What I Packed: 8 Day Business Trip to San Francisco

Minimalist packing list - what I packed for one week in San Francisco

San Francisco is a very casual city with predictable weather which makes traveling light easy. That said, I needed to pack for 8 days, 2 film shoots (camera required), and 1 client onsite. Thankfully it wasn’t supposed to rain and the place I was staying had laundry.

In previous trips I’ve traveled with my suitcase, but I’ve since purchased the Peak Design bag and wanted to challenge myself to stick to one carry on bag. The tricky part is having enough options for client on-sites and having to pack my camera to get client product shots.

Read on to see what (and how) I packed!


Minimalist Packing list

Toiletry bag

Clothes + shoes


  • Makeup (tinted moisturizer with SPF, brows, mascara, cheek tint)

  • Shampoo, comb, and hair gloss serum (I don’t use conditioner)

  • Toner and face lotion

  • Deodorant (Native is my favorite)

  • Toothbrush and Bite toothpaste bits


Travel Gear

Day Bag

My day bag is the Joshuvela Baja Backpack (use coupon code "THANKS10" to get $10 off) to carry all my gear. It's sturdy as hell, looks great, and is produced ethically in San Francisco. My favorite feature is that it can be carried as a tote bag to look dressy for client meetings, or slung over my shoulders for ergonomic walking without making me look like a college student.

Travel pouches

My travel bags are from the Spacepak System:

Camera bag and backpack

My camera bag is the Everyday Sling 5L and my backpack is the Everyday Backpack 30L, both from Peak Design. I did tons of research before purchasing because I intend this to be my one and forever bag. I’ve only traveled with it once but so far I’m thrilled.


On the move

This is a bit more than I’d like to carry, but overall it was manageable (except for the one hook in the airport bathroom). It’s unusual that I have so much client facing work in one trip but I’m glad I didn’t have to check a suitcase. When I walked onto the plane I shoved my camera bag into my day bag to meet the one carry-on and one personal item requirement.

What I packed - traveling light

Client onsite

Obviously this outfit wouldn’t fly in many offices, but San Francisco is a very casual city. I’ve been making an effort to wear less black (my dry cleaner once informed me that I “dress like a bat”) and this soft blue and pink combo felt really fresh!


Film shoot

My “day job” involves creating customer story videos. This involves an intense, all-day film shoot at a customer’s office. What I wear has to be comfortable, reasonably professional, able to get sweaty/dirty, and look good on camera in case we need more extras. That means no black/white tops or stripes, no silk, and comfortable shoes.

My 5L Peak bag has room for my Nikon DSLR, wallet, water bottle, and phone.

Film shoot
Munching on a croissant at  Tartine Bakery

Munching on a croissant at Tartine Bakery

Casual Weekend

This casual outfit is perfect for hitting up my favorite San Francisco spots. The jacket has huge pockets so I don’t need a purse. I’ve got trinkets in each pocket: greeting cards from the Heath Newsstand, blood orange jam from Tartine, plus my wallet and phone.

Sipping coffee at  Sightglass

Sipping coffee at Sightglass


It was a great trip! I was a bit chilly at times with the San Francisco fog. I think I should have packed a sweater and skipped the white flats, but otherwise I’m pleased I survived 8 days with so little!

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