Don’t sacrifice making an impression for ease or comfort. Use our packing guide to pack smartly and efficiently for your next business trip.

Airports and airplanes are stressful enough, but the difficult task of packing and planning often leaves travellers on the verge of a nervous breakdown by the time that they reach their hotel room.

Packing for a family holiday and packing for a business trip are two completely different tasks. You can’t just throw in a selection of baggy t-shirts and a few pairs of sandals to get you through the trip. The need to leave a lasting, positive impression on colleagues, clients and investors means that each of your items must be carefully selected to ensure that you give off the right message.

Luckily for you, we have put together this extensive packing guide to help you get through the airport and impress your audience, no matter where in the world you are.

Packing guide - Compelo

Packing guide: What to pack for a business trip

When packing for a trip, you obviously need to consider your destination first – what’s the climate? Is the weather likely to change while you’re there? Are there any cultural rules that you need to follow?

However, when travelling for business, you also need to consider the type of events that you are likely to attend. You won’t want to wear a suit for a round of golf, or shorts to a business meeting. Plan for all possibilities and you won’t disappoint.

The right bag

For convenience and safety, you should fit everything that you need into your hand luggage.Checking your bag into the hold comes with many risks. You don’t want to turn up at the other end and find out that your suits and ties never made it out of the country.

However, make sure that you don’t surpass the airline’s weight limit while attempting to fit everything that you need into something that you can carry.

It is possible to buy bags and suitcases that are made specifically to an airline’s allowance dimensions. When purchasing a bag, you should opt for something dark and simple, as you never know who you will bump into coming out of the airport.

The clothing checklist

Based on a week-long trip, you should pack:

– 2 x  jackets
– 7 x shirts (6 smart, 1 casual)
– 3 x trousers (2 smart, 1 casual)
– 2 x shoes (1 smart, 1 sport)
– 8 x socks
– 8 x underwear
– 7 x neckties
– 1 x belt
– 1 x swimming costume

You will have lots of events to attend and you should try to wear something different for each. This variety is achieved by bringing along enough shirts and ties to mix it up each day.

A variety of trousers and jackets are less important. Too many suit jackets will take up too much room in your bag and are therefore best left at home. Instead, opt for a smart black jacket which will go with almost anything. The second jacket should be something smart, but casual, which you can pair with many of your shirts.

Packing guide - Compelo

Bring along two pairs of smart trousers, preferably in black and grey, as these colours can be easily combined with a variety of outfits. A pair of casual trousers will also be needed, but avoid jeans as they will take up too much room in your bag.

You likely have a collection of smart shirts to throw in. Take one for each day that you will be partaking in business activities, but remember to pack something casual too.

The right pair of shoes will work with anything. Smart, black and leather is the best way to go. If you plan on doing any exercise or think your acquaintances are likely to drag you to the golf course, pack a pair of running shoes too. Likewise, remember your swimming costume, just in case you end up at the spa.

Other essentials

Don’t forget to pack any electronic devices that you will need during your trip, as well as their respective chargers and a plug converter.

Busy worrying about other things, it’s easy to forget the basics. Remember to pack a toothbrush and shaver, as well as any other toiletries that you might need during your stay. They may provide them at the hotel, but don’t rely on it.

Likewise, depending on the weather, you may want to throw in a pair of sunglasses or umbrella. Just make sure that they still look smart.

Packing guide: How to pack efficiently

Start by putting your shoes on the bottom. Maximise space by stuffing your shoes with other items, such as socks and underwear. If your shoes are dirty, remember to put them in a bag first to keep your clothes from getting dirty.

No matter how tempting it is to throw everything in, always remember to roll your clothes. Leaving items unrolled wastes space and you will only find yourself unpacking your unzipable case to do it later. If you’re worried about creasing your clothes, just remember that you are unlikely to find a business hotel without an iron available.

Packing guide - Compelo

If you’re struggling to get everything to fit, remember that you will need something to wear on the plane. Rather than wearing another outfit, take out a pair of shoes, shirt, trousers and jacket and set them aside for the day you fly.

If you’re taking any liquids (such as aftershave) or electronics with you, make sure that they’re near the top of your bag. Most airports require such items to be removed from luggage when going through security. Pulling out your neatly folded clothes, just to find that rogue hair gel, is the last thing that you want to do just before a flight.

Did you enjoy reading our business trip packing guide? Read these business travel articles to make your trip even easier:

Business hotels: Top hotel chains for travelling workaholics

Airport guide: Pick the perfect destination to make layovers more bearable

The best sleep products for business travel