Lifestyle Travel

How I Pack For Business Travel

December 11, 2014

I’ve never had a job post-college that didn’t require me to hop on a plane at some point in time. When we lived in South Carolina my job took me around the country roughly 40 weeks out of the year, allowing me to rack up hotel points and frequent flyer miles.

Since moving to Alaska I travel considerably less, with monthly trips to Fairbanks, Juneau, and the Kenai Peninsula, and quarterly trips to Seattle. Currently I’m in Seattle for a two-day business meeting, and wanted to share how I pack for comfort and success on a business trip!


I caught a 5am flight from Anchorage to Seattle, so I had to make sure I was packed the night before. I also hate checking bags if I don’t have to, so I like to pack in easy carry-ons that aren’t too heavy.

This is what I carried through the airport this morning.



And THIS is what was in my bags.


For a short trip, I love a leather weekender bag  [similar] (it’s actually Matt’s – but I steal it frequently!). It features carry handles and a shoulder strap so I can navigate the airplane aisle and throw over my shoulder for catching the light rail downtown.

I also carry a laptop bag that doubles as a handbag. [mine] Graceship is the company I love for functional laptop bags – they’re designed with women in mind so there is a separate laptop sleeve and still room for me to comfortably put in my travel essentials. I also make this bag pull double duty by using it to carry my drug samples during the day when I call on medical providers. I love the bag, but it did pick up colour from my dark clothes fairly quickly on the backside.

When I’m packing my clothes for a short trip and know I won’t have a lot of space, I will use a clothes folder to keep my clothes wrinkle free and away from shoes and dirtier items. Eagle Creek makes some ideal travel packers – I love the pack-it cube and pack-it folder for keeping undergarments and clothes organized.

I tend to bring monochromatic clothes for work trips as well – this trip everything is black and white. That way I don’t have to worry about matching different outfits, and can get away with one or two bottoms, with 3 tops max.

I always bring my laptop with me everywhere – how else can I share my ramblings via blog, and watch Hulu? I invested in a lightweight laptop – the MacBook Air because it is so easy to throw in my bag without taking up a lot of space and weighing me down. It’s so thin that I’ve even wrapped it between layers of clothing in my folder with no issues.

I also carry a sleep mask and my Beats headphones with me on any plane ride. The Beats allow me to silence the outside noise, even if I don’t have any music playing, while my sleep mask allows me to get some shut-eye on the plane when my seat mate insists on reading the airline magazine with the window shade up and the overhead light on. This is hands down the best sleep mask I’ve ever had: it has contoured eye pods, so I don’t worry about pressure on my eyes or messing up my eye make-up if I am taking an early flight into a meeting.

For carrying my make-up and other toiletries, I use an oversized lined bag (the owl one) to toss my comb, hairbrush, and everything else in. I’m TSA Pre-Check so I don’t usually have to take out my liquids bag, so I usually throw it in this bag as well. That way if anything spills, it is kept to one spot, and I can pack easily in the bathroom by knowing it is all in one spot.

When I’m traveling for the day, comfort is key.

travel outfit

I love skinny-cut jeans, with a low heeled boot. They help me feel stylish while comfortable. Bonus: my boots unzip so they’re super easy to remove if TSA makes me take off my shoes!

I always wear a looser shirt, so I have room to move around and feel more comfy.

An oversized scarf goes with me everywhere: I’m obsessed with this one I just got from Aerie – it’s a blanket scarf that’s almost 5′ x5′ large! On the plane this morning I was tucked under it and so warm – always a good thing for planes.

I also try to pack just one jacket that can be worn for multiple occasions: My Rainy Day Mac from Boden is a nice go-to since it’s fleece lined and water proof. The hood is removable, and it packs down pretty small and light so I can easily put it in my tote bag when I’m not wearing it.

So there you have it! A few tips on how I pack for work trips without checking a bag or breaking my back! How do you pack for business? Any advice to share?



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