Packing list for every trip

clothes in a suitcaseAfter the large amount of business travel I did in the last few months (ten trips in four months, including that two week conference!), I really started thinking about things I pack for every trip. There’s the obvious stuff, like clothes and makeup. But then there’s the less obvious stuff—my little bag of office supplies, for example, or face wipes. So I went through all over my various packing lists and put together this comprehensive version. Most of this, like the toiletries, comfort bag, office supplies bag, chargers, travel umbrella, and pashmina, live in my suitcase or travel purse so I never have to mess with them. It looks like a lot, but I make good use of every last thing!

In the suitcase:

  • Skirt or pants for every two days
  • Top for every day
  • Flip flops/sneakers (depending on time of year)
  • Two pairs of work shoes
  • Sleep clothes
  • Workout clothes
  • Jewelry/belts/scarves
  • Socks (if needed)
  • Toiletries
  • Curling Iron
  • Umbrella
  • Makeup

In purse:

  • Chargers
  • Laptop
  • Books/magazines/Kindle
  • Knitting
  • Purse stuff: wallet, keys, phone, lipstick
  • Dollar bills for tipping
  • Passport, any necessary itinerary papers (especially for international travel)
  • Snacks/water (usually purchased at the airport)
  • Business cards
  • Pashmina
  • Office supplies (in a small bag): pen, highlighter, notepad, wireless mouse, binder clips, flash drive, headphones with microphone
  • Comfort items (in a small bag): Emergen-C, eye mask, lip balm, tea bags, Splenda, ibuprofen, tums

Possible extras:

  • Coat/jacket
  • Swimsuit
  • Jeans


  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Razor
  • Face wash
  • Hydrating mist
  • Eye cream (spare contacts case)
  • Moisturizer (spare contacts case)
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Contact case and solution
  • Glasses
  • Hair cream (spare contacts case)
  • Face wipes
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion
  • Feminine products

Readers, did I miss anything? What do you take on every trip?

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  1. This is a good list to keep near my suitcase to get started packing my list in my head is similar but it’s good to have a written one!

  2. Great list. Very similar to my standard packing list for business. Other things I always carry: Pashmina (a good traveler always knows where her “towel” is); Suit Jacket or 2 (necessary evils); extra ziplock bags; a tide pen for stains; and a couple loads of laundry detergent (since I often take multi-week trips — I buy those all in one sheets).

    I’m thinking about buying a collapsible water bottle and carrying a set of travel silverware, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on those yet.

  3. Did you mention undies? Just came back from a holiday where OH forgot his and we spent a quite some time searching out some that weren’t designer priced. Won’t need to buy any more for ages though!

  4. I’m curious about the workout clothes. I’m about to take a Monday to Thursday consulting job and am training for a marathon. I run every morning. Do other dedicated exercisers take one set of clothes and just wash them out in the shower or do they make room for multiples?

  5. ditto on the sunglasses and camera.

    i also keep extra ziplock and plastic bags. the plastic bags have come in handy when shoes or clothes get wet or dirty.

  6. I am a dedicated exerciser who travels Sunday – Thursday. This is my packing routine that works amazing (clothing wise):

    I have a pair of Puma shoes that collapse really well, I squish those together. Some people wear theirs on the plane to save space – if you prefer to have your good “solid” shoes you may need to deal with taking them off at the airport.

    1 space bag for gym clothes:
    2 pairs of wunder unders
    1 pair running crops
    2 pairs of shorts (I love o’neill 365 – the fabric is amazing in regards to bacteria)
    4-5 tops/sports bras. These tops will also serve as my casual tops if I cannot wear my work tops out.

    1 space bag for work tops/sweaters:
    5 work tops
    2 sweaters (keep everything in a 3 color “family”)
    1 travel-friendly and work appropriate dress

    Roll the following:
    2 pairs of pants
    1 skirt (maybe)

    2 regular bras & 2 Ta-ta-tamers/more substantial running bras that do not roll in the space bags. Folded in half into a very sturdy “ball”. These go into the top corner of my carryon so they do not get smashed/snagged.

    I do not bring jeans. Anything casual enough for jeans is wunder-under appropriate with a tunic and sweater either with jeans or flats.

    Luckily you will not need a workout bag unless you run on treadmills at the gym. If you want to bring one, I HIGHLY recommend the Lululemon Pack Your Practice Bag. It is a huge tote with drawstrings that scrunch it into a cute smaller purse and it folds up to fit into a small, packabe pouch like the Tumi Just In Case tote. This has started serving as my gym bag/purse. Before, I loaded up a huge Lululemon bag and packed a smaller, packable purse in my suitcase.

    I have a very slim Tumi T-Pass bag to save space in my suitcase, that goes on top of the rolled up space bags and clothing. Underwear are in ziplocks with the air squeezed out and socks are stuffed whereever there is room.

    1 pair of flats
    1 pair of heels

    Yes, I really fit all of this in a Travelpro carryon. It took a long time to perfect my system and is definitely a bit overpacked…. But you never know when your plans will change and you will be stuck somewhere another night or two. I usually end up with 2 extra shirts when I return and may have extra gym clothes if it’s been a busy week.

    This bag alone weighs about 45 pounds when packed – so it is a bit of a workout lifting it up into the overhead, but I have never had a problem with it.

    My travel tote is either a Lululemon workout bag or my Tumi boarding tote. In this I carry my liquids, prescriptions, makeup, flatiron, vitamins and iPad. I used to love my boarding tote until I discovered my laptop fits perfectly in the pockets for a yoga mat (in the sacksana) or dirty clothes (in the bliss bag). This provides me with a bit more options during the week and while traveling.

    I hope this helps!

  7. Other stuff I always bring:-

    In my luggage I have a small ’emergencies’ pack, it contains:
    – lint remover
    – stain removing wipes
    – travel sewing kit
    – small roll of sellotape (aka scotch tape)
    – a black sharpie
    – small nailbrush
    – extra emergency pair of tights (aka hose)
    – eye-mask
    – ear plugs
    – condom (never used in over a year, but hey)
    – if I’m checking the bag then I add my small Opinel penknife, which has come in handy more times than I can mention

    In my handbag (aka purse):-
    – spork
    – deodorant wipes
    – hand wipes (I love wipes)

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