Overnight business trips can be great fun, but they are stressful too. You’ll have a busy schedule, plenty of meetings, and lots to think about - but packing doesn’t need to be stressful too.
Understanding how to pack for an overnight business trip is slightly more complex than packing for a holiday. You need to ensure you have the appropriate outfits for a variety of work situations, something to wear when you’re relaxing and all the technology you need to work remotely on your travels. Yet you don’t want to pack too much. There’s nothing worse than hauling a huge, overweight suitcase through the city when you’re trying to look sharp for your next meeting.
So check out this handy guide, and use our business travel packing list to make your next work trip much less stressful.
What’s the dress code?
Is the dress code the same for all of your meetings and events?
What’s the weather like at your destination?
With this information, you can plan your wardrobe. The goal is taking as little as possible, while making sure you have everything you need to dress appropriately to the situation. On some trips, one outfit might suffice and you could take as little as a change of underwear and a spare t-shirt, neatly packed in an overnight burrito. Other trips might require a little more planning, with multiple changes of clothes.
Business Travel Packing Tips.
Adopt a Travel Uniform.If you work away on a regular basis, and your job doesn’t require a strict uniform like a suit and tie, you could consider curating a work travel uniform. Chinos, a shirt and a woolen blazer paired with a pair of brogues will keep you looking sharp in most situations, and doesn’t look out of place in a more casual setting too.
Choose fabric carefully.Woolen suits tend to crease less and resist odors better than linen or cotton. Silk boxer shorts are lightweight, comfortable and pack small. Merino t-shirts and socks are easy to wear day-in, day-out. By choosing clothing carefully, you can curate a wardrobe that’s no-fuss, and will look smart even after a long journey.
Be space efficient.Where possible, choose clothing and accessories that are lightweight and packable. That will allow you to pack a smaller bag, which is easier to carry on planes, trains and taxis. Do you really need to take a 17” laptop anymore?
Keep it light.No matter how big your bag, keep it lightweight. Save your energy for the meeting room, not lugging your bag about town. No-one likes turning up to a meeting drenched in sweat!
Modular packing.Use travel packing cubes ( or bag organisers to group your gear and keep them to hand. Work clothes might go in one cube, while leisure clothes go in another. Pack your cables into a small pouch, and your toiletries in a dopp kit. This makes it easier to pack in the first place, will make it easy to find things in your bag, keeping everything organised and as compact as possible.
Choose the right bag.
For a short trip that doesn’t need too many changes of clothes, a smart work messenger bag works well in most situations. You can carry work items and your clothing all in one bag, and save a whole lot of hassle. If you need more changes of clothes, we’d suggest limiting yourself to a hand-luggage backpack. This makes travelling easier, quicker and helps you to pass through airports and train stations with ease.
This is the bare minimum, based on an overnight busines trip. Adjust according to your requirements and dress-code.
1 x Business Suit / Blazer (Wear this in transit to avoid creasing)
2 x Pair of Trousers (one being worn, one packed)
2 x Cotton Shirts (one being worn, one packed. Synthetic shirts will get sweaty)
1 x Leather Shoes
1 x Casual Shoes or Trainers
1 x Leather Belt to match shoes.
1 x Tie (if required)
1 x Socks
1 x Underwear
1 x Lounge Pants (for relaxing at the hotel)
1 x T-shirt
1 x Toiletry bag
1 x Travel Adapter Plug (for overseas trips)
1 x Headphones
Work Related Items.
Laptop / iPad
Documents (digitise these if you can to save space)
Top TipIf you need to take heavy or bulky items for work, like product samples or display materials, consider posting them ahead.
‘Just in Case’ just adds weight.
Avoid taking ‘just in case’ items that are unlikely to be used. The goal is to pack efficiently, and it’s easy to pick up spare clothing, toiletries and electronics in any city in the world should the worst happen.
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That's it! Now you know how to pack for an overnight business trip! Keep practicing, and keep curating your business travel packing list to suit your needs. You'll be the envy of your colleagues in no time!