Over the years, I’ve had several extended stays in hotels for business travel. Having an extended stay in a hotel on a business trip hasn’t been a problem for me. I like hotels and everything about them. The thing I’ve found the most difficult though, as a woman, has been what to pack for a business trip when I know I’m likely to be staying at the hotel for several weeks. There always seems to be something I’ve forgotten and something extra I’ve brought that I didn’t need. So, to make sure I packed the right things for an extended stay business trip in a hotel, I came up with a checklist – a great checklist for women. If you’re a woman going on extended stay business trips and have problems knowing what to pack for a long stay in a hotel, try this list. It’s worked for me and will probably work for you too.
Packing Clothes for an Extended Stay in a Hotel on Business
On my very first extended stay business trip, I did a great job of packing work clothes – suits, shirts, high heels – I had it all. Come the weekend, I was surprised to find not one pair of jeans or casual shirt, no comfortable skirts, no flat shoes. I had to go out and buy some. Don’t make the same mistake as me. Make sure you pack not only for business, but also for evenings and weekends when you’re still on your ‘business trip’ but have time to actually do personal things. I always pack at least three casual outfits – one pair of jeans, a t-shirt, a skirt and a casual top, a pair of khakis and a polo-type shirt and two pairs of comfortable flat shoes. These three outfits will usually fit any occasion and are a lot more comfortable than walking around on the weekend in heels.
Pack Basic Accessories
Even though you’re going to be in an extended stay hotel for a while, don’t bring every accessory you own. Of course, as women, we love accessorizing, but you can do just as well with a few simple pieces in basic colors. I usually take one black purse and one blue purse, a black belt and a brown or blue belt, and two to three pairs of shoes are usually all you’ll need to be able to have the right accessory for every outfit.
Packing Toiletries for a Long Stay in a Hotel on Business
As a woman who travels a lot, I have become the queen of miniature toiletries. Before any extended stay in a hotel for business I go to my local supermarket or drug store and stock up on miniature toiletries. Small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, hand and body lotion, small deodorants, small boxes of tampons – you name it, I buy it in miniature. Of course, the cost for buying a small quantity of something is higher. But, they’re lighter, which means fewer problems with the decreased airline allowance if you’re flying. It also means that you’re more likely to have everything with you, as you won’t forget the bottle of shampoo still sitting on the side of the bath that you just had to use that morning before you left. A small bottle of something will usually easily last 3-4 days, which is enough time to get settled in at your long stay hotel, and find a drugstore in the neighborhood where you can stock up on bigger bottles.
Pack a Map and Guidebook of the City You’re Going to
As a woman who sometimes travels alone and spends time in extended stay hotels, I’ve always thought it was safer to know something about the city I was visiting before I got there. I always buy a map and a small guidebook about every city, so I can figure out how to get around, where places of interest are, places to avoid, any safety issues there might be in that particular city, fun things to do and a whole slew of other useful information. They’re also great reading material for the plane.
Pack a Travel Hairdryer
I don’t know how many times I’ve read in the hotel information that there’s a hairdryer in my hotel room. Yet, when I wake up late on the first day for a business meeting, get out of the shower with dripping hair and realize there’s no hairdryer, I’m always happy I have a lightweight travel dryer shoved in the bottom of my suitcase. They’re cheap, they work almost everywhere (get attachments for different voltage if you’re traveling out of the country) and they don’t weigh a ton. Buy one!
Pack Some Sachets of Coffee, Sugar and Creamer
If you’re a coffee addict like I am, the coffee that extended stay hotels provide in the room usually isn’t enough. I always pack a few sachets of good coffee, some creamer and some sugar. That way, I have enough caffeine in my room for the first 24 hours, without having to worry about calling room service or finding a 7-11 at 5 a.m.
Pack Some Good Reading Material
One of the perks of being in an extended stay hotel is that everything is done for you. No cooking, no cleaning, no taking care of anyone. What that means is it frees up tons of time for you and if you’re a reader like me, you’ll love the extra time. When I know I’m going to be staying a long time in a hotel, I always pack at least five or six books. At the rate I read, that gives me enough reading material for a week and enough time to find a book store in the city I’m staying in.
Pack a Small Notebook and Pen
When I’m in a new city, I love to make notes of great restaurants I eat at, good shops, interesting places, bus numbers, how to ride the train system – pretty much anything that makes a city special. If you’re going to be in a city for an extended stay, some of this information can be very useful, so take a small notebook and pen with you, one that fits into a pocket or purse. That way, if you discover something interesting you won’t have to try to remember it. Besides, you never know when you might need it.
Pack Costume Jewelry
Packing expensive jewelry that you’re going to leave in an extended stay hotel room probably isn’t a good idea. Most hotels are extremely safe, but you don’t want to leave expensive jewelry lying around. It can be too tempting for the wrong person. So, even though every woman I know loves to wear jewelry, just take a few pieces of costume jewelry with you. That way, if it disappears, you’re not going to be too heartbroken.
This quick checklist of what to pack for a business trip in an extended stay hotel if you’re a woman has been very useful for me. I hope it’s useful for you too.