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Four Things You Should Always Keep In Your Bag

They're small, cheap, easy to pack, and will save you a lot of headaches.

There are only a handful of things you really need to have on-hand every day. Phone. Keys. Wallet. Maybe one or two other things according to your hobbies or line of work.

But odds are, you carry a bag for your daily commute, and wherever your day takes you afterward. And since that affords you plenty of extra space, there are a few extras – things that are plenty useful, but aren't worth carrying in your pockets – that you can and should keep at the ready.

They're all small enough that they won't get in the way of whatever else you need to pack, but will come in handy when you're out and about.


A Portable Charger

Running out of battery is the worst. What do you do when your phone dies before you can get in touch with someone you're supposed to meet up with? Or you're stuck with a 4-hour layover and your e-reader is on its last legs? Or, god forbid, you need emergency help and don't have a quick way to contact someone?

The solution: get one of these, keep it charged up and ready to go in your bag, and it'll be there when you need it most. They're especially helpful on the days when you're away from home for an extended period of time, like day trips or long stretches of travel. Just make sure to also stow cables to match your phone and any other devices you may need to power.


Business Cards

Unless you're an especially outgoing entrepeneur, a business card case is probably not a part of your daily carry. It's just not something you need on hand often enough to warrant the pocket space. You could keep a couple tucked into your wallet, sure, but they tend to get roughed up quickly that way, which isn't exactly ideal for making a strong first impression.

Instead, tuck a few cards into your bag, ideally in a case or a pocket where they won't get bent out of shape. You'll be glad to have them on hand the next time you make a connection and want to swap info.


Your Go-To Hair Product

Bad hair days happen. By keeping a small container of this (and a comb, if necessary) in your pack, you can make sure they don't catch you off guard.

It'll serve you well for quick touch-ups, like if you take off your winter cap and realize your hair is now going every which way. Or if you want to sharpen up your style after a long work day, before you head to a night out.


Chapstick or Sunscreen

If you're deep into summer and it's scorching hot outside, some backup SPF will keep you from getting burned when you end up outside for longer than you expected. It'll come in handy when you're on a hike, at an outdoor concert, walking around the park, or anything like that, and realize the sunscreen you put on in the morning is starting to fade.

If you're battling the colder months, a spare tube of chapstick can be a godsend after long, windy, icy walks. When you realize that your lips are way too dry and you left your primary chapstick in your other pants' pocket, you'll be glad you had the foresight to pack an extra.


That's your stash for everyday emergencies. Keep them in a small side pocket, and you'll still have the entirety of your bag's interior space to fill with whatever else you need to get through the day. They may not come in handy today, or tomorrow, or the day after that, but sooner or later, you'll have use for each one.

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