The Ultimate Packing Checklist for Every Woman’s First Business Trip


Every time I am about to leave for a trip it happens...the packing nightmare. In my dream, I'm running around the house attempting to gather all of my undergarments, accessories, and trip essentials (like my toothbrush)---but I can't find them. And, every time I get close to finding what I need, it disappears.

Before my first business trip, the nightmare was worse than ever. Every night for a week I dreamt I arrived at my destination with nothing appropriate to wear and none of the supplies I needed. I couldn't even find the itinerary with the name of my hotel (I know, nobody uses paper itineraries anymore...but come on, it was a dream).

No matter how hard I tried to think about something else before I fell asleep the dream still came. You see, the thing about the packing nightmare is that even with a solid checklist I can't really escape it. So, instead of making a list for myself I decided to make a list for you.

Here's what you're going to need.

  1. A Great Carry-On Bag

The first step in avoiding the packing nightmare is to feel confident that everything you need for your trip will arrive in one piece, with you, and at your destination. A great carry-on bag will help make that possible.  No matter what type of carry-on you choose to use, make sure it has enough room and pockets to fit one versatile business dress outfit, a pair of shoes, your makeup essentials, and necessary toiletry items. It is also recommended that you pack any presentation materials, your laptop, and other electronic devices inside this bag.  That way, if your luggage gets lost you still have everything you need!

  1. Two Pairs of Comfortable and Stylish Shoes

When it comes to shoes, you certainly CAN overpack. However, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you take at least two pairs of high-quality, high-style shoes with you on every trip.  Switching between multiple pairs of shoes throughout the week will keep your feet feeling fresh after long nights of networking and days full of running between meetings. Likewise, if both pairs of shoes are attractive you won't find yourself fancying one over the other.

  1. Compact Makeup Essentials

Staying in hotels and waking up early for meetings is a big culprit of sucking all of the beauty from your face. Therefore, makeup is key if you want to make it through your first business trip looking like a functional human being.  For quick touch-ups, throughout the day I recommend a chubby concealer stick, mousse blush and a tube of mascara. Each of these items is easy to use, requires no extra brushes, and can be quickly applied to make you look like you can conquer the world (because you can).

  1. Eye Cream

No matter what brand you use, eye cream is magic. Throw some in your bag with the other makeup essentials listed above-you can thank me later.

  1. Makeup Remover Wipes

After a long day of showing off your skills, it can take every ounce of energy in you just to brush your teeth and roll down the covers. So, to save time and energy before bed, use makeup remover wipes to clean off the day. Your skin will be happy you didn't go to bed with your face on, and you will be happy you don't have to scrub it off in the morning.

  1. Business Casual After Hours Attire

No matter where you are headed, on a business trip there is typically an opportunity or two to kick back and relax.  Drinks at a nice bar or dinner at a favorite local restaurant are some of the most popular choices. However, when choosing what to wear it's important to remember that your first business trip isn't necessarily spring break 2k10.  If you are planning on going "out" a time or two while you away make sure you pack casual, appropriate attire. After all, you never know what elevator pitch worthy individual you might run into.

  1. Snacks

Yes, always, always, always pack food.  There are plenty of opportunities to get hungry between meetings, and having your favorite drink or treat on hand can help you unwind after a long, stressful day. Although you don't have to take the entire kitchen with you packing a box of your favorite energy bars, protein shakes, or even herbal tea will help you get through the week.

  1. Emergency Information

This might sound a little bit silly, but being prepared for an emergency while you are out of town is one way to really dial back the potential nightmares.  Before you leave be sure to have your insurance card handy as well as the phone numbers of the colleagues you are traveling with.

  1. An On-Trend Business Bag

When you are living out of a hotel room and shuffling between meetings, it is important to have the essentials on you and ready to go.  Take a bag along that will hold your laptop, any business materials you need, your compact makeup, and a snack or two. Bonus points if the bag is Insta picture worthy.

  1. A Really Freakin’ Good Attitude

Working away from your normal environment and being away from home can be exhausting. However, it's important to remember that business trips of any kind are sometimes essential to growing your career and achieving success. So, before you board your plane make sure you are equipped with positivity, enthusiasm, and none of your best excuses...you can leave those at home.

Happy travels! 


About the Author

Ellie is a talented momma, wife and career girl. When she’s not fueling up at the local coffee shop, she’s busy helping women discover their true potential on Grow Yourself Girl and Buzzy Blogs.

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