Yesterday I took you behind the scenes on a personal styling session with Westfield as I prepare to head to the USA for a conference and some other business-related adventures. Packing for this trip has been more difficult than my previous trips to a conference because the invite list on this one is next level. This conference will be attended by some of the most fashionable, stylish bloggers from around the world, and we will be meeting with some of the most iconic fashion brands. For a girl still navigating her ultimate wardrobe it’s a daunting task to pack one little suitcase. However, when it comes to being organised I definitely have that covered, and I’m happy to share with you my tips and secrets.
I’m going to show you how I’ve prepared and packed my suitcases, keeping all my stylish outfits in order.
The best thing you can do for a business trip is to plan your outfits ahead of time. Look up the weather reports for your destination, but also consider the environment you will be in – I’ll mostly be in conference rooms so I need to take a cover-up to ward off the air-conditioning chill. As women, it isn’t always as simple as a suit and tie for each day so factor in if you will need different outfits for daytime and evening.
Once you know which clothes you want to wear for each function lay out your accessories and shoes. Assemble the outfit as you would wear it (I go as far as to trying on each item and assembling it as if I’m about to head out the door). Having everything out in front of you will make the task much easier.
Then, bag it. I use Space Bag To Go, putting each complete outfit in its own bag (including jewellery). I also write a list of each item in the outfit and put it in the bag, but that’s just because I’m super-anal.
I try to take as few pairs of shoes as I can so they will often be doubled up on outfits. To keep them in tip-top shape I wrap each individual shoe in tissue paper before putting them in a shoe bag. I love that Melissa shoes always come with shoe bags – or you can buy shoe bags that even have transparent windows in them, they are even better!
Don’t Leave Home Without …
One handbag is not enough for a business trip. I believe there are three core categories you need to accommodate:
- Daytime business activities – big enough to carry a wallet, notepad, phone, digital devices (iPad, laptop, etc), a cardigan, an umbrella (if appropriate), water bottle, headache tablets and a small makeup bag.
- Shoulder bag – not too large, not too small for your absolute essentials, i.e. phone, wallet, makeup for touch-ups, tissues and hotel key.
- Clutch – the right size for your phone, makeup compact, lipstick, money and hotel key.
When travelling for business you need to present the best possible version of yourself, that means keeping your belongings in good shape. To do that I keep a kit of wardrobe savers in my suitcase.
- Shoe Sponge
- Emergency Sewing Kit
- Stain Remover
- Soft Cloth
Packing your beauty products can be the most difficult task. Working out what to take, which size of each product and what to put where …. it can be a nightmare.
Something that has helped me a great deal over the years is to pack separate beauty bags for different needs. I have one for my on-board bag, one for nails, one for hair, one for makeup and one for shower/body/skincare. But my most important tip is pack all your bags at once. Have each of the bags out as you are packing so you don’t double-up on products. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to put a hand cream in the on-board, the nails and the body bags.
What you need on-board will definitely depend on where you are going, what you are doing and how you like to kill time but there is one essential that always goes in my on-board bag before anything else – a wrap. I’m bringing one of the colourful rayon sarongs I picked up in Bali because it’s so soft and reminds me fun travels.
A wrap is the best travel-buddy you can have. You can use it rolled-up as a pillow, it can be a shawl and it can be a blanket.
Do you travel for business? Do you have any fail-proof packing tips? Let me know by commenting below!