How to Pack for a Work Trip

traveling for work

I’m heading out this afternoon to Atlanta for a week of job-related training. Job related training as in a Tax training (I’m a tax accountant by day). It’ll be a week of hotel living and eating out. I don’t travel very much for work so I try to enjoy it. Truthfully, most of my week will be spent in a conference room listening to presentations. I doubt we’ll have much time to be out exploring the city.  I’m not complaining though. I’ll take full advantage of the fact that my employer is willing to fly me across the country and pay for my hotel so I can learn. Might as well enjoy it. My flight leaves in about 4 hours and I still need to pack. Here are my tips for work travel:

Know the Agenda

Make sure you know what to expect before you go on your trip. Are there any excursions planned? Will there be a formal dinner at some point? It is important to know these things before so that you pack the proper clothing. You don’t want to be stuck outside in 100 degree heat with only formal suit or only pack light clothing for a cold climate. Having the right clothing will help you be comfortable during your trip.

Technology

I will be on my computer for much of this upcoming conference. I plan on taking an extra 10 minutes to make sure I have everything I need for my computer, phone, etc. I do not want to find myself without the proper charger or something. Feeling unprepared for work is really stressful!

Appearance

At my first job, we were given a really interesting lecture about appearances and business travel. We were told that while we travel for work, we still represent our company. It’s important that you remember this and  look professional.  Wearing yoga pants while you travel for work-related purposes was not appropriate in their eyes. To be honest, I agree with them. If you’re getting paid to travel and be somewhere, travelling is part of work. You don’t have to be wearing a suit to look professional. Just make sure you look clean and presentable. My travel outfit will likely be jeans, blouse and sweater. Don’t look like you just rolled out of  bed.

Medicine

I have allergies. I’ve heard that Georgia has very high pollen counts so I’m bringing allergy medication in case I need it. I do not want to be the person constantly sneezing with the watery eyes and red puffy skin . Another important medicine that I have with me at all times is ibuprofen. Because who can work/focus/concentrate/function with a headache? Not me.

Work Trips

Packing for a work-related trip is all about being prepared. I want to utilize this week to learn and build my knowledge. I won’t be able to learn if I’m not prepared and not comfortable. There’s hardly anything more stressful for me than feeling unprepared so take you time while packing to make sure you have everything you need.

Do you travel for work? What are your work related travel tips?

Comments

  1. These are great tips! I’ve never had to travel anywhere for work, but in general, I always try to make a list of things I’ll need in advance, this way I don’t have to run out and purchase anything I may have forgotten. Taking allergy medication with you is smart! Moving to NC has wrecked havoc on mine. I hope you manage to have some fun!
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    • Thanks EM! I’ve been in Atlanta for a few hours and have already felt my eyes getting itchy and watery! Bringing allergy meds was a good move. Of course if I had forgotten them I could have picked up a bottle around here too.

  2. I travel every 6 weeks for work. I don’t like to carry too much so usually pack a black or grey suit that has both pants and a skirt. Five different blouses and I have outfits for a week 🙂 I do wear yoga pants when I take the red-eye home. I figure it’s okay if I’m flying at midnight.

    • That seems like really smart packing. I only packed two pair of pants for this training but brought 4 blouses- I’m with you on packing light!

  3. Have a fun work trip, Liz! The tech tip is my favorite!
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  4. Getting informed and planning ahead of time are very important when it comes to work trip. You’ve got to be a good researcher and a planner Liz. For men, I think a black coat is a must-have for meetings and some extra cash in hand.
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  5. I traveled for my old job occasionally, mostly for conventions. These are good tips!

  6. Hey Liz,

    The tip on appearance really resonated with me. Often when I go abroad for work I find that I ‘judge’ people whose clothing does not fit the occasion. While I don’t expect everyone to wear a suit (I don’t either depending on the weather), I do expect you to look at least like you’re working and not enjoying a beach vacation, even when going for dinner or drinks after the conference.

    If your first impression is not good, you can forget about networking or representing your company properly!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences,
    NMW
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  7. Enjoy your trip! I used to live and work in Atlanta, so I hope you packed something warm for the indoors because they crank up the AC and something like for outdoors because it is hot and muggy this time of year. I had to travel recently for work and then personally, it was the most difficult trip to pack for because I had just about no overlapping clothes which meant and full and heavy bag. Fortunately I use a rewards card with the airline I was flying so my luggage was free. 🙂 Enjoy Hotlanta!!
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  8. I got better at packing for business trips as time went on. I used to overpack all the time. One long three week trip to 3 different far away countries – France, Egypt and India, I was so frazzled by the end of it I forgot a bunch of clothes in one of the drawers in the hotel In India. I didn’t even notice until the hotel contacted me. Although initially I was bummed, I told them to donate them to charity. Better use of those clothes.

    P.S. Now I understand, you traveled to Atlanta for the training. I thought you were from Atlanta and doing local training. (ref Twitter).
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  9. I’ve never traveled for work, and I’m fine with that. I would much rather travel for fun. I have a friend who commutes to LA every Monday through Thursday. It’s an intense travel schedule that I wouldn’t go for unless it meant a very high salary or a big potential payoff down the road (a promotion to a high-paying position, perhaps).
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  10. Cool…hope you get to see a little of our city while you are here. Atlanta has a lot to offer, including some really great southern food.
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  11. Fortunately, frequent travel is no longer part of my job, but I always made sure to pack snacks and my glass water bottle. It’s so easy to get dehydrated when traveling, so I try to drink wanter throughout the day. Also, I never exactly know when there will be time for meals, so I prepare myself with energy packed snacks – almonds, Kind bars, etc.
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  12. Great tips Liz. Remembering to bring any medicine or prescriptions is paramount. I’m seriously terrible at packing- so bad my wife now tries to step in. I don’t know what my deal is, but I’ll end up on a weekend trip with 9 shirts and no pants or socks other than the ones I’m wearing. I think I always used to be under-prepared, and have since started overcompensating. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it one of these days.

  13. I travel for my work in theatre all the time. It’s mostly yoga pants and sweatshirts. But I have NO IDEA what to pack for FInCon. I have a feeling I’ll need to look a little more put together 😉
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  14. I am so excited how your travel to Atlanta turned out. Were your preparation enough? What are the things you should have done or brought?
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