What to Pack for a Business Trip
In a previous blog, we explored ways of packing efficiently for business trips. The end goal is to make sure you pack what you might need without going overboard. So, while packing weather-appropriate attire and minimizing toiletries, it also is essential to plan ahead in other ways as well.
The best rule of thumb for packing for a business trip is this: Stick with a general, neutral color-scheme. The nice thing about packing for business trips is that many clothing items can serve dual purposes. For instance, the slacks you wear to a business meeting can also be worn to dinner with a different top/jacket. Business trips are not the time to get too creative with your wardrobe.
Whether you are going to a conference or simply attending a few meetings during your business trip, dressing appropriately is key. Most conferences will include preferred attire in their marketing pieces. For “business casual” events, you should avoid jeans, shorts, sneakers, and sleeveless tops. For men, a tie is probably not necessary; and for women, heels are probably not necessary. For “business formal” events, men will need a coat and tie and women will need a dress/pants suit. It is probably safe to assume that “business formal” is the way to go for non-conference-related business meetings. It’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed.
Not clear what “business casual” means?
Here’s how GQ defines business casual for men: Casual September GQ Style
Here’s how Woman’s Day defines business casual for the ladies: Build the Perfect Business Casual Wardrobe
If you have business dinners (or other meals) planned during your trip, it’s best to do a little homework before packing. First of all, who are you having dinner with? If you’re trying to impress or close a sale, “business formal” is the way to go. Also, where is the dinner being held? Is the venue upscale or casual? Visit their websites and social media accounts to learn more about the venue. Be sure to browse menu prices and troll photos to get a better idea of what to expect.
Sometimes conferences hold galas or other formal events. For gentlemen who do not own a tux, instead of renting one at home and packing it, call the hotel concierge ahead of time and see if they can help coordinate a tux rental on site. And, for the ladies, less is more when it comes to destination formals. Most “little black dresses” can be spruced up with accessories. So, instead of packing a 10-pound evening gown, pack a nice cocktail dress and plenty of baubles and beads to liven it up.
Personal Time: All work and no play is no fun
Let’s not forget that business trips don’t have to all be about business. For your well-being, find a little time for “me-time.” So, don’t forget to pack a bathing suit, flip flops, gym clothes, and/or assorted casual wear for those times when you’re not conducting business. If you have some time to check out the scenery, take advantage! Pack appropriate attire for simply taking a walk around town.