The Five Best: Products for Work Travel

Aug 2, 2023

Next week, I’m headed to Salt Lake City for my first work trip.  As I prepare for five days on the road, I’m stocking up on the tools and products that I will need to survive the first of many weeks spent in a hotel.  Here’s what I’m bringing to make sure I show up to work looking and feeling my best.

01. The Shaving Balm // Summer travel of any kind means shaving your legs, and nothing is quite as miserable as missing a spot only to find it later while sitting in a meeting.  Why, yes, that is a three inch long strip of hair running down the length of my calf.  

Shave Pillow from Hanni is a miracle product.  Smear it on your legs and shave without water (or fear of nicks and cuts).  It’s perfect for touch-ups, a quick below-the-knee shave, or any time you want to remove hair without taking a shower.  The stick can also be used as a moisturizer, so no need to pack two products.

As for my go-to razor, I like that I can buy Flamingo razors at Costco or Target without having to wait for them to be mailed to me.

02. A Travel Steamer and Iron // A hotel room iron is a path to disaster.  How many times have you gone to use one and wound up with rust stains on your clothes?  Plus, they never get hot enough and the steam feature leaves a lot to be desired.

This Nori Press Steamer and Iron takes up as much room in a suitcase as a hair straightener, but can perfectly press a blouse in minutes.  The panels let you steam and iron.  They also allow you to de-wrinkle both sides of a piece at the same time.  This product is a bit of an investment, but if you travel for work (or you’re just trying to save money on dry cleaning), it is a game changer.

03. Leak Proof Bottle Covers // Yes, I travel with full-size beauty products. Yes, I check a bag. Every.single.time. Do not at me. This is my beige flag, and I waive it proudly.

But whether you travel with full-size liquids and gels or TSA-approved minis, the last thing you want is a leak.  No one wants to open their bag to find that one of their pricey products has spilled.  These Leak Proof Covers from Amazon seal the container and protect other items from leakage.  So much better than a freezer bag filled with goo.

Prefer reusable containers?  This Amazon shop has a mix of jars and squeeze bottles so all of your products have a place to live.

04. A Hydrating Mask // Traveling is so dehydrating.  I can never drink enough water on a trip.  And when my skin is crying out for moisture, I like to give it a boost with a hydrating mask.  This trip, I’m packing the Summer Fridays JetLag Mask (thank you, Sephora samples) but I usually prefer a sheet mask like this Ceramidin Mask from Dr. Jart.

05. Shoe Bags // Packing cubes are great. Especially the compression ones I bought last year.  But shoe bags, shoe bags are the unsung heroes of my suitcase.

I always pack four of these Pack All Shoe Bags. Two hold my shoes (duh).  They’re waterproof, so I use one to haul those liquids and gels we talked about.  And the fourth one, I bring empty and fill with dirty underwear and socks.  The handle can hang off a door handle, so it’s like having a mini-hamper.

***

Other products that I like to haul on trips?  A microfiber towel to dry my hair in a snap frequently makes the list, some shower steamers to start my day off right, and electrolyte chews so I don’t have to stock Gatorade.  I’ll also put in a Target delivery order once I arrive for some snacks, some fruit and fizzy water.  This way I don’t have to buy dinner every night and always have something to eat after a long day at work.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

Beauty

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  1. Lala says:

    I have been doing a lot of work travel recently and also recommend a small travel alarm clock from Amazon (don’t rely on your phone!!), antibacterial wipes, mini perfume sample size is best, TIDE pens, extra socks and underwear (trust me!), and snacks because nothing is worse than returning to your laptop in a hotel room with no snacks when burning the midnight oil.

  2. Msmarymary says:

    Conditioner is a great sub for shaving cream/gel in a pinch.

    I am 100% a carry-on girl, so I’ve found solid products to free up room in my little ziplock. I like solid shampoo so much I’ve moved to it permanently. Lush’s are my favorites. Lush also has some nice solid cleaning balms and moisturizers. I bring bar soap and I’ve mostly been able to get beeswax-based face and hand cream through (DIA confiscated a jar once). It also seems TSA does not notice the little single use samples you get from Sephora for 50 points.

    I am also pro compression socks. If not on the plane (esp in warm weather!), at least for your hotel room before bed.

    Finally, I flew in and out of SLC last fall, and they are building a new concourse. Which somehow means I had to go to a weird sub-concourse, through several ramps/outdoor tents, get on a bus, and climb a set of stairs on the tarmac to get on my flight home. It was just disconcerting at the time, but it would have been brutal if the weather had not been nice.

    • KIRSTIN says:

      Oh my gosh yes – Salt Lakes airport is so odd at the moment.

      Bring walking shoes because it was 1.3 miles from security to my departure gate.

    • Anna says:

      Do the bars get mushy? We usually bring Dove soap bars (usually use Dove body wash at home) but just plan to leave them behind so we don’t have to travel with mushy soap. They’re cheap, so we don’t mind.

      • Erika says:

        I have and use the Lush shampoo bars for travel (Trader Joes has one, but I’ve only used occasionally for travel). They don’t get particularly mushy, but I’m also super careful about making sure it dries out pretty well before putting it back into it’s tin and also not leaving it where it sits in water for extended periods.

  3. Melissa says:

    Great recommendations! I’m going to try the shave balm. I, too, check a bag every. time. and I refuse to downsize any of it. Thank you for the validation.

  4. Candice says:

    Congratulations on your new job!

  5. JR says:

    I like the shoe bags. I see that there are two sizes, normal and plus (size 13 and above). Reviews say the normal one runs small. May I ask which one you got, and what shoe size you wear? Thanks!

  6. Jill says:

    Great tips. I also use a shoe bag in my work bag for when I change shoes after commuting. Better than a plastic grocery bag. 🙂

  7. Cyn says:

    I thought I was the only one who checked a bag anymore-thanks for making me feel no longer alone! :-j

  8. SM says:

    Dustbags that you get with purses also make great shoe and laundry bags on trips. The best part is that you can wash them when you get home so a great alternative to plastic bags.

  9. Meghan says:

    As a former consultant (aka professional traveler) I swore by (and still do) the Nalgene line of reusable travel size bottles. I know you pack full size and I don’t judge you for that! But if you’re looking to carry on and want toiletry bottles you can trust, these are it. I’ve had the same set for years and they still don’t leak. I’ve easily been able to pack enough shampoo for 2 weeks in these bottles. Trust me! You can find them at the Container Store, REI and Amazon. Is Sloane going with you?

  10. Elizabeth says:

    The target delivery is a great idea!!

  11. Erin says:

    LLBean makes wonderful hanging toiletry bags–they are super sturdy and fit a surprising amount in a small space. The medium fits more than enough for my carry-on stuff.

  12. Kristen says:

    Finally, someone else who admits to traveling with full-size bottles! And I check my bag nearly every time. I just, can’t carryon. Not with the liquid limitations, security lines and inspections, the hauling around the airport, the trying to squeeze into a bathroom stall around my laptop bag+wheeled luggage+top layer that I’m carrying because I got hot walking through the terminal …. I see you and hear you because yes. Yes.

  13. Katie says:

    I am a carry-on gal. But one thing I do not leave behind – slippers. I have a pair of slippers (barefoot dreams that came in a gift set) that live in my suitcase so I don’t forget them. Shoes live in shower caps (and sports shoes will have the socks shoved inside for max space). My slippers though – I won’t walk barefoot in hotel rooms and this is the savior. There is just something about putting your feet into slippers after a long day that makes travel not as bad.

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