How to Pack for Your Short-Term Business Trip in the DC Metro Area

You're traveling to the DC metro area for short-term business; how should you pack? You don't want to carry your entire wardrobe, but you want to feel confident that you'll be prepared for your trip. And what do you need to bring from home to ensure that you'll be ready for your meetings? Here are our tips for packing for your business engagement in our nation's capital. 

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1. Pack Light

Remember, you're only going to be there for a short stay. Pack sparingly, and, if you're planning to fly, consider your carry-on as your emergency backup wardrobe. Wear your bulkiest shoes on the plane, to keep your luggage as light as possible. Should your luggage get lost (heaven forbid!), you'll be glad you've got something to wear other than your travel clothes. (And remember—if you forgot something, there are PLENTY of places to shop in DC. You'll be ok.)

2. Consider Your Footwear

DC is a big, bustling city and you'll be doing a lot of walking (or biking, if you choose to take advantage of Capital Bikeshare). Be sure that you pack comfortable, but business appropriate, shoes that you can walk in without a lot of pain. Your feet will thank you. 

3. Power Up

Today's business traveler is likely carrying multiple electronic devices; be sure that you've got all your chargers and power cords before you set out. Additionally, some experts recommend bringing a power strip on your travels. This can come in handy at the airport,where there's always a shortage of plugs. 

4. USB Flash Drive

You'll never experience that panicked moment of "DID I FORGET MY PRESENTATION?" when you've got this handy device up your sleeve. You can carry every report and presentation you could possibly need on this tiny device that can fit in your pocket. 

 5. Wireless Card

Yes, you'll probably have Wi-Fi access in your hotel or apartment, but some spots will allow access for just one Wi-Fi enabled device. A wireless card will allow you to power everything you need, so you won't have to make a choice about which of your tools you can use at any given time. 

 6. Business Cards

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it doesn't hurt to give you a gentle reminder. You'll probably be making connections with a lot of new folks, and you'll definitely want to have your cards on hand to share. This is something you won't be able to run out and buy should you leave them at home. 

7. Pack Coordinates

In order to pack as little as possible, be sure that the clothes you DO pack can be mixed and matched. Separates are smart, as are colors that coordinate. Choose versatile pieces, clothing that can work for business meetings as well as any sightseeing you might decide to do. (After all, there are tons of fun things to do in the city—take advantage of it while you're there.) 

 8. Organize Your Luggage

It's smart to designate spots for your items. When it comes time to locate things like cables and connectors, you'll be glad you did. There's nothing worse than tearing frantically through your luggage, trying to locate the thing you need at that moment. Additionally, consider putting all of your liquids in a Ziploc bag if you're flying; that way, it will be easy to remove them when you get to security. 

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