What To Include on a Business Trip Packing List

Updated June 24, 2022

Business trips are great opportunities to network in your field and get to know your coworkers and competitors better. Such a trip might feel somewhat like a vacation, but it's important to plan your packing list seriously to ensure you have everything you need to fulfill the goal of the business trip. In this article, we learn how to create a business trip packing list, what to consider when packing and tips to pack more effectively.

Related: What To Take on a Work Trip: Business Trip Packing List With Examples

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How do you pack for a business trip?

Your business trip packing list will depend on where you're going, what you'll be doing there and how many days you'll stay. It's a good idea to ask your supervisor or coworkers about what to expect so that you can make a plan, but the decision about what to bring is ultimately yours. Here's a closer look at what to consider when creating your packing list:


Weather is a great way to gauge what items to pack for your business trip. Check the typical weather for the location during the time of year you'll be traveling and the weather forecast a few days before you leave to see if you need to make any adjustments to your list. Watch for rainy forecasts and hot or cold days if you're going to be walking around outside at all. Choose light or heavy clothing depending on the temperature. There are some items that you may choose to bring or leave at home because of the weather, like:

  • Umbrella or rain coat

  • Boots vs. open-toed shoes

  • A jacket, sweater or coat

  • Scarves and hats

  • Sunglasses

  • Sunscreen


The activities that you'll be doing during your business trip are important to consider, especially when packing clothing. Remember to take other activities, like your travel and after-work plans, into account as well. Ask in advance what will take place on the business trip and research any nearby places that you would like to visit so you can get an idea of what items you might need. Examples of activity-related items include:

  • Athletic clothing

  • Formal wear

  • Hair styling accessories

  • Jewelry

  • Backpacks or bags

  • Cash

  • Walking shoes

  • Business casual vs. business professional

  • Skirts and dresses vs. pants

Length of stay

How long you'll be traveling and staying at your destination will change how you might choose to pack. If you'll be traveling for a long period, you may choose to bring more items to keep you engaged, like books to read on a flight. Similarly, if you'll be staying at your destination for more than a few days, you'll have to bring more clothes or plan to do laundry. The longer your business trip is, the more activities you might do, too, so make your packing list accordingly. Items for a long trip may include:

  • Books or e-readers

  • Tablets with games, puzzles or internet access

  • Extra clothing and shoes

  • Clothing for weather changes

  • Extra toiletries

  • Travel snacks

  • Headphones and a music device

  • Adequate amount of medications

Related: 20 Tips for Ensuring a Successful Business Trip

Key items for your business trip packing list

While you may choose to only pack certain items for your business trip, remember that there are some necessities to bring when you travel. Consider what items you use every day or every other day and be sure to pack anything that is necessary for your business trip. To help you prepare, here is a list of key items to put on your packing list:

  • Wallet with cash, credit cards and identification

  • Travel documents like passport, boarding pass and itinerary

  • Business cards or networking information

  • Refillable water bottle

  • Any presentations or research

  • Toiletries like toothbrush, hairbrush and lip balm

  • Medications and supplements

  • Electronic devices like phone and laptop

  • Chargers and power cords

  • Writing utensils like a pen or pencil

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Basic outfits to mix and match

  • Jackets and blazers

  • Comfy and professional shoes

Related: 30 Best Tips for Business Travel

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Tips to pack for a business trip

Focus on your business trip and make packing easy with the tips below:

Minimize your wardrobe

Packing for a business trip becomes much easier when you have only a few clothes and pairs of shoes to handle. One way you can minimize your wardrobe for packing it to choose a few items of clothing that all match. For example, you could bring two pairs of pants on your trip and match those pants with five different shirts. Since the pants are bigger, bringing fewer of them saves room in your luggage for other important items and anything you bring home from your trip. For shoes, try to choose one comfortable pair and one professional pair.

Use space-saving packing methods

After your wardrobe has gotten as small as it can, try different packing methods to fit everything neatly in your luggage. Not only does this help you see what you've already packed, it's also easier for you to use the items at your destination. You can use packing cubes to keep items separate and to find specific items quickly. For things like shirts and soft pants, consider think about rolling them instead of folding to save space.

Consider bags for smaller items

Along with packing cubes, you can use small plastic or fabric bags to keep smaller items safe in your luggage. Things like jewelry and makeup can get lost in tightly packed suitcases, and you might not find the items you want when you need them. Consider putting small items into specific bags and keeping the bags on top of your clothing in your suitcase or in a separate piece of luggage. Not only does this protect jewelry and makeup from getting lost, but it keeps razor blades safely out of the way and toothbrushes clean.

Know your method of transportation

Your supervisor or assistant should tell you in advance what your travel plans are, and you'll likely want to use that information when packing. Different modes of transportation have different luggage requirements that you can research early on to make the best packing decisions the first time. For airplanes, consider whether you can bring a carry-on instead of checking your bags for a quicker exit. Be sure to know what size bag qualifies as a carry-on to avoid any delays.

Related: Business Travel Expenses: Definition, Importance and How To Deduct Them

Separate fragile electronics

When packing your electronics, like phones, laptops and tablets, consider putting them in a backpack or purse that you can keep with your while traveling. This will make them easier to find and use during your trip, and it will keep them safe from damage or theft. This is especially important if you have a presentation or research saved on your laptop for your business trip. For instances like these, it can also be a good idea to back up any important information on a flash drive and keep it in a secure pocket of your backpack, purse or briefcase.

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