Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 2065 - How to pack for a combined business and holiday trip

Today's post is all about the packing. 

Tomorrow the Husb and I head to Las Vegas to attend the Licensing Expo.  We're all about learning as much as we can to get the Cheer Chick Charlie brand to become a global  sensation.  We're also about creating networks and this expo is the place to do it.

It's not going to be all about the conference though.  While we need to wear our business hats, we also get to wear our swimming, shopping, cocktail and "let's have some fun" hats too.

I like to pack light.  Which is funny because more often than not my suitcase ends up with one of those "HEAVY" tags on it.  I blame the weight of my laptop. 

OK, OK. So I don't always succeed with the whole packing light thing but I do try to keep things simple and leave room for shopping.

For this trip I've devised a plan to take only enough clothing for one outfit per day. So that outfit has to be able to take me from the conference, to any meetings, to shopping, to cocktails and then to a night out on the town.

Here are my tips for packing for a summer business/pleasure getaway:

  • Dresses are easy: Summer dresses can be dressed up or dressed down. I have chosen a bunch of very light cotton dresses that can change from day to night just by adding a belt, a jacket or some jewellery. Cotton dresses take up very little space in your suitcase. 
  • Choose your shoes wisely: Shoes are heavy and take up a tonne of space. So this trip, rather than take a selection of flats, sandals and high heels, I have chosen to stick with  summer sandals that can easily go from day to night.
  • Limit your jewellery: Jewellery can make or break an outfit.  While I have a bunch of coloured beads and loads of bangles, I have chosen this time to just take my silver bling that can go from day to night effortlessly.  
  • Take a jacket even if it is summer: Jackets are definitely not required when outside in Vegas at this time of year, however the conference centre gets quite chilly due to the air conditioning. So I am taking one blazer and one 3/4 sleeve cardigan for conference purposes.  The bonus is a jacket helps to turn a basic day dress into a business dress easily. The blazer doesn't have to take up precious packing space because if you're going from winter to summer like I am, you can wear it on the plane on the way over. 
  • Limit yourself to two handbags: Handbags are another one of those items that take up space. So rather than take a bunch I have chosen just two.  My basket that can carry my business papers to the conference and which can also convert to a pool bag or shopping basket for those non-business periods.  Plus a clutch that can go to meetings, cocktails and a night out on the town. The bonus of this Sash & Belle clutch is that it comes with a handbag strap should I need to convert it. 
  • White pants are good anywhere: White pants with a selection of tees are perfect for the days we're not conferencing.  The white pants also look great with soft cotton tops for shopping, coffee or wandering around looking at the sights.  The are light and comfortable.  
  • Take only your essential beauty products:  Shampoo and conditioner are heavy. I find that the hair products in the USA are so cheap that I prefer to buy small quantities when I get there and leave any extras behind.  While it might be nice to have all your normal products at your fingertips, just stick to the essentials. Again, in the USA anyway, the beauty products are cheap!
  • Pack exercise gear:  I find that having a fully equipped gym within an elevator ride is great incentive to have a balanced trip.  I often do more exercise when travelling than I do at home! That way I can indulge in cocktails and fun food in the knowledge that I'm doing my little bit to gain only minimal travel weight. Only pack one outfit though and rinse it out in the shower after your exercise session. 

Time to take a look in the Deep Fried suitcase.

I bought this dress by Angel Soul while in Noosa.  It can be teamed with a jacket, jewellery and sandals for conference/meetings, with a rope belt and basket for shopping and going out to dinner, and then with thongs and a hat to throw on over swimmers for some time at the pool.  

From conference, to shopping, to poolside.

Another summer dress from a coastal town boutique that is suitable for a conference when teamed with a little black cardy, then transfers easily to a "drinks by the pool" before being teamed with a clutch and sandals for night time.  

From conference, to poolside cocktails,to dinner out.

This blue and red smock dress is very light and airy and perfect for the hot Vegas heat.  Just add a rope belt to cinch in the waist for a more tailored look at meetings, add the basket for a lunch time meeting and ditch the belt and add thongs and a hat for poolside later in the day. 

From conference, to lunch, to poolside. 

This black and white Charlie Brown shirt dress transitions easily for a more corporate feel.  I've added the low heeled sandals and some Miglio silver jewellery, as well as a cardigan to make it appropriate for meetings.  For after conference sunset cocktails I've ditched the cardigan and added the hat.  For night time I've undone some of the buttons to reveal a black fitted (shapwear) slip to sexy it up a little. I'll add the black clutch bag with this ensemble.  

From meetings, to sunset cocktails, to a night out on the town.

For those days we are not conferencing I'll either be recycling the dresses above, or wearing a basic light white cotton pant with a selection of blouses or tees with either thongs or moccasins. The hat is essential for wandering the Vegas strip in the desert heat, as is the Cancer Council BB Cream and SPF protection lip gloss.  

Other beauty essentials are my Olay facial moisturiser, JBronze self tanning mousse, Pantene BB Cream for hair, Max Factor primer, Estee Lauder wide toothed comb, Cover Girl bronzer, Almay eyeshadow, Cover Girl mascara, Max Factor lip gloss and Cover Girl lip gloss. 

Some summer casual and comfortable basics for the non-conference days. 

Believe it or not all of this packs up easily into a medium sized suitcase with loads of space to spare for shopping.

All packed in with room to spare.

Stay tuned for my Las Vegas essential product of the week (tomorrow) and my tips on how to pack your on-board luggage to go from -5 degree frosty Canberra weather to 35+ Vegas heat (that post on Friday).


  1. Wow - you're the packing queen! I needed you when I packed for Tassie! How exciting heading of to LA. Loving your suitcases and you've got some great outfits there. You're super organised and ready to go. Have a fabulous time! :-)

    1. Let's see if this whole "only one outfit a day" idea works first! I may feel dismally and have to go shopping :P

  2. How organised!! All those interchangeable outfits. Have an awesome trip and I hope the business side of things happens as you want it to.

  3. Wow, great packing effort. I always take about 3 times too much makeup and too many shoes. lol Hope you have an awesome trip!

    1. Me too! That's why I decided to try something different this time. Hope it works!

  4. Sounds great, apart from the white pants. One spill and they are gone and white pants on me seem to have a catch every spill magnet.

    1. I'm actually good with white pants. Watch ... Now that I've said that I'll probe destroy mine. Don't jinx me!

  5. I just bought white pants for my Cairns trip - I love your sensible and space saving tips.

    1. I've never been to Cairns. I'd love to though. Sounds like a white pants sort of town

  6. I absolutely adore that striped dress, it is just perfection!


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