Preparing for a business trip can be tricky even for the most experienced travelers. There’s the length to consider, the weather, the dress code, your mode of transport and, of course, weight limits.
What about your luggage? Should you check a case or stick to carry on.
Some people will go all out and try to pack their entire summer/winter collection into one case, others will go minimal, stuffing a clean set of pants into their briefcase.
While each trip can differ from the last, there are a few easy packing hacks that every business traveler should know and apply.
Pick the Right Case
Ideally, you’ll want to avoid checking your suitcase. Even though you’re unlikely to lose your luggage in transit, checking luggage is still a pain in the neck. Instead of breezing through security to your departure gate, you’ll first have to make a stop at the bag drop area, hope and pray that your case makes it on the plane with you, then wait for it to appear of the funfair’s least-fun carousel.
Traveling with a business carry on (from brands like Travelpro or Briggs & Riley) or an underseater might cost you a lot initially but will save you time and money in the long run. If you opt for a suitcase then look for one which is airline approved, lightweight, spacious, has a suiter & other premium features like a warranty that covers airline damage cause sticking to your schedule can be of paramount importance.
Have a Checklist
Hanging a warning sign on your bedroom door whilst you haphazardly empty the contents of your wardrobe into a case may, admittedly, be the quickest way to pack, so if you’re running late for a flight, full steam ahead. This method does, however, have some flaws. Primarily, you’ll probably find that during your packing frenzy your toothbrush was sacrificed for an abundance of socks or that your old painting top found its way into your case instead of your best work shirt. Sound familiar?
There is a simple solution. Write yourself a checklist. Make a couple if you’re a frequent traveler. Prepare a list for overnight trips, one for weekends, one for longer trips, edit till the list is perfect and never frantic pack again!
Keep Your Travel Outfit Simple
It may seem obvious but it’s surprising how many people miss this trick. Bright colors and patterns are fun, they express your personality, but unfortunately, they don’t go with everything. On the other hand, a pair of fitted black trousers or dark jeans will match almost any outfit and can be dressed up with a blouse or shirt and dressed down with a t-shirt. Take a jacket instead of a hoodie and you’ll be appropriately dressed for most situations.
Pack Light and Pack Well
You’ll need to develop a ‘carry on only’ mentality. Generally speaking, 2 suits are enough for any business trip, given that you’re unlikely to be going somewhere that doesn’t have a laundry service. The same goes for shoes, one pair on your feet, the other in your case and this should be plenty. When it comes to space don’t miss an opportunity. Stuff your shoes with socks, roll your clothes and use packing cubes to organize your luggage
Prepare Your Toiletries
Frequent travelers will already know exactly what then need for their business trip, so why not have them ready in advance. If you’re staying at a hotel then you might even be able to leave shampoo and shower gel off your list. If not, then most toiletries can be purchased in travel sizes. Alternatively, get a TSA approved toiletry bag with re-usable 100 ml bottles. Top up your kit after each trip and that’s one less job to do before your next journey.
Check Your Weight
If you’re checking your luggage then it’s worth investing in a portable luggage scale or a suitcase that has these inbuilt so you can make sure that you’re not over the weight limit before rolling your suitcase to the bag drop. The 30 seconds it takes to weigh your bag at home will save you a lot of time in the airport, not to mention the embarrassment of having to repack your things in front of a line of impatient passengers.
Reduce Your Electronics
These days it seems like half of our luggage allowance it taken up by electronic devices and chunky chargers. Most of the time you’ll only need a laptop or a tablet, not both. Likewise, a smartphone can replace an iPod or a camera, cables often double up so just take one of each and with charging sockets in every airport and coffee shop you can probably leave the power bank at home too.
I’ve left this till last but really, the first thing you should do before even looking at your packing list is empty out all the leftover bits and pieces from your last trip. This applies to your briefcase or handbag as much as it does your suitcase. Old train tickets, boarding passes, receipts, and that half-eaten sandwich, it can all go because let’s face it, even the dog won’t eat that now. Start each trip with a fresh, clean, and clutter-free.