Business trips can be tiring, so the last thing you need is to arrive at your destination and have to wait in a long carousel queue. Or when you unpack, find that your clothing is either impractical or hopelessly full of wrinkles! However, to alleviate some of the stress, all it takes is a little pre-planning and some clever packing hacks to ensure your next journey is hassle-free. Here are some tips on how to pack for a business trip.
Invest in a baggage that’s functional and stylish
Ditch the long crowds and carousel loitering by investing in a decent carry-on bag that’s durable, functional and will take you from the airport to your hotel room in style. Key features to consider include a bag that has sturdy zips and handles and a variety of pockets and compartments to separate different items.
Wheel-a-boards are ideal as they are easily transportable, and as long as they conform to your airline’s size restrictions can be safely secured in an overhead locker. You should also make sure your bag’s not over the weight limit – most airlines have a 7kg restriction, so you’ll need to factor this in when packing.
At the top of your business trip checklist should also be your carry-on purse, briefcase or ‘man bag’. It should be big enough to hold all of your valuables like keys, wallet, phone, laptop and other electronic equipment, and any important prescriptions and documents you’ll need while in transit.
Choose clothing for the event and the weather
One of the first things to consider when packing for a business trip is the weather, which will help you narrow down the type of wardrobe you’ll need. If you’re travelling to a cooler location, choose clothing that can be layered as temperatures can vary depending on whether you’re attending an outside venue or spending most of your time in an indoor conference room.
Make sure your clothing is appropriate for the type of business travel you’re doing as well. Most events will call for business attire, however, if you’re going on a team conference where outdoor activities are involved, then a too-formal dress or business suit is probably not ideal either!
Decide on what items you’ll wear each day
When choosing clothing, decide what you’ll wear on the flight first. Wearing your business jacket on the plane can keep it from wrinkling (just get your hostie to hang it up when you board). If you team it with a pair of casual pants and shoes, you’ll also be comfortable on the flight as well. It will free up your luggage space for additional items or leave you with some room for possible souvenir shopping!
Men should pack a full suit and a tie that matches their shirt/s. Navy, black or grey are versatile colours and depending on the style, pants can be ‘dressed down’ for casual social or work events. Business shirts should be plain or striped (not too busy or bright), and ones made of wrinkle-free fabric means you can ditch the iron for a few days.
Women have a few more options, but a mix-and-match dress, formal shirt/s, pants and/or a skirt should do the trick as well as a quality blazer that suits formal and non-business occasions.
Don’t forget some casual clothing options as well
Casual options should also be considered – dark jeans are always a good choice. They can be dressed up with a jacket and a quality leather belt for men and some personalised accessories for women. Depending on your ‘down’ time, you might also want to consider packing a pair of bathers for the hotel pool or nearby beach and/or some fitness gear for that out-of-work-hours gym session or tourist walk.
Finally, shoes. You’ll need dress shoes in a neutral colour to match your business attire, and a pair of casual flats and/or runners for sightseeing and exercise. And don’t forget the underwear and your tights or socks!
Pack efficiently and smartly to save on space
To save time in terms of how to pack for a business trip, once you’ve chosen your items of clothing lay them out along with your toiletries, electronics and any other important must-takes. Start by packing heavy items first to keep them from crushing other delicate items. These include shoes (invest in a shoe travel bag to keep things even tidier), which you can fill with socks or tights.
Next add your portable electronic charger/s and Wi-Fi hotspot (if you’re travel-savvy enough to own one), and any other heavier items that won’t fit in your handbag or briefcase. Your mini first aid kit comes next, which should include things like bandages, wipes, pain relief, hand sanitiser, tweezers and any other backup medications.
Your wet pack is next. This should be as compact as possible with compartments that allow you to separate items. Travel-sized personal care products are ideal, and these days pretty much everything has a mini version. These include things like deodorant, soap, body wash, shaving cream, moisturizer and hair care products. If you’d prefer to personalise these, invest in some travel containers that you can refill again and again with your favourite products before each trip.
Heavier clothes come next – jeans, pants, dresses, an extra jacket or additional warm clothes, followed lastly by your dress shirts or items that are prone to wrinkling. Smaller items like tops, T-shirts, accessories, swimwear, sleepwear and underwear can go on top or be packed separately into internal pockets or compartments.
A note on how to pack your bag as well. ‘Flat packing’ will keep items organised and relatively wrinkle free, whereas rolling when packing will keep things small and tight to maximise the space. You could also try and combination of the two, or completely up the organisation factor by investing in some packing cubes to keep everything rightfully in its place!
When you arrive at your destination unpack ASAP
Once you arrive at your accommodation, try and unpack your bag straight away. Hang items in the wardrobe (packing a few extra coat hangers is always wise as well), fold clothing neatly and into drawers, and place expensive items in the room’s safe if it has one.
Also check that there is an iron and ironing board available, and if not, another business travel packing hack is to hang your shirts near the bathroom. The steam from the shower will be an instant wrinkle-eraser. Happy business travels!
You’re packed and ready to go. Now it’s time to organise your ride to the airport. Car Australia has all your business travel needs covered with our range of chauffeured cars and shuttles! Get in touch today on 1300 661 119.