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It’s been a while since we’ve discussed business travel — especially business travel must-haves. What things do you find indispensable in your travels? What do you keep packed in your bag, or make sure to bring or restock? In general what are your best business travel packing tips?
Some of the things readers have noted in the past are below in the graphic — the previously recommended travel humidifier (which blew my mind, great tip) is sold out, alas, so I’d love to hear if anyone has a new reliable one they love.
Business Travel Packing Tips: Readers’ Favorites
These are some of the Corporette readers’ favorite items for business travel…
Business Travel Packing Tips
What Tech to Bring
Readers have noted that laptop privacy screens are important — not only do they help with glare, they block the screen from view unless you’re immediately in front of it. Handy.
Extra cords, portable chargers, and (for international travel), travel adapters are awesome. If you’re in the U.S., at least, I’d also recommend a wall tap, which is the official name for “that thingy” that gives you extra outlets and USB chargers. It takes up almost no space, and can be great at the hotel as well as if you’re traveling and someone else has already claimed the charger. (Ask first, obviously.)
(I’m also bummed that Anker’s bright-red portable battery charger that plugged in is no more — the color always seemed so smart if you were traveling with it. I just got this newer, slimmer Anker model, and it does the job reliably.)
Note that if you’ve got a bag with a charger, such as the Away bags, you have to remove the charger if you’re checking the bag; even if you’re just using it as a carry-on they warn that you should be ready to demonstrate at the gate how to remove the charger.
Personal Items to Keep Packed
There are a ton of things that you can keep packed in your bag in miniature sizes or limited portions, such as Advil and other OTC medications, nail files or clippers, hand lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, perfume, makeup remover, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and so forth.
(I’ve even gone so far as to keep a bag of makeup packed just for trips — generally unopened sample-sized things like mascara, or affordable/less-preferred things like eyeliner, eyebrow pencil or gel, and more.)
Some things are especially great to keep handy for when you land to refresh yourself — face misting spray, for example (Caudalie and Evian’s face mists have always been reader favorites), or disposable toothbrushes or tooth wipes.
Business Travel Packing Tips: Some Of Our Must-Haves
Food to Bring on Business Travel
A number of readers have noted that they love bringing tiny bottles of Tabasco sauce to spice up boring airplane or hotel meals — others even noted that you can find packets of Tabasco sauce at Panera, and occasionally World Market has sriracha packets. (Amazon has a 6-pack of Tabasco miniatures for under $14.)
I tend to always have a protein bar in an outside bag pocket — handy in case of emergency. Ditto for Liquid IV or other hydration packets — so handy if you’re not drinking as much water as you normally do.
(I’m also a fan of bringing reusable water bottles when I travel — I vastly prefer cold water, so it’s easy to pop it into the fridge at night and have nice cold water ready for when I wake up. I tend to bring Nalgene bottles because they’re so lightweight, but obviously S’well, Hydroflask, or Stanley ones are really popular now.)
Also note that Minimus.biz is a website specializing in travel-sized products for personal care, food and dressings, and other travel accessories.
Block It Out: Noise! Lights!
Especially if you’ve got long flights for your business trip, an eye mask to block out light can be great. This Ostrich Pillow mask is compact but also serves as a pillow against the window (brilliant). If you’d prefer just a really good eye mask, I have this one from Manta and can confirm it blocks 100% of the light.
While we’re talking about filtering and blocking things — this is a huge personal preference, but you might also want to consider keeping some face masks like N95s tucked into your carry-on bag in case someone on the plane has a nasty cough, there’s an exciting new disease/variant circulating, you’re sitting for a long time at the gate but not in the air, or other reasons. The 3M Aura N95 comes individually wrapped and gets rave reviews for comfort.
Clothes and Shoes to Pack for Your Business Trip
A Lightweight Travel Scarf
The old office pashmina is a classic for a reason — it’s an extra layer of warmth (even over a blazer or coat), it can be used as a travel pillow, or you can drape it over a skirt while sitting if you want a bit more modesty. (If, for example, you’re like me and often sit cross-legged.)
These can be a great backup if your regular shoes turn out to be uncomfortable, and they can also be worn around the hotel room as slippers. Because they fold down so small (and many of them are so affordable), you can easily keep these in your bag…
Related: Totes with Travel Sleeves
Hunting for lightweight carry-ons with a trolley sleeve for your rolling bag? As of 2023, Tumi, Lo & Sons, Cole Haan, Vera Bradley, and Baggalini are your best bets if you’re looking for quality — but here are some other options (including super affordable Amazon ones) below. (Kat has this one and likes it!)
You also may want to look into travel cup holders like this one, designed to go on your rolling bag.
Related: Travel-Friendly Suits for Women
Hunting for travel-friendly suits for women or lightweight suits? As of 2023, some of our favorites include these brands/lines: 1) M.M.LaFleur, 2) Ministry of Supply, 3) Paul Smith, and 4) Talbots. (Not pictured: Eddie Bauer and Suitably! Brooks Brothers also occasionally has suiting in their BrooksCool line, and Uniqlo occasionally has Airism suiting. ) You may also want to check out our roundup of washable suits for women!
Related: Reversible Work Clothes
Hunting for the best reversible workwear? There is a surprising amount out there right now — as of Nov. 2023, we’d recommend taking a look at White House | Black Market, Aday, Wool&*, DvF, Lafayette 148 New York*, and Akris. (Asterisks have plus sizes as well as regular sizes!)
Readers, how about you — what are your top business travel packing tips? What are the things you keep packed, restock, or always make sure you bring? In general, what are your best business travel packing tips?
Stock photo via Stencil.