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Packing for a 2-week business trip can seem like a daunting task. Two weeks is a lot of time away from home, and there's lots of materials to pack. What do you pack for a two week business trip? Are some clothes, accessories and toiletries enough? How many clothes do you pack? How many bags should you pack? The questions go on and on. Being a former consultant, traveling across the nation, I've picked up on many tips and tricks on packing for business trips.
The most important part of packing for the business trip is actually not part of the packing at all. Preparation is the first and most vital step when packing. Avoiding last minute hiccups is the key in packing. Preparation helps you stop from overpacking, underpacking or just plain old forgetting. I would go so far as to say that preparation is 75% of the time that should be spent when you pack for a business trip.
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What to Pack
Start with a list and start writing the items that you need. The items you want to list down are:
- Shoes (optional)
- Medicine (if any)
- Notebook or notes
- Tide Pen (or equivalent)
- Photo ID
Writing this down first is important so that you can keep track of your items as you pack them.
Now let's go into more depth about the items.
Clothes, what type of clothes and how many clothes do you pack? Depending on your company culture, you may need to pack button up shirts, slacks, skirts and ties. But you can't forget about your casual clothes either. If you're staying the weekend during your business trip, you'll want some comfortable clothes to walk around in. The key here is to not overpack.
Bring slacks or skirts that can match with multiple different shirts, usually black or gray work the best. At the most, set aside 5 pairs. For men, you may only just need 3 pairs, if that. For shirts, try to keep the colors subtle, nothing that stands out, once again, darker colors work best. Set aside, at most 5 shirts. Undershirts, one or two should suffice.
Now, you may be thinking that this is underpacking, but it actually isn't. Wearing the same pants two times a week, or once a week is fine for this trip. Nobody will notice that you're wearing the same slacks or skirt as you were two days, or a week prior. The key is to keep the clothes subtle, darker tones and monotone styles. It may seem boring but it keeps you from having to carry an extra piece of luggage.
Also remember that the clothes you're wearing to the airport can be your pair of comfortable clothes for outside of work. This saves on taking up valuable space. But keep your clothes simple, going through an airport is an unpleasant experience. By keeping it simple, a pair of jeans, a t-shirt or sweater and a jacket should really be all you need.
The last piece of information is to check the weather of your destination! Be sure you're packing the right type of clothes for the weather you're headed to.
I listed shoes separately from clothes. Carrying around an extra pair of comfortable shoes is always a good idea. At some point you'll want to walk around the place you traveled to, and having a good pair of comfortable shoes will keep you moving without discomfort. This is an entirely optional item as you may feel that the shoes you wear for your job are comfortable as they are.
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Packing: Beyond Clothes
Toiletries are a bit tricky, and the situation is different for men and women. Women have a tendency to have more toiletries, which is understandable. The trick is really to understand what you need to bring and what you want to bring.
Also keep in mind the new airline guidelines. Remember that you can have no more that 3 fl. oz. of liquid, per bottle, that you can carry on with you. This actually includes many different types of make up so be sure not to pack that expensive bottle of perfume, cologne, or nail polish. Keep it simple, bring a toothbrush, and a razor, if needed. Most other items you can purchase when you arrive at your destination, or try asking your hotel to see if they have what you're looking for.
Never forget your medicine, if you need any. Bring a doctor's note if the medicine requires needles or if you're bring over 3 fl. oz. in one bottle. Otherwise, I would advise you carry some antacids, and ibuprofin. Upset stomachs or migraines during a business trip really make the whole ordeal horrible.
One item I often forgot was my chargers. Smartphones nowadays run out of batteries in far less than two weeks, they can barely keep alive for a few days. Make sure to pack your chargers for all the equipment you're bringing. This includes your mp3 player, your laptop, your phone and any other equipment you're bringing.
Notebook or Notes
Don't forget that business notebook of yours. All the notes for your business trip are vital in keeping you up to date of what you have to do when you arrive at your destination. Staying ahead of your work will keep you from being stressed when you arrive. In addition, it is something to read while you are en route to your destination.
Tide Pen or Equivalent
Since you'll be packing much lighter, having a stain pen such as the one for Tide or Clorox are extremely helpful during your business trip. These pens work on both white and colored clothing and they work quick. They can also keep the stain from getting too deep into the cloth, and you'll be able to send it to the cleaners once you get back to your hotel. Getting that stain off your shirt or pants instantly will help people not notice that you're wearing the same clothes during your two week stay.
Last, but more importantly, not least, is a photo ID. At the end of the day, you may have forgotten something in the list above, but if you want to reach your destination, your photo ID is the most important item to have handy. Whether it be your driver's license, passport, military ID, student ID, have some kind of identification on you. You will be able to purchase any other items you may have forgotten but you can't purchase an ID.
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Have a Safe Trip!
Now that you know what to pack for two week business trips, it's up to you to have a safe trip and enjoy your time. Don't let hiccups during the trip stress you out, take your time and give yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to go. Avoid connection flights with tight connection times, avoid buying cheap luggage bags, and avoid carrying a lot of personal items. It's a business trip, not a vacation. Keep it simple, keep it short, and keep it relaxed.