What do I need to bring on my business trip?
No matter how often you travel for work, you’re bound to forget something if you don’t plan ahead. Even if you travel a lot for work, getting ready for your business trip sometimes falls to the bottom of your to-do list.
This business trip packing list is designed to help you leave the stress at home and pack only what you need to have a more relaxed work trip.
Here’s how this list is broken down:
30+ Things to Pack on Your Next Business Trip:
How to Pack for a Business Trip
- Phone charger
- Laptop or tablet charger
- Portable charger
When traveling for work, your laptop is your life. But just because it's filled to maximum storage capacity with your work doesn’t mean it has to be big and bulky. Upgrading to a lightweight laptop can make business packing easier by saving you space in your carry-on.
Your carry-on bag will be lighter without a heavy laptop weighing it down.
Top pick: Apple MacBook Air
Runner up: Huawei Matebook 13
Save space on your tray table by investing in a tablet for your business trips. Tablets are a portable laptop alternative and you can even purchase an attachable keyboard for additional typing.
Tablets can slide in and out of any pocket with ease so you won’t have to dig through a packed carry-on searching for it. You’ll have most of the functions of a laptop with quicker storage and more room to spread out.
Top pick: Amazon Fire HD 8
Runner up: Apple Ipad
Device Chargers and Portable Chargers
Be sure to bring your device’s charger with you so you can plug in at the airport or on the plane.
If you’re stranded without electricity, portable chargers are the power move you need. Bring one or two charged up and ready to go in case you’re in a pinch without a place to plugin.
There’s plenty of technology out there, but it doesn’t always work when we want it to. Be prepared for a wifi outage or malfunctioning electronics by bringing a spare pen and notebook with you on your flight. These tools are timeless and they can save you when your electronics are having an off day.
Office supplies are also helpful if you need to jot something down quickly during takeoff or landing when it's time to power down your larger electronics.
Noise Canceling Headphones
From crying babies to loud aircraft noises, flying can be noisy. You don’t want to be distracted from your work or miss out on sleep because you can’t focus.
Noise-canceling headphones block out the stress around you and give you the chance to sleep on your flight. Invest in a pair if you prefer to have peace and quiet when you travel for work.
- Passport wallet
- Photo ID
- Boarding pass
- Hotel and car rental reservations
Passport and Photo ID
Don’t leave the house without at least one of these! You wouldn’t want to get to the front of the line at security and realize you left your passport or license on the desk at home.
Your passport is especially important and essential for international travel, so keep it in a safe place at all times. Invest in a passport wallet if you want to keep everything together in an easy to access carrying case.
Your boarding pass is your ticket to your next destination so be sure to keep track of it.
Luckily, most airline apps keep track of that boarding pass for you so you can have it ready to go on your mobile device. If you have an iPhone, you could also save your mobile boarding pass to your Apple Wallet for easy access before take-off.
Hotel and Rental Car Reservations
Confirmation numbers are key when it comes time to check-in for your hotel or to grab the keys to your rental car. Keeping track of those numbers and reservations isn’t always easy.
For quick access and to maintain organization on your trip, print out each confirmation you book and place them into a folder. It might seem old-school, but it’s effective.
If you’re more of a digital person, you can download TripIt. This app keeps all of your travel plans organized in one place by automatically combing your email for your trip information meaning you won’t have to lift a finger to find what you need.
Clothing & Footwear
Finding a balance between style and comfort is the main goal when packing your clothes for a business trip. You want to look your best discussing topics at the meeting and feel your best reclining in your chair inflight.
You also want to pack some more casual clothing for your time off! Even if you only have a few hours to yourself in your destination, you don't want to be stuck exploring in your best business casual.
Here’s a breakdown of typical business attire to help you tailor your wardrobe to your travel needs.
- Outerwear jacket
- Shirts and blouses
- Business casual pants and skirts
- Comfortable pants (yoga pants, joggers)
- Dress shoes
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Portable steamer or iron
Jackets & Blazers
Jackets and blazers are business essentials so bring at least one. Choose a dark, solid color that won’t clash with the rest of our outfits.
Blazers and jackets are typically stiff but you can find some that are made with stretchable, more comfortable fabric. When you pack your jacket or blazer, be extra careful when folding it into your carry on to prevent wrinkles.
Shirts & Blouses
Keep it simple when you’re traveling by bringing only two choices of tops besides the one you wear on your flight. You don’t want to bog down your mind or your carry-on with too many choices.
Choose tops that make you look and feel most comfortable when you’re at work. Prioritize wrinkle-resistant shirts and blouses. First impressions are stressful enough without worrying if your top looks like it could use and ironing.
As with tops, limit the pants and skirts you bring with you in your carry-on. At most, bring a pair to change into in case there’s an accidental tear or stain. Investing in bottoms that are dark in color or made from stain-resistant material will save you the stress if you spill coffee on a bumpy flight.
You might not be able to wear sweatpants or yoga pants, but you can still wear bottoms that are made from stretchable material to make yourself more comfortable on your flight.
Recommendation: Lululemon’s On the Fly collection
You’ll be walking and standing a lot when you travel, so do your feet a favor and give them a little extra support. Trade in the heels and tight dress shoes for relaxed fits and extra arch support footwear. Many shoe brands like Clarks and Wolf & Sheppard specialize in stylish shoes that are comfortable too. It’s a small change to your wardrobe, but you’ll feel better when you finish your day without needing a foot massage.
Limit yourself to packing only two pairs of shoes to maximize carry-on space.
You had a long day so unwind with a cozy change of clothes. It might be time for bed, but a smart way to pack pajamas is to make them multi-purpose.
Instead of a button down shirt made of silk, opt for lounge wear clothing that you could also wear in public in case something unexpected happens to your business attire or if you just want to go all in on comfort for your flight home.
Underwear & Socks
They call them unmentionables, but we definitely need to mention them when it comes to travel. Bring a change of underwear for your carry-on.
You never know what could happen so being able to freshen up when you feel uncomfortable is worth throwing in a few extra pairs of undies.
Plus, don’t forget your socks!
You might pull the shirt you planned to wear out of your suitcase to see it’s a wrinkled mess. Wrinkled clothing is a nightmare when you have a presentation to give or when you have to make a first impression.
While most hotel rooms have their own irons, setting up the ironing board and being sure the iron isn’t too hot is very time consuming. Plus, you don’t want to accidently put a burn in the only good shirt you brought with you!
With a portable steamer all you need is a little water and you can steam out those wrinkles in seconds.
Keeping up with your typical hygiene routine is essential for traveling. Pack what you use on a regular basis to help you feel more at home while on the road. Here’s a list of some every-day hygiene products that you’ll want to pack with you in your toiletries bag.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Facial cleanser
- Mouth wash
- Nail clippers
- Zip-Lock plastic bags
- Hair ties
- Stain remover pen
- Hair tools (flat or curling iron, dryer).
Most security checkpoints require that you limit your liquids to 3oz or less. When packing your toiletries, pack travel size liquids so you don’t get stopped at security and waste time opening your suitcase searching for the liquid you’ll have to throw in the trash.
Recommendation: Silicon Travel Toiletry bottles. They’re TSA approved and perfect for storing shampoo and conditioner.
Always bring a couple of large freezer plastic bags with you to pack liquids in. This will help you avoid your luggage becoming a massive mess!
Health & Wellness
- Gym clothes
- Drawstring bag
- Vitamins and supplements
- Flight Elixir
- Travel first aid kit
- Sleep mask
- A portable white noise machine
- Essential oils
Getting work done and working out after could be part of your daily routine at home. Don’t sacrifice your routine just because you’re not at your regular gym.
You might have some extra time on your trip to visit the hotel gym or to finish a quick in-room workout routine. If you think you’ll be able to sneak in a quick workout, you’ll want to have your athletic clothes and shoes with you.
These clothes can get sweaty so we recommend bringing a small drawstring bag to separate these clothes from your clean business attire in your carry-on.
Vitamins and Supplements
Your body goes through a lot of changes when you fly, so you’ll want to keep vitamins and other supplements on hand if you need a boost.
A package of FLIGHTFUD’s Flight Elixir is a superfood drink mix that helps you replenish your body while on the go. The elixir is easy to store in your carry-on and can help your body with hydration, circulation, bloating and digestion, cosmic radiation and the harmful effects of jet lag.
Travel First Aid Kit
Unexpected illnesses are tough enough when you’re in the comfort of your own home. When you’re traveling, these aches and pains can be extra annoying because you don’t have your home remedies on hand.
You might not be able to bring the medicine cabinet with you, but you can make your own travel first aid kit by filling a small bag with items such as aspirin, Sudafed, cough drops, and vitamins.
Throw some extra Flight Elixir into your carry-on to boost your immunity throughout your trip so you don’t get sick in the first place!
Travel Sleep Essentials
There’s nothing like jet lag to hinder your productivity and knock you off your game on a business trip.
Bring some travel sleep essentials to avoid suffering more than you need to. Bring a sleep mask, earplugs, and portable white noise machine if you don’t have the ability to use your phone.
Essential oils can treat everything from headaches to stress, and they’re a great natural remedy to many travel ailments. Many of these oils can support your well-being while flying and mitigate jet lag’s effects.
Bring 1-2 bottles of your favorite essential oils for relaxation or rejuvenation. Try scents with lavender to promote relaxation, peppermint or citrus to energize, and wood scents like pine to help manage anxiety.
Top pick: Altitude Oil
Food & Drink
- Healthy snacks
- Reusable water bottle
- Travel lunch box
Healthy food isn't always available at the airport so don’t sacrifice your health for convenience and bring whole-food, easy to pack snacks with you.
Here are some quick and healthy snacks to throw in your carry-on:
- Sliced fruits and vegetables
- Energy bars (focus on the ones with real ingredients like Larabar)
- Trail mix or assorted nuts like almonds, macadamia nuts, or cashews.
- Nut butter to-go pouches.
- Meat sticks and jerky.
- Sliced fruit and vegetables.
- Cheese and flaxseed crackers.
Flying can already have negative impacts on your health so try and combat those with the right food for a healthy diet.
Reusable Travel Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is an important part of travel, but constantly purchasing water at the airport can hurt your wallet and the planet.
Instead of worrying about when and where to get your daily dose of water, bring a reusable water bottle with you in your carry-on.
If you meal prep and want to pack your regular lunches with you on the go, a portable lunchbox is a good investment in your health. Save your snacks from going bad by packing your fruits and veggies in a small travel lunchbox.
Most travel lunch boxes are light and can even roll up to take up less space in your already crowded bag. Look for some that are insulated and waterproof for extra protection on the go.
- Rewards cards
- Folder for expense receipts
Many airlines and hotels offer rewards for travelers who use their frequent flyer credit cards. Bring your card with you and swipe it to earn more miles, discounts, and other extra perks that could help you on your next trip.
You’ll want to have that rewards card with you inflight as well because some airlines offer discounts on inflight purchases as well.
Folder for Expense Receipts
As high tech as the world is nowadays, you’ll still run into a lot of paper receipts when you make a purchase on your business trip. You’ll need those records to keep track of your business spending so it’s important not to lose them.
Pack a small folder with you to slip your receipts into instead of crumpling them in your pocket where they could get lost.
- Book or Kindle
Books and Magazines
You might want a break from those dense work files for something lighter and more entertaining. A small book or a magazine is easy to pack and doesn’t take up much space in your carry-on.
These are both great options if the inflight entertainment on your flight doesn’t work or if your other electronics lose power.
Relax, recline, and tune out the rest of the world by listening to your favorite playlist. Music is a great way to unwind after a busy morning spent getting to the airport, going through security, and boarding your flight.
A music hack for the frequent traveler is to download your Spotify playlist beforehand, which lets you play your favorite songs even when your device is in airplane mode.
Pack Your Bags and Go
You’ve got a lot to do for your trip, so take the stress out of packing by using these hacks and our checklist.
Is there something you like to bring to stay organized on your trip? What is your personal packing hack you’d like to share? Is there anything you think we missed? Let us know how you pack your bags in the comments below.