5 Jet-Set Rules For Your Next Business Trip

5 jet-set rules for your next business trip

Purpose driven and sometimes glamorous, business travel is a necessary evil for your career. Yet, the fundamental focus of a business trip can often become a distraction for what we need in order to survive long-haul travel. Between preparing for meetings or rehearsing a presentation, it’s all too easy to forget essential packing items or to abandon any flight preparation, leaving us feeling frazzled from a sporadic schedule, a far cry from the international businesswoman the client was expecting. Ensure that you show up and shake hands looking poised and polished with our top tips for business travel.

1. Perfect the Art of Packing  

packing for a business trip

The art of packing is often underestimated but for business travel, it becomes a necessary skill to perfect. Pack outfits with a classic colour scheme, including base colours such as black, navy, white and grey, in order to guarantee an easily interchangeable wardrobe with pieces that are easy to mix and match. Natalie Selier-Hayze, general manager of the Connaught Hotel, always relies on the staples for her travelling work wardrobe, endorsing the little black dress as her “seamless flight-to-work outfit”. Sticking to the staples created the perfect outfit in an instant, especially when you’re pressed for time. Wardrobe staples such as EmmaJane Kinght’s little black cashmere dress or cashmere jumper and fluted skirt are easily interchangeable with a classic white shirt by VIKTORIA CHAN or a sharp blazer by Stefanie Renoma. On a side note, packaging emergency items is a necessity Harper’s Bazaar editor Avril Mair knows all too well, “I once had a waiter spill coffee over my white shirt at a breakfast before a big meeting and so had to wear the trousers I travelled in instead.” Follow Mair’s example and always pack an extra outfit.

And if you wish to bring any liquids, gels and aerosols into your carry-on, then always remember that it must come in containers no bigger than 3.4 oz/100 milliliters. You may check out these TSA liquids rules for more info.

2. Create an In-Flight Routine  

Whether you choose to relax with entertainment or to get ahead on your work during from your trip, how you utilise your in-flight time can have a domino-effect when you get back to the office. For the in-flight worker, be sure to have everything sorted prior to take-off, including a casual travel outfit and a working schedule in order to be as productive as possible. Plan your work around the dining times and pre-arrange details such as your seat to create a comfortable environment that you can work in at your leisure. In comparison, switching off and having 6-8 hours of time to yourself can work wonders for your productivity when you reach the next time-zone. HighTower CEO Elliot S. Weissbluth routinely disconnects his “analytical mind” during his flights in order to indulge in the creative part of his brain, specifically using novels, long-form non-fiction and listening to Led Zepplin. “Regularly devoting attention to…whatever sparks your imagination is critical to staying at the top of your game in business” he says.

3. Build a Traveller’s Essential Kit

Traveller's Essential Kit for business travels

An all-purpose in-flight kit is essential to combating the wear and tear that travel takes on your wellbeing. Begin with a reliable bag, such as She Lion’s Deal Closer Satchel and Laptop bag, to ensure room for you travel kit as well as your paperwork. Make your flight as comfortable as possible with EmmaJane Knight’s cashmere travel pack. Complete with scarf, socks, travel pouch and an eye mask, everything you need for a good night’s sleep or to guarantee comfort is available in one set. Pack this, alongside the mini grooming essentials such as dry shampoo, anti-bacterial gel, lip balm, face cream and perfume to stay fresh at any point of the trip. Going straight from the plane to a meeting isn’t common but in some cases, you need to be ready for anything. Your technology also needs tending to when away on business; to touch base with work back home and co-ordinate with your temporary schedule abroad. Stow’s technology travel-folio enables you to stay connected with work by keeping pesky wires and pre-charged batteries organised in a tidy manner, making the panicked scrambling for a phone charger a thing of the past.

4. Master Travelling Maintenance Tricks

Since time is never on our side during a business trip, prevention is better than a cure when caring for your clothes. Primarily, try to avoid creasing. Rolling clothes as opposed to folding is a quick way to pack more into your suitcase without damaging the clothes themselves. Be sure to choose items made of pure fibres as they travel far better than blended fabrics and keep you fresh for longer, for the days where long meetings turn into even longer dinners. Kim Winser depends on cashmere when travelling to meet clients, as its lightweight quality and resistance to creasing keeps it looking “perfect as well as elegant and stylish” when on the go. It’s tempting to leave behind luxurious items when travelling but the reality is they are far more resilient than anything synthetic. Upon arrival, unpack immediately and freshen up your travel wardrobe with the classic shower trick; hang any creased items in the bathroom with shower on full to let the steam smoothen out any creases. Alternatively, a flat iron is a quick fix to press your clothing, one that is time efficient and always available.

5. Be Itinerary Efficient

Stay engaged with your work and in a productive mind-set by packing as much into your trip as possible. Stylist Rachel Zoe took advice from Stella McCartney in putting a 48 hour cap on her business trips “with meetings scheduled day to night” and has remained a convert ever since. In keeping your trips efficient, a recent trend that has emerged is hosting meetings in your hotel lobby. Meeting a client or making a pitch in an informal space creates a relaxing and friendlier environment as well as saving you time. Travelling between meetings, across a city you are not familiar with is often exhausting and at worst, overwhelming with additional factors like traffic and transport closures. Meeting in the lobby is a subtle and relaxing way to conduct business for both parties; sometimes with the added benefit of hiding in plain sight from their competitors. Nalini Sirijoo, general manager of the Hotel Giraffe in New York City agrees, often seeing people who were not guests making presentations or having meetings with someone who was. “It’s definite trend” she said, “we’re surrounded by so many businesses or people are visiting clients in the neighbourhood and many want a closed, natural space.” Picking your hotel is key here. Clients will be willing to come to you if you are centrally located with a spacious and pleasant environment for meetings, specifically designed to create a relaxed atmosphere. In turn, simply going downstairs, rather than across the city to meet your clients means you are able to perform at optimum level, as opposed to meeting clients when feeling fatigued.

Special thanks to Silkarmour for partnering with us on this post! 

Silkarmour is an online purveyor of luxury workwear for women. Based in London, we aim to provide a curated working wardrobe to ambitious, hardworking women across the UK. We want to help women to achieve more by providing them with business appropriate attire that can empower them to climb the career ladder with confidence, whilst always looking sharp and feminine. Follow our journey on Twitter and Instagram @silkarmour