Five Ways For Women To Pack For a Business Trip

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I remember my first business trip. I was working as an Inside Sales Representative for a software company in New Jersey, but all of my clients were in San Francisco or Houston. I was intrigued. Would I ever be able to get to those two places?

After all, they were exotic to me at that point in my life.

My card finally came up. I flew to Houston, alone, during a hurricane warning, and the businessman next to me gripped his seat with his hands and looked over to see if I was nervous. I was. This was big time! I had flown alone before, but never to an unknown place with no one to meet me at the airport. It was late at night and I got transportation to my hotel with a family of chattering, but sleepy passengers. My hotel had room service and expanded cable. I was about to get a few hours of sleep, before an entire day of meetings and lunches, and then a night of socializing with clients and even trying my hand at line dancing. I opened my suitcase to survey my belongings. Had I packed enough? Was I ready? Yes, I was ready for this.

 

That was several years ago, and while it was the first business trip, it wasn’t the last. All along the way I did a lot of odd jobs that didn’t require business travel – like being an Innkeeper, a temp, and finally, a photography business owner and a mama. Once I started blogging, all bets were off. I knew that business travel was going to be a part of my life again, and luckily for me, I began to crave it. I feel like solo travel was one thing missing from my life, after nearly two years of being a parent. Safety, and comfort are the pioneer things to keep in mind when traveling solo as a woman. You can visit this website to find some of the safest, and most comfortable flight arrangements to travel the world.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, a work-out-of-home mom, and now I’m a work-at-home mom. I’ve seen it all!

These days, as a writer/blogger/photographer/mama, instead of sitting in a cubicle, I spend long days on my feet photographing weddings, newborns, real estate, and more. I spend long days being a mama, and long days crafting blog posts. There is nothing less professional with my career now, than when I worked in an office every day. I still have a professional image to uphold – whether it’s on the pages of this blog and other social media platforms – or whether it’s in person.

I was terrified to go on my business trip last week, because there were so many elements of it that were new to me. I drove into NYC, and I didn’t know a single person at my conference ahead of time, except from emailing and blogging, which is powerful. I felt better by being fully prepared, and knowing all of my ducks were in a row before I left for my trip.

The experience was much smoother than it could have been!

Five Ways For Women To Pack For a Business Trip:

1. Use a carry-on-sized suitcase with wheels. Bonus if you can attach another bag – camera bag, purse, toiletry bag, briefcase, etc. – to the suitcase. If you do have to check a bag, pack clothes, shoes, and toiletries in your carry-on!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been grateful for this. Airports DO lose luggage or get it to you too late..
2. Pack a garment bag for delicate clothing. One cool thing about garment bags? When flying, you can ask a flight attendant for any plane closet storage for the duration of the flight. This is generally so helpful for delicate clothes.

3. Put your toiletries in a Ziploc bag. If there is a flight involved, this will help with the security line. Even if there’s no flight involved, it’s still nice not to risk having toiletries leak or break onto your valuable clothing!

I wear a lot of white!

4. Pack layers! The best way to pack for business travel, or all travel, is to pack versatile clothes that fit in with all weather patterns and activities. I tend to stick to colors and patterns that can be layered together. For me, there’s a lot of bright colors and patterns, but they all go together. This will keep your suitcase nice and light. You can pack different shoes and accessories to change the way the outfits look. I tend to wear my heaviest shoes for travel, to save space in my suitcase.

And I wrap my shoes in plastic bags or Ziploc. I also bring small laundry bags for dirty clothes!

5. Don’t forget to make a list, and check it twice, of VIP items. For me that’s a camera. And business cards! It could be a quality hairdryer. Nail polish for summer toenails. A clothes steamer! An umbrella! Earplugs! Your own snacks!!

 

And never, ever, forget to pack your own tampons and pads!

 

You really never know when you will need them. The ones in other countries might be made differently, or the even the ones in your own state might not be the ones that YOU love. As a young or seasoned professional, as a college student, and as a young mom, U by Kotex has always fit into my lifestyle. You need to be able to go about your highly busy days without worrying about your period. For me, it’s U by Kotex® Click® Tampons and U by Kotex® Cleanwear® Pads.

U by Kotex® designs all products to help make your period easier and more manageable. They are designed with you in mind.

I found mine at my local CVS in the “Feminine Care” aisle:

Now, I want to hear from YOU! How and what do you pack for travel? Whether you’re a mom, a student, or a professional, sometimes you have to take to the road – whether by car, plane, or train. Do you feel ready? The Period Project gives women a voice when it comes to your period and your needs. The program invites you to read, share, and make a change.

Be part of the conversation!

 

What are YOUR stories? What are your needs? Tell me here or at the Period Project!

 

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56 Comments

  1. Great tips Tamara! I do all of those things when travelling too. Especially wearing the layers. Yes, that feminine necessity stuff is always good to have in the suitcase.

    1. Yes, because you never know! I mean, you tend to know sometimes because of regularity, but I had a few birth control related setbacks last year that made me know less.
      It’s all good now, luckily.

  2. You got on a plane during a hurricane warning? I never knew you were so brave. I alway have pads and tampons in my suitcase, and benadryl, because you never know. Hunting for a store in an strange place is not fun.

    1. We didn’t really know about, I have to believe. The flight was already so delayed as is and we were trying to fly around the problem area, I believe. It was bouncy!

  3. Totally agree with you, especially about the ziplock bags (can never have enough when packing) and the carry on suitcase with wheels is also a godsend, too!! 🙂

  4. I like your business cards! I have yet to go on a business trip by myself, maybe some day I can get to that adult milestone 🙂

    1. Thanks! Many photographers do crazy busy ones with photos, but I figure I’d go simple and if someone liked them, they’d check out the site to see more!

  5. I’m usually a great packer, but on this last trip I left my sweater at home. I bought it just for this trip – for the chilly plane and Seattle nights. I was not happy about that!

  6. I use a lot of plastic storage bags when packing too. I haven’t traveled alone since having kids. So it always feels like I need to pack half the house when we go somewhere.

    1. I usually do the packing for three of us, plus the dog, plus arrangements for the cat, and it can burn me out! Plastic bags so come in handy.

  7. Good tips! I am very organized when packing, but I don’t like making lists, so I don’t, but go through everything in my head while packing a few hours before I leave. Not like a lot of other who start packing way (!) ahead of time. I would not be able to do that. And it totally depends if I’m flying, staying in a hotel or driving my car and staying in a vacation house. In case of the latter, I totally completely stuff whatever comes to mind and fits into the car 🙂 The absolute opposite of flying.

    1. I really enjoy packing at the last minute – I can’t lie. My mother-in-law has to start days before a trip just for her own organizational sense. I can pack the day of a trip and be happy!

  8. Were you packing for Blogger Bash? Because I talked to Herchel and I’m SO BUMMED I couldn’t come. GREAT tips btw, baggies for toiletries are a must! You inspired me to write my own packing for family post, thank you! I miss you!

  9. Amazing and incredibly useful tips, Tamara. I have never taken a business trip before but I think this is valuable advice for anyone going on a trip (also I am SO THANKFUL that I pack lightly). I recently discovered packing cubes. GAME CHANGER. When Bryan and I flew to Amsterdam we stayed in a room the size of a closet (a very very small closet) and we had no room to unpack. Very happy I was able to keep all of my things organized!

    XOXO

  10. it’s so good to see pictures of you and other bloggers i follow! and i love your business cards. if you were local, i would hire you all the time! i’m a big fan of ziplock bags!

  11. I always take my toothbrush in my carry-on. And back before there used to be a limit on liquids, I brought an Evian water mister to stay dehydrated. Now it’s just my toothbrush.

    1. I learned how to do that when I used to visit Cassidy in California. It would be such a late (or early) flight and I’d brush my teeth in the airport bathroom after a flight!

  12. I am so terrible when it comes to packing. I hate it. I always get nervous that I am not packing the right things. I only feel confident when I am packing for a trip home to see my parents, because they don’t care what I wear. I could wear PJs the whole time, and they really do not care ONE BIT. Now if I dye my hair blue – that’s when they (my mom, ahem) care….. In fact, so much so that she doesn’t get over it. Calls me ugly. And tells me if my hair is blue on my wedding day, she will walk out of the venue. Ha. Wait, we were talking about packing, not my mommy issues – LMFAO!

    1. haha – I love that. Perhaps I don’t put my all into my looks when I’m with my family either!
      I can’t believe your mom called you ugly? That’s not even a word in the dictionary of your life. No matter what!

  13. I’m a total believer in packing toiletries in ziplock bags any time you’re taking them outside the home. Ever had a gym bag filled with leaked shampoo? Yuck. Love the tip for asking for storage from a flight attendant. Never heard of that one before!

  14. Layers are SOOO important! It can get really chilly in conference rooms which becomes pretty awful because you can’t concentrate when you are cold (at least I can’t!)

  15. I’ve never really packed for a business trip but I’ve packed for numerous vacations. I’ve already done 4 so far this year and we have another one coming up in a few short weeks. My daughter just LOVES U by Kotex and you can always find them in her bathroom. 🙂

  16. These are great tips. I always seem to get my cycle mixed up when I travel. I always need to bring protection.

  17. You have some great tips for business trips. I can remember my first business trip to Orlando. I was really nervous, too. By the time the first day was over, though, I was feeling pretty confident in myself and having some fun.

  18. Great tips! I am a lousy packer. I’m very neat but I always overpack making it near impossible to use a carry-on. I keep saying I’ll edit the next time and each time I’m standing at the luggage carousel cursing myself — LOL! Maybe next time, I’ll remember your tips.
    🙂
    Traci

  19. Great tips, especially the carry on. I have had so many friends with lost luggage lately. Luckily I haven;t had a period in ages. Thank you IUD. 😀

    1. ha! You made me laugh. I have an IUD too but it doesn’t get rid of it completely, although it does slow it down, which is nice. I also have my IUD to thank for growing a full cup size in bras!

        1. It’s so weird. I’ve been fairly slight my whole life. In the last year, they grew! So either it’s the IUD OR all the praying I have done since age 11 to have boobs.. finally paid off?

  20. I love the tips for business travel I ma heading to California next wee and will put these to good use. I always forget business cards so I should throw them in my carryon right now so I will at least be one step ahead. I like to color coordinate to it is easy to mix things up and everything matches. Glad you had a safe flight.

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