I'm on the road as often as not, as a keynote speaker and consultant on customer service and company culture. As dedicated road warrior, here are seven offbeat items that I'd suggest you always bring along.

1. Crazy-patterned, insanely colorful socks. I figure if we all have to take our shoes off thanks to the would-be shoe bomber, why not use it as a chance to amuse my fellow passengers (and the TSA agents). [Speaking of such things, you should enroll in Global Entry or TSAPre so you won't have to take off your shoes.]

2. Your own pen. Apart from avoiding the ick factor of using a pen that the waiter takes from behind his ear and hands me to sign the bill, having my own pen makes me feel more like my own person. (As an author, this may matter especially much to me.) You may prefer something more compact, but I find those hard to write with.

3. Duct tape and super glue. You just never know when the unexpected will happen (that's how "the unexpected" it got its name), and these two items can take care of fixing a lot of the unexpected.

4. Those little "Via" instant coffee packets from Starbucks. These are for early-morning coffee when you're too sleepy (because you haven't had your coffee!) to get some in the hotel lobby.

5. Your own toilet paper. Your own sensitivities and sensibilities will determine whether to follow my advice here. But generally any change in routine on the road is not a good thing. Same concept holds true for the value you'll find in bringing your own shampoo rather than using what they give you at the hotel, your own soap if you have sensitive skin, and so forth.

6. Ziploc bags, in a variety of sizes. They're great for keeping things dry (including item #5, above) and organized.

7. A night light. This helps you to avoid tripping or banging your knew in the unfamiliar surroundings of the hotel room, where things never seem to be exactly where you expect them. Remember to bring your nightlight back home with you; I've left a few at hotels along the way.