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

Updated March 10, 2023

A person checks the flight arrivals and departures board in an airport.

At any point in your career, you may need to travel for business purposes. Whether you have to travel domestically or overseas to attend a conference, interview for a new position or attend a company meeting, you may be wondering exactly what to pack. Using a packing list for a business trip can help you identify the most important items you'll need so you can be prepared for your travels. 

In this article, we explain how a business packing list can be helpful and list the top 30 items to pack for a business trip.

Why should you use a packing list for a business trip?

Using a packing list for a business trip helps you organize how and what to bring when you travel for work. Business travel often requires you to bring both personal and professional items on your trip. Without a checklist, it can be easy to forget an essential item you'll need to work away from the office. A list can also help you pack faster so you can maximize your time before you leave for a business destination.

Related: 17 Tips for Ensuring a Successful Business Trip

30 items to pack for a business trip (and why you need them)

Here are the key categories and items you should consider packing when you take a business trip:

Business essentials

Make sure you have all the technological equipment you'll need to conduct business when you travel by adding these items to your work trip packing list:

1. Laptop computer or tablet

Whatever business you plan to conduct, you'll need access to your personal business files, applications and presentation software. Bringing your own laptop allows you to work efficiently while traveling anywhere in the world. 

It’s a good idea to invest in a backpack, briefcase or messenger bag with a dedicated laptop sleeve to protect your laptop while traveling. If you’re taking just one bag, choose luggage that has a laptop compartment.

2. Electronics and charging accessories 

If you have a business phone, make sure to pack that along with your personal cell phone. Pack charging cords for all your electronic devices including wall plugs if necessary. You'll want all your batteries fully charged for meetings, seminars and personal use. If your cell tends to die quickly, consider purchasing a portable charger or power bank that’ll allow you to quickly charge your device while you’re on the go. 

3. Wi-Fi hotspot

It may be helpful to carry your own internet hub so you never have to worry about a weak connection at any of your travel destinations. This can be helpful in airports and hotels as well as convention centers where large numbers of users logging in can lead to slow connection speeds.

4. Headphones or earbuds

These sound devices are helpful for working during transit or for conducting video conferencing in varied environments. You can also use them to enjoy some entertainment during break times.

5. Business cards

There's just no substitute for a simple business card with your professional information. You can even include a QR code that your business connections can scan with their device to view a professional website, social media platform or digital portfolio.

6. Remote slide advancer

If you're giving a presentation, it can be helpful to use a physical device to move through your slides so you can interact with other professionals throughout the room. You may be able to use an app on your phone too.

7. Adapters

If you plan to travel to a foreign country, you may need power adaptors that fit your charging cords. Check international standards before you leave so you have time to purchase a device should you need it.

8. Notebook and pen

Even though digital note platforms are available on nearly any device, it can still be helpful to be ready to take handwritten notes. If you have a technological problem, you'll still be ready to jot down information. Creative thoughts that lead to big business ideas are sometimes scrawled on a piece of scrap paper during a session or even over a coffee break.


Here are the main items you'll need to pack to be prepared with the best business clothing as you travel:

9. Business attire

Most business travel calls for professional clothing including suits, slacks or skirts and dress shirts. Unless you are taking an extended trip, usually one or two complete suits with a selection of shirts will be enough. 

Related: Guide To Business Attire (With Examples)

10. Formal wear

If you are attending a formal event during your travels, you'll need to pack an appropriate dress, suit or pantsuit. Black tie events mean the highest formal wear while cocktail events call for less sophisticated styles. If you're unsure of the dress code, ask a colleague or supervisor what they suggest.

11. Dress shoes

Packing one pair of well-fitting dress shoes is probably enough for your trip. Make sure they are cleaned and in good repair before you put them in your bag.

12. Jacket or sweater

Even if you're traveling to a warm climate, hotels and conference centers can get chilly on the inside, so it's a good idea to pack a light sweater or jacket that you can easily tuck inside a carrying bag.

13. Casual outfits

At some point during your business trip, you may have personal time to explore local attractions or relax. You'll want to have comfortable clothing for non-business social time. You may even want to pack a bathing suit in case you have a chance to visit the hotel pool or hot tub.

14. Casual shoes

Some business casual outfits can pair with more casual shoes like sandals or athletic shoes. You'll also need a good pair of walking shoes if you plan to sightsee.

15. Workout gear

Even on a business trip, it's important to focus on your well-being. Pack some workout clothes and shoes so you can continue your exercise routine in a hotel gym or by going for a run close by where you are staying during your business trip.

16. Pajamas

Plan to sleep in something comfortable. You have the most flexibility with your nighttime wardrobe.

17. Underwear and socks

Pack formal and casual socks that can double as sleeping socks to keep your feet warm in a cold hotel room. Make sure the socks you pack also match your dress shoes, and don’t forget to bring stockings or tights if that’s more your style. 

Related: 30 Best Tips for Business Travel

Accessories and other personal items

A packing list for your work trip still requires some personal things:

18. Travel documents 

It’s vital to bring valid forms of ID such as your driver’s license or state photo identity cards, or a U.S. passport if you’re flying internationally. You can print airline reservations, hotel confirmations and rental car details and keep them stored together. Alternatively, organize those documents on your smartphone by starring them in your email inbox or adding them to a file manager app for quick access. 

Note: Beginning May 3, 2023, every air traveler who is 18 and older must bring a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States.

19. Wallet or purse

While traveling, you’ll need easy access to your travel documents, IDs and forms of payment. Take only what you need, such as a debit card, credit card and small bills in case you encounter a cash-only establishment. Depending on where you’re traveling, it might be a good idea to exchange money at home at your bank or credit union. While abroad, try to use your financial institution’s ATMs only, if possible, in order to avoid extra fees.

20. Glasses or contacts

If you wear glasses make sure to pack a case for your glasses, and cleaning products for your eyewear. Contact users should make sure to bring an extra set of contacts, as well as a contact case and a mini-sized contact lens solution.

21. Hat, sunglasses, umbrella

Keep these travel essentials ready to protect yourself from rain and sun. Store your sunglasses in a case, and consider purchasing a travel umbrella that can fit into your luggage or carry-on.

For casual outings or just after work hours, you may want to wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun or simply as a fashion accessory. Packable hats include baseball caps, wide brim sun hats and bucket hats.

22. Watch and jewelry

Tasteful and simple watches and jewelry can be part of your business attire for both casual and formal events. However, it's a good idea not to travel with expensive and highly valued items. You may want to pick out a functional and inexpensive watch and jewelry just for business trips.

23. Water bottle

Staying hydrated is important for mental clarity and overall health. If you travel with your own water bottle, you can make sure you always have fresh water available. You may even want to purchase a bottle with a built-in filter so you can ensure the quality of the water you consume at your travel destination.

24. Snacks

Even if your company or the hotel provides food, you never know when you may have to wait a long time between meals. Portable and shelf-stable snacks like granola, fruit bars, nuts or energy bars can help you get through a long day of meetings and are easy to stash in your bag to eat during a quick break.

Related: Tips for Managing and Deducting Business Travel Expenses

25. Entertainment

Even though you're traveling for business, periods of travel are a great time to read a new novel or your favorite magazines. Bring a printed book if you have room in your luggage, or download some books onto your phone or digital reading device via a book or audiobook app so you can read them even if you don’t have cell service or a Wi-Fi connection. Consider downloading a free library app that allows you to check out digital books. 

Personal hygiene

Add these additional travel accessories to your luggage for a work trip:

26. Basic toiletries

A toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo and a razor are all travel essentials. Buy travel-size items or pack your own. Consider purchasing a set of TSA-approved travel toiletry containers and bottles that you can fill with your own products. You'll also want to pack any necessary medications.

27. Lotions and skincare

Don't forget to pack items for your personal care like moisturizers or body creams. This may include products for shaving as well. You can fill travel bottles with your favorite skin care products, or bring the original bottle if they’re small enough. If you’re flying with a carry-on, containers that hold liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters and must fit into one quart-size bag. 

28. Sunscreen

Many consider sunscreen to be an essential daily skincare item, so don’t forget to bring a mini size of your favorite sunscreen product. If you’re planning to participate in outdoor company events or leisure activities, it's a good idea to also pack a product that’s waterproof and sweatproof. 

29. Brush or comb

Packing your own hairbrush or comb saves the trouble of finding something that grooms your hair the way you prefer while you're on your trip. You'll want to make sure you look professional with neat hair and attire as you get ready for professional events.

30. Makeup and styling products

You'll want to pack your personal beauty and hairstyling products so you can prepare your appearance for business functions. Consider packing your products in a travel cosmetic bag that’ll help you organize your products. 

Related: What To Include on a Business Trip Packing List

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