Packing Tips for a Business Trip

No matter how often you travel, there’s something about packing that’s always a little more stressful than it ought to be. And there’s always that nagging feeling of forgetting something…
So get into the habit of packing only the bare necessities; you won’t have as many things to forget if you do. Very rarely will anyone remember what pants you were wearing on the first day if you wear them on the third day, and chances are, you won’t be lounging around in your suit after your presentation or big meeting. Just something to consider…
Here are a few guidelines for the size of your luggage, depending on how long you’ll be traveling:
(We’ve discussed other packing tips in the past where some people have been able to manage getting seven days’ worth of clothes into a 20 inch carry-on, but these are good guidelines to start with.)
Wear your heaviest clothes on the plane if you can. Often, that’s your suit and dress shoes. Not only can those items get wrinkled, scuffed, or otherwise damaged in your carry-on luggage — we recommend shoe bags if you must pack them — but they also take up a considerable amount of space, especially footwear.
Not to mention, wearing your business finest to the airport could prove lucky…you never know who you might meet at your gate. Never underestimate the power of on-the-go networking.
Don’t overlook garment bags: Back in December, Peter Kessler, “the voice of golf” and regular business traveler, raved about Travelpro’s Platinum 7 Suiter on his blog. A well-made garment bag with all your shirts, jackets and pants inside will leave your most important clothes kink-free for a big day in the boardroom or presentation room.
If your clothes still need a refresh, you have several in-room options: First, check your closet for an iron, which comes standard with almost every room. You can also shower with your clothes: Hang them in the bathroom while you enjoy a nice, hot one. You can press out small wrinkles with your hands after the steam does its work. Or, if you have the time and wherewithal for it, many hotels also offer dry cleaning and pressing services. Leave them with your housekeeping staff before you leave for the day, and you’ll have them back in no time.
Clothes aren’t the only thing to consider, of course. How about toiletries?
If you’ll be carrying on, size is obviously a concern. Often it’s better not to worry about packing precisely 3 ounces of each of your favorite toiletries. Instead, just use what your hotel provides for your showers. And if you forgot something, many hotels have plenty of supplies behind the front desk in case of emergency, whether it’s a toothbrush, toothpaste, razor or some other essential. This is especially useful if you took a red-eye or arrived late after a long-delayed flight. Even if the provisions are just tiding you over, they’ll ease your stress and get your trip off on a better foot.
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