Checklist for a 3-Day Business Trip in South Africa


Published: 26/01/2012


Travelling on business within South Africa can require different wardrobe necessities, especially for different industries and locations. Suits that normally look good when worn directly from your closet, may look creased and rumpled after a flight and your usual work shoes may not cope with high walking demands.  Here are some helpful  tips for packing for stay-over business conferences etc.

His and Her Essentials:
•    Check the weather channel for the anticipated weather results at your business destinations.
•    Pack a small fold-up umbrella in your laptop bag if you are travelling to areas of inclement weather patterns. In South Africa your summer rainfall areas are generally the central and eastern regions, and your winter rainfall generally covers the western and southern areas.
•    For winter travel take along a coat that can double as an elegant in-door jacket for e.g. a stylish coat made from Melton Wool, Leather or Tweed (depending on your personal style).
•    Stay away from linen suits/dresses/ jackets etc and pack clothing made from cotton, or wool blends with polyester, that does not crinkle that easily.
•    Make your Carry-On work for you. Choosing a smaller suitcase will require you to pack less and therefore make travelling easier during your business trip, especially if you have a tight schedule and won’t be able to keep your suitcase at the hotel in-between meetings.
•    Whatever the purpose of your business trip, it is always essential to make a good impression.  Each day’s outfit must be planned carefully keeping in mind that you are limited for space and therefore will need to choose items that work together.
•    If in doubt, opt for basic black with interchangeable blouses and shirts, i.e. black shoes, black trousers/ dresses and jackets.
•    Your hotel and/or bed & breakfast will have a laundry and steam-ironing service all will also have irons and ironing boards available for your in-room usage, alternatively they are available on request.
•    Do your homework. Be sure to find out what activities will be required of you during your stay, should there be a game of golf or a formal dinner planned – you need to know about it and pack accordingly.

Men’s Essential Checklist
•    Comfortable and elegant shoes that are suited to both casual clothing and business suits.
•    Three shirts, two pairs of smart trousers and a jacket that compliments can be hung in a suit bag.
•    Even if it is summer, it is advisable to pack a jersey that can be worn with both your work and casual clothes.
•    A pair of smart-styled dark denim jeans.
•    A pair of casual shoes. Stuff shoes with socks, rolled up ties and underwear to save on space.

Women's Essential Checklist
•    Women have more variety, with skirts, dresses and trousers but as space is limited two pairs of trousers with one skirt could be a better option. Hang these in your suit bag with three ‘wash and wear’ blouses (Polyester blends work well and can be hand washed and dry overnight if needed).
•    Accessorise with scarves to add colour and texture to your outfits, plus a cardigan that matches throughout.
•    Keep jewellery simple and classical e.g. all gold or silver. Pearls, however, always look very elegant in any setting and convey a strong sense of sophistication and can be worn with any outfit. The rule for pearls is ‘last on and first off’ as they don’t like perfumes, lotions and soaps. These days you can pick up well-shaped fresh water pearls at a very reasonable price, and remember to buy neutral colours, greys, creams or browns, with matching earrings.
•    Evening jewellery and make-up in your handbag will also enhance your office look without having to change your outfit when going out straight from the office environment.
•    A pair of killer high heels that can work with everything, keep to a medium hell if there is a substantial amount of walking involved in your visit.
•    A pair of leather flats for comfortable walking that can also be worn with any of your trousers.
•    A stylish pair of dark blue, or black denim jeans.
•    An elegant top for evening wear, that can be also worn with your jeans.
•    If you don’t have a travel hairdryer and can’t fit your normal one in your bag, the hotel or bed and breakfast will have one in your room. If you have the time, you could consider booking a hair appointment on Day 2 and Day 3. It will give you time to go over your emails while a hair stylist gives you a celebrity look.

Good luck with all your business travels.

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