Traveling for business can be a mixed emotional bag. As road warriors will tell you, working on the road brings its unique challenges and annoyances. While getting paid to fly may appeal to some, managing an itinerary and being expected to execute out of the office can be overwhelming, to say the least.
So what’s the key to a successful business trip? Packing effectively and efficiently. And this starts before you even board the plane.
To help, refer to our tips on how to pack for a stress-free business trip.
Be Bag Smart
Whether you’re traveling across the country, or across the world, it’s highly recommended to never, ever check a bag. Instead, pack a carry-on that fits in overhead compartments. Reduced space is one thing. The reduced hassles of never having to wait at the luggage terminal or deal with lost bags is a game changer.
It’s also worth spending an extra dollar on high-quality luggage. Four-wheeled rolling luggage is easy to transport through airports and city streets. And hard-shell carry-on bags can withstand the inevitable bumps in an overhead bin.
Keep Things Basic
In some situations, you may need to pack the most formal business attire you have. However, for most business travel functions, you can get by with the basics: one pair of nice pants, one nice jacket (suit, or otherwise), and several shirts that can be worn from the boardroom to the bar.
Simplicity is key; bring clothes that match. And if possible, ditch the colors. From t-shirts and jeans, to socks and shoes, as a rule of thumb, neutral tones are the easiest to match. Johnny Cash was right—black is always the new black.
Afraid of showing up to your meeting in a wrinkled suit or dress? Pack recently dry cleaned clothes and use the protective plastic cover as a veritable shield. This will keep the suit from rubbing against itself and causing wrinkles.
Most travelers can get by with two pair of shoes for most business functions. This includes a pair of dress shoes for important events and dinners, and comfortable shoes for walking around and working out. No matter what you pack, be sure to wear the heavier pair on the plane to save space in your bag.
Above all, it’s important to stay comfortable during your next business trip. And having comfortable, functional shoes is the first step to ensure you’ll be traveling in comfort.
Bring the Right Technology
Traveling light manifests itself well beyond clothing and footwear. In fact, efficient and effective packing is ultimately dictating by knowing exactly what you need, before you step on a plane. In today’s increasingly connected world, technology is indispensable—especially on the road.
As we’ve mentioned before, part of optimizing your productivity is knowing which pieces of personal technology to bring along. Traveling everywhere with a bulky laptop bag isn’t always efficient. Many times, a tablet or smartphone will suffice. This isn’t 2002. Packing your bag to the brim with gadgets not only makes your bag heavier, it creates unnecessary distractions and can negatively impact productivity.
Any tips we missed? Comment below!