Monday, April 25, 2016

12 Hour Business Travel

Recently, I went on another quick business trip that was far enough away to require a plane ride but close enough that I could return home on the same day. Since this is becoming a more common occurrence in my life, I've realized that I have a mental checklist I scroll through in preparation for a short trip like this and maybe it would be worth compiling my thoughts into a blog post.

Because I am the type of person that likes to be prepared for everything, it's important for me to plan ahead. It's even more crucial for a trip like this because if I forget anything, then I'm basically screwed. On longer trips, if I've forgotten something, I have the luxury of time to stop and buy a replacement. However, on short trips, time is of the essence so preparation is key.
On the positive side, the luxury of a short trip is that you don't have to pack a bag of clothes and you really only need one bag so you can breeze through security efficiently.

Essentials
Phone & Charger: This one's an obvious one. Because I use my phone as a GPS and because everyone loves to phone when I'm on a work trip, I make sure to lug a charger with me.
iPad & Headphones: For shorter trips, I don't like to lug my laptop with me. Even if there's a little time to kill at the airport or even on the flight, it just isn't really enough time. I feel like the productivity isn't worth the extra weight in this scenario. Instead, I like to carry a tablet. It's big enough for comfortably responding to emails but light and portable. It also functions as my personal entertainment (which is why headphones are part of my essentials). Plus, tablets don't have to be removed from your bag when queuing up at the security checkpoint.

Minimal Toiletries: Face wipes, toothbrush & toothpaste, hand cream, and Tide-to-go all come in super handy for trips like this. It's nice to freshen up the breath just before a meeting, airplane air is drying so it's nice to slather on some moisturizer, and I like to wipe my makeup off on the plane ride home. If you pack a Tide-to-go, you won't need it; it's like insurance.
Cozy Scarf: Even if it's the middle of summer, it gets cold on airplanes. I like to bring a big blanket scarf that I can use to keep warm or crumple up into a makeshift pillow.

Perfect Bag: For a quick business trip, you need a bag that is appropriate for a professional setting, comfortable to carry, and roomy enough for everything you need.

Outfits
Because I work in the construction industry, more often than not a business meeting also includes a site visit which means I have the luxury of dressing a bit more casual. That being said, no matter the type of outfit I throw on, I make sure each element is one that doesn't wrinkle which means choosing a fabric like a stretch cotton, breezy knits, or a manmade fabric like rayon; (avoid starchy cottons and silks). I also tend to go for layers so that I can peel or add to adjust to the temperature because sometimes my flight involves going to a completely different climate.
12 hour business travel
Blazer: A good blazer can turn the most casual of outfits up a notch and instantly give off a professional vibe. So even though I'll don a pair of jeans for a trip requiring a site visit, I always throw on a nice jacket to finish off the look.

Crinkled Button Down: Even though a crisp button down looks best for a meeting, it will certainly get wrinkled during your travel which will leave you looking sloppy and unkempt. So, the solution is to wear a purposefully crinkled button down in a light fabric. You still get the spiffy-looking benefits of wearing a collar without the stress of worrying about wrinkles.

Stretchy Pants: By stretchy, I don't mean sweatpants, I just mean a pair of pants with a little give because you want to be comfortable on the plane, even if it's only for an hour or two. It's uncomfortable enough to be cramped in a small space with stale air. Plus, the stretch helps with that pesky wrinkling we're trying to avoid.
Loose Dress: The most comfortable option for me is to throw on a dress. Dresses are my favorite thing to wear because they're easy, instantly fancier, and I find them supremely comfortable. The key is to pick a looser fit dress for travel because planes tend to make me a bit bloaty (even if the flight is short) and I find that the looseness helps prevent wrinkling. 

Good Shoes: I have a supremely comfortable pair of Chelsea boots that I like to wear for business trips because they look smart but they are fine for mucking around in dirt because they clean easily. Comfort over fashion in this case because walking around the airport in heels is not my idea of a good time and you never know if you're going to end up running late and have to do a bit of a run.
Etc.
Makeup
Use a good makeup primer. I love the Becca Ever-Matte because it really keeps my makeup in place all day. I don't have the time to be vain and touch up makeup on business trips so this helps me stay worry-free. I don't even bother packing powder or anything. However, I do bring a little hand mirror and concealer to cover up any surprise pimples.

Hair
I like to wear my hair pulled back so that I don't have to fuss with it or have it go frizzy or static-y. Plus, even though I can get away with washing my hair a maximum of twice a week without it getting greasy, for whatever reason, travel makes it go gunky in a heartbeat. So, if it's tucked up, that isn't as much of an issue.

Snack
Always pack an easy snack (like a granola bar or an apple) because you never know. It always comes in handy.
Happy (business) travels!

xoxo.

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