Your departure date is right around the corner, and your suitcase… where is your suitcase?
For those traveling on business for an extended period of time, especially if it’s to a place they’ve never heard of, packing can feel like a complex chore. A deep-dive into a whole lot of unknowns.
Who you are and what you’re going to be doing will vary, so there’s no one size fits all packing list of what to bring.
However, there is a one size fits all system; welcome!
Knowing the geographic location you’re heading to and the amount of time you’ll spend there is key. The weather plays a big part in packing, so be as specific as possible when looking it up. California, for example, has a totally different climate depending on where you are. Winter in Northern California requires coats, and in Southern California you can still get away with flip-flops.
If the place you’ll be traveling to has four seasons, you’ll need to pack the appropriate items to see you through each season you’re there.
Another clothing consideration is laundry. Would you rather bring fewer items and do more laundry? Or do you prefer bringing a bigger wardrobe that grants you the luxury of enough clean clothes to go weeks without washing?
When you have an idea of the weather and your ideal laundry schedule, you’ll use that to help inform your clothing choices, in conjunction with your activities.
Of course, you’re not going to be working all the time.
How will you spend your free time?
Are you delighted because the place you’re going to boasts some of the best fishing in the country, and you fancy yourself a bit of an angler?
Are you going to a large city known for its abundant art galleries and cool intimate music venues?
Pack the clothing and gear that supports what you plan on doing off the clock, so you can get right to the fun without missing a beat.
Commonly forgotten are socks, undergarments, and sleepwear. Don’t forget those!
Bring shoes for different occasions, and yes, slippers for when you’re relaxing at home.
While a forgotten toothbrush and toothpaste are easily replaced, having to go without for a night is still annoying and inconvenient.
Don’t forget to pack your essential toiletries like shampoo, razors and such. This includes makeup, hair curlers, accessories, skincare, deodorant, and other products you use daily.
Belts, Watches, and Jewelry
While not completely essential, these items are nice to have especially if they’re part of your daily wardrobe.
Besides clothing, you’ll need to include the things that support your lifestyle.
While most corporate housing and short-term rentals contain basic furnishings and kitchen items, make a list of appliances and things you require in a home that supports your day-to-day lifestyle. Don’t forget the amenities such as an onsite washer and dryer and access to a gym; whatever’s important to you.
For the best guide on finding the perfect month to month rental, check out this article.
Supplements and/or Medication
If you take a daily supplement, or a specific medication, don’t forget to bring them.
Glasses and Contacts
Glasses and contact lenses can easily get overlooked… pun intended.
Personal Electronics & Chargers
Believe it or not, these are some of the most commonly forgotten items. Don’t forget your chargers, and of course, the devices they charge.
Don’t forget your hobbies and other ways you spend your free time. Bring the things you enjoy that help you wind down and relax:
- Readers – don’t forget your Kindle
- Yogis – don’t forget your travel mat
- Anglers – don’t forget rods and other doo dads
- Hikers – don’t forget backpacks, shoes and water bottles
Whatever your thing is, don’t forget it.
Whatever you need to get the job done, make a list.
Sometimes it’s helpful to check in with your boss – they may have additional insight on what to include.
You’ll need to pack your work clothes, obviously. If you work in an indoor environment, what you bring is likely pretty straight forward. From business casual to something a little more formal for special events, you know what’s required.
If you’re working in an outdoor environment, you’ll need to pack according to the weather, job, and terrain.
Pack the essential work-related gear needed to get the job done. If you’re required to provide specific documentation, don’t forget to bring that either.
Packing List Snapshot
Here’s a handy general list to make sure nothing gets overlooked.
Everything listed may not apply to you, and the number of clothing and other items you choose to bring is personal.
- Weather Dependent:
Choose the items that apply
- Jacket (rain jacket, winter jacket)
- Non-Work Clothes
- Belts, Watches and Jewelry
- Supplements and/or Medication
- Glasses and Contacts
- Personal Electronics & Charger
- Free-Time Gear
- Work Clothes
- Work Related Gear
Being away from home for an extended period of time doesn’t mean you can’t bring some of your passions with you. Use the new location as an opportunity to explore and enjoy new experiences. Above all, the more prepared you are for a good time, the more likely you will have one.
Now to remember where you put that suitcase…