From an interview done with technicallyblonde, a fashion blogger located in Silicon Valley
Just when you thought planning all of the logistics for a business trip was tough, wait until you think about what to pack! What are you going to wear? What’s the weather going to be like? Can you fit it all into one carry-on?
These are some common questions when it comes to thinking about what to pack when you’re traveling for work. Lucky for you though (and me), I know a fabulous woman who has her own business, has led projects in over 40 countries and not to mention always so chic. Melissa Lamson is a sought after consultant who accelerates the goals of today’s most successful companies by shaping global mindsets and developing cross-cultural aptitude.
I sat down with Melissa to get the scoop on how she prepares for a trip, what she packs, how she manages to not forget anything and still reflect a professional and polished image while living out a suitcase in hotel for a few days (or weeks). In my interview below, I provided links to similar item suggestions and provide visual examples to help make sure your next business trip runs smoothly 🙂
TB: Tell me a bit about the first thing(s) you do when preparing for business travel?
ML: Some time before the trip, I brainstorm outfits and put them down in my iPhone notepad. This way, when I begin to pack, I already have an idea on what pieces to take. To start, I stick to choosing clothing from a neutral color scheme like taupe/camel brown, olive, and black. And then add a color or two to kind of spice it up. Selecting wardrobe staples that can be mix and matched is key. Adding accessories that have a hint of color like a mint scarf, can help make each outfit look different.
TB: You have clients all over the world. How do you know what to wear to the different companies since the company culture varies?
ML: Whether I’m facilitating or coaching, the company culture, and the country I’m traveling to are the kind of things I consider when deciding if I should dress up or be more casual.
TB: How many bags/suitcases do you bring? I can never seem to pack everything in just one suitcase.
ML: I only bring one carry on suitcase and a large tote/briefcase type of bag.
TB: If you travel for say, 2 weeks, you still use 1 carry-on bag?
ML: Yes! The items I bring serve multiple purposes. And I’m not always in the same city with the same client. I can either wear the same outfit with another client or alternate the different pieces and add another accessory. I can clean my items along the way, most hotels have laundry service.
TB: Wow, so you can fit everything into one bag – even for 2 weeks! Ok, you’ll have to take me through all of your travel tips. Let’s start with your checklist. What do you keep in your purse, carry-on, what toiletries, and makeup?
ML: In my carry on luggage –
- Workout clothes | Lululemon pants & tanks
- 2 pairs of work shoes/dress shoes | Tory Burch
- 1 comfortable flats | Puma
- 1 sneakers | Puma
- 2 scarves | Alexander McQueen; rag & bone
- 2 jackets | Vince Camuto
- 2 pairs of work pants | J.Crew; Banana Republic
- 1 pair of jeans | Hudson
- 3-4 tops | Nordstrom; Zara
- 3 basic t-shirts | Nordstrom
- ~4 pairs of earrings | Tory Burch Studs; Kate Spade Mixed Stone Earrings; Givenchy
- 1-2 necklaces | Topshop Multi-Row Locket Necklace
If you are traveling somewhere cooler add:
- -2-3 tanks/camis | H&M
- -1 thin cashmere sweater/cardigan; AQUA Cashmere from Bloomingdales
- -1 goose down jacket | Burberry
- Hair brush
- Leave-in conditioner
The hotel has floss, mouthwash and a blow dryer so no need to pack it.
My purse is where I keep all things that are valuable, that I’ll need while on the plane or for work.
- Makeup Wipes
- Laptop charger
- Foundation | Dior
- Eyeshadow palette | Chanel
- Mascara | Dior
- Lipstick | NARS
- Blush | NARS Cheek Palette
- Concealer | MAC
- International chargers
- Apple toggle
- Universal pointer
- Cellphone charger
TB: In regards to makeup, do you have certain products you use to travel versus what you use on a daily basis?
ML: For makeup, I keep two of everything. I have the small makeup bag that I keep under my sink with all of the products I need to use when I travel so I can just grab it when I’m packing. And my other makeup bag has the same products that I use daily and I use that one when I’m not traveling.
TB: How do you keep your clothes from getting wrinkled in your bag?
ML: Roll your clothes, especially your jackets/blazers! That way there aren’t any (or major) creases. The hotel room usually has an iron if needed. For cold locations, a goose down jacket is really great for the evenings. And the long ones are perfect for winter.
TB: Do you have any cool organizational items you use when traveling?
ML: For perfume, I have a universal atomizer which is a little bottle where you press it on top of your perfume so you don’t have to bring the whole bottle and it’s spill proof! You can find them at Sephora.
For clothes, I suggest a bag that has 2 separate compartments. One where you can put your clean clothes on one side, and dirty clothes in the other. Check out the Pack-it Clean Dirty Cube on Amazon.
TB: I know traveling can be a bit tough on our skin causing breakouts or increased dryness. Any pointers on how to keep your skin fresh and hydrated while on the plane?
ML: Drink lots of water while on the plane. You’ll keep having to get up and use the restroom more frequently which is a good thing so that you get out of your seat and move a bit. I wear a lot of moisturizer because my skin is dry, but I don’t wear foundation and use very little makeup when getting on the plane for a long international flight. An hour or so before I land, I wash my face, add more moisturizer, and then I do my normal make-up routine. I recommend Dr. Hauschka for those with dryer skin. Let the moisturizer sit then apply makeup. This way skin is clean, fresh and hydrated.
TB: And lastly, what do you wear on the flight?
ML: I wear my comfortable Lululemon pants, one of their cute jackets, a basic t-shirt and sneakers. I also keep a blanket with me so I can stay comfy and warm on the flight! Magellan’s Luxe Travel Blankets are really comfortable.
A big thank you to Melissa for sharing her travel tips so that we pack light and bring only what’s needed to be well prepared for your next business trip!