How To Pack for a Business Trip

how to pack for a business trip; packing tips and tricks

Photo by Hannah Bjorndal

When I first started traveling for work I realized that packing for a business trip was more challenging. and of course less fun, than packing for vacation.

I always wait until the last minute to pack (even when it comes to vacations). Please tell me I'm not the only one! On my first multi-day business trip, I resorted to packing a capsule wardrobe based around one neutral color. I recommend using black or navy as your base color as doing so allows you to pack a single pair of dress shoes and tights (if needed), and makes it easier to mix and match fewer pieces to create more outfits. Although I resorted to this approach because I was crunched for time and thoroughly uninspired to pack, it's become my go-to method!

What to Pack

For a week's trip, I usually pack two pairs of bottoms (both in base color of your choice), one dress (in base color of your choice), 3 blazers and/or cardigans (in base and coordinating colors), and two tops. For a more extended trip, I focus on adding tops instead of pants (no one can tell you're wearing the same black pants or pencil skirt). I travel in a casual outfit and ensure that my tops and cardigan(s) can be worn casually as well. I only travel with my carry-on roller bag and a large shoulder bag as my personal item, so trust me when I say it all fits!

Must Haves

I always travel with a portable cell phone charger. It is a complete game changer and I won't travel without it. I've mentioned before that I love Clinique's chubby sticks. I never even leave the house without at least one in my bag, so the same goes when I travel.

Arrival Tips

Oftentimes, when I travel I have to attend a meeting or event immediately after arriving so there's no real opportunity to freshen up. I've learned that my hair holds curl really well, so I often curl my hair before a flight to keep it looking its best despite an early wake up call and a long flight. I recommend styling your hair in whatever way keeps it looking its best longest, even if it takes a little bit more time in the morning before catching your flight (I know, it's hard). Once I land, I re-apply my favorite lipstick and use these oil absorbing sheets on my face if necessary before I head to my meeting.

Do you have any tips on how to make traveling for work easier? If so, I'd love to hear them!


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