Many of you may not have packed for a business trip in almost a year. Business professionals have not had to travel out of state or even the country with the majority of conferences and large business meetings going online in 2020.
But as health conditions start to return to normal, business travel will begin to return and increase. Here at Club Quarters, we want to assist you in re-entering business travel and doing it well. We have some tips and tricks for men and women that we would like to share on how to pack for your next business trip.
Whether you will be traveling overnight, for a weekend, or even longer, many of your packing needs will be the same. We have also created an easy-to-use checklist with clothes and other items you won’t want to forget on your next business trip.
As you begin to layout the outfits you plan to bring on your business trip, keep space in mind. Whether you will be flying with only a carry-on or driving to your destination, space will be limited. Find basics in your closet that can be used in multiples ways.
For men, pick a neutral color suit like navy or black that can be paired with more than one shirt. There is no use in taking multiple suits unless your trip is longer than a week.
There might also be occasions that the jacket will not be required. Just remember, for each button-down shirt you bring, you have two outfit possibilities (one with the full suit and one with just the pants).
Similarly for women, find a neutral suit with a blazer and slacks or a skirt. If your closet has a suit with a skirt and slacks that match the same blazer, this will open up even more options. Remember to pick shirts that can be worn with or without a blazer.
For men and women, this tip also applies to your shoes. Think about the space you have to pack and the number of days you will be traveling. If you have a simple black pair of shoes that will match all of your outfits, pack those plus one extra pair.
For women, you will want to have daytime and nighttime shoes if you have business dinner meetings or cocktail meetings. Think more practical footwear during the day and save your stilettos for dinners.
Also for women, cardigans are great layering pieces. You could use the same cardigan with your business dress one day then with your slacks and dress top another day. Think of your cardigan like another jacket. But this “jacket” is where you add color and variety to your outfits.
As you look at your stack of clothes to bring and the size of your suitcase, the outlook can seem grim. But there is a solution! Taking the time to neatly fold and roll your clothes will save more space than you realize.
This is also the time to mention, consider the fabrics of your clothing choices. Linen is completely out of the question. This fabric will not only wrinkle in the travel process but also after sitting in one meeting you will have wrinkles lines galore.
For men, look into non-iron or wrinkle-free dress shirts. For women, button-down non-iron shirts are also sold. Travel-friendly fabrics include wool, lyocell, polyester, cashmere, knit, and spandex.
For even more efficient packing, consider putting items like socks and undergarments into zip-top plastic bags and squeezing out the air. After you roll and pack these items tightly into the bags, they will take up barely any room.
As the title suggests, we do not recommend rolling your suit jackets, pants, or skirts. Fold them with the natural creases they already have: jackets – in half placing shoulder to shoulder; pants – along the pre-ironed creases. Then fold them as few times as possible after that. These items can be placed either first into the bottom of your suitcase or last on top.
We also do not recommend rolling your button-down dress shirts. Fold them similarly to the way you see them sitting for sale in stores. Lay the shirt face down and fold each sleeve and a small portion of the body towards the middle. Then fold the shirt into itself lengthwise two times.
This may seem silly until you open your suitcase after arriving at your destination and find your dress shoes squished and bent. Consider using your socks and undergarments to work as reinforcements. Not only will your shoes maintain their shape but also you are making use of every inch inside your luggage.
Depending on the schedule of your business trip, you may have some downtime. This could mean a chance for a quick work out at the hotel fitness center or some sightseeing.
Most workout clothes are spandex or thin. These clothes will make for easy rolling and packing into a zip-top plastic bag also. You can easily wash these types of clothes in the sink between uses and hang them to dry. And don’t forget your workout shoes.
At Club Quarters, we realize know that maintaining your physical health is important. That’s why we offer free delivery of work-out equipment, resistance bands, and yoga mats to your room upon request.
For leisure clothes, consider a pair of jeans that can be dressed up or down. This means a dark wash without distressing or fading. For men, you can pair them with a button-down shirt you are already bringing but leave it untucked. For women, jeans can be paired with almost any top. This pair of jeans will also come in handy for after-work cocktails where suits aren’t required.
Even as business travel returns, still remember to keep yourself safe physically. This means bringing masks and hand sanitizer as it may not be readily available where you are traveling to.
For your luggage, consider a combination or key lock. Especially if you are traveling on a bus, a train, or with a large group, you want to be sure all of your valuable items stay in your bag.
If needed, Club Quarters offers safety deposit boxes at the Member Service Desk for items that need extra safekeeping during your stay.
One of the final things to consider is the outfit you will wear while traveling. As a business professional, you certainly can’t wear your pajamas or a jogging suit. But you also have to consider sitting for several hours and how your clothes will look when you arrive.
If possible (meaning you won’t have a meeting immediately upon arrival), we recommend the nice pair of jeans you were already going to pack with a wrinkle-resistant top. For men, that could mean a cotton polo. For women, a nice blouse made of spandex or polyester.
If you do have to be meeting-ready, be mindful of the fabrics you choose for your outfit. Also, remember to not wear your jacket while traveling. If you are traveling in a car, leave your jacket on a hanger laid across the top of your luggage or hanging on a garment hook. If you are flying, fold your jacket neatly in half and lay it in your lap or on top of your carry-on in the overhead compartment.
Here is a simple list for you to review as you are finalizing your packing. We hope this will help you not to forget the smallest or most important items. For ease, we also created a shortened copy of this list (one for men and one for women) that you can print out and check off as you pack.
This includes your driver’s license, passport, work ID, conference badge, etc.
Electronic boarding passes are great but be prepared for the possibility of not having an internet connection. Have a back up printed copy or take a screenshot on your cellphone.
If you are attending a conference, be sure you have a copy of the itinerary. If you are making a presentation, it is always important to bring a printed copy. Electronics like to malfunction at the worst time. For your convenience, Club Quarters has wireless printing available in the Club Living Room if you were to forget any important paperwork.
This also includes information for the hotel you will be staying at (name, address, and room number), your car rental, and any instructions for or directions to the meeting location (if it’s not at the hotel).
Going along with your paperwork, it will also come in handy to have a portfolio with plain paper for taking notes in meetings or jotting down someone’s contact information. To go along with this, be sure to have 3-4 pens (because you will lose one and one will run out of ink) and a highlighter.
If you don’t have an electronic calendar, pocket calendars are small and come in handy for planning future meetings and business trips. Also, don’t forget to bring a small stack of your business cards. Conferences and out of town meetings are great networking opportunities.
And lastly, it is handy to bring along an envelope to keep all of your business receipts in from your trip. Then you can simply hand the envelope to the appropriate person when you return to work.
Business trips require more electronics than vacations. And having a device run out of battery can be much more detrimental. The obvious items are your laptop and cell phone. Also remember the charger for each, a portable battery pack, and a travel adapter (if you will be traveling out of the country).
At Club Quarters, we have Mac and PC desktop workstations set up in the Club Living Room for your conveneince.
Another great item to bring if you have space is a power strip. This will keep all of your items charging in one spot instead of having to plug your electronics up all over the hotel room (and possibly not have enough plugs).
If you will be staying at one of our 15 locations, a power strip won’t be necessary. Every Club Quarters room has a multi-purpose workstation with a built-in power strip on the desk.
These items aren’t necessary but will make your life better on your business trip.
This is the bag where you will store most of your non-clothing items — laptop, chargers, and paperwork. Most airlines allow one personal bag plus a carry-on. This will be your personal bag. Be sure to check your airline’s size and weight limitations.
For men, look for a modern-style briefcase. This bag will have multiple straps so the bag can be carried in your hand or over your shoulder. Also, it will have multiple compartments for organization and safety.
For ladies, find a bag that can pull double duty. This bag should be big enough to hold your laptop and regular purse items. You can find many large bags now that have matching smaller bags inside. The smaller bag can be used for your cosmetics, cell phone, and wallet. The larger bag can hold your electronics and paperwork.
Remember that this bag is where you will put the items you might need while traveling like earbuds, book, portable charger, or water bottle.
Most hotels provide overnight necessities like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap. At Club Quarters, we provide all of these items plus a hairdryer in every room.
But don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, and hairspray. You might also want to bring additional items like a razor, shaving cream, deodorant, wet wipes, dental floss, and face wash.
Ladies will need to pack their make-up and make-up remover as well as feminine hygiene products.
Men and women, bear in mind that if you are traveling by plane and not checking a bag, liquids are limited to 3 ounces each. And all of your liquid items must fit inside a quart-sized plastic bag.
Remember that this list can vary depending on the itinerary of your trip and the length of your stay, but here are the basics for a 3-day business trip.
*If you plan to work out while on your business trip, be sure to bring an extra pair of undergarments.
*If you plan to work out while on your business trip, be sure to bring an extra pair of undergarments.
If you were to forget an important item, please come see us at the Club Quarters Member Service Desk. We will do our very best to help you in obtaining these items as quickly as possible. We look forward to seeing you on your next business trip at Club Quarters.
We aren’t just a hotel for business travel. We have accommodations for your leisure travel as well. And did you know we are pet friendly? Here are some of the special offers we are currently running if you would like to visit us at Club Quarters for your next vacation!
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