How to Pack for a Four Day Work Trip in a Carry On

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I travel for work a lot… If you’re just visiting the page, WELCOME! I’m so glad you stopped by.  At one point in my career I was traveling 3 weeks out of the month and basically I lived out of a suitcase.  I got to the point were I never overpacked anymore and had a strategy to what and how I packed.  Here is my rundown for a typical Monday- Thursday travel week.  Adjust what you’ll need based on how many days you will be gone.

Blush Blazer Work Outfit

One Office Outfit Per Day:

  • Day 1 (Travel+ half office)- Slacks, Blouse, Blazer (wearing to airport)
  • Day 2- Full office day-  Dress
  • Day 3- Full office day- Skirt & Blouse
  • Day 4 (Half office + travel)- Same slacks from day 1, Cami, Same Blazer from Day 1

In total you need three tops, one pair of pants, one dress, one blazer, and one skirt.  Another combination I will do is two dresses, two pants, and two tops if I’m not feeling a skirt that week.

Outfit Ideas

If you need some office outfit ideas, check out this post on building a business wardrobe.  I love wearing dresses to work because they are comfortable and you don’t have to piece an outfit together.  Most of my work wardrobe is versatile in the sense that I can pack three blouses for the week that will match either the slacks or skirt that I packed so you still give yourself an option of being able to choose what you feel like wearing.

I love this blouse in cream that goes with everything and this cami top that you can layer under any blazer for a great look.  I always pack some kind of jacket or blazer because most offices are freezing,  if its in the winter, I always carry on my winter coat.  I typically travel in slacks a blouse and comfy shoes because I am always cold on planes. Another key thing to keep in mind is packing items that will not wrinkle in your suitcase.

I shared the cutest work dress that comes in multiple colors in this post too!

Here are some affordable work wear pieces for Summer 2018!






Always pack more than one pair of work shoes.  You never know when your pretty pumps will give you a blister or have a heel break.  Depending on the season, I will back on nude pair and one black pair and some flip flops for walking around outside or bottles in the fall/winter.  These are my favorite flip flops to keep in my carry on or wear through the airport, because they are so comfortable but also stylish.   I also always bring my tennis shoes to work out at the hotel or wear for midday walks outside the office or to wear in the airport.  These are some of the most comfortable work shoes I own for spring or summer & I wear them for casual wear too.



Gym Clothes

When I am traveling, my goal is to work out at least two days out of the four.  Thankfully workout clothes take up very little space in your suitcase so you have no excuse not to hit the gym.  This includes two sports bras, two tanks, shorts and leggings, and socks.  Don’t forget socks! I have forgotten them many times!

Casual Clothes

…do you reeaaallllly need them? I packed a few outfits a couple of trips and found that they just occupied space.  I would say just pack one in case you go to dinner with co-workers and want to be comfortable.  Typically everyone just wears what they wore to work anyway.  If I pack something casual at all, it is usually for the travel home to be comfortable.

Loungewear/ Sleepwear

There is literally nothing like the feeling of making it back to your hotel after a long day, taking off your bra, and slipping into your sweat pants and big t-shirt!  I never leave home without these and usually use my comfy clothes as dual purpose for sleeping.


I tend to be very minimal this category for work,  I have some classic diamond studs that I wear or these lightweight drop earrings that go with everything and thats all I wear usually during the week.  Sometimes I pack these Kendra’s that are also very versatile but sometimes they are too heavy for a long work day.


Try to consolidate here as much as possible.  Being a woman, I totally get that we could have a whole suitcase for this category alone right?  There was a time I was packing my entire makeup back and only using a quarter of it.  Instead, I now have two makeup bags, one for my everyday essentials, and one for all the extra stuff.  It has been great for everyday life anyway.  It used to be so hard to find a good travel size shampoo and conditioner so I used old bottles and just refill them with my favorites.  But now my favorite shampoo, conditioner AND dry shampoo all come in travel sizes!! I neverrrrrr leave for a trip without dry shampoo and I swear by this one by Batiste.  I have been on the search for great travel size styling products as well, and I mainly use the Redken ones for great hold.  Ulta has a ton of travel size items now that didn’t used to be available which is so great!


Other Tips:

I have a little cosmetic bag that I leave in my work carry on that has random items that I may need on any given day.  Things like Tylenol, tampons, allergy medicine, bandaids, a spare pair of contacts…etc.  This has saved me so many times or helped one of my co-workers in need.  I also keep a compact umbrella in my bag that has also come in handy a few times.  I think it goes without saying (even though I have forgotten them before) but, don’t forget to pack your undies!! 🙂

I prefer traveling with a backpack for my work computer and items for the office.  It is so much easier to manage in the airport and to & from work than a large tote.  Not quite as stylish, but definitely more efficient.

If I have room in my bag I will pack my work clothes on the hanger.  This way when I get to my hotel room, I can just hang them right in the closet and not have to sift through a suitcase all week.

I definitely recommend investing in a great carry-on suitcase if you are going to be traveling for work.  I would never buy another suitcase that didn’t have 4 spinner wheels either,  it makes it so much easier to navigate through the plane aisle and just in general through the airport.


Business Travel Outfit Work Outfit Ideas


If you love this blush blazer as much as I do, size down one size from your usual.  It is very light weight and casual but also perfect for the office.

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Thanks for stopping by the blog today, I hope you found some style , beauty, or travel inspiration to make you feel fabulous in your best way.  For more like this, see it first on my Instagram.  If you want to save for later, all images are pin friendly to save to your Pinterest. -xoxo- Mattison <3

Save to PinterestPacking for a Work Trip

You might also like: “10 Airport Travel Facts Everyone Should Know

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What are ththe name of the shoes you photographed with?


Hi Nicole,
I’m so sorry I missed that in the post! Here is the link for the heels and I added it above as well. Click Here.
Thanks so much for reading.

XO, Mattison


Nice article! I was searching some outfit ideas for work and this article would be really helpful. Thanks a lot for sharing.


Hi Amanda,

Thank you so much for reading, I’m glad you found it helpful!

All the best,

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