10 Items I Always Bring in My Weekender Travel Bag

all the things I can't leave without

My weekender travel bag has gone through quite a few iterations since college. When I was in my early years at UT Austin, I’d use it every week to stay with family friends. Now, my bag comes with me for short work trips or plans just for fun. Without a doubt, the things below are the things I always bring in my bag. Be sure to scroll to the end—you might be surprised with the last thing in my line-up. Click the links to shop or head to The Bella Insider Amazon Store for more.

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10 Items I Always Bring in My Weekender Travel Bag - TheBellaInsider.com

First, the bag. Most recently, I was gifted this sturdy weekender bag as a gift for my 25th birthday. It’s a chic taupe color, very roomy, and the best part? Lots of pockets. If I know I can pack even lighter, I also love my customized St. Anne Zippered Tote from Barrington Gifts. I highly recommend the zippered version over the open one so you can securely keep all your things inside.

Good Headphones

Invest in a great pair of headphones. Period. They’ll save so much stress if you’re stuck on a noisy flight. I also love my Aftershokz bone-induction headphones for outdoor workouts in unfamiliar areas.

Kindle Digital Downloads

I bought a Kindle Paperwhite last year with a Kindle Unlimited subscription to save space in my apartment. It’s now my main travel companion and my most-used device other than my phone. When I’m not borrowing books from my public library using the Libby app, I’ll download books I want to keep on my Kindle. Here are a few of the top books I recommend reading in your 20s.

Olive & June Cuticle Serum | TheBellaInsider.com

Cuticle Serum Stick

My hands and cuticles are always embarrassingly dry. As much as I love my everyday cuticle serum CND SolarOil, it’s not as convenient as my Olive & June cuticle serum stick, so I drop one into my bag before heading out. It also keeps my manicures looking fresh. Use the code SARAHTHEBELLA for 20% off your Olive & June purchases.

Hydroflask Water Bottle | TheBellaInsider.com

Empty Water Bottle

I almost always regret not bringing a big, empty vacuum-sealed water bottle when I travel. I don’t like being stuck with the only option of buying an overpriced bottle of water. This HydroFlask has always been my favorite. Before walking on the plane, I fill it up at a refillable water station. If I’m road tripping, I fill it to the brim with ice and top it off with water.

Packing Cubes | TheBellaInsider.com

Packing Cubes

The number of packing cube sets I’ve purchased from Amazon is almost embarrassing. They’re my go-to gifts for friends who are graduating college, heading off for a trip, or just trying to stay organized. I usually bring two: a larger one for main outfits and another for underwear, swimwear, and sleepwear.

Pink Bala Bangles | TheBellaInsider.com

Light Workout Equipment

Some places I go don’t always guarantee a gym, so I bring a few bands and/or Bala weights with me to add a bit of resistance and get my movement in. They’re light, colorful, and easy to pack—I appreciate that.

OV Exercise Dress in Black | TheBellaInsider.com

Exercise Dress

The Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress is a closet staple for me. It’s almost a uniform for many girls in Austin, actually. But for good reason. It’s practical for workouts, casual enough for daytime wear, and plain enough to dress up with jewelry and an oversize jacket. I love packing a few because they’re lightweight and versatile—a no-brainer for light packing.

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Werk | TheBellaInsider.com

Skincare & Makeup Minis

I buy skincare minis for two easons: purely for novelty because of the size or an absolute necessity for me. The ones I can’t travel without: Paula’s Choice BHA 2%, Skinceuticals SilyMarin CF, and MILK Makeup Lip + Cheek Color in Werk—my daily blush to keep my cheeks rosy.

Rainbow Jewelry Box | TheBellaInsider.com

Jewelry Case

Because I’m generally a light packer, jewelry is an easy way to elevate something casual from day to night or just change it up. I love this sturdy case gifted by Pottery Barn Teen for necklaces and this organizer with rainbow compartments to store earrings.

Confetti Thank You Cards from Target | TheBellaInsider.com

Thank You Cards

Over the years, I’ve learned that random thank you cards I carefully slip into side pockets are so convenient, especially when I want to thank hosts for their hospitality and leave them a little surprise note. I now slide in two just in case I want to quickly show my appreciation. Don’t forget to pack these favorite pens!

Curious about my favorite apps to use for planning your travels? Click here to see!

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