Precision Packing for the Frequent Business Traveler
Even the most experienced business traveler can benefit from a few precision packing tips. It’s easy to think you’ve implemented every space-saving strategy there is, only to miss a stress-saving tip from a fellow road warrior. Here are a handful of packing tips designed to make the life of a frequent business traveler much easier. (See also: How to Travel Light and Low Budget)
Flat Is Frugal
When it comes to non-clothing items that can’t be rolled, favoring items that pack flat will help you avoid checking extra bags and the additional fees that go along with them. My husband and I both have adventure sandals from Keen that we wear to hotel fitness centers. They require far less room than athletic shoes and allow you to skip socks altogether. Also, purchasing bobby pins in flat tins from your favorite beauty supply store will provide numerous options for hairstyles and beyond while taking up minimal space in your toiletry kit.
Budget for Bottoms
It’s been my experience that when deciding upon your selection of travel clothing, it can be helpful to take just a few, high-quality bottom pieces and save your space for additional shirts and thin layering sweaters. Men and women alike can get by with denim for down days between destinations and black dress pants for professional meetings and events. If you have room and want to mix it up, guys can go with a set of khakis while women can roll with an extra skirt. As a rule, pants tend to stay looking fresh for longer, while dress shirts need to be replaced more frequently. Bear this in mind and pack accordingly.
Keep Digital Storage Compact
Books, project files and scheduling calendars can be cumbersome when you pack the traditional versions. While this is unavoidable for some things, space can be saved by traveling with a tablet device, thumb drive, and multipurpose smartphone. Sure, many of us are used to bringing these items along. But how many of us truly maximize them to their full potential? Search out apps that suit your personal work style and use them to reduce your hard copies as much as possible.
Retractable Items Really Help
Even veteran business travelers who weather flight delays in Priority Pass lounges cranking out the keyboard work have to handle packing hurdles. Finding room for things like tech gear can get to be a real drag. Ditto with makeup brushes. That’s where purchasing retractable travel supplies such as a chorded mini mouse and telescoping makeup applicators comes into play. If you’re on the road a great deal of time and are required to bring your A game when you are, any bit of extra room in your bag provides greater functionality on the fly.
Pack Less and Do Laundry
No matter how carefully you select your travel bag, you’ll still wind up with space limitations. That's why I’m a huge fan of packing individual envelopes of laundry soap during business trips where there’s a chance I may have to extend the trip or fly to a second destination unexpected before returning home. Provided I won’t have to deal with radically different weather conditions where I’m going, having access to even a single load’s worth of laundering soap can double the length of time I’m able to stay on the road. I purchase mine in the travel-sized supply section of my local department store, along with my small tubes of toothpaste.
Manage Your Meal Options
As I discussed in 7 Easy Lunch Ideas for Work, even those who commute and travel with minimal gear and supplies need to have an emergency snack or two available in order to handle unavoidable transportation delays where travel food is difficult to come by. Personally, I’m a huge fan of power bars, envelopes of miso soup, and herbal tea bags.
What secret packing tips do you use on a regular basis? Do you have any sage advice that a fellow business traveler might benefit from? Feel free to share your information in the comment section below.