Traveling for business can be a conflicting mix of excitement and stress for most travelers. While you are given the opportunity to explore new areas of the world, you are also tasked with representing your company to others. As the face of your company, you must be presentable, but this can be extremely difficult when you’re living out of your suitcase. Here is a simple plan of attack to plan your next business trip wardrobe and how to go about packing to keep your clothes wrinkle-free. No matter how prepared you are for your meetings, showing up with a wrinkled suit or dress shirt can ruin your first impression. Follow these tips for packing business clothes to avoid wrinkles and represent your company with your best face forward.
How to Choose Your Business Trip Wardrobe
The main goal when packing business clothes should be optimizing the space you have to include clothes stylish, comfortable, and convenient. Here is a rough packing list for upcoming trips that will make sure you have all the bare necessities without having to check your bag in. The packing list is designed for a 5-day business trip.
- Sport Coat or Blazer (One Maximum): One sport coat or blazer should be sufficient for most business trips. Pick one in a navy, gray, or black because these colors easily match with others. Furthermore, these items are professional enough to be suitable for any business meeting and can also be used to dress up a pair of jeans for more casual dinners or client meetings.
- Dress Shirts (5 maximum): When packing your dress shirts and blouses, try to pick ones that can work well with both your slacks as well as jeans. This way you don’t need to pack formal and casual clothing separately.
- Slacks or Skirt (2 maximum): Similar to your sport blazer, bring slacks or skirts that are navy, gray, or black so you can easily match with your dress shirts.
- Formal Wear (Optional and one maximum): Only bring formal wear when your meeting calls for it. Formal wear is typically bulkier than other clothes and requires more care (dry cleaning or additional pressing).
- Shoes (2 pairs maximum): Bring one pair of formal shoes and one casual pair. Wear your casual pair of shoes on the plane to save luggage space and wrap your formal shoes in a shower cap to prevent your clothes from getting dirty.
- Necessities: Don’t forget to bring the necessary number of undergarments as well as your toiletry bag.
Packing Business Clothes Without Wrinkles
Creating your business trip wardrobe is only half the battle. Now that you have all the clothes to look good, you need to figure out how to keep you clothes looking good. Remember, you can’t look fresh if your clothes don’t look fresh. Here are some tips for packing business clothes to avoid wrinkles.
- Blazer: Turn your jacket inside out and wrap it around soft items. Turning it inside out will prevent the jacket from getting dirty and wrapping it around soft items will keep it from bending and wrinkling.
- Dress Shirts: Dress shirts should also be turned inside out to prevent your clothes from getting dirty. You can also use your belts to keep your shirt collar in shape by rolling it inside the collar.
- Wrinkle Free Clothing: You can also cut some corners and buy some simple wrinkle free clothing.
- Garment or Dry-Cleaning Bags: These plastic bags help prevent the friction that causes wrinkles in your nice clothing. Use one bag for each outfit. This will also make unpacking in the hotel easier because your outfits will be neatly laid out and ready to be hung up.
- Pack by weight (Heaviest to Lightest): Start by packing the heaviest items at the bottom near the wheels of a suitcase to the lightest on top. Stacking items this way will keep your bag balance so that the heavy items won’t crush and wrinkle those underneath.
- Wrinkle Removers: No matter how much planning you do, wrinkles are often unavoidable. For quick touch-ups, you can invest in a travel portable steamer or go even simpler and use Downy Wrinkle Releaser.
Other Tips for Packing for Business Trips
- Choosing the Best Carry On Suitcase: When picking your business suitcase, you should try to find the biggest carry-on your airline will allow so you can avoid checking in your suitcase at all costs. Check carry-on size restrictions for the 10 major US Airlines, so you can make an informed decision about your next piece of luggage. Or, if you don’t have a preferred airline, you can refer to our article on the best carry-on luggage for business travelers to find one that is guaranteed to in the overhead bin of these major airlines.
- Hotel Laundry: If you are going to be going on a longer business trip, plan on doing hotel laundry. Even though it can be expensive, many business travelers are able to expense. Furthermore, hotel laundry comes back perfectly folded so you can re-wear clothing that looks fresh. Or, you can easily pack it in your suitcase.
- Use shoes for untapped space: Protect breakables such as glass fragrance bottles by slipping them into socks and inserting it in your shoes before packing them. Shoes hide some extra space for your small essentials. Fill them up with rolled-up socks, underwear or toiletries to use that space, as well as to help preserve your shoe’s shape.
- Create a “Bare Necessities” Bag: Stay prepared for last-minute business trips by creating a “bare necessities” bag. In this bag, include all of your essential toiletries as well as a couple extra cables and chargers for our devices. This way you never have to worry about leaving anything crucial behind.
- Only bring what you need: After every trip, ask yourself, “What did I use and what didn’t I use?” This will help you whittle down your bag to just the absolute necessities so you can pack easier, and lighter, for all your future trips.
Have any killer business trip packing tips? Share them below!
Learn more about how TRAVO can help you plan your next business trip here.