At some point in your career, you are likely to travel for business. Often these trips are for less than a week in duration. For ease of addressing packing concerns, let’s talk about these shorter trips and assume that longer trips are a whole ‘nother topic.
Even for shorter jaunts, it’s difficult to pack light AND have enough clothes for a business trip. It’s quite plausible that you’ll need at least two sets of clothes per day if you’ll be attending evening events. And, if you’re interested in working out, you’ll need an additional set of clothes for the gym or your jog.
Pack only two or three pairs of pants or skirts that you can wear more than once. Neutral colors such as black or beige will allow you to interchange them with a variety of tops.
Include a number of blouses (short or long sleeve depending on the temperature at your destination) that will go well with the pants or skirts you’ve packed. Include a nice jacket and you can dress up for important meetings or have a more casual look without the jacket.
Use a packing folder like the one pictured above, from Magellan’s, and it will help keep your clothes from getting wrinkled.
Accessories such as a scarf and some nice jewelry will help you dress up your outfits, too.
You can easily get away with wearing a pair of dress shoes throughout your whole trip and then packing a pair of gym shoes for working out in or comfortable sandals that you can wear on long walks.
Workout clothes generally take up little room and aren’t as critical when it comes to keep them staying wrinkle-free. They’ll still take up some space but you shouldn’t need more than two outfits. Once you’ve worked out, you can either rinse your clothes in the hotel sink or utilize the laundry services.
Don’t forget to pack (or wear in-flight) a pair of jeans or other pants that you can wear when you’re not working. Coupled with a comfortable shirt or sweater, you’ll be set for your whole week.
Plan to wear your heavier clothes on the flight. Not only will you stay warmer despite the cool air that often gets piped through the airplane, but you’ll save space in your bag. Wear your jacket and the pair of shoes that will take up the most space.
If you’re not able to pack all of your clothes in one carry-on bag (utilizing a compression sack), then be sure to bring along some emergency toiletries in case your bag gets lost along the way.
Electronics and Other Accessories
You will likely have a laptop, cell phone, digital camera or other electronics with you. Invest in a lightweight laptop bag or briefcase that will allow you to compartmentalize many of these items so you don’t have to worry about finding space for them in your luggage.
Keep in mind that you have to remove your laptop at airport security so make sure it’s a bag that provides easy accessibility for this purpose.