Traveling for business can feel like a liberating accomplishment. Whether you're traveling as a self-employed entrepreneur or for a company you work for, business travel shows that you have proven yourself in some way or another.
So if you're venturing out for your first ever business-related travel, you may think you have it all figured out. The tickets are paid for, the hotel is booked, and you have your itinerary prepared. That is until you get to your destination and realize you forgot something vital. To save you from forgetting these necessities, here are 10 things you should always pack for business travel.
10 Business Cards
This is going to be the first thing you notice once you're away on business. If you're not in the habit of carrying business cards around with you in your daily routine, then you are even more likely to forget to pack business cards. Generally, you will be networking with a brand new group of people on your trip, so you'll want to be handing out business cards in order to further new opportunities.
Start carrying business cards with you now and you will be less likely to forget to bring them for your business trip. You can always throw some in your suitcase as a "just in case" measure as well.
9 Folders For Documents
Keeping all of your pertinent documents in one simple folder is not only convenient for you, but it gives off a good first impression. You can grab a travel size divided folder at your local office supply store.
You should keep your business itinerary here as well as any phone numbers, business credit cards, passports, and tickets in this one spot. And hey, why not throw some business cards in there while you're at it?
8 Presentation Material
Not all business trips are going to require tangible presentation material. But if you are commuting someone for company-related exposure, you are going to need to come prepared. Whether you're pitching a new idea or meeting a new client, you are going to need some sort of evidence of your work that you can present to them. Even if this involves digital files, make sure you have these all prepared on a hard drive or have them easily accessible on your Google Drive.
7 Mini Travel Accessories
When you are traveling for your job, you are going to want to pack light. And that means packing small. There is no need to bring full bottles of shampoos and conditioners to your new location, even if you are there for an extended stay.
Simply start off with small toiletries items. And if necessary, you can always stop by the local supermarket for standard size items if you end up staying longer for your business needs.
You might also want to consider travel-size items like an umbrella, lip balm, moisturizer, and even a small first aid kit.
6 Leisure Outfits
Traveling for business doesn't always mean all work and no play. You'll want to make a few leisure outfits for this type of travel, even if you plan on working a majority of the time.
Pack a comfortable outfit that you can wear on the plane and bring one or two outfits for a night out. You never know if your co-workers will invite you out for a quick cocktail after a day full of meetings. Think of these situations as further networking opportunities where your associates can get to know the real you. And the real you probably doesn't wear a blazer to the bar.
5 Work Outfits
This might seem obvious for some entrepreneurs, but it all depends on your line of work. If you don't typically don business casual (or any type of formal work wardrobe for that matter) then you may forget to pack the appropriate attire. If you're not sure what type of environment you'll be walking into, you'll want to have a few options handy.
Ladies, make sure you have slacks, a button-down, a nice blouse, a blazer, and nice professional shoes. Gentleman will want to have slacks, a button-down, a tie, and maybe a nice polo in case its a more casual work setting.
4 A Journal
Your job probably entails using your phone often, right? Emails, presentations, typing-- all of this requires using your phone, laptop, or tablet. But when you're traveling, it's that much easier to drain your battery. And it will probably be difficult to find the time to charge these up.
Instead of pulling out your phone or laptop to jot down notes, carry a notebook and pen with you. That way, you won't be reliant on your electronics having a charge in order to easily access your brilliant ideas.
When you are traveling for business, your mind has to be in the right place. It's recommended that you bring compact over the counter medications just in case. If you're prone to headaches (or if it's that time of the month for you ladies) you'll want to have pain relievers on hand so that you can concentrate on your work.
You should also keep travel-size hand sanitizer with you and simple flu or allergy medications so that you can try and remain healthy and active while you're away on business.
2 Portable Charger
Portable chargers are still making their way to becoming household items, but if you're traveling for work, you definitely want to pick one of these up. You'll need one not only to keep tabs on what's going on at work at your home base, but also so that you can find your way around this foreign city.
Portable charges can be found at any local convenience store and you can explore different options on Amazon. Just don't forget to pack it in your carry-on so that your phone can be charged while you're at the airport!
1 Tech Carry-On Bags
And while we're on the note of electronics, you need to have a separate bag to carry your electronics. Don't try to cram your laptop into your carry on with your liquids, clothes, and miscellaneous items. That can lead to potential disasters that you can't afford on a business trip.
Some airlines, like Southwest, allow you to have a carry-on and a personal item. Use your laptop case as your personal item so that you can have quick access to during your flight.