Your Days of Heavy Packing Are Over
*Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2014, however it has since been updated to reflect the msot recent information.
When it comes to executive travel, few things slow you down more than a heavy, cumbersome suitcase. The efficiency and speed of your travel experience is a huge part of a successful business trip. You only have so much time to make it through security, get to your terminal, get on your plane, get off your plane, find your luggage, and work your way through the crowds. The airport experience can be a major detractor from executive travelers’ productivity, and the sheer amount of things you bring with you can either contribute to the overall ease of the experience… or make everything worse.
When you travel lighter, you travel smarter. If you find yourself consistently over-packing for your business trips, take a look at our list of travel tips.
Get a smaller suitcase
The more space your suitcase has, the more likely you are to over pack. If you have a huge suitcase with enough room for six full suits, you might find yourself packing six full suits, even though you don’t actually need them.
Larger suitcases seem to inspire the over-packer in all of us, so why not downgrade to a smaller suitcase? Less space means you’ll be more conscious of your packing strategy, and if you get a suitcase that meets TSA regulations, you can use it as a carry-on and bypass those pesky checked baggage fees.
Make a list
When you start packing without a clear idea of what you need in mind, it’s easy to make the mistake of packing a ton of things you’ll never end up using. Making a list of everything you’ll need, including any outerwear based on the weather in your destination city, will ensure that you only pack the things you need, and that when you arrive, you aren’t missing something important, like your toothbrush or pair of dress shoes.
Mix and match your clothing.
When you’re on a business trip, especially one with an itinerary that includes formal dinners, it can be tempting to take a variety of business-appropriate outfits out of fear that you won’t be prepared for every situation.
This can take up a ton of room and add a lot of weight to your luggage when, in all likelihood, you won’t need so many suits or dresses anyway. The secret to reducing the amount of clothing you carry with you on your business trip is to choose pieces that can be mixed and matched, effectively creating new outfits without demanding additional pieces of clothing.
Go light on the toiletries.
Another area where business travelers tend to over pack is in the toiletry department. You want to be presentable and look your absolute best when you’re meeting with new clients, of course, but too many toiletries can weigh down your suitcase and take up valuable room that you can use for other items.
For toiletries, pack the bare necessities inside sealed plastic bags. In the case of an unexpected spill, the contents of your suitcase won’t be damaged and your toiletries will be much easier to find.
Make wise shoe choices.
Shoes can really weigh down a suitcase. Packing too many pairs can create a behemoth of an overstuffed suitcase: one that is too heavy and cumbersome to maneuver easily through the tight squeezes of airports.
Two pairs of shoes should be the absolute most you pack, especially if you already have an abundance of outfits in your suitcase. One pair should be more formal, for the aforementioned dinners and meetings. The other pair can be more casual, for downtime and any sight-seeing you might do that will require lots of walking.
Although packing shouldn’t be difficult, many business travelers find themselves struggling to fit everything in their suitcase. With these effective packing tips in mind, you can make each business travel packing session quick and easy.