Winter Business Travel Guide

a group of clothes and shoesIt’s February, and usually here in Texas that means spring is on the way. This year….not exactly. It’s still really cold here and all around the country. If you’re used to a more temperate climate, traveling to a place with snow and ice can be jarring! Here is how to survive winter business travel.

Pack Smart

Reality is that you need more clothes to be comfortable in the winter. It’s still possible to carry-on! You just have to pack strategically.

  • Two thinner layers take up less room than bulky sweaters but will keep you just as warm.
  • Bring a good coat and plan to carry it on (whether you check your suitcase or not). For normal cold weather I have a wool coat, but for really terrible weather I have a knee-length puffy coat.
  • Make sure you have a scarf, gloves, and hat in your carry-on. Fleece is warmest, but knitted items work for most locations.
  • Bring waterproof boots for outside time, especially if you commute. Plan to change into your office shoes once you arrive. As an alternative, there are a few office-appropriate boot brands that are commute-friendly. Readers frequently suggest La Canadienne.
  • If you’ll be commuting bring long underwear. It doesn’t take up much room in your carry-on but keeps you very warm.
  • Wool socks are the best for keeping your feet toasty.
  • If they’re comfortable enough, wear your boots during transit to save room in your carry-on.
  • Here are sample wardrobes for a 5-day winter business trip and a 10-day winter business trip.

Hydrate your beauty routine

When you combine dry winter air with blasting heaters the moisture just gets sucked right out of your skin. Here are some of my favorite beauty products that will keep your skin and hair hydrated.

  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. I haven’t found anything that fixes dry winter skin better than this. A tube lives in my travel purse from November-April.
  • Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum. Dry flakes and patches will be gone with this amazing serum. I use it a few times a week to keep my skin looking new and refreshed.
  • Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm for Lips. My lips get so dry in the winter, especially when I’m traveling. I use this at night before bed and in the morning my chapped lips are gone.

Plan ahead

Delays are legion during the winter months. Here are some strategies for minimizing the impact on your travel.

  • Be smart about your connecting city. If you’re traveling between two warmer locations, if at all possible avoid connections in the north. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been delayed in Chicago or New York when traveling between Texas and North Carolina or Tennessee. Now I stick to the southern states whenever possible!
  • Have a plan B in case your flight is canceled or delayed. No matter how well you plan, delays and cancellations are inevitable this time of year. Make sure you have a back-up plan in case you can’t get to your destination as scheduled.
  • Allow extra time for driving to the office. Wintry precipitation can lead to lots of traffic delays, so pad your schedule a bit and you won’t stress if your commute takes extra time.
  • Build time into your schedule for defrosting your car. Also, consider bringing an ice scraper—most rental car companies have them but not always! Make sure the thick layer of ice on top of your car is removed after defrosting so it doesn’t fly off your car while you drive.

Readers, what are your tricks for surviving winter business travel?


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  1. I LOVE silk long underwear for layering. I have long sleeved tops in several colors and bottoms in black, The tops are thin enough to work with blouses, sweaters or dresses, and if a little shows at the neckline, it still looks nice. The bottoms don’t add any bulk and fit nicely under dress slacks. It’s a natural fiber so if it gets stuffy on a plane or in a warm building, I don’t get overheated. The silk is very easy to care for, I simply throw them in the washing machine and hang up to dry. I get mine at Landsend and they have separates for both men and women.

  2. I find a couple great pairs of leggings go a long way on business trips. I use them as long underwear but also as tights with dresses (with socks and boots). Also, it was very helpful for me to get a pair of boots that work for both the office and outside. I found some (Fly London) that look nice and have a wedge heel. After waterproofing, these get me through snowy parking lots to the office, saving me a ton of packing room.

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