Packing for a business trip and packing for a vacation are very different tasks, and the stakes are often higher. Forgetting your phone charger or a particular piece of clothing on a vacation trip is an inconvenience; forgetting business travel essentials is more serious and could lead to a negative outcome for your trip.
Essential Business Trip Packing List
We’ve put together this packing list to help you remember the essential items you need to make your trip a success. Most of these items are commonplace, but could be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of packing. Use this business travel checklist as you pack to ensure you have everything you need.
- Airline reservations
- Hotel confirmations
- Passport (if needed)
- Rental car details
- Business Items
- Brochures or printed handouts for presentations.
- Laptop and / or Tablet
- Portable Wi-Fi hotspot
- Power bank
- Business cards
- Promotional gifts
- Personal Care
- Breath mints
- Hand sanitizer
- Kindle, book, or magazine
- Noise-canceling earphones
- Reusable water bottle
How to Pack Electronics
Ideally, pack your electronics and other business travel essentials in your carry-on to keep it safe. If your backpack, briefcase, or duffel bag does not have a dedicated laptop pocket, buy a laptop sleeve for extra protection. We don't recommend packing electronics in checked luggage. While rare, the risk of damage or loss during transit is higher for checked baggage than for carry-on bags.
How to Pack a Dress Shirt
Knowing how to pack a dress shirt helps prevent wrinkles from developing during transit. If you don’t travel with a garment bag, here's how to properly fold a shirt for travel:
- Button up all buttons,
- Flip the shirt button-side down.
- Fold the sleeves in an X across the back, then fold the sleeves up so the cuffs reach the bottom of the collar.
- Fold the sides of the shirt across the middle in thirds.
- Fold the shirt up from the bottom in thirds.
Once at your designation, hang the shirt in the bathroom while you shower. The hot steam helps remove any wrinkles. If you’re traveling with a business suit, check out our How to Pack a Suit guide.
How to Pack High Heels
If you have to pack high heels without a shoe bag, take the following steps:
- Clean the shoes and freshen them with an air freshener.
- Squeeze socks or underwear into the shoes to help preserve their shape.
- Wrap shoes in wrapping paper or plastic bags to separate them from other clothing.
- Pack the bottom of the bag with shirts and other clothing.
- Place heels sideways on the clothing you just packed.
- Fill in the gaps around the heels with small items of clothing, then finish packing.
How to Pack Handbags
Avoid twisting or rolling handbags if you’re packing them. Doing so can cause permanent damage to the bag. Instead, pack the handbag in a dust cover and support its shape with either a handbag insert or by filling it with soft items such as underwear or socks.