Is it dreaded? Is it fun? Is it an engaging team development and relationship building event? Or is it a glorious all expenses paid trip filled with nice meals and fancy hotels on the company’s dime? Probably all of the above.
Regardless of how it impacts rapport of a team, one thing is for sure. Packing for a business trip can be a bit of a pain. After all, we need plenty of clothes appropriate for local weather and unpredictable conference room climates, something extra in case of a spill or style catastrophe, and we don’t want to be the anchor weighing down the team’s swift travel expeditions through airport security with enormous amounts of excess luggage.
So to ensure we’ve crossed our T’s and dotted our I’s, let’s talk packing for a week long business trip. At the very least, a well planned suitcase makes for super easy mornings when all outfits are planned for the week and there are no last-minute run-ins with style police when nothing you frivolously threw in your bag that’s still clean matches by Thursday morning.
This week, I’ll be sharing with you my four outfits that I wore on a trip to Minneapolis for work just before the holidays and the guidelines I followed for packing efficiently and effectively.
Tips for Packing Efficiently for a Week Long Business Trip
Check The Weather • The weather forecast for my destination called for cold and dry weather though nothing unseasonable for the locale. But any types of high heats, dreaded cold, and especially wet conditions can ruin a good many outfits so be prepared for less-than-ideal weather if the weather forecaster seems to think it’s on its way.
Pack Fabrics That Don’t Easily Wrinkle • Knits, cashmere, wool, and polyester prove to be good options that don’t easily wrinkle or release wrinkles better upon arrival at your destination. Although never a good option itself, a bit of spandex in a fabric will help release wrinkles as well. And if it is wrinkled upon arrival, hang it on the back of the bathroom door and enjoy a steamy shower. The steam should help release some of the wrinkles in the clothes (and be a great way to relax after a day of travel).
Stick to a Single Neutral Color Base • Select a neutral color and use that as a base around which to build all your outfits. Maybe you choose black including black pants and a black skirt. All your tops and accessories will match these two items and, consequently, be more remixable. The most common and manageable options are often black, brown or gray. Planning all your outfits around one of these colors will help insure items are interchangeable if necessary and limit the number of shoes (heavy space hogs) required for the trip.
Opt for Interchangeable Pieces • Related to your neutral color base, consider selecting pieces that can be remixed. Having a single color base will likely make this easier. Specifically, if you chose the black pants and skirt, chose tops in colors and silhouettes that work with both the skirt and the pants. Consider bringing just one pair of shoes that works with both the pants and the skirt as well.
Limit Accessories and Keep Them Simple • I wore one pair of simple studs that matched all my outfits. I didn’t have to carry extra accessories, which often times are heavy. And I didn’t risk losing the little buggers that often find new homes when I don’t keep a close enough eye on them. While bulky statement necklaces are great, a business trip probably isn’t the best time to sport your collection.
Wear Bulky Boots and Jackets on the Plane • I knew I wanted to bring my black boots but surely didn’t have space or want to carry them in my luggage. This will prove especially important if you’re proficient enough to squeeze everything in a carry-on which, I promise, is totally doable.
While many bags will do, the Vera Bradley Large Duffel Bag is without-a-doubt my favorite option for packing for a business trip. I generally don’t check luggage, so I’m not concerned about the ability of the bag to weather a trip through the dark dungeons and outdoor conditions of checked luggage.
I have owned and used mine religiously for travel for many years. I love that it’s super lightweight, plenty big enough for a week’s worth of clothes and make up, and the soft edges allow just a few more things to be squeezed in when you’re packing to head home and things just don’t seem to pack as tightly as they did on the way there (you know it’s true… right?).
You can find countless options on Amazon. You can also buy directly from the Very Bradley website. Because they have so many gorgeous patterns, I always buy a pattern from a previous season to save money. And of course, don’t forget to use Ebates for a little cash back on your purchase!
I’ll share my outfits throughout the rest of the week. First though, I’d love to have you link up your latest workwear outfits. The more ideas the merrier.
Also, I’d be elated to hear in the comments your favorite tips for packing up a bag for a few days on the road for your job. What do you bring? Any must-haves aside from the obvious (clothes, makeup, a toothbrush and hairbrush, etc…)? Any great tips to make the packing or planning process easier? Or make the travel process more enjoyable?
From last week’s Sophisticated Style link up, I couldn’t resist this cozy outfit from Karen at Lady in Violet. It’s so fitting for a Casual Friday in the winter. It’s been cold lately and this just looks so perfect.