How to :: pack for a business trip

I've been doing a lot of traveling for my job lately and every time I find myself going in circles trying to figure out what to pack. Without fail, I get there and realize something that I forgot or that I wish I had. This past week, I was in sunny California for a 4 day conference and I made a point to really plan out what I packed and also jot down what all I didn't need and wished I'd had once I got there. My biggest challenge this time around was the weather change; we went from freezing temperatures in Birmingham to high 80s in California and even though it's November and my legs are pasty, I wished I'd had more Cali appropriate wear. After four hot days in the same flats, I wished I'd packed an extra pair, or better yet a pair of sandals that could breath. The other issue was that I didn't follow my own advice; I packed a few deep wine pieces instead of the neutrals which really limited my ability to mix-and-match. So, with my lessons learned from this trip and others, I put together a go-to packing list and some helpful tips and things to remember when packing for a business trip to help make life a little easier the next time around.

1 // pack for where you are going, even if it goes against seasonal norms
2 //  go for pieces that can go from day to night. Try a bold lipstick or jewelry to dress it up
3 // pack coordinating, versatile, neutral pieces that you can mix & match and repeat
4 // choose non-wrinkling, comfortable materials that will look and feel great all day
5 // collect toiletries you don't use from your hotel and keep them for your next trip

For a 4 day business trip:
2 pair of dress pants (1 tailored and 1 that's more casual)
2 skirts (something with flow or stretch is best)
3 nice tops/blouses (mix short and long sleeved options)
1 more casual top/blouse
1 versatile dress (you can't go wrong with a solid)
1 jacket, blazer, or sweater option
1 pair of nice jeans
1 comfortable plain t-shirt + 1 pair of yoga pants (perfect for pajamas, to workout, or as a "run-down-to-the-lobby" look)
1 sweatshirt or long sleeved t shirt
1 pair of comfortable heels (I opt for a low or chunky heel that will go the distance)
1 pair of nice flats 
1 extra pair of flats
1 pair of tennis shoes (you just may want to hit the fitness center or explore the grounds)
plenty of neutral and practical undergarments and socks (don't forget a sports bra)
Accessories: 1 statement necklace, 1 pair of earrings, 1 simple long necklace, + your staple pieces
A large day bag that can house your personal items, laptop, and even some snacks

Happy packing and safe travels!

// images via Polyvore //

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  1. great ideas! Now if I could only get a business trip lined up..

  2. thank you, pinned, that was soo helpful and desperately needed!



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