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How do you pack for an Overnight Trip? Back in corporate life I used to keep a carry-on bag packed, because I traveled so frequently. Honestly you don’t need much stuff for an overnight trip. It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes for an experienced individual to throw an overnight bag together.

For the less seasoned traveler, packing for an overnight voyage may be more daunting. So I’ve put together my list of essentials here – feel free to comment.

Travel Documents

These should be the first things to care before you start packing.

  • Passport
  • Visa if required,
  • Tickets hard copy (even if you have the soft copies in your phone),
  • Hotel confirmation
  • Transport arrangements if these have been made.

If you are heading for a meeting, ensure you have your files backed up on a memory stick

Purse/Small Pouch/Travel Wallet

You don’t need to take everything you normally carry in your wallet.

  • 1 Credit card with some available spending limit,
  • 1 ATM card,
  • Ideally some local currency
  • Some taxi money for when you come home (you may be delayed)

Also pack

  • gum, mints, or breath freshener,
  • Any regular medication. If you are traveling with prescription drugs please take the prescription.
  • Ladies, pick up your small makeup box too (watch for liquids if you hand carry)


Phone Charger / Power Bank

I like to take the kind which uses a USB charger – it means you may be able to recharge your phone on the plane, or from your laptop.

 Remember your laptop charger if you are carrying a laptop

 Water Bottle

You can’t carry water through the bag checks, but you can refill it once you get air-side


Ideally a pair with a microphone in case you need to take a call and can’t find a private/quite spot


  • Toothbrush,
  • Toothpaste,
  • Comb, Hairbrush
  • Deodorant,
  • Perfume/aftershave
  • Ladies may want to pack facial wipes as opposed to makeup remover (less fluids to carry)
  • Do not forget sanitary pads/tampons if you are likely to need them



If I’m going for business I wear my suit with a T-shirt underneath. You can hang the jacket in flight and will find your clothes look far more presentable than if you packed them

I carry

  • 2 shirts
  • 2 pairs of underwear and socks
  • 1 spare T-shirt.

I have been caught out before with irons that damage shirts; clean shirts that had a mark on them; socks with a hole in etc etc. If you get delayed you will have spare clothes to change into

There is usually enough space for sportswear and running shoes, or at least a swim suit if the hotel has a gym or pool

Pack something for casual wear; jeans and a Polo shirt are my staple for after work.

Bonus tip – when you book your hotel make sure they provide a steam iron and ironing board

Childcare Items

If you need to travel with little ones it gets more complex but as a minimum

  • Diapers,
  • Milk & bottle,
  • Extra clothes,
  • Baby toiletries.
  • Favourite teddy / blanket
  • Something to read to them, or for them to play with

It might seem a lot to remember, with practice you build a routine around it, but feel free to print this list and check items off as you go.

Don’t forget to check out our other articles like our How to avoid these 7 Travel Mistakes

With Thanks to Creative Coach and GoPlanner

Image credit Buffalo Jackson