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What to Pack for a Short Term Work Trip

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Packing for a short- term business trip can be a task. While you may want all of your items to fit

securely in a carry- on luggage for accessibility, packing for the unexpected event or outing to

get the most out of your travel experience is also important. If you’re wondering what essentials you should be packing for a short work trip, we’ve got you covered.

Carry- on Luggage is BEST for Short Term Travel

When you’re traveling short term, there’s not much room for travel mishaps such as missing

luggage. Carry-on luggage is your best option to keep your items with you on the plane and

bypass the baggage claim process after de-boarding the plane. Packing carry-on luggage can be

easy and efficient. Just be sure to adhere to TSA packing guidelines for a smooth and easy

transition through the airport. For a full breakdown on those rules and out best tips, check out

our article about Travel Packing Tips That Comply with TSA Guidelines. In short, here are some of the most important guidelines:

  • Check with Your airline for applicable carry on sizing. Airlines are not one size fits all!

  • Minimize your liquids to comply with TSA using the 3-1-1 rule.

  • Plan to remove your work electronics ahead of time by placing them in the front

  • Consider TSA Pre-Check for the frequent work traveler

Our best practices to successfully packing a carry- on luggage is packing cubes. Organize your

luggage by day or by category. This not only saves you a ton of space in your luggage but makes

it easier to plan each day’s attire for your work trip. Packing cubes completely change the game

for over packers and are inexpensive and easy to find at your favorite retailer. You will thank yourself for making this change later.

Duality is Important in Picking Attire| What to Pack for a Business Trip

When choosing what to pack for your short trip, less is more but duality is important. Look for

items in your closet that can easily be dressed up or down for work or a night on the town. For

women, a black dress that can be dressed professionally with a blazer or dressed down with a

moto jacket goes a long way. Same for men, removing a blazer can take you from work to dinner.

Although items may vary by gender and personal preference, some staples that you’ll always need in your short- term work travel luggage include:

3 Tops (2 Dress and 1 Casual) Remember that these can be dressed up by outer wear

Men: (2) Bottoms: 1 Dress Pant and 1 Casual | Women: (3) Bottoms: 1 Dress Pant, 1

Skirt, 1 Casual

1 Blazer in a Neutral Color

Women: 1 Dress

3 to 4 Pairs of Underwear

3 Pairs of Socks

1 Set of Pjs

2 Pairs of Shoes (1 Dress/ 1 Casual)

Optional Athleisure attire

1 Outing Outfit

Less is More but Don’t forget these 5 Essentials

So, you’ve got your luggage packed and you’re prepared for TSA guidelines. Now, no work trip

is complete without some essentials to conduct day to day business tasks.

  • Business Cards: Stock up on new business cards prior to leaving for your work trip. The amount will depend on the size of the event or meeting that you are attending

  • Electronics: Remember the TSA guidelines. Laptops and other electronics will be expected to be removed from your bag. Be sure to keep them in an accessible place in the front of your carry- on luggage for accessibility.

  • Pack Your Itinerary and Travel Documents: Business trips are typically planned by someone else and the last thing you want is to be unsure of where things are located and what time you’re expected to be there. Keep a copy of your flight information, rental car or driver’s information, hotel reservations, meeting times and other information in a secure location. Also, remember to back it up in your phone.

  • Envelope or Pencil Pouch: When on a business trip, it’s essential to keep track of your out of pocket expenses. A labeled envelop or Pencil pouch is the perfect solution to keeping track of those receipts and other documentation.

  • Consider a travel steamer or DIY it in the Shower: One of the most important aspects of your business travel trip is the wardrobe and packing a suit isn’t always easy. Packing a travel steamer is a great way to get the creases out of hard to manage clothing such as suits, dress pants and blazers. If you don’t have one, no worries! Life Hack: Hanging your clothing item in the bathroom, turning on a hot shower and closing the door works great for releasing wrinkles in a pinch.

Find more tips for successful business travel at

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