I am a last minute packer. When travelling for work I usually pack the night before or the morning of my trip. Why? Because I have waxed a packing formula that serves me so well, I just don’t need that much time to pack. It hasn’t always been this way though. I have struggled with incredible over-packing tendencies and also under packed so badly I had to buy clothes while on a trip. As a working mom, I find travelling for work profoundly stressful. In addition to thinking about my work life (meetings and presentations to prep for, travel arrangements, staying on top of email while out of the office) I also need to consider all of the home life trimmings (meals, school meetings, making it as easy as possible on my partner while I am away). My anxiety usually spikes leading up to a trip. One thing I don’t want to stress about is what to pack.
So if you have been like me, a worry-wort, terrible packer, then read on my dear friend because I am going to share some great tips with you and also show you exactly how I would pack for a 4-day work trip.
So at the risk of sounding like a Tony Robbins-Esq motivational speaker, the following tips have changed the game for me and they are going to change the game for you too.
- Check the weather in your destination city. It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s one we easily forget. You don’t want to be too hot or too cold and if things look a bit in between then pack items that layer well.
- Consider your schedule. If you are going to an office in another town and you know you will spend most of your time in that office then that will usually mean that you needn’t pack too fancy a selection. If you are headed out of town to many meetings and presentations then you’ll want to look sharp every day.
- Pack according to 1 colour palate. This is a biggie for me. Selecting items that are all complimentary to each other will make it easier to mix and match and will also mean that you don’t need to pack a variety of shoes – I usually pack a max of two pairs.
- Think about your inner city travel. If you’re going to be moving between multiple meetings, pack clothing that looks nice but is incredibly comfortable. If you’re not 100% confident on those heels, leave them at home.
- Don’t take your full makeup bag. Think of the makeup look you want to go with while away, and only pack the products you’ll need to achieve this look. For me, it means packing 6 items versus packing 20.
- Decant those toiletries. You know those tiny travel bottles you see for sale at Clicks? BUY THEM! They are amazing. You can pour our little bits of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel into them and really pack efficiently. Toiletries take up a huge amount of space and it’s so extra to cart around half a litre of shower gel for a 2-day trip.
When I chose my clothing, I follow the steps mentioned above and usually pack according to the following formula: 2 bottoms, 2 tops, one jumper or coat, two pairs of shoes.
I absolutely refuse to check baggage in if I am staying for less than 5 days and the following formula almost always means I can take my carryon and get 5 outfits out of 5 pieces of clothing. Let’s take a look:
As you can see from the images above, I’ve packed according to a specific colour range and it has made it possible for me to mix things up. Of course, you may look at this and think, how can I wear the same top twice? Well, you can. Just don’t mess on it, don’t forget your deodorant and if you’re feeling extra weird about it, most hotels have a laundry facility that you can use.
So what do you think? Will you be making use of these tips when you pack for your next work trip?