Your boss tells you they need you in New York for 24 hours; you'll land and head straight to the office for a few meetings, put in some face time, then attend a client dinner after work, or grab cocktails with a few co-workers.
Normally, packing for an overnight trip is simple. Toss an extra outfit or two in your backpack, and you're good to go. Packing for a work trip, however, is a bit more complicated. You need to look put-together and professional (wrinkles are your enemy), but you're also traveling, so comfort is a factor. You're just spending one night, so anything more than a small carry-on bag is excessive. So pack light, pack smart, and lean on your versatile, reliable workwear staples.
Of course, the exact items you will need depend on your event schedule, the season, and your work dress code, but if you follow the below packing list, the only stress you should encounter will stem from your boss.
Packing List: Overnight Work Trip
Carry-On Suitcase and Chic Laptop Bag
Business travel means business style—a leather personal item bag that holds both your laptop, chargers, and wallet is a must.
Travel and Office Outfit #1:
Oversized Blazer, Solid-Colored Tank or Tee, Comfortable Slacks, Loafers
If you're just spending 24 hours in a new city, or just in the office, it's likely your flight is in the morning. This means an early wake-up call, arriving for your first meeting by 8 am. You'll want to dress smart—you won't be able to check in to your hotel until after the workday is over. Pair a comfortable, solid-colored tank or tee with an oversized blazer and wrinkle-resistant pants. Jeans are too casual for many offices (not to mention uncomfortable to wear on a plane or in a car); instead, choose a pair of slacks or cigarette pants that stay looking smart for hours on end. For shoes, opt for a pair of loafers. Again, you verge into the "too casual" territory with sneakers, and heels while traveling? No, thanks.
Dressed Up Dinner Outfit:
Elevated Tank or Top, Change of Pants, Slingback Heels
Checking in to your hotel and dropping off your luggage is the perfect time to do a quick change out of your day clothes and into something a bit more elegant (with a business-trip edge). Switch out your more casual top for something silkier and darker, and grab a pair of slacks or cigarette pants (tip: they probably need to be hit with a steamer first). If they're your style, a comfortable block heel or slingback will work perfectly here.
Workout Pants, Tank, Sports Bra, Sneakers
If you're someone who takes advantage of the hotel amenities, or you simply like to get some exercise after a long day in the office, pack a pair of leggings, a sports bra, and a top. Normally, sneakers take up a ton of room in your suitcase, but because it's a short trip, you'll have plenty of space.
Travel and Office Outfit #2
Dress, Oversized Blazer, Loafers
Warning: You may be hungover from the previous night's dinner. That means you need an easy look. A simple dress is great—pair with yesterday's blazer and loafers (remember three pairs of shoes is the maximum you need for this type of trip) and the transition from office back to mode of transportation will be seamless.
The Extras to Pack:
Toiletry Bag: Preferably a TSA-approved one. See our picks here.
Pajamas: Because you need cute pajamas while staying in a hotel.
Steamer: The hotel iron is too slow—a steamer is a business traveler's best friend.
Socks: Two pairs are more than enough.
Underwear: Find our favorite travel-friendly underwear brands here.