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The Ultimate Female Packing Guide to Working From the Road

ultimate female packing guide working from the road

The following is a guest packing list by Gigi Griffis. See all packing list posts here.

When people ask me what I’m doing in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, or Scotland, my answer tends to be the same:

I’m working. Sort of.

You see, I travel full-time, working remotely from wherever I happen to be in the world. I run a small strategy and writing business — and pretty much everything I do can be done electronically. So it only made sense two years into the business when I decided that if I had to work, I wanted to do it in beautiful, exotic, culturally different places.

And just in case you are thinking of doing the same thing — either running a business from the road, starting a business on the road, or perhaps convincing your boss to let you work remotely — here are the things I carry with me. Things I’ve found indispensable or simply useful in keeping costs low, productivity high, and business trips still professional.

Without further hemming and hawing, then…

The ultimate female packing guide to working from the road:

Gigi working from the road in Germany
Gigi working in Germany, with an essential: her adorable dog!

Essentials!

Laptop computer set up with…

  • Skype phone number (even if you’re carrying a cell phone, a Skype phone number, at about $5 per month, can serve as your business line with a professional voicemail message and unlimited free incoming calls)
  • Account(s) with WIFI providers like Boingo (which will enable quick internet access at airports, train stations, etc. in a pinch)
  • Asana or another project tracking system (when working from the road, it’s important to be uber organized)
  • Google Voice (check the prices – sometimes making outgoing calls is cheaper with Google Voice, especially while you’re in the US and it’s free!)

Adaptors for each country or region you plan to visit

A portable, removable hard drive (back up everything and keep it in a different bag than your computer, just in case!)

Post-its or a small notebook (I prefer post-its, as I can stick them to windows or mirrors and visualize some of my work/ideas)

2-3 pens

Small USB drive (to take with you to the printer should you need to print something)

Small screen cleaning cloth

Business cards

One black pencil skirt in a non-wrinkling fabric (perfect for business meetings)

One nice, work-appropriate top also in a non-wrinkling fabric

Portable, nice flats (like Tieks) that can be worn for both travel and business

A nice, simple pair of earrings and matching necklace (again, for business meetings)

>> See our packing list post on looking professional while traveling for additional tips.

A simple makeup kit that includes:

  • Tinted moisturizer or light foundation
  • Mascara
  • Chap stick

>> Have a read through our low-key traveler’s beauty kit for extra advice.

Gigi's colorful keyboard

Extras

Portable monitor (If you’re used to having two monitors at the office, never fear, you can also have two monitors on the road)

A light camera that takes high quality photos (not only can your camera take photos of your travels, it can also double as a scanner, allowing you to take photos of signed contracts, sketches, etc. and send to your colleagues or clients)

Black, non-wrinkling pants (if you do a lot of business trips, having a second business-appropriate outfit is a good idea)

One additional work-appropriate top (try to pick something you can also feel good in day-to-day)

A few final tips

If you do happen to go on a business trip or two while you’re working remotely, it’s always nice to bring your clients something wonderful. If you’re in Paris, this might be a bottle of wine or some Madelines. If you’re in Belgium or Switzerland, think chocolate. Etc. This always adds a little extra something to a big presentation or meeting.

Obviously, in addition to your work gear, you’ll need the standard toiletries, clothing, paperwork, and a good novel, but that’ll all vary a little by season, length of travel, etc., so you should check out the super extensive list of packing lists here to fill in the rest of your luggage space.

Happy, productive travels to you all!

* * * * *

gigi griffisAbout the Author: Gigi Griffis is a writer and humorist with a penchant for new places, scruffy men, and Italian cooking. In May 2012, she sold her stuff and took to the road with a growing business and her small dog, Luna. She’s been traveling full time ever since. You can read more about her adventures here.

*All photos except for title photo by Gigi Griffis.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Beverly Genevish says

    I’m looking for something I can wear everyday walking in Florence and Rome. I LOVE the look of the Tieks! From your experience, would you suggest these for an all-day-long and into the evening shoe that I could wear for miles of walking, while still looking tres chic?

    • Brooke says

      Hi Beverly, I have a pair of Tieks and I LOVE them. However for miles and miles of walking, I would definitely recommend a proper pair of supportive shoes, especially if you are the type of person that sometimes gets achy feet (are you?). I never had problems with my feet until a couple of years ago and now I need a little extra arch support or else my feet and legs hurt a bit at the end of the day. Also, you might want to consider the European cobblestone streets — they can add a lot of extra strain that you might not be used to. However, I will also say that Tieks are the best pair of ballet flats I have ever owned, and I do wear them for long days of light walking/shopping and on into evening with minimal to no discomfort. If it is just light walking and whatnot they might work just fine for you. I’ve seen several reviews of Tieks where people wear them as their main shoe on travels with no problems. I just don’t want to recommend them for someone and then have them realize while there that they might need a more supportive shoe for big big walking days.

      That said, Tieks would be a great addition to your wardrobe no matter what. And they are so tiny, you could carry them in your day bag and pop them on in the evening before dinner, etc. You could get them now and wear them around a bit before going to decide if they are what you want on your trip 🙂

      Does that help at all?

  2. Bernie says

    A great list! I’ve added just a small round purse with a mini office – mini stapler & staples, post it tabs, some little clips etc, and a couple of thin plastic folders to protect paperwork I can’t ditch.or keep on memory stick. Love the idea of those business outfits – versatility is key. 😀

  3. TammyOnTheMove says

    I am secretely planning on working from the road full-time in the near future too. It is definately the way ahead. I’d also take skype headphones with you. There were a few times I had to do a skype business call from a restauarant or hotel, as my internet in my apartment didn’t work. Headphones block out unnecessary side noises I find and you won’t disturb people around you as much.

  4. Andrea says

    Gigi,

    Great comments here about packing for working on the road. It seems like nowadays more & more roles in the workplace require some sort of travel. As a solutions consultant always on the go, I find this list very insightful. Thanks for the post!

    Andrea

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