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Business Trip Packing Tips

When work takes you out of town, you get the opportunity to connect with new people, explore a new workplace and hopefully expand your professional skills and responsibilities. Yet before you can share your talents or learn from the best, you have to pack, and packing for a business trip requires a different wardrobe and mindset from a non-work-related getaway.

Check the forecast

Where you live and work may have a different climate from where you’re going. Even if it’s in the same region and boasts similar seasons, it’s a good idea to check the forecast, according to Suzanne Colmer, owner and creator of Your Shop Girl Image Consulting and Entrepreneur guest writer. The weather forecast will help dictate the pieces you should include, like the rain jacket you weren’t planning to haul.

Pick the right-size bag

Your company’s policy of paying for baggage check fees, the length of your trip and the weather will help determine what size bag you need to take. If it’s at all possible, however, CNN Travel writer Tara Donaldson urges you to condense your belongings into a bag that fits comfortably in the overhead bin. You’ll want to double check with your airline’s approved carry-on dimensions because having to check your bag at the last minute because it doesn’t fit is not an ideal start to your trip. To help you squish as much as possible into such a limited-size bag, Donaldson recommends investing in a compression bag.

Color-coordinate your wardrobe

Choosing one color palette or items that can coordinate with each other is key to keeping your baggage light while still providing you with a professionally appropriate wardrobe. Just because you’re on a business trip and you’re packing conservatively doesn’t mean you should neglect your health, though. BuisnessTravelLife founder Kristina Portillo, CPT, MS, recommends keeping workout clothes to a minimum and packing lightweight, moisture-wicking duds. Pack no more than two pair of shoes and re-wear the same pair of pajamas, she adds. Two extra pairs of underwear and socks on top of what’s necessary for the length of your trip should be packed, advises Sue Kay, The Balance Careers writer.

Be toiletry-smart

TSA restrictions not only streamline your toiletries in term of size, but they also determine selection, especially if you’re limited by your carry-on bag. Instead of toting your favorite lotion, shampoo and soap, you’re better off relying on your hotel’s samples, notes Donaldson. Portillo suggests downsizing makeup items and using face wipes instead of liquid face wash.

Stay connected

You may like to toggle between your laptop, tablet and smartphone at home, but to save space you need to focus on devices that can do it all. Of course your phone fits in your pocket (when it’s not in your hand), but you probably won’t need both your tablet and laptop, notes Portillo. Whatever you choose, make sure to include the right chargers. To keep your cell phone going, Kay suggests packing a car charger (if applicable to your trip), a power bank and a wall charger.

With a well-thought-out, color-coordinating wardrobe, minimal toiletries and streamlined tech, you’ll be looking sharp and smart for your business trip.

This article is presented by Bill Marsh Automotive Group in Traverse City, Michigan.

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