7 Must-Have Essentials That Need to Be on Your Packing List

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You know that friend who can somehow effortlessly manage to pull everything together the night before an early morning flight without breaking a sweat? It's surreal for most of us and terrifying for others. What if you don't pack enough underwear? What if you forget your sunglasses or that hat that goes with everything? For those of us who need a little backup when it comes to travel time, a handwritten packing list is a lifesaver. Not to mention, there's something ridiculously satisfying about being able to cross items off one by one before zipping up your bag.

We've narrowed down a list of every essential you need to have on hand for your upcoming trip, from the must-have accessories that will take you through every occasion to the core wardrobe pieces you'll need to cover you when costume changes are in order. Check it out.

1The Bag You Can Carry Your Life In
Image Source: Vera Bradley

You know it, you love it, you can fit a small animal in it. Your go-to bag is exactly what it sounds like. Think utility packaged in a classic silhouette you can throw over your shoulder and make it through your day with. It's 100 percent essential.

2Always Bring a Few Extras
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich

Add in a few more undergarments than you think are necessary, and don't make a rookie packing mistake of not having any socks when your ankle boots are calling your name.

3Wrap It Up With a Top Layer or Scarf
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich

Wraps and ponchos are perfect. Whether you go with something heavy or lightweight depending on the location of your trip, make sure you bring this accessory with you. There are so many different ways you can wear a scarf, and it also happens to be the easiest way to take a basic look and add some personality to it.

4The Right Cosmetics Bag Will Change Your Life
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Maria Del Rio

Finding the perfectly compartmentalized cosmetic bag is like hitting the jackpot. Go with a midsize option that you can fit into a carry-on (your makeup is the last thing you want to get lost in baggage claim), and fill 'er up with all of your beauty tools.

5The Basics, Just in Case
Image Source: ShopStyle Photography

I always make sure to pack an extra pair of basics that cover three categories: 1. Tee/tank 2. Denim and 3. Shoes. Make sure you pack one of each that you know you can turn to if you're having a "what am I going to wear?" mini meltdown.

6Organize Those Baubles
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich

A small jewelry pouch will help you avoid those epic necklace knots and keep all of your statement-making pieces in one spot. Pack lightly when it comes to clothing, and load up on trend-forward jewelry so you can create multiple looks using a few core wardrobe picks.

7The Dress
Image Source: ShopStyle Photography

One essential dress, whether it's an LBD wrap-front number or a colorful shift dress option that works well with neutrals, is always a great thing to have on hand for any impromptu dinners or events you may need to go the extra style yard for.

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