Be Prepared

Savvy business travelers know to bring only carry-on luggage. But sometimes you need to check a bag. Perhaps the business trip is longer than usual, or formal events will require different outfits.

Don’t assume that because a checked bag gives you the luxury of additional space, you should shove all your essentials into that bag. Flights get delayed; luggage gets lost. You don’t want to end up at your hotel in Oklahoma City at midnight without your favorite moisturizer or your contact lenses for the next day.

Here are some tips for packing your carry-on.

The bag: Make sure the purse or bag you take on the plane, as well as your laptop case, is roomy and has multiple compartments.
Face time: Bring a small makeup kit with your go-to items (such as concealer, mascara, and lipstick) and add to it your favorite brand of moisturizer, a small toothbrush/toothpaste kit, and some antibacterial wipes.

Carry the essentials: You don’t want to get off the plane in Dubai and realize that your tampons are in your packed luggage, sitting on a tarmac, in Chicago. Same goes for your medications, eyeglasses, and contact lenses. Keep them with you and pack any extras.

Dress for (comfortable) success: On the plane, wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable and, in a pinch, can work for a business meeting the next day.

Accessorize: Going out to dinner when you land? You may want to dress up that sensible outfit. Bring a colorful silk scarf and a jazzy necklace and earrings.

You choose the menu:
Forget about the airlines’ carbohydrate- and sodium-packed meal options. Bring a selection of healthy snacks. Nuts, dried fruit, protein bars, carrot sticks, and a bit of dark chocolate will keep your energy and spirits up. Always bring a water bottle.

Stay charged up:
You have probably learned this the hard way, but it never hurts to be reminded that you should carry your cell phone and laptop chargers with you on the plane.
Listen to your mother: Pack a clean pair of underwear and socks.

Join the Diversity Woman Community

Join a network of career-oriented women and use the member directory to see all the members in your community and find world class mentors. Access exclusive leadership development packages to help you achieve your career goals. Work With Coaches. Take Career Development Courses, and much more.