Packing for a business trip is a familiar burden almost all of us have faced. You don’t want to end up lugging a 50 pound checked bag through downtown streets (especially because it always seems to rain whenever this is happening)
There’s a certain science to being an under packer. It’s not just about bringing less, it’s about being purposeful with what you bring so each item can effectively be worn multiple times without looking tired or unprofessional. Below, we’ve compiled our Stay Alfred approved guide to under packing. Take a look, take a note, and say goodbye to the days of lugging heavy suitcases through the office.
1. Lightweight carry-on
It all starts with the bag you take, and we recommend something lightweight that you can carry on. No one likes the waiting game of checking luggage or the risk of losing your things. Worried about not being able to travel with razors or full-size shampoo and conditioner? Use your Stay Alfred app to find the nearest pharmacy to stock up.
2. Wireless headphones
Don’t get stuck with tangled cords. Moving smoothly from airport to Uber to office requires sleek wireless headphones. Whether you’re on a conference call or jamming out to one of our Stay Alfred playlists, wireless headphones are a sleek necessity of the on-the-go under packer.
3. Roll up cord organizer
An essential part of being an under packer is the ability to pack out of space quickly. A cord organizer helps you keep everything untangled, in a central place, and is essential for getting up and going without the dreaded “did I leave my computer charger in the room?” panic.
4. Toiletry Bag
This one is pretty obvious, but in case you forgot – pack your toothbrush!
5. Serums and vitamins
We recommend a TSA-approved rehydrating face serum like this under-$30 option from Maelove and a multivitamin to make sure you’re getting all your necessary B, C and D vitamins on the road. Remember, being an under packer means packing smart, and keeping your skin hydrated amidst the dryness of flights and airports is essential.
6. Meal replacement bars
If you drew a Venn diagram of under packers and efficient on-the-go eaters, I’d reckon the middle circle would be pretty big. Between the airport and the office, days can get a little long. Throw a couple of Rx of Cliff bars in your bag to make sure you never succumb to MWH (meeting while hangry).
7. Work laptop
Another duh, but you never know what people will forget!
8. Versatile black blazer
A dark blazer is a must for under packers. It’s the perfect structured, polished piece for the workplace, and its dark color allows it to be worn numerous times in a single week. Skip chunky sweaters and instead stick to a simple blazer, rotating the color of shirts underneath.
9. Neutral colored undershirt
Not sure what the day before you holds? Unsure how fancy the restaurant you’re going to tonight will be? A nice neutral-colored blouse or button-down is perfect for moving from the office to the steakhouse (or wherever a client or colleague is taking you).
10. Lightweight jacket
Traveling across the country often requires moving in and out of different climates. And, while nobody wants to be the guy shivering in the office, you also don’t want to overstuff your bag with a bulky parka. Be ready for dropping temps while still maintaining your under-packer status by committing to a jacket that can pack down into a small square. Patagonia and North Face have a variety of great options.
11. Water bottle
Long days and long delays make thirst a real threat. Stay hydrated folks!
12. Comfortable shoes
We recommend dark-colored comfortable shoes that can be worn all week. Want to double down and comfort? Throw-in a couple Dr. Scholl’s foot inserts to ensure you’re good to walk to lunch and the boardroom and still have gas in the tank to explore the cool neighborhood around your Stay Alfred at the end of the day.
13. Lightweight shirts
A new office comes with a new (and unpredictable) heating and cooling system. While it’s always easier to throw-on your down jacket, it can be harder to get comfortable in hot offices. We recommend light camisoles or button-downs to pair with your blazers. For more relaxed offices, you can have some fun with bright colored silk camisoles in eye-catching colors like a cobalt blue or Stay Alfred green.
14. Comfortable sweater
Speaking of unpredictable offices, be ready for getting stuck with the spot under the A/C unit by packing a versatile sweater.
15. Dark jeans
Dark jeans are the perfect casual office pants since they can be re-worn all week with different blazers and colored tops. Pair with nice shoes and accessories for a pulled-together look. Plus, dark jeans go from day to night effortlessly.
16. Dark slacks
Work in a more formal office? Stick to nice slacks under your blazers. Avoid wrinkles by rolling when packing and hanging in your travel apartment’s closet when you arrive. And don’t worry, you can still pack your cool dark jeans. Just break them out at night when you’re exploring that cool speakeasy around the corner.
Stay connected to the office and track your workouts with a smartwatch. Hey, you can even use it as your boarding pass with certain airlines. Talk about hands-free boarding.
18. Laptop bag
Protect your precious Dell when moving through security and sales meetings. A lightweight laptop bag is a perfect addition to your carry on bag, allowing you to keep your laptop, chargers, and wallet at your fingertips. We’re particularly partial to our Stay Alfred branded laptop bags, but maybe that’s just because we love ourselves.
19. Workout clothes
Long days of travel and meetings make it easy to feel drained and tired. And while we’re never opposed to vegging out in your living room and getting Uber Eats, there is something to be said for a quick workout. It gets the blood pumping, gets you moving and gives you more energy. Throw some lightweight workout clothes and versatile gym shoes in your bag and you’re ready to utilize the state-of-the-art gyms that can be found at many of our buildings.
With all the travel, are you worried about staying fresh? Nearly all of our travel apartments have washers and dryers, making it easy to wear your button-down on both Monday and Friday – and helping keep your camis clean after happy-hour mishaps.
And there you have it, the easy-to-follow guide that can turn any over-packer into a streamlined under packer. Try it out on your next business trip and let us know what you think.