How to pack for a temporary relocation

Even temporary moves can be stressful and require planning. So here’s the ultimate temporary and business trip packing list.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

A women is packing a box with tape

Business trips can vary in length, and depending on the project, you will be faced with specific challenges. And these challenges are quite different from the ones typically involved in a permanent move. You will need to figure out what type of temporary accommodation to choose, what to take with you, what to leave in storage, etc.

These tips will ensure that you stay organized and efficient. Read on for everything you need on your extended business trip packing list.

Create a checklist

Moving for work is a process that involves several steps so it’s easy to get lost and confused along the way. For this reason, it’s useful to create a checklist that will provide you with guidance while you assemble your belongings in the weeks and days before your move.

Having a checklist will help you save time and delegate tasks confidently and effectively. It also allows you to sort through the items you already own, ones you’ll want to purchase before leaving and ones you’ll want to purchase on arrival. Prior to producing a checklist, it’s important to think about a few factors that will determine what you will need to take with you.

Consider these factors

How long are you moving for?

The packing list for a business trip should be prepared quite carefully. But this will depend on the duration of your stay. If you are traveling for work and are moving for just a few weeks, you will most likely stay at a hotel and will only need a few travel necessities. If you are going to be away from home for a number of months, you’ll need to pack clothing for more than one season and for a number of professional and leisure occasions.

Where will you be staying?

If you are staying at a hotel, you will only need a couple of bags with clothes, toiletries, medicine, certain electronic devices (phone, laptop, tablet, chargers, etc.), and other personal items. The rest of your belongings can either stay in storage or at home. If you instead decide to reside at an extended stay hotel, you can expect a suitably furnished room. Rooms come with full kitchens, on-site laundry facilities, and several other necessities. If you are moving into a rental home, a lot more planning is required. The most practical option is to move into a furnished and equipped home so that you don’t have to relocate your heavy furniture, decorations, and household appliances.

Furnished apartment rentals can be a lifesaver, especially in the case of an extended business trip. Blueground offers just that. All of the apartments come fully furnished, equipped and completely move-in ready. They are also available for rent for a minimum of 30 days. The entire booking and payment process is completed online so you can handle everything ahead of your arrival. Blueground’s turnkey apartments ensure that all you have to do is show up and start living.

What is the weather like in your destination?

The weather will play a big role in what kind of clothing you’ll need to pack. If you are moving to a colder destination in the winter, you’ll need warm clothing, which is usually bulkier and heavier (thus, more suitcases). A good strategy for packing for a business trip or temporary relocation is to choose clothes, shoes, and accessories that can be matched with one another in several different ways to allow for a change of looks. You should also avoid packing garments you are not likely to have the occasion wear (such as very formal clothes) or specialty items you won’t be able to use.

a suitcase packed with winter clothes

You might also want to take into consideration whether you’ll be going on any weekend trips and what the weather will be like in those places. If your car is short on trunk space or you aren’t able to fly everything over, also consider buying bulkier items on arrival.

Clear out the clutter

Moving temporarily is a great opportunity to declutter your home. Go through room by room and set aside belongings that you no longer need that take up a significant amount of space. There are three main options for what to do with the belongings that won’t be traveling with you: purge, store, or leave.


Get rid of anything you own but don’t really use anymore. For example:

  • Selling valuable items online or at a garage sale
  • Donating items and clothing to charities
  • Giving sentimental objects to family members to keep or hold onto while you are abroad
  • Throwing out or recycling anything that is not worth selling or saving


If your business trip is so long that you are planning on selling your old home or ending your current lease, you will need a suitable storage solution for all the household items you’re not taking with you. Pack them properly to ensure their safety and choose a secure storage facility (preferably a climate-controlled one).

man moving boxes into a storage unit

This way your belongings will be well protected and easily accessible. It’s also a good habit to make a detailed list of everything you intend to put into storage and consider purchasing adequate insurance for your stored possessions. Have in mind though that the more things you put into storage, the more you will have to pay for the service.


If you are keeping your home and relocating for a relatively short period of time, then simply leave your things behind. In the case that other people are living in the house, you may need to rearrange items to accommodate the needs of those staying behind.

Sort the essentials

Once you’ve decided on what you want to leave behind, re-evaluate what you’ve decided to take. Most of the time we tend to overestimate what we really need. Essentials to have on hand include:

  • Clothes: depending on the climate of your new locale and the time of year
  • Important documents: you may need access to your social security card, passport, tax documents, or various other documents
  • High-value and sentimental items: keep expensive jewelry, family heirlooms, and other irreplaceable items in your carry-on, or left with a loved one
  • Electronics: devices such as cell-phones, computers, cameras, and chargers should certainly stay with you
  • Supplies: these are only really necessary if you’re moving into a temporary home. You’ll need cleaning supplies to tidy up and a set of basic tools for taking apart and assembling the furniture (if the new place comes unfurnished)
  • Pet care items: don’t forget the essentials for your furry friends! Make sure to pack their bedding, wet/dry foods, toys, and anything else that they enjoy

Business trip packing list

If you have to go through a job-related temporary relocation, it’s useful to keep a list of things you need to pack. Not only will you save time, but also you will reduce your stress levels. Here are some business travel tips to fortify the temporary relocation packing list from above.

a woman packing a carry-on for a business trip

Business trip essentials

  • Basic bottoms: pick a basic color for your bottoms (blue, black or brown)
  • Jacket or blazer: choose a solid-color blazer or jacket to match with your basic bottoms
  • Tops: mix up your tops, either with prints or solids, but make sure that they match with your bottoms and blazers
  • Travel outfit: if your trip is going to be long then you should pack comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Shoes: select a style that will work with your basic wardrobe selections. If you know you’re going to be walking a lot then it’s best to stay comfortable
  • Underwear and socks: pack a pair for each day of your trip and add an extra  two of each just to be on the safe side
  • Pajamas: a great hack is to pack a pajama top with buttons on the front so that you can also use it as a robe
  • Workout clothes: one or two lightweight, quick-dry exercise outfits. Wash them out in the sink after each exercise session and hang them to dry
  • Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, facial cleanser, toothpaste, toothbrush, a razor, and make-up in resealable plastic bags or a toiletry bag. If you’re traveling by air do not intend on checking your bag, remember the travel restrictions. All liquids and gels must be smaller than three ounces and must be packed in small plastic bags
  • Travel documents: you’ll most likely have these items on your phone or tablet. Bookmark the sites or flag the email confirmations for quick access
  • Laptop bag: if you’re traveling by air, make sure your laptop or tablet is easily accessible since you’ll need to remove it from your briefcase to go through security
  • Phone charger: both a regular charger and a portable charger are essential. Bring a car charger if you’re traveling by car or will be renting one at your final destination
  • Office supplies: if you’re old school then you might want to pack pencils, pens. paper clips, and notepads
  • Business cards: refill your stack of business cards at the beginning of each business trip
  • Small umbrella: pack this in the outside pocket of your suitcase so it’s accessible in the event it is raining when you arrive

Business trips of 3-5 days

Traveling with just a carry on means disembarking the plane and heading straight to your business meetings. However, you’ll need to be very critical about what is important to bring with you. The best way to go about this is to pack full outfits that you can wear all day, from morning to night. Rolling your clothes in your small carry on will maximize space and prevent wrinkles.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.