When Working Mom’s Leave Home, Let’s Do it Right!

Remember, It’s Not a Vacation

As a 24 year old newly wed, I think I actually packed every single pair of shoes I owned on my honeymoon! We were going away for a week, and I knew that I wanted a different dress for every single night of our trip to Bermuda. Fast forward 15 years, and without my strong and handsome husband to carry and haul all of my stuff around, and it was A LOT of stuff, I had to figure out how to have confidence in what I was wearing, look adorable, and manage all my belongings on my own. I am quite intellectually self sufficient, but this realm of physical management was something that had to be learned I boy did I conquer it. So, as I set out for Dev Learn this week, I though I would share some of my favorite tips and tricks to help other working moms best prepare for their business trips too!

Dos and Dos (who needs Donts?):

Here are some of the highlights that get me through conference packing

  • DO Pack light.
  • DO Ship conference materials like brochures and swag in advance. I also ship my travel rig in this package.
  • DO Be sure to call your hotel and make sure they will hold the above package until your arrival!
  • DO Stick to one color palate.
  • DO Wear/Pack shoes you can actually function in ALL day and night! I love my chanel ballet flats. They look chic and are very supportive. I always pack black and gold for such trips. Sometimes, in summer, I also bring pink ones.
  • DO Use travel size toiletries. I keep mine packed always and replenish as soon as I run out so that bag is always ready. I use this bag from Tumi that is TSA approved and you do not have to take anything out at security:

Today as I work on this blog I am in the midst of packing for a trip myself. In addition to actual work, I  have to pack a weeks worth of school lunches and snacks. I have to do all of the laundry. And sadly, my sweet dog who is always by my side is already at my mom’s house. I try to plan as much as I can in advance not just to make my departure easy, but to make my return easy. 

There are a few details that always help me. I keep toiletries that I need in flight in the same cosmetic case and check that I have what I need the day before departure. For cross country and international flights, which I often have, I would hate to be without anti-nausea medicine. I always brink a cozy scarf. I love the ones from J. McGlaughlin: . I also make sure that I not only have m computer, but that I have a cosmetic cased filled with my charger and a Mophie so that I can recharge when I land or if I have a long day at the conference. I always, always travel with my Bose noise canceling headphones. I am a little bit nervous when I fly, not about the actual plane, but about all the details that I can’t control like whether or not we’ll land on time and who will be in my row, and just removing the extra noise helps a lot! So, I always make certain to have these travel essentials!

A Little Pampering Never Hurt

Everyone has different goals on their work trips. When I am going and I will be meeting potential clients or seeing current clients, I want to look and feel my best. This is not the time to cut corners! I make sure to bring what I will sleep well in and will be most like home. This is not the day to try new mascara, nor is it the day to let your hair air dry. If you are a solopreneur investing in flying across the country to connect with clients, spend what is likely between $30-50 and have your hair blown out if you cannot do a decent job on your own. People come from all over the world for these conferences. Once you have actually gotten yourself there, you might as well but your best foot forward.

You can Always Buy It There

I find that it is far better to arrive organized and shop of you need to than to overpack and overwhelm yourself. Unless you are going somewhere very remote, if you forget something it is just a great reason to shop!

In the end, you can figure out what works for you! With lots of business travel under my belt, I have quite an efficient system. If you have tricks that work for you I’d love to hear about them! Wishing you safe travels and an enjoyable trip! Now, don’t forget souvenirs for your kids!   🙂