If you travel for business, you’re well aware of the challenges that frequent travel brings. The tight schedules and meetings can be exhausting and travel loses its allure and just becomes a nuisance. A difficulty that others may not even consider is packing. For business travel, efficiency is paramount but you also need to pack everything you’ll need for your business engagements.
When packing for business travel, you want to be sure to bring carryon luggage. Checking a bag doesn’t make sense for short trips or for getting quickly in and out of the airport. Most business travelers need to get off the airplane and head straight to a meeting. So there’s no time to waste. By avoiding baggage claim, you can be sure that you’ll make it to your business engagements on time.
Business travel has increased due to globalization and urbanization. With this growth has come greater luggage sales. Worldwide, approximately 32 billion US dollars worth of luggage was sold in 2015. And 6 billion of that was business-specific. Asia has had the greatest increases in luggage sales. This indicates an expansion of their global reach. Traveling for work has become big business and now is the perfect time to make sure you’re doing it right.
To make your business travel feel like a breeze, we’ve prepared a short guide to packing smart. Here’s how to choose the right luggage for business travel and a guide to what and how you should pack.
Choosing the Right Luggage
When we think of carry-on luggage, we tend to think of the popular two-wheel luxury suitcases. But a better option for business travel is a larger vertical roller case made from lightweight materials. Two brands that make these particular styles are Samsonite and Tegra-lite. These carriers are made to be resilient so they won’t become damaged during transit.
Choose a bag that is 22 inches by 13 inches by 9 inches or smaller. These dimensions are the maximum allowed for a cabin bag. Make sure to spend a little extra on your travel equipment. You will likely be using it frequently enough to justify the cost.
What to Bring
It can be tricky to figure out exactly what to bring when you’re trying to travel light. Packing can be a challenge because you need to bring the appropriate business attire and incidentals while avoiding superfluous items. When it comes to business travel, focus on bringing a versatile wardrobe. Don’t worry too much about variety or comfort clothing. Everything you bring should be highly functional without losing the professional standard.
Consider packing the following items for your next business trip:
- Pants, a jacket, and several shirts. For most business functions, you may make do if you bring along at least one pair of nice pants and at least one nice jacket, along with several shirts to wear underneath for variance both between work days and between day and night events.
- Don’t forget the jacket, even in the summer! A lot of conference and meeting rooms are air conditioned and you won’t want to be distracted by the cold.Two pair of shoes. A longer trip might require you pack even more footwear, but you’ll need at least two pair for even a short stay. Those two should include a comfortable set for walking around during the day, and a slightly dressier pair for important dinners with clients.
You can wear an entire outfit during travel, which will cut down on what you need to pack in your suitcase. Make sure that your clothes are made of wrinkle-free materials, as you probably won’t have an opportunity or the time to iron anything.
How to Pack
Now that you know what to bring, let’s talk about how to pack your bag to maximize space. First, put the shoes on the bottom to avoid getting dirt on your clothes. This will also maximize space in your bag. Put items inside your shoes such as ties, socks, or belts. Roll your clothes before putting them in your suitcase. This will not only free up some space but will minimize wrinkles.
Make sure to pack your toiletries in a small case and put it in a pocket of your suitcase to separate it from your clothes. Don’t forget the TSA standards. Put your clear case of liquids in an easy-to-access pocket for getting through the line smoothly. If you wear a business outfit on the plane, that will also help you save space in your bag. If you bring a small personal bag, put your computer, a book, and some snacks in there to ensure you are prepared for the trip.
Putting It All Together
Business trips can be stressful. Through proper planning and packing, you can avoid adding extra stress. Set up a streamlined system that makes packing a breeze. Then you can focus on what really matters: your business responsibilities. Make sure that you pack light and smart so you can get in and out of the airport quickly. Choose business-friendly suitcases and clothing that maximize space.
In 2015, there were approximately 458 million business trips in the United States. As this number is set to increase to 489 million by the year 2020, it is likely that you will find your number of trips increasing over time. Make sure to focus on planning for how and what you will bring on your business travels. By doing this, you will enjoy years of hassle-free business trips for years to come.