This article is a 8-minute read.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Packing tips that can help you pack more effectively and efficiently for your next business trip
- Items to pack with you
- How to pack a dress shirt
Let’s get into it.
Business Travel: Packing Tips for Men
How to pack for a business trip... this can be quite a task.
Packing up for a leisurely vacation is a bit different; you might be able to get away with grabbing casual clothing and tossing it into a bag along with some necessary accessories. If you forgot a few things, it’s no big deal because a vacation likely can afford you the time to go and pick up what you need.
On a business trip, however, there are more constraints that have to be considered, so packing well and thoroughly is important.
Do Your Laundry Beforehand
Take care of laundry before you pack. By doing laundry beforehand, you can prevent the panic when you realize that you only have enough underwear or socks to get you through three nights instead of five. Or when you realize you have one less dress shirt available than what you originally thought you had.
Another reason to do your laundry before you pack: you can fold your clothes right away and place them into your suitcase, which can help prevent any wrinkles too.
Choose Your Clothing Carefully
A good strategy for packing clothes is to pick versatile clothing that can be used for multiple purposes. Try and make the load light by packing as many interchangeable pieces of clothing as possible. Finding suit pieces - jacket, dress shirt, slacks - that can be worn separately and together are great too.
And find shoes that can be versatile too – ones that can be worn both at at meetings as well as evening team dinners.
Use the Spaces in Your Shoes
Inside of (most types of) shoes, there is room for storage. You can put small items - such as socks - into the shoes in order to save extra space in the suitcase. Not only can this help save space, but it may also help prevent nice shoes from being crushed in your suitcase.
Take Advantage of the Shape of Your Suitcase
When packing sport coats, dress shirts, dress pants, or delicate sweaters, it’s important that they are folded in such a way that they will take up the width of the suitcase.
They should also be packed last and laid on top of the rest of the items already in the suitcase. By packing them last, it'll be the first thing that is unpacked, and it will help stop wrinkles from forming.
Take Care of Your Ties
Instead of folding the ties up, roll them up instead. Roll the tie up as if it was a spool of tape - and put it into a space, such as between clothing and the walls of the suitcase, where they won’t get crushed.
Chances are that you have more than one electronic device to bring - and things can get messy and tangled when you have a bunch of cords to bring for these devices.
A good strategy is to use a small bag to pack up those cords, and it’s even better if you put an extra charging cable for the electronics that are most often used into that bag as well.
Putting one charger into a carry-on bag and another into a suitcase is a good way to keep everything that is needed close at hand.
Bring Along a Dopp Kit
Instead of tucking away toiletries into a suitcase and hoping that the nice dress shirt inside doesn't accidentally get doused with a leaking cologne bottle, invest in a dopp kit. These are designed to house toiletries like deodorant, toothpaste, shaving kits, colognes, moisturizers, and more.
What to Pack for a Business Trip
Basic necessities include items like:
- Easy, slip-on shoes that make getting through TSA lines easier and are more comfortable for traveling in
- Loose, comfortable clothing that will be easy to travel in
- Extra layers of clothing to keep warm on a cold flight
- Pillow for sleeping during transit
- Ear plugs and an eye mask for getting sleep when it counts the most
Because it’s a business trip, both the "business" and the "trip" aspect will need to be considered when it comes to paperwork. Make sure both travel and work documents are packed, including:
- Driver's license / ID card
- Boarding pass
- Important work documents
- Extra passport pictures
- Credit and/or debit cards
Hygiene is just as important while away as it is at home. Here are some items that you can take with you to help you feel fresh and clean at your destination:
- Travel size toothpaste and toothbrush
- Antibacterial hand sanitizer
- Lotion or moisturizer
- Face wipes
- Lip balm
- Shave cream
- Travel-size shampoo, body wash, and face wash
Not only will there be downtime during the flight, but it’s likely there will be downtime in between meetings and at night in the hotel room. Something for entertainment during those times will go a long way, and there are a number of items that can be taken along to fill those hours:
- Books or magazines
- Downloaded movies on a phone or a tablet
- Laptop and charger
- Adult coloring books, colored pencils or markers
- Journals and pens
Packing Dress Shirts Without Wrinkling Them
Dress shirts are good not only for looking sophisticated and professional when in attendance of business meetings, but they are also great for the nights spent at dinners with colleagues or superiors.
Traveling a long distance with a dress shirt is not as simple as it seems. It may be tempting to just hope that the hotel will provide one as a standard amenity, but banking on that isn’t always the best strategy.
Follow the steps below so that your dress shirts can arrive at your destination in good shape.
- Button the shirt all of the way up to the top button, starting at the very bottom one.
- Lay the shirt face down on a hard, flat surface such as a table. Smooth it out once or twice.
- Spread out the shirt and put the sleeves to the side.
- Fold the sleeves in toward the middle of the shirt in a horizontal-style fold. This will usually mean folding it up around halfway up the sleeve.
- Put a dryer sheet in during this phase to help stop the fabric from bunching up once the shirt is folded. It will also help keep the laundry smelling nice.
- Fold each of the sides in about three inches toward the center. If it has been done right, there will be a small “V” pattern near the top of the shirt on the back.
- Fold it in half from the bottom up a single time. Fold it in half again if you need to save space or just want a tighter fold.
If that seems a bit too tedious, the only other thing that can really be done is to purchase wrinkle-resistant dress shirts. It’s still recommended that the shirt is folded in the way that is outlined above, but there’s likely more slack to the packing method when using a wrinkle-proof shirt.
Packing for a business trip does not have to be a stressful, time-consuming struggle. There are ways to make packing simpler and more efficient, and these business trip packing tips for men who spend a lot of their time traveling for work should help make it easier. Revisit this list when it comes time to pack up for the most efficient experience possible.