Alex Wright

The Ultimate Packing List for Business Travel (and what to ditch)

Business travel can make or break a partnership so proper preparation is key. To maximize success, you need to make sure you’ve packed all the essentials. From high-tech gadgets to appropriate attire, all of these items are crucial to executing a flawless business trip. On the flip slide, there are plenty of items that are not necessary that will simply weigh you down and take up valuable space. With so much at stake, how does one differentiate between critical and unnecessary?  We’ve got your back! Check out our ultimate packing list for business travel (and what to ditch) to crush your next work trip!

Business Attire

Making a good impression is key so you’ll want to pack enough options for the duration of your trip. For men, 1 button up per day of meetings should do the trick and for ladies, this means 1 nice blouse or dress for each day. When in doubt, it’s better to dress to impress than take a more casual approach. Blazers are always a good idea (for both sexes) since you can layer on to dress up any outfit. What to ditch? Shoe options! As long as you have one pair of comfortable and appropriate shoes, there’s no need to pack an abundance of footwear. Shoes take up space and won’t have any bearing on the outcome of your meeting.

Play Attire

While your main purpose is business, there’s no reason you can’t have a little fun on your travels! If you don’t pack appropriately, you won’t be able to get any “play” time in! Make sure to bring workout gear if you’re looking to exercise in your downtime. Maintaining your health on the road is key so don’t assume it will be impossible to prioritize your fitness goals. Here are just a few useful tips for staying in great shape while traveling. Eating well, exercising, and getting good sleep could change your entire experience, for the better. Don’t forget to pack a nice pair of jeans in case you have the opportunity to embark on a fun night out. What to ditch? Ripped jeans! While frayed jeans may be super trendy, they aren’t considered the most professional look. With limited space, leave the distressed denim at home and bring a classic pair.

Gadgets

It’s easy to convince yourself that you need all of your electronics (+backups) on the road but be careful not to go overboard. Technology can add some serious weight to your baggage and mindset. Consider going lighter and only packing what you need to hold a successful meeting. While your smartphone is non-negotiable, your laptop might be optional, depending on your trip. Evaluate your itinerary and determine if you can get away with just a tablet. Ultimately, make sure you feel comfortable with your decisions so that you’re not stressing about the possibility of needing something. To avoid a serious meltdown, make sure you pack all chargers and even a portable battery bank. Your electronics (and everything on them) will be useless to you without battery life. What to ditch? Noise-canceling headphones. This nifty gadget can come in handy but if you’re looking to make room in your suitcase, consider swapping for earbuds. They aren’t as effective at canceling out noise but they should do the trick.

Old School Items

We’ve all become so reliant on our smartphones that we often overlook the basics of good business. A simple notebook and pen can be a real lifesaver if you’re having some technical difficulties. Not to mention, many business professionals will give you points for taking notes and being engaged in the conversation. It’s also wise to bring a watch to get a sense of time instead of staring at your phone throughout the meeting. Many professionals would consider this behavior rude and you certainly don’t want to offend your colleagues. What to ditch? A distracted mind. We’re all guilty of responding to emails during meetings but try to give the parties in front of you all of your attention. You’re in that setting for a reason so it’s only fair to give your complete focus and energy towards that cause. You’ll be sure to have a more rewarding exchange!

For all our first-time business travelers, make sure you check out these 5 expert tips for success! These hacks (such as remembering to bring your business cards) could make you the hero or zero of the meeting. It might seem like a waste of time but consider making a packing list to help organize your thoughts. Traveling for business can be overwhelming so it’s wise to slow down and think about what you need to be successful. Packing smart is the first step in nailing your business trip. Try to bring items that will make you feel comfortable and confident in your meetings. You got this!

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