There is a vast difference between packing for a business trip as opposed to a leisurely holiday. Business travel packing is more strategic and involves more planning. InterContinental Sydney was recently awarded Best Business Hotel in this year’s World Travel Awards, so we know a thing or two about business travel, with thousands of corporates checking in to our hotel each year. Here, we give you the top 10 tips for packing for business travel to ensure you get it right every time.
Invest in a nice travel bag or suitcase
Step one is all about the foundations – and that’s starting with a good quality, stylish travel bag. Once you get this right, packing for your business trips will always seem like a pleasure and not a chore. Business travel is much easier when you don’t have to check your luggage, so opt for a case you can take on the plane as carry on. There’s an array of hard and soft cover suitcases to choose from that are suitable for carry on. Busy people don’t have time to wait for luggage collection!
Plan your outfits ahead of time
Work out exactly what you need and for what occasion and pack only those items. Also, make sure you check the weather at your destination ahead of time so you pack the appropriate clothing. Look at your impending travel schedule and work out if you’ve got back-to-back day meetings, followed by a formal occasion in the evening, and pack an outfit to match each occasion. Strategy is key!
Be savvy with shoes
Whether you’re a woman or a man, shoe lovers will find it tempting to squeeze as many pairs as humanly possible into their suitcase – this is most people’s Achilles heel; however, being such a bulky item, this is an area where you need to be savvy. We urge you – only pack the shoes you really, really need, be it one set of pumps/leather business shoes, a pair of sneakers if you want to hit the hotel gym after a busy day and a more casual pair for your travel home.
Go as minimal as possible
It is easy to get carried away when it comes to packing – we suddenly think we need everything in our house to come with us and we will be lost without it for a few days. This is far from the truth. Minimal packing is key; as mentioned above, it is all about being strategic with your items and only packing what is necessary. This goes for toiletries too, so try to pare back what you pack in this department.
Only pack one coat
Coats are by far the bulkiest item in our wardrobes, so don’t get fussy about having heaps of options for this item. Pick one that will go with every outfit you have planned to make sure you have enough room in the suitcase to pack all the other important bits and pieces.
Pack a notepad, your favourite pen (with a lid!), your laptop and whatever other important business stationery you need and keep it all in a stylish and compartmentalised bag. Try to buy a light-weight, sleek laptop bag or briefcase that can fit all aforementioned items, as you will be carrying this by hand through airports and want to make it as light as possible.
Your power chargers
The last thing you need is to turn up to your meeting straight off the plane and have your laptop run out of battery – with no charger to rectify the problem. Don’t forget laptop and phone chargers and any others for your electrical items you will be taking with you.
It is always handy to have a stash of business cards on you so you’re not awkwardly floundering in moments with important delegates. Keep these in your suit jacket pocket, or in your handbag or briefcase in a small cards case so you can whip them out at any given moment.
Wear your power suit on the plane
For business travel, it’s always easier to suit up or dress up for your up-coming meeting and wear this outfit on the plane, rather than pack a change of clothes. This way, you are looking sharp and snazzy from the get-go and can walk straight off that plane into your meeting like a boss.
Pack your bag efficiently
The physical act of packing the bag has two goals: getting as much stuff in there as you can, and getting it all from place to place without damaging the bag or its contents. It’s always worth thinking about how much time you’ll have for clothing maintenance once you arrive: if you know you’re going to have a day of downtime before your business commences, you can pack a little more carelessly and count on having time to press your shirts on-site, and possibly even have your suits pressed. But always remember that air travel can leave you with unexpected delays, and try to get things there in ready-to-wear condition.