Whether you’re a frequent corporate traveler or only go on a few business trips every year, packing for meetings and trade shows can be a hassle. Minimize the time you spend staring at your empty suitcase with this business trip packing list.

Clothing and Accessories

You need to be prepared for business meetings, long layovers and morning workouts. Start packing with your itinerary in mind and consider which items can be worn more than once to keep your bag light.

Business-Appropriate Attire

Choose neutral bottoms to pair with multiple tops for different looks during your trip. If you plan to bring multiple pairs of pants or skirts, pack items of a similar color. This way, you can limit the number of shoes and belts you need to bring with you.

To keep your limited number of outfits from looking dull throughout your business trip, add statement accessories to your packing list. Necklaces, bracelets and watches dress up a neutral suit or solid shirt.

Outerwear and Layers

Depending on your destination and the time of year, you may experience very different temperatures throughout the day. Dressing in layers will help you prepare for varying weather and aggressive air conditioning.

Start with your suit jacket or a blazer that matches each of your bottoms. For more casual business events, you can also pack a sweater or cardigan. If necessary, bring appropriate outerwear as well: a winter coat, rain jacket (and umbrella), scarf, hat and mittens.

Casual Apparel

Unless you’re heading straight to a meeting from the airport, it’s okay to travel in comfortable clothes rather than a suit. Opt for fabrics that don’t wrinkle, can be worn again on your return trip and let you relax during your flight or drive.

Don’t forget to add pajamas, undergarments and socks to your business trip checklist. You may also want to add workout apparel and a casual outfit for exploring your destination.

Business-Specific Essentials

Packing for a business trip requires a few unique packing list items. Don’t sweat items that can easily be picked up at the hotel concierge. Instead, focus on must-haves, like your business cards.

  • Laptop and charger
  • Notebook, pens and sticky notes
  • Business cards
  • Place for expense receipts
  • WiFi hotspot
  • Breath mints
  • USB drive
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hospitality gift(s)

Travel Checklist Must-Haves

Like any trip, your business travel checklist should include physical copies of all necessary documents (itineraries and important addresses, boarding passes, confirmation numbers), passport and insurance information. Make sure your cellphone, charger, and, if necessary, a plug adapter, are also packed.

Travel-sized containers of your toiletries and medications must be packed. If you plan to only use a carryon, ensure your liquids and gels are under 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters).

There are plenty of other packing list items that are nice to have, but not necessary for every business trip. Consider bringing headphones, a book, related guide- or phrasebooks and a travel coffee mug as well.

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