Packing List for a Four Day Business Trip

Last week I mentioned that I discovered a new blog called Outfit Posts, where the blogger takes pictures of her outfits every morning. I love everything she puts together! She travels for work a lot, and has a really great post about how to pack for 30 days in one suitcase. While I have gotten the odd question about long business trips, most of the time I get asked what to pack for four days. For the experienced business traveler, clothes for four days are pretty simple to fit in a suitcase. For the newbie, though, it can be quite a challenge!

My first business trip I took four separate outfits, with four pairs of shoes to match, and enough toiletries to fill up half of my suitcase. (The suitcase that I couldn’t lift, and wouldn’t have fit into an overhead bin even if I could. For four days! It’s embarrassing, to think of it now.) So, for the woman who is a new business traveler, I have put together a packing list for a four day trip. But it gets better! Not only have I put together a list, but I have taken pictures from a recent trip of everything before it goes into my suitcase, and once it’s all in.

Want more help? Download the Road Warriorette Business Travel Packing Checklist!

Here is the generic list:

• Two bottoms, one comfortable for travel (i.e. slacks and a skirt)
• Coordinating suit jackets if needed
• Four tops that coordinate with both of your bottoms
• At least one light jacket or sweater (unless you need a heavier jacket)
• No more than three pairs of shoes, including a pair of flip flops or running shoes
• Enough undergarments, including socks/hose
• Jewelry/belts/scarves
• PJs
• Workout clothes
• Toiletries and makeup
• Curling iron (or other styling aids)

Here is my specific list:
Navy slacks (Gap)
Black slacks (Banana Republic)
Green cardigan (this one but green) with white camisole (both from Target)
Pink cardigan (Talbots) with navy camisole (Target)
Purple sweater (similar to this one from Banana Republic)
Turquoise cardigan (Old Navy) with multicolored blouse (Ann Taylor)
Nude flats (Cole Haan)
Yellow flats (Old Navy)
• Yoga pants (Target) and long sleeved tee (Old Navy) for sleeping
• Jewelry and belts
• Toiletries, liquids bag, makeup, curling iron
• Flip flops (Old Navy)
• Tablecloth (because I did trade shows during my trip)

Here is a picture of all of my different outfits:

a collage of different clothes

Everything laid out on the bed:

a group of clothes and shoes on a bed

And here is everything all packed up neatly in my suitcase!

a suitcase with items in it

It’s not 30 outfits, but you could easily fit a dress and a skirt in there and make quite a few. So newbie travelers, don’t despair! It’s definitely possible to dress stylishly for business travel, and still have it fit into a carry-on.

Packing essentials business trip


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  1. […] Boarding Area’s Road Warriorette wants you to think in threes as you prepare to pack your next pair of shoes. Stop squeezing shoes into your carry-on and start wearing your most stylish and comfortable walking shoes on your flight, and pack two other pairs for your trip — that’s it! For men, try a pair of loafers in the evenings. For women, try low day-to-night heels. For both sexes, consider sneakers to work out while you’re away! […]


  1. ITA. I’ve only ever had a carryon suitcase and is the same amount of space whether its two days or two weeks. It does get heavier in the winter though…

  2. You don’t bag your shoes?? Perhaps I’m overly OCD, but I shudder thinking of all the crap (literally, since shoes are worn in public bathrooms) on my shoes getting on to my clean clothes.

  3. I’m so glad we’re done with winterish traveling. Just changing out my clothes for our next series of trips and it is so nice to go back to lighter clothes. So tired of lugging coats/boots.

  4. Half a suitcase of toiletries – been there!!! 🙂 Great information and packing. Thank you!

  5. I travel for 2-3 days every 10 days or so and use only a large rolling laptop/suitcase plus a leather totebag/purse.

    I always have my running shoes and they take up more space than anything else, but I’ve learned that I can run in the same clothes 2 or 3 times and while they stink to high heaven, it saves space and I’m the only one who has to touch them.

    I plan the outfits to go with one pair of dress shoes, and I wear them on the plane too.

    I generally do not need a suit and can get buy with skirts/pants and blouses/sweaters. I wear one outfit on the plane and for work that day, wear one to work and home on the last day and then only need to fit two bottoms and two tops.

    I also have a set of bamboo sleepwear (pants and T) that work for trips to the vending machine too. And socks, in case my feet are cold.

    Usually I can fit my laptop in the designated sleeve too.

    My tote bag is a coach diaper bag–awesome with a tone elastic pockets that hold chargers, bluetooth, phone, snacks etc.

    More than 3 days and I’m in a suitcase, but my roller laptop bag is serving me well so far.

  6. I like the outfits. And yes, you absolutely can dress stylishly with a carry on.

    I’m wondering if you couldn’t achieve the same effect with a less sweaters and more scarves. I like to take neutral sweaters and bright tops. I also like statement necklaces.

    To further reduce weight plan on sink laundry for undies & workout gear (or use the guest laundry at the hotel). Once you do that you can go for weeks on end.

  7. This is exactly what I need as I prep for a 5 day conference after 13+ hours of air travel. I’m heading someplace that’s 30 degrees warmer so packing is a lot lighter/less bulky than it was a couple of days ago when I traveled elsewhere in Europe. Thanks for sharing the photos too!

  8. @ Claire – I agree about covering shoe bottoms. I use clear shower caps to protect while taking up little space and still being able to see the item. This also allows the shoes to be packed next to anything.

    Also, I stuff socks/undies in my shoes to save space. And I tend to wear the suit on the plane if I need to wear one in a given week

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