When you don’t do a lot of traveling via airplanes, knowing how and what to pack for a business trip can be stressful. You don’t want to pack too much or pack the wrong things. What if something comes up that you aren’t expecting, what about downtime? The questions can go on and on.
Last year was the first time I had really traveled outside of camping trips in quite a few years. All of a sudden I had a few different trips for work and packing was my biggest stresser! I’m far from an experienced traveler but I did learn a few things to do and not to do that may be helpful for the newbie or inexperienced traveler.
Define your Trip
If this is a business trip for work, chances are the appropriate attire for day is going to be more or less the same thing you would wear to work on a normal day but go a little deeper. Are you attending training where you’ll be sitting behind a desk all day? Will you be doing a lot of standing or walking at a trade show? Are there events after hours for networking? The answers to these questions should clue you in to the bulk of the items you’ll need.
Stick with Simple Color Palette
When traveling for more then a few days, the easiest way to save space is to plan your outfits around a single color or simple color palette. By keeping is simple and cohesive you’ll be able to pack fewer pieces and then mix and match your items to create multiple outfits.
Know the Weather of your Destination
If your trip takes you farther than a couple hours from home, research the weather of your destination. There is no point in packing heavy jackets or sweaters if you are headed to Miami. Again go deeper though. Consider the environment that you’ll be in. For example, I’m headed to Las Vegas. It’s not super cool here in PA yet but Vegas will be hot in comparison. I’m obviously not going to be packing a winter coat but knowing that I’ll be sitting in an air conditioned convention center for four days means I may get chilly. Taking along a simple light layer that I can toss in my bag when I’m outside but pull out if the AC is cold is a good idea.
Consider your Down time
Will you have your nights off or an afternoon to explore on your own? If so, be sure to pack what you’ll need for your down time. Maybe that’s a swimsuit to lounge by the pool or workout gear to hit the gym. Whatever it is, consider your off time as well.
Keep it Simple
If there is one thing I learned on my trip last year, it’s that I overestimated my down time. I packed my personal bag full of books, pens, notebooks, my Surface, folders, gadgets, headphones and so much more only to realize the bag weighed a ton and it killed me lugging it around all week. Only take the absolute necessities because you’ll be stuck lugging around all that extra stuff.