If you're heading off on an international business trip, here is a list of essentials by guest contributor Kara Ronin that you must remember to pack!
Packing for an international business trip can be exhilarating, and at the same time, confusing. What do you need to be prepared? What do you pack to look professional? What do you wear to avoid cultural mishaps? To help you prepare for your next international business trip, I want to share with you a list of my top 7 items to pack into your suitcase.
1. A Small Face Towel
This is a fabulous tip that I picked up while living in Japan – keep a small hand towel in your carry-on luggage or handbag. Use it when you want to freshen up on the plane or at the airport. When you're going to a new destination, it’s so calming and revitalising to dry your hands on a nicely patterned, soft hand towel that is yours.
2. A Folder for Your Passport
If you’re travelling with colleagues, you don’t want to be the one who holds everybody up at immigration. Keep your passport, a pen, and any entry or exit cards that you may need, all in a secure and easy-to-find folder or pouch. You can even spice it up with a trendy pattern or chic colour.
3. Slip-on Shoes for the Plane
Imagine you’re strapped into your chair, your tray table is down, and you desperately need to visit the restroom. Wouldn’t this transition from your chair to the restroom be so much easier if you didn’t have to lace up your shoes?
4. Roll-on Perfume
Perfume can instantly revitalise you at the end of a long-haul flight. But you do need to be aware that others around you may be allergic or sensitive to the particular scent of your perfume. There is a solution: roll-on perfumes. They’re light, travel-friendly, and they won't overpower your neighbours on the plane.
5. A 4-wheel Suitcase
If you’ve never experienced the light, smooth rolling of a good quality 4-wheel suitcase, then that should be one of the first items you purchase for your trip! They’re easy to manoeuvre, and will make those long walks through airport transit a breeze. Remember, you’ll already be tired and dehydrated from all that travel, so be kind to yourself and make your suitcase work for you.
6. Closed-toed Shoes
Depending on the country you're travelling to, your peep-toe heels may not be appropriate for business meetings. In some cultures, you'll only be considered professional if you wear closed-toed shoes. Pack into your suitcase a pair of closed-toed shoes and panty hose in case you're asked to remove them before entering a room.
7. A Jacket or Blazer
Even if you're going to a hot climate, in some cultures it's frowned upon to show too much skin, especially in a professional context. Your sleeveless dress may be acceptable in the office of your home country, but when you cross borders into another culture, you might be required to cover your arms with a light jacket or blazer.
When you pack these 7 items into your international business suitcase, you will arrive at your destination fresh, energetic, and ready to do business. And don't forget, you'll also want to brush up on the appropriate dress and body language. If you want to learn more about body language before you go, then take a look at this blog post titled: "5 Common Body Language Mistakes on International Business Trips"