The key to success when packing for a business trip, like most things, is a bit of preparation. If you plan your outfits ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about putting together pieces you’re going to wear while you’re unpacking in a hotel room. It also helps to prevent you from overpacking. We’ve all been guilty of being a bit overzealous when it comes to deciding just how many pairs of shoes are really needed. You want to choose pieces you can mix and match to create multiple looks. Think classic styles on this one. So plan your outfits, make the checklist and stick to it! Here’s a basic guideline of essentials on what to pack for a business trip.
You can’t go wrong with this classic. You can instantly create a polished look by adding a blazer. It’s also a good idea to keep one on hand in case you need to go straight from the airport to a meeting. You can put it on over your travel outfit and be ready to go. On this note, make sure you travel in a business appropriate outfit. Travel plans can change. Planes get delayed and meetings can change. Be prepared.
A white blouse can easily be dressed up or down. You can also layer it under other pieces whether it’s a blazer or sweater. You go can with a button down top or another style. Either one works and it’s just a matter of preference. Express is one of my favorite places to stock up on button down tops, especially if you’re just entering the corporate world!
Depending on the time of year, I’d recommend bringing along a sweater. This can be a component of your travel outfit as well. Cashmere sweaters are always a safe bet. They’ll always be work appropriate and are a solid investment piece both inside and outside of the office. Plus, they feel absolutely amazing.
I love a good pair of trousers. There’s just something about a well-tailored pair that can make you feel so put together and inspire quite a bit of confidence (for more on this). Traveling can be stressful but what you’re wearing shouldn’t be a part of that. Everyone should own at least a few pairs that they feel amazing in. It really makes a difference. Bring one of these!
This can be a stand-alone piece or can be layered with a blazer or sweater. You want to choose the one you feel not only comfortable in but confident in. See the notes above! There are so many flattering cuts and fits available out there. It’s also helpful to choose a dress that can easily go from work to a client dinner.
Try to limit this to one pair. I know this can be hard but the goal is to avoid any unnecessary packing. For those who might not be as comfortable in heels, be conscious of the height you choose in case you’re on your feet most of the day in presentations, etc. Try to plan what you’re packing around your itinerary.
A nice pair of flats is perfect for travel days or for when heels just won’t work for you. By going with one pair each, you’re keeping your shoe total to a minimum. This will reduce the overall weight of your bag and should keep you to just a carry on.
There are a few more items you should make sure to have with you when you travel. Always make sure to have extra business cards tucked away. You never know who you’re going to meet when you’re on the road. Networking is such an important tool. Bring a sturdy envelope with you to store all of your receipts to help keep you organized too. This will make it that much easier when it comes time to do your expense reports. Depending on the time of year and where you’re going make sure your coat is neutral and works with the other items you’ve packed. All of these are small details but can really make a difference when you’re traveling. I also highly recommend packing cubes!
What’s your must-have item when you’re on the road for business?