9 Things Every Business Traveler Should Pack In Their Carry-On


Corporate jet-setters are all too familiar with frenzied trips through the airport: the checking in, security navigation, endless waiting, and eating on the go. And that's before they've even boarded the plane.


Since these road warriors have experienced it all, we wanted to know what they keep in their carry-on to make traveling easier, less expensive, and generally more enjoyable.

A few frequent fliers helped us compile a list of the essential items they always keep conveniently packed in their carry-on bags:

Stop paying for airport WiFi, and stay connected with your own MiFi hotspot.

Unless you're interested in shelling out up to $12 to use airport WiFi, it's a good idea to invest in a WiFi hotspot of your own.

With its slim, credit card-sized package and simple access to 4G networks, personal MiFi hotspots like the Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE MiFi are a personal favorite of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and David Rush, co-founder and CEO of Evzdrop.com.


"It is a huge time-saver because you always know you can stay connected regardless of your location," Rush told Busines Insider. "It also makes meetings efficient and gets you instantly online with a great connection."

Ditch the pricey GPS navigation system on your rental car, and bring your own.

Car rental agencies are notorious for tacking on hidden fees on essential accessories like GPS navigation systems.

Save yourself some cash by bringing your own along (plenty are small enough to fit in your purse or carry-on bag). If you don't already own one, it's simple enough to turn your smartphone into a GPS device all on its own.

Rig up a do-it-yourself smartphone stand for your dashboard, or invest in a ready-made mount for under $30.

Don't waste money on water bottles and purification tablets, and bring a reusable filtration bottle.

"My number one tip is to invest in a water bottle with a filter," said Talia Salem, a communications rep for PlanetWildlife. "I have taken this all over the world and it has saved me hundreds of dollars."


There are dozens to choose from online. Salem is a fan of the Camelback Groove ($25), and we're crazy for AquaGear water filtration bottles ($29.99).

They remove 99.99% of tap water contaminants and can save up to 600 plastic bottles over their lifetime.

Pack a small kit with medicines, band aids, and first aid essentials.

If you've ever paid $10 for a minuscule bottle of aspirin at an airport kiosk, you'll appreciate this tip.

Stock up on essentials like pain reliever, band aids, vitamins, and cough drops before heading out on your flight, and be sure to pack them in your carry-on.

Survive the inevitable weather delay with a spare change of clothes.

Salem learned the hard way to keep a spare set of business attire in her carry-on bag.


"I once had to go straight to a business meeting from the plane, even though I was supposed to arrive the day before," she said.

If you keep a small lint roller on hand, too, you don't have to worry about getting your duds dusty in your bag.

Freshen up on a dime with pocket-sized toothbrushes and facial wipes.

In the three years Amy Lee spent traveling as a management consultant, the now senior travel analyst for TravelNerd said she never left for a flight without a pocket-sized toothbrush in her bag.

"Colgate Wisp is perfect for that 6 a.m. flight - post coffee drinking," she said. "[It] freshens up your breath and cleans teeth without having to pack a toothbrush and toothpaste."

She's also a proponent of facial wipes, which are a quick way to freshen up if you've got to book it from the airport to a meeting.


Save time and money at airport coffee shops with instant java packs.

No one expects frequent fliers to recover from a red-eye without a kick of caffeine, but that doesn't have to mean shelling out $5 and waiting in endless lines.

Lee is a huge fan of Starbucks Instant Coffee packets, and just about every big coffee brand has their own version of insta-java on grocery store shelves.

Keep a travel mug on hand, and you can easily fill up with a free cup of hot water from just about any airport eatery.

Fuel up with snacks on the go.

Business travelers usually have their meals covered by their employer, but that rarely means getting a blank check to restaurant hop before your flight.

Keep within the confines of your daily food allowance by packing some quick snacks in your carry-on bag or purse.


Trail mix, small sandwiches, some fresh fruit, and cut veggies are all easy, healthy options for snacking on the go.

Always keep back-up cell phone and laptop chargers on hand.

It's always nice when airports have charging stations for laptops and cell phones, but it's even nicer (and cheaper) to keep your own chargers on hand for emergencies.

"Make sure you always have a back-up cell phone and computer charger that stays in your suitcase at home and on the road," said Roy Berger, president of MedjetAssist.

"Forgetting it will not only be expensive but can be very frustrating and time consuming in being able to locate the right kind while away from home."