Packing For A Business Trip

I like Clothes. There, I’ve said it.
Most of you will be thinking: Try telling us something we don’t know. IKR.

For a man who likes clothes packing for a business trip can be a nightmare because you can only take so much stuff. If you are driving, then you can take as much as your car can hold . But if you are flying there are these pesky baggage allowances to deal with.

And then there is the embarrassment of having the largest number and size of bags to contend with, even if you could take with you everything you might be inclined to. So packing for a business trip is a tricky exercise.

If you are away for a couple of days it’s not that big a deal. You need a change of clothing and some toiletries and an overnight bag will do the trick.

On this trip, however, I’m away for 7 days, including a number of high level meetings which require formal dress, interspersed with an academic conference which requires a mixture of informal and formal dress. On evenings which are free I’ll want to change into something comfortable to slouch about in, though there will also be a number of evening events. All of this requires, suits, shirts, ties, multiple shoes and some casual clothing.

Last year on a similar trip I brought two bags and felt a bit embarrassed by that when I saw a number of my colleagues with what appeared to be nothing more than a rucksack. What were these people wearing? Did they change? Ever? So this year I was determined to have only one bag. So how to pack for all that in one bag?

Obviously it requires a mindset of travelling light.
OK, in my case perhaps travelling lighter.
OK, may be less heavy….

At the very least it means a mindset which has its starting point not how much can I take but how little can I get away with? Best of all if you pack light, with some space in your suitcase, you’ve got some space to bring back something nice. At the very least you can fit that great pair of shoes that you couldn’t resist into your suitcase.

The best thing is to plan what you will wear on each day and take only those items. And nothing else. Obviously, it’s helpful if you can wear some things more than once. So I packed 2 suits for this trip which I will alternate. I also alternate shoes so at least 2 pairs are needed for a 7 day trip. Ties can be worn more than once, and will look very different with a different coloured shirt and suit.

An obvious point, but think about how many pairs of underwear you need. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a foreign country without clean underpants. Trust me, I’ve been there. Nuff said.

If you are a stickler for well ironed shirts, as I am, think about ironing your shirts before you pack them. I know this sounds counter intuitive because you expect they will get crinkled in the suitcase.

However, here’s a tip. If you iron your shirts, fold them neatly, and then place them in the cellophane bag that the shirts came in then you will find that when you unpack your shirts they will have fold lines but will not be crinkled. And it means you don’t have to faff about trying to find or work our how to use the iron your hotel or B&B. Trust me on this too. It works.

In my case (geddit?) when packing for this trip I started well. I was going for the minimum number of shoes, one packed and one worn, the minimum number of shirts, the minimum number of suits (2) etc. However at the last moment I caved. I added an extra pair of shoes which were comfortable and an extra Blazer (also comfortable). Then I added a couple of extra shirts and a jumper, just in case. And the reason I added these? Partly because I had been pretty efficient and there was space in the suitcase. Needless to say after these additions there wasn’t any space left.

I guess there is an upside to this, however. There is no space for any impulse shopping. If I buy anything I’ll have to leave something behind.
Unless it’s tiny. Like a Watch……

Having said that I can think of any number of tiny things that might just fit: bow ties, pocket squares, coloured laces, posh socks….

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