Do you travel for work? Whether you travel all the time, or haven't traveled yet, there's always a few lessons to be learned and shared! When a business trip - especially an overnighter - pops up on your work calendar, there are few things to consider. Traveling for women usually results in a long list of things to do anyway - but the list for a business trip is a bit different than a personal trip.
First things first - your luggage. When traveling for work, don't bring your hot pink luggage, or cutesy-patterened bags. You're a corporate chickee now, so look like one! I prefer a nice set of red luggage, like this American Tourister suitcase in red, from Macy's. This way it's not black or gray, and easy to identify in baggage claim, and it's fashionable, but also professional. And, don't forget about your luggage tag. Make it professional-looking to match, and instead of your handwritten home address, tuck a business card inside.
Related to luggage... especially when traveling in a group, or with men, pack light! It's just not worth the razzing you'll get if you bring two bags while your travel companions bring just a tote. Yes, we need more than men usually do for an overnight trip - but trust me, pack light and you won't regret it. One easy way to pack light is to pack smart! You don't need a different pair of shoes for each day, or a fresh, full suit each day. Packing items that mix and match will allow you to bring one or two pairs of shoes, a suit with pants and a skirt and a few tops, blazers, and cardigans, and be prepared for a week of meetings. Pack outfits that can easily go from boardroom to dinner with just taking off your blazer, or another simple step, so you don't appear high-maintence by having to go back to the hotel to dress for dinner. A great item to pack is the black or gray sheath dress. Pair it with a blazer or cardigan for day, wear it solo with pearls or other statement jewelry for night! Here's a great article found on WorkChic.com with more tips on how to pack for a business trip.
Finally, the details! Channel your inner boy scout and Be Prepared. Don't head out for a business trip fresh from a manicure without nail polish remover, cotton balls, and touch-up polish. Nothing is worse than having chipped nail polish at a meeting and not having the polish on-hand for touchups. When traveling, I usually avoid statement nail colors and stick to clear or neutral shades to keep mishaps at a minimum. If you do ever find yourself without essentials like a razor, toothbrush, or other toiletry, call the hotel concierge. Depending on the level of hotel you're staying at, they'll either bring the missing item up to your room pronto, or sell it at the front desk.
Last but not least, the best travel tip I've ever received, from my Dad - a seasoned corporate traveler. Always carry-on when possible, and if you must check baggage, keep the necessities in your carry-on. That means - important documents you might need for your meetings or presentations, as well as some personal items like any medication, a change of underwear, contact lenses, anything you might need to get by on just your carry-on for one night. Airlines do lose luggage - so keep enough with you to get through one night without your checked bag. Remember that most hotels offer laundry services, so if your bag is lost you can wash and re-wear what you have on you (or with you) until your luggage is recovered and returned. Happy Traveling!