have, even if I'm not using it at the moment." —brittneeg3

    Get a set of three Moleskin pocket notebooks from Amazon for $9.95.

    17. A tube of pawpaw ointment with papaya extract to help heal scrapes, rashes, rough skin, and more.

    "It's in all in one wondrous ointment. It helps with chapped lips, burns, cuts, rough skin, and rashes! I carry a tube with me at all times. I also have a jar of it for home use." —robine4725ef0bb

    Get a tube from Free People for $10.

    18. A water bottle you can fill whenever you want; when it's empty it folds down neatly for lightweight and compact storage.

    "I have low blood pressure so getting dehydrated can hit me hard. Being without water can make me feel like absolute shit in just a couple of hours, especially in the Texas heat. I carry my reusable cup everywhere and refill it as often as I can." —emslala

    Get this collapsible one from Amazon for $23.95 (available in six colors).

    19. A teensy waterproof first aid kit chock full of necessities like bandaids, alcohol pads, antiseptic towelettes, and more!

    "I always have first aid supplies. Years of medical training has taught me. And first aid includes snacks for low blood sugar as I'm diabetic." —gennsixx07

    Promising review: "A great little waterproof container with supplies for minor cuts, scrapes, burns and stings, small enough for day trips. Fits easily into a waist pack with much room to spare." —Paul Donald Roy

    Get this super compact kit from Amazon for $6.99.

    20. A small deodorant stick, because you never know when you'll need a little deo for your B.O.

    "Can't tell you how many times a quick reapplication in a bathroom has saved my life." —danieller4da9e1fb0

    Get this 1.6-ounce size deodorant from Amazon for $7.59.

    21. Chewable Pepto-Bismol tablets to solve any mysterious tummy problems before they turn into disasters.

    "My friends always make fun of me for my mom purse, but it has saved us in a number of occasions. Something I always have in the bag is a travel-size bottle of Pepto Bismol. It has come in handy many-a-times; for myself, friends, family, coworkers, drunk girls in bar bathrooms, etc." —cjylangevin

    "I have a touchy stomach so I keep it with me at all times. Plus you can help your friends out if they're feeling ill too!" —chloestarwater

    Get two travel-size bottles of Pepto Bismol chewable tablets from Amazon for $7.59.

    22. A tube of Carmex medicated lip balm that says "not today!" to chapped lips.

    "If I don't have my Carmex, I spend the whole day actually crying over not having it." —ashtonk454e0fa8f

    "Tried it for the first time a year ago and now I can't live without it!" —omdpl6

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $5.46.

    23. A travel-friendly sunscreen set to protect your skin and soothe it after sun exposure.

    "Always carry it, so I don't forget to reapply or have an excuse for not reapplying. If I can not carry the regular bottle, I carry a small travel sized bottle." —etokki

    Get this care pack, which includes one travel-size sunscreen, a soothing lotion, and a sunscreen lip balm, from Amazon for $19.98.

    24. A perfectly petite hairbrush for when you're feeling a bit ~knotty~.

    "It's handy when you decide to put up your hair but can't deal with the bumps." —sarah43002

    Get it from Amazon for $6.80.

    25. A ride-or-die lippie that'll save you when you forget to bring your shade of the day with you.

    "Always a nude lipstick that goes with all looks just in case I forgot to throw some on at home." —kyliea46da8fc4c

    Get a Clinique's Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick from Amazon for $12.40.

    26. A container of Evian facial spray so you can stay hydrated and refreshed on even the longest travel hauls.

    "Lifesaver when you are dehydrated and/or need refreshing." —carolyns414050a26

    Get a pair of two bottles from Amazon for $15.

    27. A miniature set of two playing cards to encourage spontaneous fun in doctors' waiting rooms, airports, and wherever you have some extra time on your hands.

    —Makenzie Self, Facebook.

    Get a mini deck of cards from Amazon for $7.99.

    28. A pack of six refillable rollerball bottles you can fill with your favorite scents so you can apply on the go.


    Get a pack of six refillable rollerball bottles from Amazon for $12.99 (available in six colors).

    29. A neat travel container full of pretty bobby pins for touchups or hairstyle changes throughout the day.

    —Kelly Robinson, Facebook

    Get a to-go pack of bobby pins from Amazon for $12 (available in 15 colors).

    30. A couple of lactase pills so you don't have to miss out on the ice cream run.

    "You never know when you may come across a cheesy opportunity." —livk4068be02e

    Get a container of 120 capsules from Amazon for $11.97.

    Now just to cast an undetectable extension charm on that purse of yours.

    Warner Bros.

    Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter.

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form