Hitting the road for work? Read on to learn helpful tips and tricks on how to pack efficiently for your next business trip.
For many, hitting the road is a necessary part of their work. And while some love the excitement of traveling somewhere new, others despise the looming task of packing. Learning how to properly pack for your next work trip will instantly reduce the stress these events may bring.
Whether you enjoy women’s leather accessories and clothing, bold statements, or a chic monochromatic look, understanding how to pack effectively and efficiently for your next business trip will allow you to maintain your professional look while minimizing your baggage.
Essential Items to Pack for a Business Trip
You don’t necessarily need a completely new outfit for every day of your trip. Instead, build versatile outfits with core colors like black, grey, white, and navy. You can include one or two bright and bold pieces, but these should be the minority of what you pack.
Button-up shirts are the most versatile top option you can get and are a must-have inclusion to any capsule wardrobe. They are appropriate for any situation, both casual and formal, and can be worn all year round. Choose neutral block shades with minimal patterns to maximize your options, as they can be worn with pants and skirts.
Regardless of how busy your schedule is, you will have some downtime, especially on your travel days. Don’t forget to include at least one casual top in your luggage to travel and relax comfortably.
Based on personal preference, you may prefer wearing trousers or skirts while at work. Tailored trousers, either straight-leg or wide-leg cuts, will always be appropriate for the corporate world and can be worn with a plethora of different shirt and shoe options.
Additionally, pack a pair of dark wash or black, slim-fit denims. They are incredibly stylish and can be worn in business casual environments, making them ideal for less formal lunches or day events.
Depending on the time of year you are traveling and the climate you visit, bringing one or two layering pieces may be appropriate to keep the winter chill at bay. This could include a versatile sweater that matches any potential outfit choices, a structured and sleek tailored blazer that can be thrown over everything, or a warm winter coat.
If you are concerned about space when packing bulkier items like winter coats or blazers, wear them while you travel to reserve suitcase space for other clothing items.
It may be tempting to overpack the accessories to give yourself plenty of options, but too many bold accessories can quickly turn your look into a costume. At most, you should pack one neutral-shade handbag that will match any outfit you wear and a select amount of jewelry to dress up your looks without overpowering them. Less is more when it comes to accessorizing for the office.
By employing a few simple tricks when packing for your next trip, you can effectively reduce the amount of clothes you take, allowing you to take fewer luggage pieces and only pack what you will realistically use and need.
Pack by Look
Pre-plan every look you plan to wear ahead of time, including the shoes and any accessories you may want. By visually seeing each complete outfit, you eliminate any uncertainty regarding your clothes while you are away and avoid the common mistake of packing more clothes than you will realistically wear.
Packaging one extra outfit is worthwhile in case of unexpected weather changes or other unforeseen issues.
It is no secret that shoes are the bulkiest item you can pack when taking a trip anywhere. It may be tempting to pack a different pair for each outfit you wear, but this additional baggage will quickly add up, and your small carry-on will suddenly need to be checked.
As a rule of thumb, for all business trips that are five days or less, you should pack a maximum of three pairs of shoes. Depending on the weather, you will likely need a stylish pair of heels or heeled boots, a pair of chic ballet flats or loafers, and a comfortable pair of sneakers for travel days and time off. Just make sure to use crease protectors for the shoes in your baggage so they don’t get damaged.
Invest in Decent Travel Suitcases
Investing in high-quality suitcases is worthwhile if you are a frequent traveler or foresee plenty of upcoming travel for work. Pushing a four-wheel rolling bag through an airport is a luxury worth having.
You may also have to bring your bags to a business meeting. Showing up with tattered bags is an easily avoidable embarrassment. Purchase your cases in a set to have the larger bag for longer trips or your next vacation.
Packing your bag efficiently will allow you to fit more clothes in a small space and help avoid unwanted creases or wrinkles while traveling. Pants or skirts should be folded in half and laid flat at the bottom of the bag. Tops that are casual or knit-wear and won’t crease easily can be rolled over the pants, while button-downs and blouses should be folded and packed on top of the pants.
Any sweaters or cardigans should be folded flat and placed on top of your shirts, allowing your shoes to sit on top. Always pack shoes inside shoe bags. Many retailers sell dedicated travel bags for this reason, but old drawstring bags will work, too. And finally, if you are traveling with a formal suit or gown, keep them in a garment bag to avoid creases, wrinkles, or unsightly marks.
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Packing for a Business Trip
If you follow these simple tips, your packing will be a breeze. You’ll be able to focus on the purpose of your trip rather than preparing your bags. Are you looking for an idea of things you can do in your off hours? Check out our “2 Days in… Ultimate Guide” series on Wander With Wonder for guides to hitting the essentials in destinations around the world.