What’s in the Bag of a Frequent Business Traveler

Business traveler essential items, diary, sleep mask, universal adapter, scarf © Stéphane Dupont

What’s in My Bag

Three frequent business travelers reveal their essential carry-on items to ensure they are refreshed and ready to go as soon as they land.

 Mathias Garcia Reinoso

… is the founder and CEO of NewLeaf, a professional training and consulting startup based in Paris.

  • For short flights, my main objective is to avoid checking a bag, so maximizing space is crucial. A great ally for this is vacuum-sealed compression bags, which squeeze your clothes into small packs and save a lot of space.
  • For long flights, the aim is to make the flight as comfortable as possible. My onboard toilet bag contains moisturizer, lip balm and eye drops to counteract the dry air in the cabin (by the way, avoid wearing contact lenses – your eyes will thank you!). Invest in a transparent toiletry bag: it makes life easier at security.
  • On a night flight, I make sure I have something comfortable to sleep in, like a long-sleeve T-shirt and sweatpants. I also bring compression socks, which help circulation when you’re immobile for long periods in the lower air pressure of the cabin.
  • I’m a huge music fan and I never travel anywhere without my MP3 player and earbuds – that way I have uninterrupted access to my favorite songs, with or without connectivity - I even sleep listening to music!
  • One of the things I enjoy most about flying is being out of contact, so I can read without being interrupted. An e-reader is my ideal travel companion.
Business traveler essential items cabin, laptop, MP3 player, passport, e-reader © Mathias Garcia Reinoso

Marie Drago

… is the founder of Gallinée, a French company that makes innovative microbiome-based skincare products.

  • For a long-haul flight, I make sure I have earbuds and ambient sounds on my playlist to help me sleep: trains and storms always work for me!
  • Comfortable, non-constricting clothing makes a big difference on a long flight. I usually wear leggings and a big sweater.
  • My onboard beauty kit contains my contact lenses case, mascara for when I land and a Gallinée face serum to keep my skin from getting dehydrated.
  • Being on an airplane gives me breathing space, away from other distractions: I tend to get a lot of ideas during a flight, so I always carry a notepad and pens to write things down. For me, good old-fashioned paper and pen are still indispensable! 
  • I like to do crosswords when I fly. It’s really escapist – almost meditative. Another good reason for bringing a pen!
  • I try to have a big meal before I board, which seems to help with jet lag. So I don’t need to bring snacks, but I always carry a bottle of water.
  • On the technical side, I keep a USB cable for my phone in my backpack in case I need to charge it on the plane.


Business travelers essential items, travel diary, beauty kit, earphones © Marie Drago

Stéphane Dupont

… is Digital Transformation Leader at Airbus and flies medium- or long-haul once or twice a month (preferably in A380 Business Class!).

  • I never go anywhere without my “go bag”: a converted tablet cover that holds everything I need for a flight.
  • A scarf is multi-purpose: it serves as a pillow, a neck prop, an eye shade, a blanket …it’s also handy if you’re going somewhere with a different climate.
  • Of course, my smartphone. When you travel a lot, your phone provides continuity, as it gives you access to your music, photos, films, friends, etc. At the same time, it allows you to immediately transition in space and time when you arrive.
  • For long trips, the flight essentially replaces a night at a hotel, and I have to work as soon as I arrive. To help me sleep, I bring a sleep mask and noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds. Melatonin, a sleep hormone you can get at the pharmacy and helps regulate your sleep cycle, is helpful from time to time for dealing with jet lag on business trips.
  • I’ve learned through experience to carry a backup battery as well as a universal adaptor. I use my phone for everything, so I need to make sure it’s always operational, no matter how long my work day.
Business traveler essential items, diary, sleep mask, universal adapter, scarf © Stéphane Dupont
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