Working as a hairstylist in downtown Chicago, I have a multitude of clients who travel for their jobs. I also have a ton of guests, and myself, that make traveling a hobby, either way hair can easily get overlooked as a concern when you are always on the go. I used to draw blanks when dealing with these people as trial size products only go so far and with limited time and varying weather it can be a major toss-up.
First of all, be realistic.
If you are traveling to South American or Brazil where the humidity is basically 500 percent, don't waste space in your carry-on with a flat iron. Save room for a souvenir and accept the fact that your hair is gonna be it's own animal. I always suggest bringing a haircare oil (ex. Macadamia Professional's Nourishing Moisturize Oil Treatment) that suits your hair the best to keep it on the smoother side. Also, braids are your friend. Sleep in them! No, seriously sleep in a few braids and your hair will be wavy and textured and pretty in the morning. By the way, enjoy paradise! Hair will be the last thing on your mind.
Now if you are a business traveler...
Here's where having friends at your salon is so helpful! Sample sizes are the best! Most salons, spas and beauty retailers have tons of free sample packets. Take advantage and don't be afraid to ask. For prolonged trips, I suggest mini sizes of products. Don't just decide the hotel shampoo is good enough, it is not. I also find using a familiar shampoo and conditioner while traveling makes you feel a little more in your element.
Also, find your go-to tools!
Whatever you have in your hair arsenal that provides the easiest, quickest and best styles for you. I advise using less product while traveling, and getting as many days as you can out of a style is ideal. When using product though, there are some great items to keep a vacation vibe going such as John Frieda's Beach Blonde Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner that can rescue and detangle hair after a long beach day, giving your locks a soft, touchable texture (this works for brunettes too). When I check in to a hotel, I always set up a small vanity area, it makes getting ready so easy and it's easier to pack up at the end of the trip in an organized fashion.