Saturday, April 18, 2015

How to Pack and Prepare for Business Travel

preparing-business-trip

I don't have to travel for work too often, but at least once per year (usually in warmer months) I have to attend a week long conference.  Over the years I've learned how to be best prepared for these trips and thought I'd share some of my business travel tips here.

What to wear:

It's best to plan all of your outfits, down to the undergarments and shoes.

Use neutral colors so that you can use the pieces all together.  For example, one pair of black, khaki, or navy slacks could be worn a few different days with a few blouses and one cardigan.  One pair of flats and one pair of sandals that go with everything minimizes the shoes you take.

Know the events you'll be attending so that you're prepared.  Usually I like to have slacks, flats, blouse and cardigan for the business day meetings (that are likely in a freezing conference room) and a dress or colored denim and sandals for the evening events (that are outside or in a restaurant and typically warmer).  I also will wear one casual outfit on the plane going to the destination and coming home, usually denim w light tennis shoes, a tshirt, and probably the same cardigan I'll wear with my business outfits.  I usually have one lounge outfit for the hotel room and maybe a bathing suit and coverup to wear at the pool.  Minimize jewelry, I usually just wear the same rings and necklace all week, no extra to carry or lose.

Make sure that the items you pack fit well and that you are comfortable in them.  That way you'll be at your best and make the most of your business trip.

What Luggage to use:

I use one hardshell rolling suitcase that fits in the overhead and one laptop bag and one wallet/clutch.  I can either check the suitcase or carry it on.  Most of the time, I just carry it on, and leave it plane-side when I board so I don't have to lift it into the overhead.  Because it has wheels, I can easily roll the suitcase through airports with the laptop bag balanced on top and save my neck and shoulders.  Inside my laptop bag is computer, phone, chargers, clutch/wallet, sunglasses, lip balm.  When I travel with camera equipment, I have a backpack that carries 2 cameras, extra lenses, and one computer and I use that instead of the laptop bag.  My hardshell suitcase is small, but I really never have a problem fitting everything if I plan and coordinate well.  One side of the suitcase holds all the clothes neatly folded or rolled.  The other side holds shoes, blowdryer, curling iron, and make up case.  I really make sure I only take the minimum of items and nothing extra.  All the liquids need to be in a ziplock bag anyway if you carry on. I go to Market of Choice and get small travel sized natural items, only things that I know I can't get at the hotel where I'm going.

Final Preparation:  

Shop for any missing items, give myself a mani/pedi, go visit my hairdresser for a trim are final grooming preparations.  I will also prepare for the business side by finishing any pre training work, preparing for meetings, and set goals for what I want to achieve on the trip.
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