Best Travel Checklist

The Best Business Travel Packing Checklist, Ever!

Packing is pivotal. Consider the most basic—and most used—packing tips and checklist for US based travelers.


(image credit: clark and mayfield)


  • Change phone settings to restrict data to ‘WiFi only’ before take-off and limit calls once abroad
  • Use trusted Wi-Fi where available – practice caution by confirming the WiFi address with establishment personnel. Look for subtle differences in the URL. Usually there are extra letters or numbers on bogus wifi addresses. Example: if you are staying atHotel Indigo,the Wi-Fi address will probably be hotelindigo guest, NOT – hoteliindo or hotelindo or hotelindoo.
  • Download appsbefore you leave the country.Consider family download the same communication app.
    • WhatsApp & Facebook/FaceTime |free with WiFi – text, phone, video
    • Airline Apps
    • Google Translate or Dual Lingo| Learn another language
  • Update computer/device password proactively so it doesn’t timeout during travel
  • Post calendar appointment send to manager/supervisor and then block calendar
  • Clear work calendar accordingly
  • Change message on desk phone for extended travel
  • Appoint delegate in your absence and submit changes for approvals
  • Consider adding a line to your email signature two weeks prior to travel (NOTE: I will be OOO _____to____)
  • Set calendar reminder to check-in online 24 hours in advance: Full passport information is required at the time of online check-in
  • Back up all documents on your computer desktop to your OneDrive
  • Laptop*, chargers, flash drives, case with TSA approved lock


  • Refresh/consult with the company Global Travel and Entertainment Policy.
  • Consider installing and using the company expense apps to record quickly and easily expenses and pictures of all receipts (AppStore/PlayStore)
  • Check local currency –
  • Cash- Either order from your bank or hope for an airport ATM – carry about $40 equivalent of local currency for immediate tipping, ground transportation etc.
  • Tipping– research local customs; include, housekeeping, taxi, bellmen, servers, valet etc

CC holders

  • Ensure you have a chipped card and know your Personal PIN # and have used in US before leaving
  • Notify card company/bank of your travel itinerary so your card isn’t turned off.
  • Utilize RFID sleeves
  • Save every receipt for customs check and make notes on it asap. (take mobile phone photos if you need) You may be reimbursed the taxed money at customs.


  • Arrange for child, pet, plant care
  • Pause routine services (mail, paper, Amazon, cleaning service)
  • Notify trusted neighbor or friend and send copy of itinerary
  • Set up timers for home lights etc
  • Unplug all appliances
  • Turn down thermostat
  • Lock windows, doors, pet doors, garage etc


  • Business cards
  • Business swag
  • Global Entry / TSA Pre-Check card
  • Important work documents
  • Short list of important contacts


  • Cleaver clothing to hold cash, ID, phone and RFID protected passport and credit cards
  • Baggage with tags and TSA locks (check with airline for size restrictions prior to travel for check, carry-on and personal item)
  • Personal carry-on tote/modest backpack
    • Utilize packing pods or packets
    • Carry-on baggage with tags
    • Check-in baggage with tags
  • Passport
    • RFID cover/case
  • Photo copy of passport
    • Email an encrypted copy to yourself
    • Give one to a person in the states and store a hard copy
  • Health Insurance Card and Company Health Emergency numbers (see bottom)
  • Personal emergency contact (in wallet and on phone)
  • Hard copy of travel itinerary
    • Leave a copy with work mate and/or family member with alternate phone numbers/addresses
  • Notify your bank/credit cards you are traveling abroad
  • Camera
  • Book/eBook loaded
  • Charging cords and converters appropriate for that country
  • External battery pack
  • Hand sanitizer / disinfecting wipes
  • Sleep mask
  • Travel pillow
  • Noise canceling headphones/Ear buds
  • Earplugs
  • Toiletry bag
  • Small first aid kit & Prescription (Rx) medications
    • Include enough Rx for 1 week beyond length of trip
    • Original prescription and OTC bottles or list from physician
  • Sun glasses
  • Rx glasses
  • Plan to carry-on all electronic devices (don’t check them unless required by airline – check TSA first)
  • Set notification to review your packing list prior to checking out of your hotel room
  • Check with TSA for last minute travel updates
  • Water canteen (must be empty through security)
    • Electrolyte / Iodine tablets
  • Snacks for delays and rerouting

Bonus Tips and Tricks


  • International travel feedback shows less jetlag when you drink lots of water, rest according to new time frame and low intake of sugar, caffeine and alcohol for the first few days.
  • More and more, an international drivers permit is being required – a quick application and short visit to AAA and you are set for 1 year!
  • Shorter airport lines:
    • Beyond a GOES card, airline priority or elite status – If you enjoy priority or elite status with any other airline, flash that toenter the First Class/Priority line at security. (TIP – And friends can extend that to up to 4 travelers! Even if you aren’t flying with that airline that day!)
    • Mobile Passport App. – re-entering the states? Download the app for a small fee for severalshorter passport lines (think Chicago/JFK/Dallas)


  • Dress appropriately(layers) for travel – airplane temp and deplaning; you may be asked to exit the aircraft on the tarmac with a bus too passport control then baggage
  • Though not widely available like in the US, access cash via anATMand not the money exchange booths (less expensive)
  • Gifts and retail purchaserefund– request and save the tax receipts from the store/vendor and once in the airport, prior to security, you can get a VAT refund for all of your retail purchases – it adds up!
  • Credit cardsare widely accepted in the hotels and tourist area but limited beyond that (this includes transportation)

*Check with TSA regarding travel conditions/restrictions within certain countries, valid ID constraints and the on-board electronics/baggage restrictions: i.e. carryon fluid allowance is now 3.7oz.

ACTION: This is a dynamic checklist is for new and seasoned travelers. Please feel free to forward additional ideas for this list to

Rev. 201806