Become a Packing Guru: The Must-have Items for Your Next Business Trip

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Even in today’s technologically advanced world, there’s a need for face-to-face interaction.

The business trip is still important to success.

No video conference can take the place of the connection that comes with physical presence.

I find business trips extremely beneficial to growth for my own company. Every year, I travel to the FinCon Expo and the Canadian Personal Finance Conference to network with other business owners and to meet with potential partners and advertisers.

Related Article: What Is Bleisure: Dumb Word or Great Business Travel Approach?

This is a great way for me to form profitable relationships. Not only that, but I make it a point to travel to meet with other business owners when I can. These meetings allow me to learn new strategies and work on new projects that help me expand my business.

Whenever I head out on a business trip, though, I often forget my business cards. However, these are still essential in today’s world. A business card reminds people of who you are and where you met, and it can also be a good way for you to keep track of opportunities you want to follow up on. A stack of business cards is important for the next business trip you take.

I asked thirteen business owners what they take on their business trips, and here are their responses:

Healthy Snacks

Don’t leave it up to chance that you’ll find good, healthy snacks while traveling for business. Bring a few snacks (unsalted nuts, string cheese, low-sodium jerky, dried fruit, etc.) to ensure you’re at least snacking on the right kinds of foods while on your way to your important meetings. – Philip Taylor, PT Money


I always hope for the best when I travel, however, things don’t always go as planned. Whether it’s navigating security, delayed flights, or prolonged waiting, I try to come prepared to beat the fatigue and restlessness with my favorite instant java packs. This way, I’m guaranteed my morning cup of joe without having to spend extra time scoping out a coffee shop or waiting in long lines. – Kyle Taylor, The Penny Hoarder

Breath Mints

I’m a huge fan of breath mints. There is nothing worse than talking to someone for 5 minutes with bad breath. You literally will not hear a word that comes out of their mouth and you’ll be thinking about what you can do to get out of there. My recommendation is to take enough mints so that you can pop one in your mouth every 30 minutes. I just dump a bunch in my pocket and before I speak to anyone I pop one in my mouth. I usually bring extras because I love to eat them. But this helps me network better because I’m not worrying about my breath. – John Rampton,


Chapstick and eye drops. When you’re at a conference, you’ll be doing a lot of talking and networking, often into the early hours of the morning. You’ll probably get dehydrated if you’re not careful. Besides having chapped lips, the worst feeling is dry eyes. Bring both chapstick and eye drops because otherwise your lips and eyes will irritate you until you find a convenience store, which will probably be very far away from the conference. – Jim Wang, Wallet Hacks

Sleep Kit

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I don’t travel anywhere without my sleep kit. Who wants to suffer from noisy traffic, crying babies on a crowded plane, or the college kids partying in the room next door? Not me! I learned long ago to always carry an eye mask (this $12.50 eyemask from REI is the best I’ve found), earplugs (I prefer the disposable foam earplugs you can buy at the grocery store), and some sleeping pills (I use good ol’ diphenhydramine). It’s tough to be on top of your game if you haven’t slept well; these things help me ensure success. – J.D. Roth, Money Boss

Related Article: 5 Tech Tips for Business Travelers: Essential Steps to a Productive Trip


For some reason, I can never sleep well in hotels while I’m traveling. And recently I discovered that it’s because I hate hotel pillows. They are either too soft, too hard or too lumpy. So these days, I take along a thin memory foam liner that I lay on top of the hotel pillow which allows me to catch some Zs on the road. – Steve Chou,


I always bring multiple charger cables AND plugs. I’m notorious for leaving my chargers in hotel rooms, so I always want a backup. Plus, I like to bring a cigarette adapter plug for the car since I’m generally on the road a lot, too. I don’t want to be swapping cables and plugs all the time. – Grant Baldwin,

Portable Charger

I always take a portable phone charger with me when I travel. Phone chargers can be cumbersome and wall sockets can be hard to find. A small portable charger easily fits in a bag or pocket and can recharge your battery in minutes. And at less than $20, they are a great investment to make sure you can stay connected even when the day goes longer than expected. – Ryan Guina, Cash Money Life


A leather briefcase is my must have item for every conference and business trip that I take. Having it on my shoulder at all times ensures that I always have my laptop, business cards, and anything else I need for the trip. And it being quality leather means that it is going to last — and look great for years! – Bob Lotich, SeedTime

Paper and Pen

You never know when technology will break down on you. If you need to jot something down quickly, having a paper and pen handy can be a big help. I try to carry a small notebook and skinny pen. These fit in a small purse or my laptop bag and can be accessed quickly. Whether I’m writing down information about a new client or leaving a note for someone, I’m always prepared. It looks professional when you have your own writing items available — and it shows potential partners and clients that you are someone they can count on to be prepared. – Miranda Marquit, Miranda Marquit Freelancing, LLC

Comfortable Shoes

You are likely going to do a lot of walking on your trip. After years of sore feet I wear comfortable shoes instead of something more high fashion. Even if you want to dress up for a specific event while on your business trip, make sure you have something comfortable to change into! – Murray Newlands,

Mobile Entertainment

Podcasts, downloaded before takeoff and new games downloaded to my phone – because I’m usually too cheap to pay for flight WiFi (it’s usually unreliable anyway!). I like to use flying time as “downtime”, not work time, but I also don’t like to be bored. Having games to play and podcasts to listen to helps the flight go by quickly! – Erin Chase, $5 Dinners

Related Article: Business Travel Accessories Every Road Warrior Needs


If you are flying on your business trip, the best thing you can bring with you is a set of noise canceling headphones. You really do not understand how much noise those jet engines are making until you have headphones that are blocking all that background noise. You can concentrate and sleep better on the plane and your travel is less exhausting. You can get a decent set made by Sony on Amazon for less than $50. – Jeff Rose,

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