August 24, 2023

The Professional’s Guide to Packing for a Business Trip

The Professional’s Guide to Packing for a Business Trip

Who doesn't want an excuse to travel?

Business trips are a great way to meet new people and expand your professional network. Plus, they're a good opportunity to explore a new locale—depending on your line of work and your employer, you might not even have to pay for your flight or hotel. But business travel can also be stressful, especially if you’re not prepared.

The key to smooth business travel is planning ahead and using a comprehensive business trip packing list.

Business Travel Packing List Essentials

Knowing what items you need to pack beforehand helps ensure that you don’t leave anything important behind and are fully prepared for the journey ahead.


When it comes to packing for a business trip, the most important thing you need to consider is what type of clothing to bring. Generally, that means you'll need to pack two categories of clothing: business attire for work-related events and casual clothing that you'd bring with you on any other trip.

Professional and Business Casual

Other Essential Clothing Items



3 Packing Tips For A Smooth Business Trip

No matter how much you love to travel, business trips can be stressful. On top of all of the regular travel stressors, you have work responsibilities to consider. And that means arriving on time and looking professional. While nothing can stop a delayed flight or missed connection, you can avoid other problems, like lost or damaged items and wrinkled clothes, by following the business travel tips we’ve outlined below.

1. Store important items in your carry-on

If you can, it's best to avoid checking a bag by packing everything in your carry-on. But if you must check your luggage, make sure you pack the most items in your carry-on bag.

Last year, lost baggage claims increased by 30%—and the more often you travel, the greater your risk of mishandled or lost luggage. This is a major inconvenience if you're on vacation. But if you're traveling for business, a missing suitcase can lead to disaster.

If all of your clothing is in your checked bag and the airline loses it, you won't have appropriate clothing to wear to conferences and other events during your trip. Depending on the expectations of the industry you work in this may not be a big concern. But it can still create uncomfortable situations, especially if you're hoping to make a good impression.

You know what items you'll need most during your business trip—but if you're packing in a hurry, it can be easy to forget things. Double-check your carry-on packing list and make sure it includes these essential items:

2. Roll, don’t fold, your clothes

We always advise rolling your clothes to help save space in your bag. But we especially recommend it for business travel because it helps you avoid wrinkled clothes that can make a well-planned outfit look like a last-minute effort.

As a traveling professional, you're probably packing button-down shirts, jackets, and slacks—all of which are prone to wrinkling. And you don't want to wake up and iron your clothes after a long day of travel, especially if you already have a busy day planned.

Folding your clothes introduces creases that create wrinkles. And the more folds and creases, the more wrinkles you'll create. While you'll have to fold your clothes to create a rollable, rectangular shape, rolling your clothes still requires fewer creases than basic folding techniques. And that means you're less likely to have to iron your outfit before you start your workday.

3. Invest in high-quality luggage

The more you travel for work, the faster your luggage will wear, which is why it's worth the investment to buy high-quality, durable travel bags up front.

High-quality suitcases are typically made of strong, durable materials that can stand up to the wear and tear associated with frequent travel. They're also lightweight, allowing you to pack more without adding extra weight to your luggage. We recommend checking out our Travel Bags collection to find the right fit for you.

Buying a good bag comes with other benefits as well:

Functional Luggage for Traveling Professionals

The best bag for your business trip often depends on how long you'll be gone. If you're traveling for a business meeting or conference, you'll only be gone for a few days and likely will only need a personal item and a carry-on bag. But for longer trips, you'll need a larger bag to accommodate a longer packing checklist.

For quick trips when we’re packing light, we love our Tri-Star because the built-in dividers combined with our packing cubes make it easy to organize everything in our carry-on, from our clothes to our laptop. It's also TSA-approved and incredibly versatile. We can wear it as a backpack or shoulder bag through the airport. Then for a smooth transition from the airport to a professional setting, we can switch to carrying it as a briefcase.

We also love briefcase style bags like the Pilot and Western Flyer for business travel. As a slightly smaller bag, the Pilot is the perfect size for a personal item when we fly, especially since it has just enough space for our laptop. The Western Flyer is a bit larger, but still not as big as the Tri-Star, which gives us plenty of additional space for things like an extra pair of shoes, more clothing, or promotional swag we pick up from sponsors at corporate events.

But just because these bags work for us doesn't mean you have to use them. Take a look at our full inventory of bags to find one that you like. Or let us know what bag or organizer tools you use for work trips(and why) in the comments to help fellow travelers have a smooth trip.


Matt - September 8, 2023

Hi – Just saw the email about the Trinity. Is the Tristar going away? If not, what are some reasons a person might choose one over the other? Thanks!

Andreas Demetriades - August 27, 2023

I have to agree that my Tri-Star has been a real game changer for business trips lasting 2 – 4 days. A shoulder bag in just too heavy to carry across a busy city (with multiple modes of transport involved – trains, walking, buses, subway etc.) And a rolling overnighter case becomes a hassling when wheeling along pavements, carrying up steps etc. I love the way I can carry the Tri-Star on my back – so comfortable and convenient – and the weight just disappears. And then when I reach hotel or workplace, I can tuck the straps away, and I look really smart & professional. Plus the organisation is just brilliant – a place for everything, and easy to find. When I need an additional bag, I take my Pilot or Co-Pilot – makes for a perfect combination. And when you get the bags just right, it makes the rest of trip so much more comfortable/ pleasant/ enjoyable.

tcm - August 29, 2023

I love my Aeronaut 45 and will be bringing on a 4-day work trip and packing clothes, toiletries, and a pair of shoes. I typically use it as a backpack. However, I’m looking for advice!
Normally I carry a second bag – a tote bag for a book, water bottle, etc. But this time, I’m traveling for work and I’m bringing a laptop as well and I’ve been carrying that in a backpack too.

What second bag would you recommend? I could wear my work backpack and carry my Aeronaut in my hand, but I’ll be walking a lot. Should I stick with the Aeronaut as a backpack and then a tote for my laptop and all?
TOM BIHN replied:
Hi TCM! I would say most folks stick with their Aeronaut as a backpack and use a crossbody bag or tote as a secondary bag—the Aeronaut is usually the heaviest bag people carry, so it usually is best for more people to distribute that weight over both shoulders. If you have a smaller 13-14" laptop, that could work in a tote like the Pop Tote or a bag like the Pilot. For a bigger 15"-16" laptop, something like the Cadet would fit that larger size of laptop better.

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