After traveling close to 72,000 miles in college, I've mastered the art of packing. The lessons I learned after a few trials are...1. to leave the iPod/mp3 at home (use your phone), 2. buy water even if you have to pay more, 3. and don't forget to carry a pair of your "go-to" clothes.
For me, a dependable journal and sleek pen are essential on any trip. Documenting my thoughts and adventures is simply programmed into me. Call me silly, but I'll usually never eat the food offered on the plane because they taste terrible, so I like to bring some snacks along--apple, nutrition bars, almonds, and maybe even a light pastry that I bought from the night before. And you call me silly, again, if you'd like, but I pack two types of outerwear as well. I'll switch into a simple hoodie so that I can rest comfortably on my flight and throw on a cardigan when I board off the plane. Last but not least, Kiehl's lip balm, a portable perfume, Sisley hand cream, and facial wipes are always a must. I won't always need foundation, but I can almost always find a reason to freshen up.