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The Ultimate Business Trip Packing List (Separate List If Have Kids)

A man with passport and accessories for a business trip.

Packing for a business trip can be daunting, especially if you’re not used to traveling for work. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. This packing list will ensure that you have everything you need to make your trip a success.

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Whether you’re going on a weekend trip or an extensive international journey, be sure to pack the following items:

  • Passport and visa (if necessary)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Tickets and boarding passes
  • Money (cash and/or traveler’s checks)
  • Credit cards and ATM card
  • Laptop and charger
  • Smartphone and charger
  • Tablet and charger (if you plan on using one)
  • Work documents
  • Business cards
  • Notepad and pen
  • Folders or a portfolio to keep your documents organized
  • An empty suitcase or duffel bag (for bringing home any souvenirs!)

Of course, you’ll also want to pack clothing and personal items appropriate for your destination. In this article, we’ll go over all the essentials you need for a long or short trip.

Choosing the Right Luggage

A man with a checklist and his luggage bag.

Before you can begin packing, you need to make sure you choose the right type of luggage for the trip. If you’re only going for a few days, a small carry-on bag should suffice. But if you’re traveling for a week or longer, you’ll need to pack more items and will likely need a larger suitcase.

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When selecting luggage, keep the following in mind:

  • The size and weight restrictions of the airline you’re flying
  • Whether you need a bag with wheels
  • If you want a hard-sided or soft-sided bag
  • How many people are traveling with you (you may be able to share a larger suitcase if you’re traveling with someone else)

1. Weekend Trip

A group of young people going on a trip.

For a weekend business trip, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself what the dress code will be. Is it a casual environment or business casual? If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution and pack clothing that is appropriate for a meeting or presentation.

Assuming that you’ll need to pack for two days, we recommend bringing the following items:

Technology

  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
  • Charger for each device
  • Headphones (optional)

Travel Documents

  • Passport
  • Visa (if necessary)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Boarding pass
  • Ticket

Money

  • Cash (in the local currency)
  • Credit cards
  • ATM card

Work Items

  • Documents
  • Business cards

Clothing

  • 2 collared shirts or blouses
  • 1 pair of trousers or a skirt
  • 1 pair of comfortable shoes
  • 1 sweater or jacket
  • Pajamas
  • Socks and underwear

Personal Items

  • Toiletries
  • Medications
  • Contact lenses and solution (if applicable)
  • Glasses (if applicable)
  • Makeup (optional)
  • Hairbrush
  • Jewelry (optional)

Office Supplies

You’ll also want to bring some work supplies with you so that you can be prepared for any meetings.

  • Notepad
  • Pens/pencils
  • Paperclips
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Other Items

  • Laundry bag (if you plan on doing any laundry while on your trip)
  • An empty suitcase or duffel bag (for souvenirs!)
  • An umbrella or raincoat (depending on the forecast)
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This list is just meant to get you started. Be sure to add any other items that you think you’ll need, based on your own needs and preferences.

Weekend Trip With Children

A happy family inside a car on a business trip.

If you are bringing your children with you for this business trip, you’ll obviously need to pack for them as well. Here are a few additional items to pack, in addition to the items on the above list:

Babies/Toddlers

  • Children’s clothing
  • Diapers and wipes (if necessary)
  • Formula or baby food (if necessary)
  • Children’s toys and books
  • Stroller
  • Child car seat (if renting a car)

Children Ages 5 and up

  • Children’s clothing
  • Schoolwork (if applicable)
  • Electronics and chargers (if applicable)
  • Children’s toys and books
  • Game console (if applicable)

Pets

If you’re bringing your pet with you on the trip, be sure to pack:

  • Their food and water bowls
  • Enough food and water for the entire trip
  • A leash or harness
  • Any medications they are taking
  • Their favorite toys

This is just a basic list of items that you’ll need to pack for your business trip. Be sure to add any other items that you or your family members may need

2. Week Long Business Trip

A woman sitting beside a bottle of wine.

For a longer business trip, you’ll need to pack enough clothing and personal items for the entire duration of your stay. Most people prefer to travel with a carry-on bag and a checked bag, but it’s ultimately up to you. If you’re traveling with a lot of technology, you may want to consider bringing a backpack as your carry-on, so that you have more room for everything.

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Here’s a list of items to pack for a week-long business trip:

Clothing:

To pack for a week-long business trip, you’ll need to bring enough clothing to last you the entire week, plus a few extra items just in case.

Let’s start with the basics:

  • Underwear and socks for each day
  • Pants or skirts for each day
  • Tops for each day
  • A jacket or blazer
  • A pair of comfortable shoes

Toiletries and other essentials:

You cannot assume that your hotel will provide you with toiletries. While most do, not all do, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  • Toiletries bag
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap or body wash
  • Lotion
  • Makeup and makeup remover
  • Hair brush or comb
  • Contact lenses and solution, if you wear them
  • Extra glasses, if you need them
  • Feminine hygiene products

Technology

These days, it’s hard to imagine traveling without some form of technology.

  • Laptop
  • Chargers for all of your devices
  • Headphones
  • External hard drive
  • Camera

Misc.:

A man wearing suit standing next to his luggage.

There are a few other items you might want to consider packing as well.

  • Passport and travel documents
  • First aid kit
  • Snacks
  • Water bottle
  • Umbrella
  • Books or magazines
  • Empty bag for souvenirs
  • Any medications you take regularly
  • An umbrella
  • A travel pillow
  • A scarf or shawl (for chilly offices)
  • A blanket (for long flights)
  • Noise-cancelling headphones (for long flights)
  • A book or movie (for long flights)
  • Snacks (for long flights)
  • An adapter, if you’re traveling to a country with a different type of electrical outlet
  • Portable charger or battery pack

If your child is coming with you on your week-long business trip, you’ll need additional items for them.

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Babies and toddlers:

  • a stroller
  • a diaper bag packed with diapers, wipes, extra clothes, and any other necessary items
  • formula or breast milk, if you are not able to nurse
  • baby food and snacks
  • a comfort item such as a blanket or toy

Children aged 5 and up:

  • a small backpack packed with snacks, a water bottle, any necessary medications, and a change of clothes
  • entertainment such as books, coloring books, or handheld electronic games
  • a comfort item such as a blanket or stuffed animal

Pets:

If you’re bringing your furry friend along on your business trip, you’ll need to pack a few extra things for them as well.

  • food and water bowls
  • enough food and water for the entire trip
  • a leash
  • a collar or harness with ID tags
  • waste bags
  • toys and treats
  • a bed or blanket
  • any necessary medications

You’ll also need to be sure that your hotel allows pets before you book your stay.

3. Month-Long (or longer) Business Trip

Business persons on the airport with their luggage.

If you’re going on a business trip that will last a month or longer, you’ll need to pack accordingly. This means bringing enough clothes to last the entire trip, as well as any toiletries and other items you may need. Here is a packing list for a month-long business trip:

Clothes

  • 10-14 shirts/blouses
  • 7-10 pants/skirts
  • 2-3 dresses
  • 2-5 shoes
  • 10-14 socks/hosiery
  • 1-2 outerwear (jacket, coat)

You’ll want to make sure you work out where you can do laundry – whether at a laundromat or with your hotel. To figure out how much laundry you’ll need to do, consider wearing clothes more than once and packing items that can be easily washed (like jeans or skirts).

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Toiletries

Again, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough of everything to last the entire trip. This includes:

  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • floss
  • mouthwash
  • deodorant
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • soap
  • razor
  • makeup
  • sunscreen

Don’t forget any medications you may need, as well. If you have allergies, be sure to pack your EpiPen!

Travel Documents

A person holding her passport and a map.

Of course, you’ll need to make sure you have all of your travel documents in order before you go. This includes:

  • passport
  • visa (if required)
  • tickets
  • itinerary
  • hotel reservations
  • rental car information
  • ATM card
  • Cash

Be sure to pack these items in a safe and easily accessible place. A travel wallet is a great option to keep everything organized.

Technology

If you’re traveling for business, chances are you’ll need to bring some technology with you. This may include:

  • laptop/tablet
  • cell phone
  • charger
  • headphones
  • memory cards/sticks
  • external hard drive (if needed)

Pack these items carefully to avoid damage. You may also want to consider investing in travel insurance for your electronics.

If you’re presenting at a conference or meeting, you’ll also need any materials related to that (e.g., slides, handouts).

Office Supplies

If you’re traveling for business, you’ll likely need to bring some office supplies with you. This may include:

  • notepad
  • pens/pencils
  • paperclips
  • stapler
  • scissors
  • tape

Other Items

Depending on your trip, you may need to pack other items. For example:

  • a travel pillow and blanket if you’re flying
  • books or magazines for entertainment
  • snacks and drinks for the plane or car
  • an umbrella or raincoat
  • a swimsuit if you’re staying in a hotel with a pool
  • formal clothing if you’re attending a business dinner or event
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If you’re traveling with family, you may need to pack items for them as well (e.g., diapers, formula, toys).

Babies and toddlers

A woman on her car with her baby.

If you are traveling with a child aged 5 or younger, you’ll need to bring the following items:

  • child car seat
  • stroller
  • diaper bag
  • diapers
  • wipes
  • formula/food
  • clothes
  • toys/entertainment
  • books
  • movies
  • music
  • portable game console
  • blanket/sleeping bag
  • pillows

You’ll also want to make sure you have a diaper bag packed and ready to go at all times. This should include diapers, wipes, a change of clothes for the child, and snacks.

Children Aged 5 and Up

If you’re traveling with a child aged 5 and up, you’ll need to bring the following items:

  • clothes
  • shoes
  • outerwear
  • toys/entertainment
  • books
  • movies
  • music
  • portable game console
  • blanket/sleeping bag
  • pillows

You’ll also want to make sure you have a bag packed with snacks and drinks, as well as any medications the child may need.

Pets

If you’re travelling with a pet, you’ll need to bring the following items:

  • food and water bowls
  • food
  • treats
  • toys
  • bedding
  • crate/carrier
  • harness/leash
  • poop bags

You’ll also want to make sure you have a travel plan for your pet, including where they will stay while you’re away and how you will get them there.

The most important thing to remember when packing for a business trip is to pack what you need. This means bringing enough clothes and toiletries to last the entire trip, as well as any technology or other items you may need. By doing this, you can avoid having to buy anything while you’re away, which can save you time and money.

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This is just a basic packing list for a month-long business trip. You may need to add or remove items depending on the specifics of your trip (e.g., if you’re flying or driving, if you’re staying in a hotel or an apartment, etc.).

Making the Most Out of Your Luggage Space

Different accessories wrap inside a luggage bag.

When packing for a business trip, it’s important to make the most of your luggage space. This means packing efficiently and using all available space. Here are some tips for doing this:

  • Use packing cubes or bags to organize your clothes. This will help you fit more into your suitcase and keep things from getting wrinkled.
  • Roll your clothes instead of folding them. This will also help you fit more into your suitcase and prevent wrinkles.
  • Put heavier items at the bottom of your suitcase and lighter items on top.
  • Utilize all pockets and compartments in your suitcase, including the pockets in the lid.
  • If you’re traveling with a laptop, use it to store items like chargers and cords.
  • If you’re traveling with a carry-on bag, pack it as full as possible to avoid having to check it at the airport.

Packing for a business trip doesn’t have to be difficult. By following these tips, you can make sure you have everything you need without overpacking.

Making a Hotel Room Home

When traveling for a long period of time, it’s important to make your hotel room feel like home. This can help you avoid homesickness and make the trip more enjoyable. To do this, you can:

  • Bring pictures of family and friends
  • Bring a favorite pillow or blanket
  • Buy or bring small items to decorate the room
  • Pack a small care package with your favorite snacks and drinks
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By making your hotel room feel like home, you can help make the trip more enjoyable and less stressful.

If you have a young child or a pet travelling with you, you’ll also need to consider their needs when packing for the trip. This may include bringing extra food, a travel bed or crate, and toys. By thinking about the needs of everyone in your party, you can make sure everyone has a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

Choosing a Place to Stay

A man stretching his arms inside the room.

Sometimes your employer will complete all of your travel arrangements for you. But depending on the purpose of the trip, you may have some say in where you stay. If this is the case, here are some things to consider when choosing a place to stay:

  • Distance from the conference center or meeting location
  • Proximity to restaurants and other amenities
  • Price
  • Room amenities (e.g., Wi-Fi, cable TV, mini-fridge)
  • Hotel amenities (e.g., pool, gym, business center)
  • reviews

You’ll also want to make sure you’re comfortable with the location of your hotel. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the city, you may want to choose a hotel that’s centrally located. But if you’re going to be spending most of your time at the conference center or meeting location, you may want to choose a hotel that’s closer to that.

Additional Helpful Tips

In addition to the packing lists, here are a few other helpful tips to make your business trip go smoothly:

  • Make sure you have all the necessary travel documents well in advance of your trip. This includes your passport, visa (if necessary), and travel insurance documents.
  • Keep copies of important documents, such as your passport and travel insurance information, in a safe place in case you lose the originals.
  • Pack light! This will make it easier to move around and avoid excess baggage fees.
  • Invest in a good quality suitcase or duffel bag. This will make packing and unpacking a breeze.
  • Make sure your laptop and other electronics are fully charged before you leave. It’s also a good idea to bring along extra batteries or a portable charger, just in case.
  • If you’re traveling by air, wear comfortable clothing and shoes. This will make going through security a lot easier.
  • If you’re renting a car, be sure to bring along your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and credit card.
  • Be sure to pack any medications you may need in their original containers. It’s also a good idea to bring along a copy of your prescriptions, just in case.
  • If you’re traveling to a foreign country, be sure to research the local customs and laws. This will help you avoid any potential problems.
  • Finally, don’t forget to have fun! Business trips can be a great opportunity to explore new places and meet new people.
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The Bottom Line

Overall, there’s a lot to consider when packing for a business trip. You need to think about the purpose of the trip, how long you’ll be gone, and what you’ll need to be comfortable. By following the packing lists and tips above, you can make sure you have everything you need for a successful trip.