Whether you travel every week for work or it’s rare that you find yourself at an airport for a business trip, travel can be a series of small hassles — but a little planning can be a huge help. It’s been a while since we’ve talked about business travel — although we’ve shared plenty of posts about all kinds of travel topics, such as:
- Planning future work trips when you’re secretly pregnant
- Looking professional on long flights
- Packing for a one-day business trip
- Professional, small suitcases for an overnight business trip
- Packing for months away from home and for a summer working abroad
- How to travel internationally in comfort and style
- The best rolling travel bags
- Traveling with your coworkers
- Packing for conferences
- Planning for your first business trip
- Top tips for work travel (including Kat’s video for how to pack your blazer)
We’ve rounded up a bunch of helpful business travel tips that readers shared in recent comments:
- Use a list: It’s easy to forget something key like pajamas or your iPad charger, but a checklist makes packing pretty foolproof. You can use a packing app or buy a pre-printed pad — or just type up a list to print out each time. Some people even make a spreadsheet or draw their outfits.
- Be realistic: To save space, be honest with yourself about whether you really need both pairs of black pumps, or whether you’re really going to make it to the hotel gym this time.
- Don’t assume you’ll carry your carry-on: If you’re bringing something truly essential like your contact lens case, daily prescription, etc., keep it in your purse or laptop bag just in case. Especially if you’re flying on a small plane, your carry-on may end up checked for space reasons.
- Coordinate colors. Pack neutrals, and colors that complement each other so you can mix and match — it’ll reduce the number of items you have to bring, and also help you get the most wear out of your shoes.
- Check the weather forecast. Sure, this seems like a pretty obvious thing to do, but a trip I once took to Denver made it clear that not everyone does this. We arrived on a sunny, 70-degree day and were met by a blizzard the next — which forced several of my colleagues to make a snowy trek to buy gloves and warmer clothes.
- Make it foolproof: Get an extra umbrella (a small one like this Shedrain one) and just leave it in your carry-on. Other things to always have handy in your carry-on bag to reduce the number of things you need to pack each time: gum or hard candy, travel-size hand sanitizer, travel-size lotion, pocket tissue packs, detergent sink packs, saline nasal spray.
- If you’re checking a bag: Don’t put anything valuable in your checked suitcase. Again, this one seems like an obvious tip — but unfortunately, some baggage handlers are still finding a lot to steal (CNN).
- Plan your in-air outfit. Put on your heaviest and bulkiest things — your coat, jeans, your more substantial shoes — and consider wearing the jewelry that you’d worry most about losing.
- Keep certain things easily accessible. Make sure you can quickly reach your bag of liquids/toiletries for the security line, and if you pack a coat rather than wear it on the plane, put it at the top of your suitcase.
- Pack a plastic bag or two to put your socks, underwear, and wear-once clothing items in each night.
- Be a more efficient packer. Packing cubes keep everything neat, make it easy to find things, and help you regroup more quickly after your suitcase has been singled out for a security check. Roll your clothes instead of folding them, and fill otherwise wasted space by putting socks inside shoes, etc.
Ladies, what business travel tips do you have to share?