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As you start to travel almost every week, your packing list gets pretty routine. You might find yourself packing for your work trip in less than fifteen minutes! My packing list for business travel is pretty similar to my packing list for personal travel, just the types of clothes that I bring will change. If you travel frequently enough, you might find it helpful to keep some items permanently in your suitcase, and only repack your clothing every week.
Always in my suitcase
Especially if you are traveling often enough, it might make sense to have “doubles” of some of your items, so you do not have to pack and unpack them every single week. I keep the following items in my suitcase at all times:
- Face Wash
- Hairbrush & hair ties
- Cotton balls
- Make-up remover
- Back-up tampons
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Spare phone charger
- Laundry bag (Folds up and came with my Away Bigger Carry-On!)
My toiletries are travel sized versions that I keep in a travel case. I keep my shower items (shampoo, conditioner, face wash) in one plastic bag, and the remaining items in another. This helps me unpack quickly when I arrive at the hotel.
Packed each week
When I am traveling for work, I always bring enough clothes for number of days that I am traveling, plus one extra day. You never know when you will spill something on your shirt, or you get stranded somewhere overnight! If I was traveling Tuesday through Thursday (2 nights), and I wore my business casual or a suit on the plane there, then I would pack in my suitcase:
- 3 button-ups
- 1-2 bottoms (pants or skirts)
- One pair of nice jeans, no holes
- One pair of heels
- One pair of casual shoes (sandals or flats)
- 3 pairs of underwear
- 3 pairs of no-show socks
- One set of pajamas
- Make-up case
This is assuming I am wearing a button-up, jacket, business pants and heels to the airport. I will alternate my shoes and bottoms throughout the week, and I do not mind re-wearing them. My make-up case contains all of my daily-wear make-up, and since I use the same make-up on the weekends I will repack this each week. Depending on your routine, it may make sense to have doubles of your make-up as well.
In my work bag
My biggest fear is the idea of leaving my laptop charger at home. It has actually happened once in my life when I arrived to a client – fortunately I was able to share a charger with a coworker, but my dad had to ship my charger to my hotel overnight. Most of these items are always in my work bag and travel with me even to the office, but I wanted to go ahead and include my checklist here.
- Work laptop & charger
- Wireless mouse
- Wireless headphones
- Phone charger
- Office/client badges
- Pens & a notepad
- Passport (I always travel with my Passport because I am weird!)
These items are always in my bag, so I will usually have them on the road as well. You never realize how badly you miss your wireless mouse until the day that you accidentally lave it at home!
Expected at the hotel
There are a few items that I do not carry with me, because I expect my hotel to have them. If you are not picky about your toiletries like shampoo or conditioner, it would be much easier to just use the hotel versions rather than worrying about leaks in your suitcase. These items include:
- Hand lotion
- Water bottles (free water with Platinum!)
- Hair dryer
The single most important thing to bring on your business trip, honestly, is your work laptop. If you need toiletries that aren’t found in your hotel room, you can often call the front desk and they can bring additional toiletries to you. I ran out of toothpaste and forgot to re-pack it for about three weeks in a row, and fortunately the hotel always has toothpaste packets to offer. Everything else, you can buy on the road. Don’t stress too much, and enjoy your expense-free trip!