I spent years on planes travelling for work and was always determined to be the first one at the taxi queue, which means never checking in luggage. Skipping out the airport doors with only a carry-one, secretly smug knowing you have everything you need for your business trip makes life so much easier.
Here are my six steps to pack for your next work trip:
How long will you be away?
Considering the length of your trip will help you decide how much to pack. Rather than splitting the seam of your suitcase, you can actually travel for six weeks with only 12 garments, creating 72 different outfits, which will give you lots of choice while you’re away.
What are you doing?
If you know your activities you can have a plan. Are you just away overnight for a meeting? Is it formal or informal? Will there be a business dinner or will you be catching up with friends after work? Write a plan out of what you know you’ll be doing day and evening for each day you’re away on your trip.
Mix and max.
Now you can use my formula for creating the maximum number of outfits from the least number of garments.
Take no more than two bottoms (skirts/trousers). Each top you take must work with both bottoms. Each outer layer (jacket/cardigan) must work with all tops and bottoms. Everything must be able to be mixed and matched.
With only three tops and two jackets, a skirt and trouser, you can effectively create 12 different looks just by mixing the tops and bottoms differently. This is particularly easy if you choose neutral bottoms and coloured tops, as what people notice is the colour that changes, they don’t remember the neutral bottom.
And remember, you will be wearing one of your outfits when you travel! Should you be having some downtime while you’re away, pack a pair of jeans as well to slip on after work.
Remember the toiletry bag.
If you travel regularly for work, have a toiletry bag packed with sample size products that is constantly stocked with your makeup, hair and beauty products. This will speed up your packing and help ensure you don’t forget any essentials when you go away.
Ride the clutch.
Keep a small clutch bag packed either into your handbag or carry on. It makes your transition from day to evening so much easier as you can just pull it out, slip your wallet, phone and lipstick inside and you’re transformed from office to evening.
Don’t forget jewellery.
It’s easy, doesn’t take up much room in your luggage and can instantly change the appearance of a plain neutral top to make it look like you’re wearing a completely different outfit. Jewellery is a great way of taking an outfit from day to evening.
Lamport is the author of four ebooks including The Finishing Touch: Perfecting the Art of Accessorizing, Travelling Light: Learn the Art of Packing and co-author of Svelte in Style: How to Look and Feel Great While Losing Weight and a talent blogger with Nuffnang Australia’s Bloggerati.