DC to NYC and Back: My Quick Work Trip Must Haves

The quick DC-NYC-DC trip on Amtrak is so incredibly easy and I’m hoping it’s something I can make a regular occurrence now that I’m working for myself. I love the chance to get work done, meet up with friends or family for dinner and catching up, and enjoy the buzz and the independence of navigating a city that is not my own, on my own.

work trip must haves - dc to nyc work trip

And I also love the excuse to have a night away, by myself, in a hotel room (again, nice on occasion and with a quick trip to NYC — I can’t imagine doing it regularly or with long flights added in!). I have my routine down to a science, from pampering before I go to bed to waking up early and watching the Today Show while I get ready for work (such a throwback to when my roommates and I would watch it over breakfast in our 20s, I never, ever watch TV in the morning — or ever — anymore).

My Quick Work Trip Must Haves for Packing and Comfort

Part of this routine is packing the right items — my quick work trip must haves. These will always make my packing list. I’ll cut an extra sweater or pair of booties before I dream of not packing my slippers or a face mask. They’re also the travel items that make everything just a bit more effortless. I’ve found that when I have the right supplies in which to pack, I feel more pulled together, everything is easier, and I’m far less stressed. The bottom line: I’ve learned sometimes it might be worth it to splurge on that expensive suitcase.

work trip must haves


I always wear my slippers at home, so why wouldn’t I wear them while I travel? A friend of mine first recommended packing slippers, and now I’m hooked. They take up almost no room and are such a little luxury when I’m away from home.

Cozy Socks

Aquaphor and cozy socks. There’s no better combo, especially when I’m having a quiet pampering evening all by myself.

Face Mask

When I’m staying in a hotel room by myself, there’s nothing I love more than putting on a fluffy robe, some cozy socks, and, of course, a face mask. I never travel on work trips without them.

Toiletry Bag

I used to use two open toiletry bags. Just zip top, no compartments. They were cute — canvas with monograms. But my life seriously upgraded the day I got this cheap Amazon toiletry bag. With all its compartments, its hanger, and its multiple pockets, it keeps all of my (many) toiletries organized and safely in place. It’s the best packing item I own.

Lo & Sons O.G. Bag

The Lo & Sons O.G. Bag is an oldie, but a goodie, and still my favorite travel work bag (and always work bag!). Between the laptop pocket and the fact it slips over the handles of a suitcase, there’s literally nothing better. It’s a fairly lightweight bag on its own, and, with all its padded pockets, it holds everything I need.

Away Suitcase

Technically, the Away suitcase is Adam’s, not mine. And I told him it was too expensive and trendy when he got it — but now I steal it every chance I get. It’s the carry-on size and it rolls beautifully, it feels sturdy, and it just looks chic. I’ve always been a T.J. Maxx suitcase shopper, but this has totally convinced me I need one for myself (especially since I finally had to throw away my falling apart carry-on bag).

Planner with Pocket

I love to get planning done while I’m on the train. Something about that captive environment. The pocket comes in hand, however, when I’m collecting receipts to expense.



  1. Alyssa
    February 23, 2023 / 5:50 pm

    I’m so envious of the train service within the Northeastern US! I keep saying I’m going to take Amtrak for a weekend getaway from Charlotte, but it just doesn’t make sense to take it any further than, say, Raleigh because of how long the trip takes. What is the total transit time from DC to NYC?

    • February 24, 2023 / 5:57 pm

      I wish the train was more efficient all over! I remember once I took it Richmond to Charleston, and it was awful. DC to NYC is 4 hours on the regular Amtrak, 2:45 on Acela!

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