How to Pack for a Business Trip
Hey friends! As I'm getting back into my regular travel schedule this week, I figured it might be useful to do a post about how I pack for business trips. Generally, I fly out Monday morning and return Thursday evening, so 4 days and 3 nights on the road. I've refined what I bring and how I pack it over the past 2 years of travel and now it only takes me 15 minutes or so to pack before I leave. I like to pack Sunday night, that way if I have something I need to wash quick or my flight is super early, I'm all ready to go Monday morning.
What I Bring
Assuming I'm travelling in my Monday outfit (dress pants + my top for the day), I usually pack another pair of pants and three tops, sometimes I'll throw a skirt or dress into the mix. Especially in the winter, I usually go for long sleeve tops because then I don't have to pack a sweater, but that is totally up to you. Note that I am generally in business casual so I don't have to wear a full suit. I usually try to pick fabrics that don't wrinkle when I pack them, but I do have to iron in the hotel room most of the time. Sometimes leaving the clothes on a hanger in the bathroom while I shower releases the wrinkles just from the steam, but it depends on the fabric. I also try to coordinate my shoes so that I wear one pair and pack only one additional pair (usually brown and black, sometimes navy).
Don't forget to pack the right undergarments! There have been times when I packed a light colored or sheer shirt and forgotten a nude bra or cami and had to run out and buy something. Not the end of the world, but pretty annoying.
Maroon Top: c/o Birdie and Viv
After Work Clothes
I work out every night in my hotel gym, so I pack three sets of athletic clothes + running shoes and pajamas. I generally don't need casual clothes for after work (we usually go out to dinner straight from the office), but sometimes I thrown in a pair of jeans, which I'd just wear with my work top for that day. I do always bring an extra layer for the hotel room. I like to keep my room cold for sleeping, but it's pretty brutal to try to get out of bed when it's freezing! Queue sweatshirt.
Throwing in a cute scarf or earrings can really make an outfit great, so I always try to find a fun piece or two. I use old jewelry gift bags to carry my jewelry to protect the pieces and make sure you don't lose anything! Nothing worse than getting ready and realizing you only have one earrings :)
Yes, I know this looks insane. I do bring a lot of toiletries - but hear me out, when I travelling 4 days out of the week, I want to have all my normal products with me! I might do a better product post sometime about this, if there's interest.
I use these cute bags from Target ($1.99 in the travel section!) to sort my stuff. One of them is all my shower stuff - shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body wash, shaving gel - I like to keep all the stuff that gets wet in one place, so when I get to the hotel I just put it straight into the shower. I have another pouch that has all my "just in case" stuff in it, things like ear plugs, band-aids, a Tide To Go stick, that kind of stuff. I use a double-sided clear pouch from Baggallini for my "counter products" - these are all the things that I use at the mirror: face lotion, makeup remover, body lotion, toothpaste, hair products… basically it's things that are liquid (and could spill.. Thus the plastic pouch), but don't go in the shower.
My last bag is all of the stuff that I do not have duplicates of. Everything I've talked about so far stays in my suitcase all the time, even when I'm at home. This last bag is stuff that I haven't bought an extra of yet (probably should haha), so I take it between my bathroom at home and my suitcase. This does make packing super easy, so I highly suggest it if you're travelling often. I also have a full sized toothbrush, deodorant, and a bottle of melatonin that stay in my suitcase - this means that I’m never stuck forgetting something important!!
So that's just hygiene stuff. I've also got this cute Vera Bradley heat tool pocket with my curling wand, which is really nice so you can pack a hot tool without worrying about burning or melting anything in your bag. I use the pocket to keep my wide tooth comb in, so I always know where it is! Finally, my makeup bag and brush case. There are some consultants that have a full second set of makeup they keep in their bag only, but that just seems ridiculous to me. Makeup is so expensive! So I port this back and forth every week instead.
Green Bag: c/o Baggallini
How I Pack
So yes, I fit all this crap in an international sized carry on. It's actually pretty easy - I've been able to pack for 10 day business trips in a carry on with this same method. I use two separate layers in my suitcase.
The first layer starts with my shoes - I pack my running shoes and extra dress shoes on one half, and kind of pack them against each other. I usually use socks and/or underwear to pack my nicer shoes so they don't get squished and lose their shape. I roll my workout clothes and pajamas by outfit (that way you can just grab one roll out at a time and don't have to unpack your whole suitcase to find your sports bra... Definitely never happened to me…) on the other half. I fill the space in my shoes with some of my toiletries bags.
The second layer starts with my dress clothes. When I'm only going for 3 nights, I don't have to roll my clothes. This helps reduce wrinkles, assuming you fold them nicely. If I'm travelling for much longer, I will roll my work clothes as well so I can fit more. I fill in the other half with my last toiletry items. I do use the straps to hold everything in place.
PRO TIP: The last thing I add is my bras wrapped in my extra sweatshirt. I felt weird posting pictures of my underwear on the internet so I didn't take a picture haha. But basically, I use my sweatshirt to protect the shape of my bras which makes them last longer. I got this tip from this YouTube channel that's all about packing!
I hope this was somewhat useful! I'd love to hear if you used these tips or have any of your own, leave a comment below. Happy packing and safe travels!
* Disclaimer: I was given some items by the team at Birdie & Viv and Baggallini. With that said, the opinions and words here are my own.