I am traveling a TON right now and was asked by my sister to give some ModaMD-worthy travel & packing tips -- so here goes:
1) carry-on or check? I always prefer to carry-on but it is much, much easier to pack in checked luggage. So, this is your first decision point. Even if you carry-on remember to plan for the possibility of a forced gate check.
2) Pack neutrals that can be worn in multiple ways (skirts/pants/tops) that can mix and match
3) add on a few bright pops of color that will make each outfit stand out -- this can be a bright pashmina, one fun silk top, or a colored pencil skirt. Or go with a few bright sheath dresses and a single neutral blazer (this is my go to)
4) always keep the shoes neutral, and have a comfortable pair for the airport (flats!)
5) learn to bundle wrap so you have fewer wrinkles
6) wear your blazer on the plane over a work appropriate top if at all possible --- this makes it less likely to wrinkle, temperatures always fluctuate in planes and airports so its nice to have a layering piece, and then if your luggage is lost all you need is a pencil skirt and you'd still be conference ready. If I really had it together I'd carry a pencil skirt in my carry-on but never seem to make that happen!
7) if you need to be ready for a meeting/dinner/some event right off the plane #6 is especially useful --- and then definitely carry your essentials in a carry on just in case. I include make-up in this list. It would not be the end of the world to go buy some new hair products if your luggage is lost, but to re-do your makeup bag would be more stressful and expensive!
8) Keep your jewelry simple and wear it on the plane. Bring 1-2 fun accent pieces if needed but classic pieces work best for travel and meetings
9) Try to find a carry on bag that can either fit your work tote or double as a work tote for the meeting. Tumi has many great options for this!
10) bring a water bottle and stay hydrated! Makes a huge difference particularly if you need to get to work right after getting off that plane.
Safe travels everyone!
Luggage: Tumi Tegra Lite and Tumi carry-on (with tote tucked inside)
Blazer: Trina Turk in navy-- similar to this one -- I really like a collarless blazer. I think its a more modern and polished look.
Jeans: Joes Jean, Icon Skinny, my fave.
Shoes: Varina ballet flats