Packing for Your Next International Business Trip: A Practical Guide

Packing For Your Next International Business Trip: A Practical Guide

Most people have at least some experience in packing for a trip; however, for a lot of people, this experience is limited to holidays and not necessarily professional trips. Packing for a holiday is totally different to packing for a business trip. A lot of different factors will affect your packing needs for a business trip, like the duration and purpose of your trip and whether or not you have any downtime. That being said, there are a few tips that can be applied universally, so let’s get into it.

Your Hand Luggage

Usually, for a business trip you can get away with your hand luggage alone you shouldn’t really need to pack a suitcase too – as long as the trip isn’t too long, that is. Business trips are all about professionalism and efficiency, especially if you haven’t got much downtime while you are there. You always need to check with the airline you are travelling with to ensure that your hand luggage complies with their policies. Take vaping as an example; while carrying vape products is widely permitted, the specifics and regulations can vary from airport to airport. Sticking with hand luggage also saves you time at the other end because you don’t have to stick around waiting for the rest of your luggage.

Prioritise the Security of Your Luggage

When heading on a business trip, it is incredibly likely that you will be taking some important documentation, whether physically or digitally—either way, you need to ensure that you are keeping this information protected. You should invest in a couple of small padlocks, one for your hand luggage and one for your laptop or work bag. They keep your documentation secure and act as a theft deterrent too. You just need to make sure that you don’t lose the key!

Organisational Tips

The secret to packing well for any form of trip is organisation. First, consider using packing cubes or something similar to section your luggage. This helps you to keep track of your luggage better to make sure that you have packed everything you need. You should have different bags for your clothes, your underwear, your toiletries, electronics and even an empty laundry pouch. Using this method can help you to save time and space within your suitcase.

When packing your clothes, the way that you fold them and place them into the case makes all the difference. Folding your clothes can leave them wrinkled when you take them out, and it can, in fact, take up a lot of space, meaning that you might not be able to fit in everything that you need, which if you are only using your hand luggage as recommended is incredibly annoying. So instead of folding, try rolling your clothes – not your suits, you should never roll your suits. Rolling your clothes saves space and helps to ensure that they remain smooth and wrinkle-free when you take them out of your case.

Next, consider your shoes; for a business trip, you will probably only need one spare pair of shoes depending on the dress code that you need to adhere to. Shoes rolling around inside of your suitcase can become scuffed and damaged. However, avoiding this is exceedingly simple. Stuff your shoes with your socks or underwear or any other small soft items that you are packing anyway to help them to retain their shape. Packing them inside of their own bag can also serve to cushion any blows and keep them safe from scuffs.

Lastly, don’t forget to consider and edit down the amount of toiletries or cosmetics that you are taking with you. Toiletries and cosmetics are liable to leaking and breakages, which could compromise the entire contents of your case. Most of the time when you stay in a hotel they will provide you with some toiletries that you can use instead of bringing your own. There are still some things that you will need to bring, like your toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant, for definite but take the time to think about the importance of the rest of your items and whether or not you will definitely need them.

Packing List: The Basics

The specifics within this list will change depending on your job and the length of your trip; however, the basics offer a great place to start. Firstly, business cards are a must for most business trips and networking in general. The great thing about them is that you can carry them on your person, but if you do pack them, they are small enough to hardly take up any space.

Next, most people like to get some work done while travelling or even at the hotel. Unfortunately, the wi-fi provided is not always great. It is often patchy and unreliable, and sometimes you have to pay for the privilege, too, only to find that it isn’t really useable. So instead, why not bring an internet card with you. It ensures that all of your internet-capable devices have access, and you can get your work done or fine-tune any presentations that you may need.

You absolutely cannot forget your laptop or your phone and their chargers. Most of the time, these pieces of equipment are pivotal for a business trip, but more than this, they can provide entertainment while you are travelling and even in the hotel. Also, if you are leaving the country for this business trip, do not forget adaptors. Lastly, remember to check the policies of your business; some businesses prefer that you take a company laptop with you instead of a personal one. They may also have policies on how they want their data protected during your travels.

Consider the length of your stay and pack your clothes accordingly. What industry do you work within? Does it have a general dress code, or is that something you should clarify before you head out? Once you are confident with this knowledge, you can pack your clothes. Some items can be worn more than once, or they can go with a number of other items within your wardrobe. Do you have much downtime while you’re there? If so, you will need an outfit for that too. Don’t forget comfortable travelling clothes.

Are there any other things that you will need for your business trip? Are you planning to spend time in meetings, whether formal or informal? If so, you might need to take notes. Some people prefer to record the meetings on their phones and make their notes later, and some prefer to make them as they go. Either way, a notepad and a pen will be needed. It is quicker to hand write notes than it is to type, and often in doing so, you are better able to process and remember them.

Lastly, think about packing a couple of personal hygiene products. Breath mints can come in handy before you take a meeting or when meeting new people in general. It can give you a boost of confidence too. Antibacterial gel is also a must. If the last couple of years has impressed anything upon society, it is the importance of cleanliness and killing germs.

In Conclusion

Having a guide or a checklist to refer back to before you pack for trips, whether those trips are for business or pleasure, can make your life easier. It alleviates some stress and reduces the likelihood of you forgetting something important. Consider the above as a foundation for you to tweak to the demands of your job and the specifics of your trip.

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