If you frequently travel for business, you’ll save significant time and hassle by learning the art of packing. Here are five of the best strategies for packing for business trips.

Invest in a Great Suitcase

When you travel frequently for business, you’ll quickly come to love or hate your suitcase. Make sure it’s the former by investing in a high-quality suitcase that fits all of your necessities and allows for easy organization. Rolling suitcases in standard carry-on sizes tend to be the easiest to maneuver while also helping you stay professional and efficient. Many suitcase brands also include suit compartments, shirt hangers, and laptop sleeves, so you can keep everything neat and separate.

Keep a Suitcase Packed at All Times

If you never know when business will call, it’s smart to keep a separate set of clothes packed at all times. Pack all of the basics, including a suit, a selection of shirts, an extra pair of shoes, and something to wear during downtime. Make sure all of the individual clothing items and accessories coordinate, and don’t hesitate to swap out items as the seasons change. If you keep a set of toiletries in your suitcase as well, you’ll be ready to rush out the door with your suitcase at any moment without having to give a second thought to what to pack.

Accessorize for Variety

Business travel can include a wide range of activities, from meetings and tours to dinners and networking. Even if you’re planning to follow an itinerary, you never know when you’ll be invited to an industry event or asked to attend a power breakfast at the last minute. Don’t risk having to decline an invitation because you haven’t packed appropriately. Instead, be sure to pack a number of accessories that can increase your flexibility. Packing a versatile sport coat means you can dress down a notch, while packing the right little black dress ensures you’re ready to attend a cocktail party at a moment’s notice.

Choose Resilient Materials

If you’ve ever reached your destination and found nothing but wrinkled shirts in your suitcase, you know that not all fabrics travel well. Linen tends to wrinkle the easiest, so replace linen shirts and slacks with non-iron shirts and wool-blend trousers that hide creases. With plenty of wrinkle-free suits on the market, you can even rest assured that your jacket will look smart when you arrive.

Pack Smart

If your suitcase tends to end up a jumbled mess, remember that organization is key when packing for business trips. Generally, it’s best to pack your shoes on the bottom of your suitcase, and your clothes will stay much cleaner if you enclose shoes in a shoe bag. Fill in the space between shoes with socks, belts, and other small accessories. Pack neatly folded shirts, jackets, and pants on top. Keep toiletries in a separate, leak-proof case.

When you plan well and stay organized, business trips can be efficient and effortless. Follow these strategies for easy packing and smooth travel.

Image via Flickr by Hernan Piñera