Pack efficiently with the Road Warriorette Business Trip Packing Checklist

a close-up of a checklistYou guys know I love talking about what to pack for your business trips. I’ve had my own packing lists and checklists galore for years, and gotten tons of requests from readers to share. Good news-today I am finally releasing my Business Trip Packing Checklist!

There is absolutely no reason to not be able to pack for a week in a carry-on. In fact, I know quite a few business travelers who have managed to pack for 2-3 weeks with just a rollaboard and travel purse. It can definitely be done, and more easily than you think.

Don’t worry if you’re feeling completely overwhelmed or if you think this sounds ridiculous. You’re not alone! My first year of business travel I packed way too much, resulting in checked baggage, lost luggage, and wasted time.

Packing efficiently is a learned skill for almost everyone. The checklist will help you plan your outfits in a way that minimizes what you need to pack.

Here are a few tips to get your started:

Plan ahead. Figure out exactly what situations will arise, such as travel, meetings, dinner, lounging, and working out. Then choose clothing items that can multitask. For example, you can lounge around your room in your PJs, or go to dinner in your work clothes. No need for a specific outfit for every occasion!

Use a capsule wardrobe. Capsule wardrobes are made up of clothing that can all be worn together, usually built around one neutral color such as black or navy.  

Small containers for toiletries. It is so easy for toiletries to take up half of your suitcase. For my first business trip, I brought full size containers of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and face care. No wonder I couldn’t lift my suitcase into the overhead bin!  Get a good set of 3 oz. reusable containers and transfer enough for your trip. Use spare contact lens cases for very small amounts, like face wash, moisturizer, and eye cream.

No more than 3 pairs of shoes. My rule of thumb is no more than three pairs of shoes, total, including the pair on your feet. In fact, for a week I generally only bring two pairs of shoes. This strategy requires you to be very mindful of your outfits, which is a good thing. If you need shoes for workouts, then you have to be even more careful! Wear your biggest shoes on the plane. If that is a pair of boots, make sure they are easy to take off and put on.

Readers, do you have a packing checklist you refer to for your trips? What’s on it?


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  1. I’ve been traveling for work every week for the past year and a half. I don’t actually use a checklist anymore, but I do have lots duplicate items that just live in my suitcase so I don’t have to remember to pack them every Monday morning. This includes most of my toiletries, toothbrush, a hair dryer and diffuser, and charging cords for my phone and Kindle.

    Something that I love for travel and haven’t seen you ever mention, are solid shampoo and conditioner bars. I refuse to use the hotel bottles and the fact that they are solid frees up valuable space in my liquids bag. I know that the company LUSH sells them in their stores in malls, but I don’t personally care for the ingredients they use in their bars. I buy mine from a small company called Get Lathered on Etsy and my hair loves them.
    Each bar lasts for months, so the price is well worth it and I re-use the packaging they come in to store the bars in my suitcase. I like these so much that I keep another set at home in my own shower too.

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