What To Pack For Your Next Business Trip – tips and tricks for men and women

WRITTEN ON 27 October, 2021

What should you be packing for a business trip?

Business trips are completely different from your fun, leisure travels, and it applies to packing for a business trip too. For a summer vacation, after you fold a few swimsuits and stow a pair of flip flops, you are pretty much done with essentials. But, for business trips, packing is “packed” with anxiety. You have to bring a lot of things but still travel light. Plus, time is an important factor here.

So, this blog will help you save time with smart packing for your corporate travels. We will show you how and what to pack for a business trip, with some tips and tricks.

There are a lot of types of business travels: international, domestic, team building, conference, meetings, study visit and similar. Agenda or itinerary will influence your packing list, but in this piece, we bring tips and tricks for general packing along with an essentials list for the typical three-day business trip.

CARRY ON SUITCASE WHEN PACKING FOR A BUSINESS TRIP

If you are packing for a business trip smart, a regular-size carry-on suitcase will be enough for up to five days away. Always remember that business trips are all about professionalism and efficiency. So, pack in the carry-on and pair it with the laptop bag or a personal item with your in-flight essentials within easy reach.

Make sure to check your flight company’s allowed weight and dimensions for carry-on bags. With your luggage in the overhead bin, you will have all the necessary items within easy reach. Also, this will save a lot of time at the airport since you won’t wait for the checked luggage. We suggest opting for a suitcase with four wheels to save even more time and upgrade mobility.

LUGGAGE LOCK

Your suitcase and laptop bag are filled with valuable and important things, so they should be protected. A small padlock is a great theft-deterrent. Most of the suitcases and backpacks come with their own locks, but you can also easily add one if your zippers are lockable.

PACKING CUBES ARE GREAT WHEN PACKING FOR A BUSINESS TRIP

The great thing for an organized suitcase definitely is packing cubes. There are many brands you can purchase, but most of them have different size bags with labels for toiletry, underwear, outfits, electronics, even shoe, and laundry pouches. This systematic packing will save both your time and space in a suitcase. Also, labels on those packages are sort of a reminder of what you must bring, but not overpack.

ROLL YOUR CLOTHES

For even more organized packing cubes, roll your clothes before putting them in a dedicated pouch. This way, you will not only save up even more space but prevent clothes from getting wrinkled.

This tip does not apply to a suit. Suits, you fold – not roll!

TAKE CARE OF SHOES

You have to make sure your shoes won’t be damaged in a suitcase. There is an easy trick for that –  stuff them with socks, underwear, and other small, soft items to preserve their shape.

DON'T PACK TOO MANY COSMETIC ITEMS

On a business trip, you will probably stay in a nice hotel or serviced apartment. In both cases, your lodging will be equipped with basic complimentary toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and a bar of hand soap. So, you don’t have to pack those (unless you have some allergies or prescribed cosmetics to use). If you use cosmetics that you get complimentary in the hotel, you save some space in a suitcase and avoid controls or unpacking in the airport due to liquid allowance.

Make sure to pack: toothpaste, brush, deodorant, face and hand cream, small perfume, dry shampoo, and period supplies for ladies.

BUSINESS OUTFITS TO PACK

Now, we came to the part that takes the most space in a travel bag – clothes. Hopefully, our advice will help you not overpack, but always have what you need.

When choosing clothes for a business trip, opt for items that pull double-duty, so you can use them on more or less formal occasions. Make sure to pack items that are comfortable and represent your style. 

The exact items to bring, will depend on your style and trip itinerary, but our general clothes list for a  3-day business journey is here:

3 tops – two formal tops and one casual 

Applies to both men and women. Another piece of advice is to wear your casual top on a flight, and also use it later for casual occasions during the trip.

1-2 bottoms

Trousers or skirts – depends on the style and gender of course. If you are a jeans person, you can wear comfy jeans on a flight.

1 dress 

(for ladies) The good black dress can double for a casual outfit with a scarf and boots, or a formal dinner outfit with a necklace and heels.

1 blazer

If not too formal, maybe you can wear your blazer on a  flight too and save up some space in a suitcase.

3 pairs of underwear and socks

So, you will have one clean pair for a new day, and one extra, just in case.

PJs

Don’t forget to pack your favorite light pajamas. 

2 pairs of shoes: business shoes and a pair of athletic/casual shoes

Those casual shoes can be worn on a flight. 

Workout clothes (optional)

This totally depends on your lifestyle and agenda.

After general tips and tricks for packing, we put down a list of essentials too.

LIST OF ESSENTIALS WHEN PACKING FOR A BUSINESS TRIP

Business cards – You definitely need those on business trips. Make sure to bring enough. They are light and small in size, so will not take too much space.

A wireless card – Free Wi-Fi access in hotels is great, but it’s not always offered, so it could be a costly inconvenience when traveling on business. All major phone carriers have Internet cards that provide access for more than one Wi-Fi-enabled device. That way, you will stay connected on your phone, laptop, and any additional device you usually use.

Power banks – If you travel frequently, you probably already have your favorite small in size, high-power portable charger. Well, don’t forget to pack it and keep close at all times.

Laptop – A lot of business people tend to buy laptops as small as possible, but with long battery life. Anyways, whatever you use – tablet, small or large laptop, you have to bring it with you. It is best if you have a suitable bag for your laptop. If you use one of those thin sleek laptops, get one high-quality sleeve that will prevent it from damaging and allow you to carry it in your personal bag. A lot of ladies usually use a big tote bag for travel and carry a laptop inside, instead of having one additional separate bag.

Chargers – don’t forget to pack a charger for each electronic device you use on travels. Besides a laptop, and a phone, you will maybe bring an electric razor, wifi earbuds, or similar. One multiplug socket won’t hurt too. Also, choose a travel adapter that you’re sure will work in the country you are traveling in.

A USB flash drive – Keep your documents that you plan to use (presentations and reports) at your fingertips by stowing a flash drive in your pocket or as a keychain. 

Notebook and a pen – You’ll definitely need a notebook with you when you attend a business trip. Taking notes by hand during your meetings can be even faster than using a smartphone or laptop. With a notebook also, try to find a small yet practical one.

Dry shampoo – one additional item in your toiletry bag can save a lot of time and effort on business trips. If you travel for 3-4 days, with the dry shampoo you can skip hair salon appointments abroad, or save yourself at least one hour of hairstyling on your own. And still, you will have good-looking hair. Appearance means a lot at your business meetings.

Breath mints – when in an appearance department, another useful thing to have are breath mints. Will give a quick self-esteem boost and fresh up after a coffee break or a business lunch.

Antibacterial gel – A small vial of disinfection gel that’s within the fluid allowance for airplane­ travel is a necessity given all the people you’ll meet and the still ongoing pandemic

SHOULD WE EVEN MENTION THESE?

Yes, why not. Those are maybe the most crucial items, and forgetting them may be bad.

  • Passport and ID card
  • International driving license (if you plan to drive)
  • Boarding pass (for a flight)
  • Additional printed documents (vaccination certificate, PCR test, invitation letter, or similar)
  • Credit card
  • Some cash too

It would be very convenient to keep these items together, within an easy reach at all times. If you are a fan of a neck valet, why not, store it all in there and keep safe on your neck.

Was this helpful? Let us know in the comments, or suggest new topics you would like us to cover.