How to Pack for a Business Trip

Packing and preparing for a business trip is an essential part of the process. Business travel can be tedious and tiring, but it doesn’t have to be stressful if you prepare well in advance.

Packing for a business trip can be difficult, especially when you’re not sure what to pack. Here are some tips on packing for a business trip woman. Read more in detail here: what to pack for a business trip woman.

Vintage man in suit leaving home with suitcase in hand.

It might be difficult to pack for a week-long work trip. You’ll want to pack extra clothing to guarantee that you’ll be dressed appropriately for all of the events, meetings, and activities you’ll be attending. However, you want to save room and avoid schlepping too much. Furthermore, you want everything you pack to arrive wrinkle-free and undamaged.

I’ll show you how to solve these issues and more in the sections below, so that the next time you need to pack your bags for a business trip, you’ll know precisely what to bring and how to fold, pack, and carry everything effectively.

Choosing Your Weapon: Selecting the Proper Bag

At whatever size, the rule of “one trip, one bag” is a good one.

It’s almost certainly a must for a business travel. You’ll be traveling the most of the trip, so you’ll be limited to one large bag, a carry-on, and a “personal item.”

Carry-on goods may buy you a little additional mileage, but the majority of your clothes must fit in one checked bag.

You have three basic luggage choices for the week-long trip:

The Hanger Bag is the first bag option.

A hanger bag is a large, flat bag with a hanging strap on the inside. It’s designed to hold many suits and shirts on their hangers, then fold them in half and buckle or zip the entire thing shut.

The hanger bag has the benefit of being much gentler on your clothing. The suits and shirts aren’t folded save for a relaxed, soft doubling-over in the centre. Less pressure is applied to the areas where you tucked your sleeves or collars in, resulting in less creases when you arrive at your ultimate destination.

The drawback is the lack of storage capacity. Items on hanging take up more room in a luggage than clothes folded and tucked in. Even a large hanger bag won’t accommodate much more than two suits and three or four shirts, and they’re usually lacking in other areas, such as shoes and Dopp kits.

  • Pros: Easy to wear, professional appearance, and light weight
  • Cons: Limited storage space and an unnecessarily wide shape

The Classic Suitcase is the second bag option.

The rectangular form of a typical suitcase is maintained by a sturdy frame. This makes packing and stowing easier, but it also means your garments must be folded to fit inside the compartment.

Suits must normally be folded to fit inside suitcases: first, the pants must be doubled over and put in, then the jacket must be placed on top with the arms crossed over the chest and the bottom folded up as desired. Shirts are folded in the same manner they would be on a department store shelf, with the collar and top few buttons facing up and the sleeves and bottom shirt folded away underneath them.

A hard-sided (or at least hard-framed) suitcase, particularly one with wheels, is convenient to maneuver through airports and protects the clothes within. It also has more storage than a hanging bag for necessities like toiletries and shoes.


  • Pros: Plenty of storage capacity, strong clothing protection, and portability
  • Cons: Folding is required, which might cause wrinkles and/or damage to expensive clothes.

The Duffel Bag is the third bag option.

A duffel bag is a soft-sided, tube-shaped bag without an internal frame. You just toss everything into its single huge container and go. Most include a top handle as well as a shoulder strap, making them easy to transport. Lifting one gives you a good exercise and reminds you not to overpack, which is one of Walker Lamond’s instructions for his unborn son: “Never pack more than you can handle alone, because a man’s baggage doesn’t roll.”

Duffel bags are the simplest to pack, but they are the most difficult on your formal clothing. Even if you fold everything correctly, the contents will wrinkle and lump up nearly immediately due to the soft edges. Unless they’re constructed of black canvas with nice leather handles, they’re also less professional-looking. Colored nylon duffel bags are great for the gym, but they’re not particularly professional.

  • Pros: Easy to pack, plenty of storage space, and more tolerant of oddly shaped goods
  • Cons: Unprofessional, causes creases on the inside of the garments

Any of the three bag types will suffice; it’s simply a question of deciding which features are most essential to you.

Beyond the Laptop: How to Make the Most of Your Carry-On Bags

If you’re flying with a regular airline, you’ll be allowed to bring two things onboard the plane: a carry-on and a “personal item.” Some airlines now charge for carry-on luggage, so you may attempt to cram all you need into a laptop bag; in that case, you’re likely restricted to a laptop computer and its accessories, some documents, and perhaps a book/e-reader/tablet and a granola bar.

Make the most of your carry-on if you are given one.

The best choice is to have a tiny rolling luggage made to your precise specifications. The majority of major bag manufacturers provide “guaranteed carry-on” variants. For a professional appearance, choose one in black or navy blue and use it to transport not only a book or two, but also a spare shirt, your Dopp kit, any umbrellas or rain gear, and other small goods. This keeps your nice suits and shirts from being crumpled in the checked baggage hold due to other, oddly-shaped things. You’ll also have some things for your key meeting the day after you arrive if your checked luggage is missing.

Any costly devices should be packed in your carry-on or “personal item” baggage for obvious reasons. By removing redundancies, you may save space. If your phone has enough battery life and storage capacity to serve as an e-book reader or MP3 player, for example, don’t pack both.

What Should You Bring?

A week-long journey does not need seven separate ensembles comprised of wholly distinct stuff. For seven suits, seven shirts, and so on, you’d need a very huge luggage.

The perfect business travel luggage, on the other hand, is packed with adaptable things. Every other day, rather than every day, you should pack a jacket and a pair of pants, which you can mix and match to create alternative looks.


Of course, certain things, such as socks and underwear, should be packed in one-day increments. It’s normally worth packing one dress shirt each day unless you have easy access to a hotel laundry, however “traveler” dress shirts made of quick-drying fabrics may be washed and dried in hotel sinks, minimizing the requirement.

A typical load for a full week of business events with various formality might look something like this:

  • 1 charcoal gray suit and 1 navy blue suit (You should bring two colors to mix and match – the navy blue jacket on certain suits may be worn as a blazer with different pants, for example.)
  • 2 pairs of strange trousers – khakis and gray flannel slacks are acceptable starting points.
  • 1 blazer or sports jacket — it’s not necessary, particularly if you have suit jackets that can be worn as blazers, but it’s great to have one for informal occasions that isn’t part of a suit.
  • 7 long-sleeved dress shirts — at least three or four in white, simple or faintly patterned, and the rest in light colors for casual and evening settings
  • 1 dark, solid-color polo shirt — increase the number to three or four and cut the number of dress shirts by one or two if you’re going someplace hot or playing a lot of golf.
  • Wear one pair of black dress shoes and one pair of brown dress shoes on the airline to conserve space.
  • 2 dress belts that go with the shoes
  • 4–7 pocket squares — you might get by with just one white pocket square in a hurry, but they’re so little that you may as well mix it up.
  • 5-7 neckties – one for each day isn’t required, but they don’t take up a lot of space.
  • 7 pairs of socks – make sure you have socks that match the color of your pants.
  • 7 pairs of underwear — whichever you choose; it’s also a good idea to have a spare pair or two just in case.
  • Wool overcoat – just in the winter/fall; wear it on the aircraft to conserve space.
  • A simple black umbrella may easily fit in a carry-on bag.
  • Dopp kit – all the essentials in one zipped bag that may be carried on or checked.
  • Never underestimate how much business is done at hotel spas by wearing a dark, solid-color swimsuit.
  • Pajamas – even if you’re purportedly getting your own room, don’t count on sleeping nude.

Other goods will be governed by need, like as your devices and paperwork, any athletic clothing required for the trip, and so on. If you want to conserve space on the aircraft, wear a cap.

You don’t want to overpack your bag, so double-check your agenda while putting together your outfit. If you know you won’t be required to wear a dress shirt and tie on a few days off, don’t bring them with you. Wear your khakis and a dress shirt from the day before with the sleeves pulled up instead.


How to Load the Suitcase: The Art of Efficient Packing

The purpose of packing a luggage is to ensure that no space is wasted.

Your garments will jiggle, settle, and eventually wrinkle in an empty area. Fill it to the full, but in a methodical manner.

Although each bag is unique, you can typically anticipate on working in three layers:

Jackets and trousers are the first layer.

How to fold a blazer sports coat suit jacket for suitcase.

Jackets and trousers are the first items to be put on. Trousers will be doubled over and set flat at the bottom, exactly as they would be on a hanger.

By crossing the arms across the chest, jackets are made as square as feasible. They may then lay flat if the case is large enough; if it isn’t, the bottom must be rolled up until it fits. Alter the way the coats are laid out so that the collars aren’t all piled together; this will keep the layers more equal.

Shirts are the second layer.

How to fold a dress shirt for a suitcase.

Dress shirts are often folded in half to make them as long as feasible. Fold the shirt vertically into thirds, with the middle third (collar width) on top, then fold horizontally, with the collar on top once again. It should resemble what you’d find on a shop shelf.

These shirt squares are stacked on top of the coats and pants, filling the luggage in a wide layer from one wall to the other. It may be necessary to stack shirts, so place them on top of one another as required, alternating the orientation of the collars.

Sundries are the third layer.

How to pack a suitcase for a business trip illustration.

Everything else is arranged as neatly as possible on top. If you don’t want your shoe bottoms to touch your shirt fronts, place them in a plastic bag (or in their own cloth bags if you have it).

It’s simplest to start with the largest, odd-shaped goods, such as shoes and Dopp kits, and then fill in the gaps with socks, underwear, neckties, pocket squares, and other little items.

Finish Layer 3 with a generally flat assortment of socks, underwear, shoes, and other miscellaneous items, stacked just high enough to touch the inside of the luggage when you close it up. The less vacant space there is, the less everything is able to bounce about.

After that, you’re set for seven days of full business attire – just be sure to ask for and use an iron at the hotel if necessary!

After that, you’re set for seven days of full business attire – just be sure to ask for and use an iron at the hotel if necessary!

Founder of Real Men Real Style, Antonio Centeno wrote this piece. To get my free men’s style ebooks, go here.



The “packing list for business trip male” is a guide to help you prepare for your next business trip. The packing list includes the items that you need to pack, as well as how much space they will take up in your luggage.

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