What you need to know when going on a US business trip

It may sound simple, but packing for a business trip in the US is different to packing for a holiday there, as we find out here.

It can induce all forms of anxiety trying to figure out what to pack and what to expect. If you’re visiting the US don’t forget you will need to be applying for an ESTA before you go and pack your passport, you don’t want to get stopped by officials before you’ve met any clients.

Carry-on luggage

If you’re about to go on a business trip get a piece of carry-on luggage you can pack all your things into. Never check your luggage if you’re going on a business trip as it is just too risky in case the airline you fly with loses it then you hold up your boss, fellow employees and more importantly your clients.

Once you get home from your business trip it’s always a good idea to wash all clothes and re-pack them along with all the essentials so you’re as prepared as can be for the next one.


When going on a business trip in America, remember it is a big place, so don’t forget to pack your itinerary in an easy access place. Your itinerary will have details of your flight, hotel, all phone numbers and any other important information. It is a good idea to keep your itinerary with all other important documents like your passport and Visa.


With so much technology available to us in this modern age it might not be a laptop but a tablet or even a netbook, no matter what device you choose don’t forget to fully charge it before you leave. If you bring your own device you can catch up on emails on the plane and work on any presentations before meeting clients.

Business cards

Business cards are essential if you’re looking to network which a business trip is the perfect opportunity to do so. So carry a chunk of your own business cards with you as well as a few copies of cards from your colleagues, business and business associates.


To charge your laptop and other electrical devices like your phone it might be an idea to pack a multi charger as well as a converter as hotel rooms usually only has two charging ports. You’ll want all your technology charged at all times to stay in contact with those on the trip and those at home.


Obviously you will pack clothes but remember to choose appropriate clothes that are less likely to crease in your luggage. Try to choose clothes that are neutral that way it makes it easier to mix and match to create several outfits. Always pack two pairs of shoes as well if you have an extended business trip you may need to pack an extra pair. Revert back to basics and pack a comfortable pair that you can walk around in during the day and wear at the airport. Then pack a smarter pair which you can wear to meet clients.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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