5 tips for your first business trip

The first business trip can be stressful! What to pack? What to wear? How do I get through security? Here is a quick list of my top 9-2-14-2-Victorinox Luggagefive tips for your first business trip.

  1. Pack smart. It’s tempting, but I promise you don’t need separate outfits for each day! For a week-long trip bring two bottoms (slacks or skirt), a shirt for each day, and a dress (or another pair of slacks for the guys). Plan around one general color scheme—black is great and doesn’t show dirt that easily, but don’t be afraid of color. One of my favorite packing lists is built around cobalt, mustard, and green. Finally, bring no more than three pairs of shoes including flip flops or sneakers. (Check out my roundup of great travel suitcases here).
  2. Decant your toiletries. Unless you’re traveling for months at a time you won’t need more than 3 oz. of most toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Use refillable bottles to take your favorites with you (just make sure it doesn’t explode). For many liquids you need far less than 3 oz.—I keep my face wash, moisturizer, eye cream, and primer in spare contact lens cases. (Related: My full list of travel toiletry tips.)
  3. Keep snacks on hand. You never know when you’ll be stuck on a plane hours longer than intended, with no food in sight. Keeping granola bars or nuts in your briefcase can be a lifesaver! I also recommend buying (or refilling) a bottle of water once you get through security to keep hydrated between visits from the flight attendants. (Eating healthy? Here are some tips to getting healthy snacks through security.)
  4. Fly through security. Global Entry and/or TSA Pre-check are absolutely essential to frequent business travelers. You don’t have to take your shoes off or your laptop out of your bag at security, and when traveling internationally you can pass the lengthy customs lines. If you won’t be traveling often enough to justify that, wear flat shoes that can be easily slipped off and on for security. Have your ID and boarding pass ready to go when you get to the front of the line, and make sure your liquids bag and laptop are easily accessible. Finally, when you get through the line pick up your bags and bins and move to the benches to reassemble your stuff.
  5. Be patient! Delays, lines, and crowds can make even the most even-tempered traveler lose her mind. Take a deep breath and remember that getting mad doesn’t make anything move more quickly! You are all in this together, and showing a little grace can make frustration melt away for you and those around you.

Bonus tip: Use an app like TripIt to easily keep track of your flight, hotel, and car rental reservations.

Readers, what are your best tips for a first business trip?

Be sure to also check out my series on preparing for your first international business trip.


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