When travelling for business, you should be prepared for every scenario. Whether a flight is delayed or you meet a client unexpectedly in the terminal, you always should project a professional image.
“You never know who’s going to be on the plane [or] who you’re going to bump into at the airport,” says Anne Sowden, image consultant with Here’s Looking at You in Toronto.
In order to look your best, you’ll need to be organized. Follow these tips to make sure you are properly packed for business travel:
> Keep a packed overnight bag
Have a bag packed in advance with travel-size toiletries, says Sowden, so you are always ready to go.
As well, remember to place any bottles containing liquids in plastic Ziploc bags, she says, as the pressure on planes can cause them to leak.
> Pack plastic
Pack some plastic bags to keep your belongings organized.
A couple of extra plastic bags provide a place to stash dirty or damp clothing — such as a wet bathing suit — and keep them separate from other items.
> Manage your accessories
For female advisors on the go, a piece of fishing equipment can help with your accessories.
A small fishing tackle box, with its compartments for sorting lures, hooks and sinkers, can keep your accessories organized, Sowden says. Place jewelry on one side and make-up on the other. Choose a box that’s light enough and small enough to fit easily in your carry-on luggage.
> Have a back up
Chances are you will be travelling with a computer, so make sure your files are safe.
Always have files backed up on a USB key, Sowden says. As well, remember to bring the charger for your laptop.
> Separate business and pleasure
Adding a vacation to a business trip will require a little more planning.
Sowden recommends packing separate bags — one for business and one for pleasure. The business luggage could be your carry-on bag and the holiday suitcase could be your checked bag.
When you reach your business hotel, Sowden says, do not open the vacation suitcase. That way, you won’t have to repack it when the business part of the trip is over.
“It’s compartmentalizing,” Sowden says. “You should be focused on business for that part of the trip and make sure that you pay attention to why you’re there.”
This is the second in a two-part series on packing for business travel. The first part appeared on June 22.