How to Pack for a Work Trip

work trip business travelers and nomads

Work trips are both exhilarating and intimidating, invigorating and exhausting but whatever your feelings toward them, they are a fact of modern business life.  However busy your working week has been, a business trip is never something that you should just let happen. You need to do your homework: know who you are meeting and why you are meeting them, prepare your pitch, if that’s what you’ll be doing, know something about the culture, so that you don’t inadvertently offend anyone, and you need to prepare how you will present yourself.  That’s where packing comes in. This isn’t just some weekend away, where if you forget something you can easily pick it up; this is going to be busy and probably stressful and if you’ve got your packing right, you can have confidence in your appearance and one less thing to worry about.

The Formality

Go through your itinerary and for each day and decide on the kind of outfit you will need.  Be clear about the level of formality which each situation requires.  If you are not sure, then you need to try and find out. Feeling that you are dressed inappropriately, will really put you off your stride.

The Weather

Check online the expected weather for your destination, this should help you determine what kind of coats, shoes and other clothing to pack.  Will most of your time be spent indoors or will there be visits which require outdoor clothing? Perhaps you will be able to enjoy some personal leisure time during your visit, in which case you should consider how you intend to spend it and whether you need to pack accordingly.  Remember, weather forecasts can be wrong, so pack an umbrella and take more layers than you think you’ll need in case the temperatures drop.

The Essentials

Make a list of all essential items before packing, ticking them off once they are packed safely.  Among the key items you need to remember are passport, tickets, visa documents, currency and bank card, medication, toiletries, chargers, adaptor plugs, glasses and if you are going somewhere hot, prescription sunglasses.  It can be a good idea to keep your important documents all in one folder and your other key items in a small pouch in your handbag so they’re always to hand.

The Accessories

Carefully chosen accessories will help you transition from daytime to evening wear, or from smart to casual without the need for multiple outfits.  Lipsticks, earrings and clutch bags take up little space in your suitcase but can affect a very effective transformation.

The Outfits

When packing, focus on context appropriate outfits, not just a collection of things that you like.  You don’t want to arrive at your destination to discover that you don’t have any items of clothing which actually suit each other.  Sticking to a colour palette can be a way of ensuring that you feel confident in what you are wearing.

Don’t Overpack

Be decisive and don’t overpack.  If you can manage with hand luggage, so much the better, what you certainly don’t want is some great vault of a suitcase that you have to lug around only to find that you’ve packed enough for a sea cruise.