Traveling for work can be rough. Living out of a suitcase for a week (or more!), eating hotel food every day, and being away from your favorite pillow is not exactly ideal. Not to mention the fact that you have to look polished and professional with only a fraction of your wardrobe on hand! We’ve put together some great packing tips to help you get the most out of your suitcase space and still look your very best.
Packing Tip #1: Multi-Use Items
The fastest way to an overstuffed suitcase is to try and pack a complete outfit for everyday. If you are going to be gone for 5-7 days, those items will easily overwhelm your available space. Instead, pack items that can be used in multiple ways for multiple days. You’ll get at least 2 wears out of a sheath dress, and a pencil skirt or dress pants can also be paired with multiple tops and worn again. TIP: Only bring an item if you can see yourself getting at least two wears out of it.
We LOVE this Reversible LBD. Not only does the dress reverse from classic black to a fun magenta, the neckline is reversible too! For daytime meetings, wear the boat neck style to the front and pair it with a snappy blazer. For evening cocktails, wear the V-neck to the front and pair it with heels and a statement necklace.
Packing Tip #2: Easy Care, Easy Wear
It can be tempting to bring all of your favorite pieces, but remember that you won’t want to waste anytime on your trip caring for your garments. Sure there might be an iron in the hotel room, but do you really want to spend time ironing? Focus on easy care fabrics that don’t wrinkle, and can be spot treated if they get dirty. Silk shirts are gorgeous, but very hard to care for. Bring easy cotton fabrics and jersey materials that will lose their wrinkles once they are hung up, and items that won’t require a dry cleaner if they get a stain.
Packing Tip #3: Be Sensible With Shoes
Shoes are the biggest space hogs that will go into your suitcase, so be very selective about the footwear you bring. 1-2 pairs of everyday shoes (flats, low wedges, loafers, etc) in a neutral color that can be worn with any look is perfect for a week-long trip. If you will be going to business dinners or corporate events in the evening, bring a nice pair of pumps (also neutral colored) to wear. If you plan on working out while you are there, be sure to bring sneakers and socks.
Packing Tip #4: Over-Accessorize!
You could wear the same pencil skirt/top/blazer combo for 3 days straight, and by changing up the accessories, it will look like a brand new outfit every single day. Load up on belts, scarves, and statement jewelry to create new and distinct looks with your capsule wardrobe. For example, you can wear a black sheath dress with a statement necklace and pumps to a work dinner one night. The next day, pair that same dress with a cardigan, belt and scarf, and it will look like a totally different outfit. Accessories are much easier to pack than extra clothes, so bring as much as you can to create a varied wardrobe with minimal clothes.
Packing Tip #5: Bring A Little Bit Of Home
No matter how often you travel, it’s not unheard of to get a bit homesick. The most important way to look your best is to be rested and put together. So bring a little bit of home with you to ensure you can relax and regroup when you are in your hotel room. A candle that smells like your living room, a picture of your significant other or pets, or even your favorite bath salts to help you relax while you are away from home. Make sure to add that to your suitcase, and you’ll be able to feel at home in even the most impersonal hotel room.
What’s your best work travel tip?