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Ah yes, the business trip. It’s an integral part of any consultant’s work schedule. It’s also one of those occasions that female entrepreneurs dread. Don’t get me wrong, doing business on the road is always a welcome change; it’s the packing process that I can’t stand. When it comes to selecting a wardrobe that’s concise and cohesive, I just can’t seem to do it. But luckily, there’s hope for fail-whale travelers like myself.
Forethought and planning are key
One of the most important things to consider when packing for a business trip is your itinerary. Where will you be going? What will you be doing? How long will you be out of town? Having a clear understanding of your business trip’s requirements will make the packing process easier.
Research your destination
This tip goes hand in hand with planning. Before jetting off to your meeting location, remember to check the weather report. Nothing is more frustrating than packing a winter wardrobe when a simple summer suit would have sufficed. It also doesn’t hurt to check the standard power outlet configuration, especially when you’re traveling internationally. There’s no point in carting your hair straightener if you don’t have the proper power adaptor.
Remember: less is more
When it comes to actually packing your suitcase, remember the magic mantra –less is more. Instead of dragging out your industrial sized suitcase, opt for a smaller, more compact piece of luggage. Simply looking at this smaller bag will help you focus on packing light. When creating your outfits for the trip, try to opt for coordinated shirts and trousers. Pack clothes that are neutral in colour, as this will make mixing and matching easy. And as much as it kills me to say this, pack just one pair of shoes.
Perfect your travel outfit
No one likes to travel in full formal office wear. And while we’d all secretly love to slip into our favourite pair of yoga pants for a long eight hour flight, spandex is still considered inappropriate in corporate circles (such a shame). So what’s a girl to do? Well, start by buying a pair of wrinkle-free slacks. These will help ensure that you land looking as put-together as you did on take-off. To dress things up, toss on a tailored jacket. Having a jacket is great for a number of reasons; first, the extra layer is perfect for different temperature variations during travel. Second, jackets have pockets, which will save you the hassle of searching through your purse for your passport at every security checkpoint. Finally, trade your strappy stilettos for a pair of sensible slip-on pumps. Not only are these more comfortable, they’ll save you a boatload of time at the security scan.
Finally, master the art of packing a perfect carry-on. Here are a few tips:
1) Take all work materials in your carry-on. If your luggage is lost, you’ll still be able to make your presentation.
2) Always include a spare change of undergarments. If your trip is a short overnight jaunt, attempt the unthinkable – pack all necessities in your carry-on. Just think of all the time you’ll save by skipping the luggage pick-up.
3) Choose a carry-on that has lots of pockets. This will enable you to pack (and later find) everything from your laptop and a magazine, to snacks and lip gloss.
Do you have any suggestions for how to pack like a professional?
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