Business Travel Packing Tips


Business Travel Packing Tips

business travel packing tipsWith so many business travellers spending upwards of half of the year on the road, being prepared with business travel packing tips can save a considerable amount of time. Knowing the top tricks in packing for business travel is an essential skill. Sometimes business trips are “spur of the moment” giving you little time to plan. Other trips may be planned a couple of weeks out, but either way, you need to be ready. This is a roundup of some of our tried-and-true business travel packing tips and strategies to help you minimize stress and maximize productivity.


Let’s take a minute to talk about your business travel clothing. Whenever possible, find suits, shirts, dresses, and slacks labelled wrinkle-resistant. There are a lot of retailers that offer no-iron dress shirts. Technology has also advanced fabrics so there are microfibers, washable wool, and twills that are anti-wrinkle. This no-wrinkle type clothing will save you time ironing everything once you arrive at your destination.

Choose garments of compatible colours. A wardrobe that allows you to mix and match multiple pieces for different outfit options will aid you in packing lighter. Also, try to pack only one pair of shoes. Find shoes that match most of your clothing items and are very comfortable. For women, avoid high heels wherever possible. You may be required to walk long distances or stand for long periods of time and you want to do it with finesse and comfy feet. A stylish pair of pointed flats can go a long way for a comfortable yet professional look.

Instead of bringing a lot of extra clothes if you are on an extended trip, plan to use the hotel laundry – especially for dress shirts, no one will notice you have on the same white shirt as you did the day before. One of our favourite business travel packing tips is to use accessories for a different look, such as a couple of extra ties or scarves wich will take up less space in your luggage than a whole shirt.

At least one leisure outfit is necessary. It can be your workout clothes or a pair of casual pants and a t-shirt. You will glad you did. You may want to quickly run to the corner and get coffee. Or just take a nice walk around the block to stretch your legs and get some fresh air – especially after a long-haul flight.

Another useful piece of advice for business travellers: wear your blazer on the plane. It is bulky and difficult to pack.

Once you arrive at your hotel, hang your clothes immediately so any wrinkles will start to relax and you won’t have to spend a lot of time at the ironing board. You can also hang your clothes in the bathroom while you are showering and the steam will help relax the wrinkles as well.

How to Pack for Unplanned, Quick Trips

Packing for business travel can be a challenge especially for those trips that come up quickly. It is best to take measures to be prepared in advance as much as possible. Planning ahead will save you from unnecessary stress and headaches. Keep a bag packed and ready of your essentials so all you need to do is add in your clothing and you will be set.

  • Travel-sized hygiene products (Extra tip: put a small amount of liquids like moisturizers/shampoos in contact lens cases – they hold enough for a couple days and save a lot of space – who knew?)
  • Socks and undergarments
  • Light sweater or jacket
  • Extra notepad and pen; business cards, an extra charger for your electronics
  • Reading material for the plane trip
  • Keep your travel documents together in an easy to find and easily accessible place such as a travel wallet for your passport, visa, boarding passes, etc. Also, have high resolution scans of these documents, including your credit cards and drivers license, in a secure location – this could be a life saver if you happen to lose any of these items.

In addition, try to pack light when you’re packing for business travel. Do your best to avoid checking a bag. This will save you significant time at the airport when you do not have to go to baggage claims.

How to Pack for Planned Trips

Ideally, when you’re packing for business travel, you have time to plan rather than pull it all together on short notice. Some of the same business travel packing tips should be practiced here as well. Always start with the bag of your necessary items that you keep packed at all times. Always plan to carry your bag on the plane. For a longer trip you may need a larger suitcase, but most people pack a bunch of stuff they will not use and just keep lugging it around. Be smart, pack light. A happy traveller is a light packer. Here are some business travel packing tips to consider:

  • Pack your items in compartmental bags. For instance, all socks, undergarments and accessories can go in one rectangular pouch. Shirts can be folded flat and go into a larger rectangular pouch. Compartmentalizing can keep your carryon organized and easier to find items.
  • Pack a few small snack items: protein bars, trail mix, small sandwich and a piece of fruit or cut veggies. You never know when you will be hungry, if you will have time for a meal. Carrying a few snacks will help you get through to the next meal.
  • Pack a small first aid kit (could go in a zip lock bag) with items you are most likely to need such as pain reliever, Band-Aids, cough drops.
  • If you don’t like the idea of using various small bags to compartmentalize your suitcase, layer your items in order you will use them so the first thing you need is on top. Each layer can contain all the items for that day’s wardrobe.
  • If you have a bulky winter coat to bring consider using a compression bag to squeeze it down to a manageable size to fit you your suitcase.
  • Once you have packed, resist urges to add in any last minute items. Only add something in if you take something out. Really, less is more.

Packing for Business Travel in Summary

Pack light in a carryon bag. Make sure you have what you need for business, bring that extra charger. Mix and match clothing. Do laundry. Relax.

Start incorporating some of these business travel packing tips with each trip. You will refine these tips to fit your needs best. It won’t be long and you will be packing like a pro.

Be the first to receive business travel tips, news and promotions straight to your inbox by subscribing to our business travel newsletter.

Other posts you may also be interested in:

5 Must-Have Travel Hacks for Business Travellers [Infographic]

Business Travel Research: What to Know Before You Go