Business trips in winter are less than ideal, especially if you’re used to enjoying year-round sunshine and warmer climates like in Florida or California. Unfortunately, you don’t always have a say in when or where you have to go on a business trip. Temperatures in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can be particularly frigid this time of year, so it’s important that you’re well prepared and bundle up properly.
If you’re staying in corporate housing in Toronto or the GTA this winter, then here are some awesome tips to help you brave the cold and snow.
Make a Winter Business Trip Packing List
Regardless of where you’re going and why, every great trip starts with a detailed, yet concise packing list. Over-packing is a major no-no, but making a list of essential items will guarantee that you have everything you need to make your business trip a worthwhile success. Toiletries and proper business attire are the obvious entry items that should be at the top of your list. But you should also include a list of important documents, presentation notes, supplies, equipment, and any other work-related items you’re going to need.
When planning a successful business trip, preparation is nine-tenths of the law. Go over everything you’re going to need with your coworkers or boss. If you’re planning on travelling solo, then try to maintain constant communication with your colleagues back home to limit any potential oversights. Making a list and checking it multiple times will also ensure that you’re only packing the essentials.
Coordinate Colour Schemes for All of Your Outfits
Speaking of packing light, coordinating colour schemes for all of your outfits is a great way to avoid over-packing items you’re not going to use that are just going to take up space in your luggage. Try to limit yourself to one checked bag and one carry-on. When it comes to clothing, stick to neutral tones like greys, blues, blacks, browns, or whites because these are easy to coordinate with and accessorize. The less additional items you have to pack, the better. You’re there to professionally represent your company, not participate in a fashion show.
However, if you anticipate you’ll have time to do some sightseeing or other fun activities in your off time, then pack one or two outfits for that as well. Of course, that depends on the length of your business trip and how much of it you’ll actually spend at corporate events, meetings, luncheons, or dinners.
Layer Your Clothing
Layering your clothing with warm materials like wool or cashmere makes it easier for you to adjust to different temperatures. In Toronto, winter climates are notoriously unpredictable. Temperatures can range from extremely cold to a littler on the warmer side from one minute to the next. Wearing layered clothing like a cardigan over a long-sleeved shirt or t-shirt allows you to remove or add on articles of clothing as needed so that you can always adjust to the temperatures and still look professional.
Invest in Thermal Clothing
Alternatively, thermal clothing is another smart way to stay warm during those cold Toronto winters. Purchase black, grey, or white thermal undershirts and underwear in advance to help keep you warm no matter how light your external layers are. Thermal undergarments retain heat to keep your body warm throughout the day without overheating, so you don’t have to worry about sweating through your clothes. Make sure to pack enough thermal undershirts and underwear to last you for the duration of your business trip to Toronto.
Pack Weather-Appropriate Shoes or Boots
Toronto winters are cold, wet, and slushy. So be sure to pack winter boots and shoes that are also appropriate for business meetings and corporate events. Black boots are usually a safe option as you can get ones that include internal lining to help keep your feet nice and toasty warm. Just be sure to also bring along a leather shoe polish with you so you can wipe off scuff marks before commencing your business meetings.
Don’t Forget Matching Scarves, Gloves, and Thermal Socks
While it’s important to keep your extremities warm, unfortunately earmuffs, beanies, and toques, are absolutely out of the question for professional business trips. Save them for when you’re going out on the town, but avoid wearing them right before business meetings or presentations because they’ll mat your hair down. Matching scarves and gloves are perfectly acceptable, though. Just try to stick to solid, neutral tones like grey, blue, or black and avoid funky colours or patterns. Thermal socks are also fine as long as you’re wearing the appropriate footwear because no one will see them, so you might as well keep your feet nice and toasty warm.
Wear Your Jacket on the Plane
The great thing about Toronto is that you can pretty much find an excellent quality jacket anywhere in the city. But if you already have one, then don’t bother packing it. Just bring it with you on the plane. There’s no sense in taking up more space in your suitcase than you absolutely have to or worse bringing a separate bag just for your jacket. Since it’s already cold in Toronto, you might as well keep your winter jacket handy!
Book Your Flight and Accommodations in Advance
Always make sure to book your flight and accommodations in advance. It’s likely that your company will take care of this for you, especially if you’re staying in executive housing in Toronto, but it’s always a good idea to double check this before embarking on your business trip.
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