The Overpacker’s Guide to Business Travel

Hi, my name is Diana and I’m an overpacker.

Look, I want to be a minimalist. I really do. I aspire to one day rock a uniform a la Steve Jobs (minus the turtleneck), and in reality I only have about three pairs of pants I actually like. But when it comes time to pack those pants into a suitcase, I suddenly panic and want to take my entire closet with me.

So when the time came this week for me to take my first two-day business trip to the other side of the country, I made it my mission to travel light and fit everything I need into a carry-on suitcase and a large handbag. The catch? I was traveling with video camera gear— wires, chargers, laptop and tripod included.

The Luggage
For this trip, I used my Nicole Miller Carry On Spinner. It’s airplane overhead compartment approved, has four wheels which makes rolling it through the airport a breeze (my old carry-on had only two wheels, which doesn’t sound like a big deal until you experience the luxury of four wheels), and it looks nice. For my handbag, I brought my Longchamp Le Pliage Neo, which is made from a more durable material than the regular Le Pliage. In other words, I can fit more stuff in there without worrying about busting the seams!

The Outfits
My trip consisted of two days in the office, and I would be getting right off the plane and going straight to work. So I painstakingly packed two (and only two!) outfits, and wore work-appropriate attire to travel.

My two cents about dressing up on a plane for a five-hour fight: it’s not the most comfortable. Do it anyway. You’re representing your company, you never know who you’ll run into, plus you may not have time to change in an airport restroom once you land (nor is that ideal).

Do your homework ahead of time and research the weather and the dress code of the office you’ll be traveling to. I knew I would be in a business casual environment, so I wore a pair of nice ankle pants balanced with a neat, dark-colored top. I chose a dark color because if anything spills on a light shirt, it’s game over. I wore a neutral cardigan that would go with my next day’s outfits, and a lightweight puffy jacket that could easily fit in my purse once I l landed. Bonus: it served as a pillow on the plane.

I packed two more similar outfits for the next day, one being a back-up. (The overpacker in me couldn’t help myself.) I rolled everything to save space. I wore a comfortable pair of flats on the plane, and packed a second pair of flats in my carry-on. I didn’t bother bringing a hair dryer because I knew there would be one at the hotel, but did throw in my straightener..which I didn’t even end up using.

The Other Stuff
Between two outfits, a pair of shoes, and all my work gear, my suitcase was nearly full. I kept my makeup bag in my purse for easy access, as well as a bigger pouch with my jewelry and sunglasses. I also packed a pair of fuzzy socks for the plane, too, because my feet get cold. Life tip: always pack the fuzzy socks. 


Overall, I met my goal of traveling light for a 2-day business trip. Now, if I ever go on a week-long trip…




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