How to Pack for a Business Trip: A Travel Packing Checklist
Whether your packing for your first business trip or your 500th, there are always upgrades you can make to your packing plans and travel gear to make your trip as easy and comfortable as possible. Follow along and you'll be ready to take on your trip like the most seasoned travelers.
Choosing the Right Luggage & Bags for Business Travel
Your whole trip can hinge around whether or not you select the appropriate bags for your trip. After all, making sure that your clothing, electronics, and material or equipment get to your destination safe and sound is one of the most important aspects of travel. Here are a few popular luggage options for both check bags and cabin bags.
There are many variations of the rolling suitcase that are fit to serve a variety of purposes. If you’re going on an extended business trip, these are probably the way to go. Roller suitcases are the most efficient way to pack and transport everything you need for your trip.
The duffle bag is an ideal travel bag for a short business trip. The large open space provides enough room for just about all the clothing that you’d need for a night or two away. It’s best to pair these with a laptop bag or briefcase since they don’t have the structure to protect your valuables.
Choosing the Right Carry-On Bags for Business Travel
Most airlines allow you a complimentary carry-on bag, so it would be silly to not take advantage of that. In fact, many people only bring carry-on bags to avoid waiting for baggage check. Others will check a larger bag and pack a smaller laptop bag or backpack for the flight.
The briefcase is a classic business travel staple. These have evolved over the years and gotten smarter. Some briefcases that are meant for travel have built-in features like portable chargers and straps that connect to your rolling luggage bag.
They say backpacks are the new briefcases! Backpacks are becoming increasingly commonplace in the workplace, especially on business trips. That’s because backpacks typically do a better job at protecting your electronics and other valuables while keeping your hands free.
These types of bags are designed to be your one and only bag for your trip. That means it holds everything from your laptop to your clothes and toiletries! These are great for short business trips in which you’re only spending a night or two away from home.
Smart Packing Accessories for Business Travel
They say work smarter, not harder. The same concept applies to packing for a business trip Here are some nifty packing accessories and travel gadgets that can make your trip a breeze.
Custom Luggage Tags
Have you ever watched suitcases come out of the baggage reclaim carousel and thought every other bag was yours? Most of us have. A custom luggage tag is a great way to identify your bag so you don’t end up with the wrong bag… or more importantly, to prevent someone else from walking away with yours!
Organize your bags with neat and tidy packing cubes containing different types of luggage for easy access. You can have a dedicated packing cube for shoes, clothing, toiletries, and whatever else you see fit!
Personalized Passport Wallets
When you’re traveling there is nothing more valuable than your passport, especially if you’re traveling internationally. A lost passport can cut your trip short or prevent it altogether, but these a passport wallet is a great way to protect your passport, boarding pass, and other travel documents.
Toiletry Kits & Cosmetic Cases
When you’re meeting with customers or colleagues from out of town it’s important to leave a good impression. That means you’ll want to look your best! Don’t forget your grooming gear.
Suit Bags & Garment Bags
Suit bags and garment bags are highly recommended if you are going to be dressing to impress. They help prevent wrinkles and creases without needed to break out the ironing board in your room.
These are the perfect way to avoid getting slapped with additional fees for having luggage heavier that an airline’s regulations for a standard checked bag. Plus, they make great corporate gifts!
Popular Business Travel Brands
Like any industry, the travel industry has brands that just do it better than most. That includes more than just fancy bags and luggage too. We’re talking about all the latest travel gear and gadgets as well! Check out some of our favorite luggage and travel accessory brands below.
PS, they’re all available for customization with your company logo!
What to Pack for a Business Trip
Okay, so now that you’ve got your bags and packing accessories ready to go its time to fill them up with all the right apparel and accessories to make your trip go as seamlessly as possible. Here’s a checklist that will make sure you don’t have to make a trip to the mall right when you land.
Packing for a business trip can be tricky. You don’t want your nice clothes to get wrinkled or creased, but you don’t want to wear uncomfortable and restrictive clothing while traveling either. To save space a good rule of thumb is to always wear your bulkiest clothing on the flight! Here’s a business trip packing list to get you started on the rest:
- Jacket or Blazer: even if your business trip is more casual in nature, it's always a good idea to pack a nice jacket or blazer. It's the perfect way to class up any outfit if a more formal occasion presents itself.
- Dress Pants or Skirt: this may go without saying because it would be especially shocking if you showed up to your meeting without any bottoms on!
- Dress Shirt or Blouse: another garment that may go without saying, but we don't want to be responsible for you not having anything to wear to your meeting.
- Sweater or Sweatshirt: after a long day at work on your business trip there’s nothing better than changing into a comfy sweatshirt. They’re also great to wear on the plane…
- Comfy Travel Outfit: some people like to class it up on the plane. We’re more of the sweatpants and a comfortable hoodie type.
- Shoes: you probably don’t need to pack any more than two pairs – one for work and one for the plane or for exercise.
- Underwear & Socks: these are the things you don’t want to run out of the most! Make sure you have a pair of underwear and socks packed for each day of your trip!
- PJs or Sleepwear: hotel bedsheets can be coarse, uncomfortable, and sometimes even dirty. Sleeping in your favorite pajamas makes it all a bit more comfortable.
- Workout Gear: most hotels have fitness rooms that you can take advantage of during downtime of your business trip.
Accessories & Personal Items Checklist
When it comes to traveling for work, accessories are necessities. Some of these things simply make your life easier, some its nearly impossible to live without!
- Toiletries & Toiletry Case: don’t rely on the hotel-provided toiletries! Make sure to pack everything you’ll need to look your best. Don’t forget to bring travel size containers if you’re carrying on.
- Water Bottle: staying hydrated is key, especially when you’re traveling. Bringing a custom reusable water bottle is a great way to save on buying plastic water bottles.
- Headphones: don’t forget to pack a pair of headphones (especially if they’re noise-canceling) unless you want to make your flight feel twice as long!
- Wall Phone Charger: you’ll need to make sure that your phone is charged up for important calls and emails since you will be away from your computer for much of the day. While we’re on the topic, don’t forget to bring your phone too!
- Portable Phone Charger: same logic applies as the wall charger, but these come in especially handy when you’re on the plane, in the airport, or in a taxi or Uber.
- Travel Umbrella: don’t get caught in the rain without one of these. There’s nothing worse than showing up to an important meeting soaking wet.
- Sunglasses: this isn’t necessarily a must-have but they’re some of the most commonly forgotten accessories when traveling!
Work Supplies Checklist
With all the effort and energy that goes into packing your personal items its easy to forget that you are in fact taking this trip for a purpose. First and foremost, make sure to double and triple check that you have all the materials you need for your meeting, trade show, or conference packed or saved on your laptop. In addition to your relevant materials, here are a few more items that are smart to bring along.
- Laptop & Laptop Case: these days just about all business is conducted online in some way, shape, or form. Make sure that your computer is protected while traveling!
- Notebook: it's always nice to have a notebook or journal for notetaking when you don’t have your computer handy.
- Pen: the other component to notetaking, but you already knew that.
- Business Cards: chances are you’ll be meeting new clients or colleagues on your trip, so it’s always a good idea to bring business cards to exchange.
- USB Flash Drive: like trading business cards, USB flash drives are a great way to trade information. You can either pre-load these with a presentation/ offering and distribute them or you can gather information from others for yourself.
While we can’t guarantee the success of your meetings, if you follow this guide you should be all packed up and prepared to dominate your business trip! If you found this guide helpful be sure to check out our other planning guides and how-to guides as well.