Easy Summit Packing Strategy…so you’re not overwhelmed before you arrive
By the time you read this, the Summit is going to be only a few days away and
most some of us have not started packing yet! As a 1 year veteran of the Summit and a 15 year road warrior in my earlier corporate career, let me help you get organized for packing for this, or any other business-related, trip. The last thing any entrepreneur needs is another item on their To Do list but the lack of planning means you’re unprepared for an activity (business travel) and stress-prone. When you take a little time to plan ahead, you gain control and the time to make thoughtful decisions without the pressure of a ticking clock. If you wait until the last minute, you’re not in control, time is getting away, you’re more stressed, likely to forget something important, and make poor decisions.
Business trips are different from pure pleasure trips in that we don’t typically have agendas for our vacations. If you do, you probably don’t need to read this article because you’re way ahead of schedule :-). Packing for a business trip means you need to look and feel your best but you’re not in your home turf so you want to take a little extra care to avoid any “oops, I forgot to pack that, what do I do now?” –stress. Plus we all want to look and feel our best for our Coterie!
So here is my Easy Summit Packing Strategy…so you’re not overwhelmed before you arrive:
First thing to do is to designate a staging area near where you dress. This is where you’re going to put everything you need to take in your suitcase or travel bag. Since you’re planning ahead, you need to have a place to put all of those things that you think of at random times that you need to take. Go ahead and start putting things here as you think of them. This eliminates the “oh, I need to take X. I know I’ll remember this later” procrastinating, fate-tempting thought.
Clean out your suitcase. Throw away the old sunscreen; even if it’s just from last year, it’s not going to help you now. Clear out any other vacation detritus that you’re not going to need and shake out any sand or dirt. You don’t want to arrive with clothes that got dirty just by being in your suitcase! Plus you’re going to need all the room you can spare for the amazing swag bag 🙂
For real, Plan your outfits for each day, top to toes. The fewer decisions you have to make once you’re there, the better. You’ve got 2 days of all day meetings and a more casual, partially outdoor, half day. Above all you want to be COMFORTABLE so be mindful of your shoes. You want to look your best because you’re representing your business so dress to be confident, happy, and successful! Write down the outfit and all necessary accessories if you can’t put them aside yet. I recommend hanging each outfit together by day so you can make sure it’s all clean and ready to go. When you’re ready to pack, rolling is better than folding because it helps eliminate wrinkles & takes up less space. For more tips on what to wear, check out the recent “what to wear” posts from the personal stylists at The Well Coiffed Closet (part one and part two).
From 15 years of business travel, I can tell you you’re going to want to change shoes at the end of the day so it’s always a good idea to throw in some comfortable sandals or flats. If you plan on changing for evening, those outfits get added to the staging area.
If you’re going to exercise, put those clothes, shoes, and extras like headphones, hat, and socks in the staging area. Put the small items in your shoes because they will take up the most space.
Don’t forget clothes to sleep in and underwear. Set these aside first because you probably have other options you can wear before you leave and really don’t want to forget these! I suggest putting these in a cloth bag so it’s always easy to find after you arrive and unpack. Keeping items contained means less opportunity to get dirty or lost on the way.
Pack toiletries after you use them. Most of us don’t have duplicate sets of makeup and skin care products so packing it has to be done last. Have your toiletry bag out the night before you leave and, as you’re going through your nighttime routine, pack all of the necessary creams and potions in your bag right after you use them. If you have sample or travel sizes already, all the better. Pack them sooner! Do the same routine the next morning: have your makeup bag out and pack the items as you use them in the morning. Follow suit with your hair, teeth, and body products. If you’re selective about shampoo and soap, bring travel sizes of your own. Otherwise the hotel should have what you need. You can also check with them about a hair dryer. Throw in your brush and comb after you’ve used it and don’t forget your toothbrush, floss, & toothpaste!
Bring plenty of business cards.
Get a notebook and a couple of pens to take notes. Trust me. You’re going to learn a lot and you’ll never remember it all. Plus writing it down helps to learn vs. tapping notes in a phone or other device.
Other items you might need:
Umbrella/ rain jacket–seriously, it rained last year and was quite cool day 1 and then day 3 was sunny and 80 degrees.
Wrap or jacket–see above. Plus if you get cool easily, there is nothing worse than freezing while you’re trying to pay attention to an amazing speaker
Ibuprofen–it’s just always a good idea
Bandaids–in case you don’t follow my advice about the comfortable shoes and get a blister 🙂
Sunscreen–(see #1) especially for your face. It’s sunny in the Holy City!
Cords for all of your electronic devices. There will be charging stations but you’ll need this at your hotel. Pack these in a cute zippered bag, too, so it’s easy to find.
Small bag for all of the business cards you gather. It’s smart to gather all of these in one place instead of having to dig through pockets/purse later.
If you haven’t started packing yet, I hope this inspires you to get started. It’s always best to plan ahead so you’re not stressing at the last minute about forgetting something important. And when you do finally get down to packing, pull this article up on your TSC app so you can refresh your memory!
Do you have any packing tips? I’d love to hear yours in the comments below 🙂
See you next week and happy organizing!