How to do Business Travel in just a Carry-On

Hey there! Jennii Lyn from Canteens and Carabiners here. This week I was sent to Phoenix for a three day business conference. I was able to pack everything I needed in a carry on and a personal item.


Here’s how I did it:

The Carry On

I took my Aleia 22 North Face backpacking pack. I try and keep my travel as simple as possible, and I don’t have separate luggage just for travel. Backpacking packs are PERFECT for carry on items. Some airlines have started charging for carry-ons (lame - right?) But my purse and backpack were both counted as personal items and I wasn’t charged anything extra. It fit just as much as a normal carry on luggage item would have, so it was a win, win for me :)

2 Dresses

Does anyone else LOVE dresses - especially for travel? I always chose dresses over skirts because I only have to pack one item. I don’t have to worry about packing a matching top and bottom. They pack down tight and I always look professional.


1 Skirt & Top Set

I did chose to take one skirt and top set so I had something a little more casual for the evenings. I simple matched the top with leggings and I was ready to go!

1 Pair of Leggings

Leggings are a must have for travel versability. I was able to wear them as pajamas, they were comfy for longs flights, and were my casual evening staple.

2 Tee Shirts and 1 Set of Workout Bottoms

I used the tee shirts for pajamas and working out. Since I was at the hotel for three days and two nights, this was perfect.

2 Pairs of Shoes

Shoes are so awkwardly shaped, they can be a pain to carry in a carry on. I took a simple set of Nike sandals for comfort when I was on the go, and I strapped a pair of lace ankle sandals to the outside of the pack because they were too awkward to fit inside the bag. This gave me more space inside the pack. I was only taking one pair of professional shoes, so I had to make sure all my outfits matched them.

Simple Accessories

I took a pair of earrings, 2 necklaces and a watch that I used to dress up my outfits. Looking professional is as easy as adding as simple accessories. The best accessories are professional, minimal, and don’t take up too much room in my pack.

Wanderlust Watches

Personal Toiletries

Because I was staying at a hotel, I didn’t worry too much about toiletries. The hotel had plenty of shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush,  a razor, an iron, and a blow dryer so I didn’t take any of that. I did have to ask for the razor and toothbrush, but they were offered free of charge. The only things I took was eyeliner, mascara, a comb and a hair straightener.

My Personal Item

I took a leather shoulder bag. This is where I kept anything I wanted easily accessible. Inside I kept my Chromebook, a few books, a notepad for writing, and lots of snacks.

And that’s it! The nice thing about business travel, is that the accommodations are usually nice and the hotel will provide a lot of the basics. One last tip is to make sure to take everything out of the carry on as soon as you get to the hotel or everything will get wrinkled!

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