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How to be a road warrior

  • Story Highlights
  • There are three main tips for business traveling
  • Use an itinerary to determine your wardrobe
  • Don't forget accessories and other key items
  • For less wrinkling, pack items in tissue paper or large plastic bags
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By Rachel Zupek
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CareerBuilder

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(CareerBuilder.com) -- Some of us are road warriors when it comes to traveling for work.

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You work all day, travel all night and you're back in the office the next morning at 9 a.m. sharp -- only to leave the next day for another trip. You're always packed (because you never really unpack), and you know hotel staff by name.

Others are new to the traveling game -- wondering how much to pack, what occasions to pack for and what exactly are all these new traveling restrictions?

Whether you're a road warrior or a newbie traveler, there are definitely some know-how you'll need on the road. Dana Persia, owner of DP Image Consulting in Philadelphia, says packing the right items is imperative on a business trip.

"Making a good first impression or maintaining the good impression you have already made is key when conducting business," she says.

Persia offers answers to all of your burning business-trip-packing questions:

What are three tips to use when packing for a business trip?

Use an itinerary to determine your wardrobe.

"Take a close look at whom you are meeting with, where you are meeting and if there will be any 'free time' for touring or leisure activities."

Don't forget accessories and other key items.

Men: Belts, ties, collar stays and cufflinks. Women: Belts, stockings, complimentary jewelry, shoes and appropriate undergarments for each outfit.

For less wrinkling, pack items in tissue paper or large plastic bags from dry cleaners.

What should I always remember to bring?

Always remember chargers for electrical equipment; extra business cards; one pair of comfortable business-appropriate shoes; and an umbrella -- to name a few.

What happens if I don't pack the right outfit?

"If you make the mistake of overdressing in a business casual setting, there are ways to rectify this situation.

For men, simply remove your jacket and tie; roll up your sleeves. For women, same if you are wearing a suit; simply take off the jacket, which gives you an instant casual appearance."

What kind of luggage should I bring?

Bring a medium-size piece with wheels that you properly identify with a luggage tag that includes a cell phone number and/or business phone with address.

"Do not put your home address on the tag," Persia warns. "Anyone who sees it will know you are not at home and could lead to theft."

How can I eliminate excess clothing in my suitcase?

Build a 'capsule wardrobe' by packing a basic black, tan or navy suit; a white shirt or blouse and two or three colored tops to add a "pop" to your work wardrobe.

Which toiletries should I bring and which can I leave at home?

"If you travel a lot, you should build a travel toiletries kit and keep it somewhere ready for packing," Persia suggests.

A few key items to include are: Deodorant Razors, shaving cream Toothbrush/toothpaste Small sewing kit Medicinal items

Leave these at home: Shampoo/conditioner, soap and lotion (usually provided by hotel) Blow dryer (check with hotel first) Large bottles of anything -- opt for small, travel sizes

How can I freshen up on the plane when I have to go straight to a meeting?

Women should keep a few makeup items in their purse to refresh right before deplaning; eye drops are great for red eyes, especially for contact wearers who might want to opt for glasses during the flight, Persia suggests.

"Don't forget to make sure you don't have airplane hair -- that smashed area right on the back of your head caused by catching a few Z's," she says. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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