It’s good practice to chart and extend these preferences to the whole trip: the rental car you’d like to book; preferred cuisines and when you (and/or colleagues) like to eat; snacks to keep handy. The attention to detail will keep your mind at ease while keeping any coworkers content throughout the travel.
When charting your own preferences, ask more seasoned coworkers what they like or what they wish they would’ve known as they started traveling for business.
Before you begin making your packing list, plan to travel without checking a bag, if possible. This saves time and prevents any lost luggage snafus. The flip side of traveling with just a carry-on bag, or a carry-on and a personal bag, is it forces you to optimize your packing. This involves meeting toiletry guidelines, folding clothes in a way that saves space, wearing your bulkiest shoes (and packing lighter ones if applicable), and storing any reading materials on your phone or electronic device.
Optimization also refers to quality. If there are business outfits you particularly like--or others have singled out as being sharp--make sure you include them. It’s a great way to build confidence on the road in a “look good, feel good, play good” manner.
Understand the dress code or recommendations prior to packing. Business casual could mean button-up and slacks to one person, polo and khakis to another. Rather than pack for both, ask before you leave.