How do you pack for a business trip?
Packing is tricky at the best of times. For a business trip, when it is important to look your best, and time is often tight, omissions and problems can cause major headaches. So what are the best ways to lighten the load?
#1. Aim to check no luggage, if possible
If possible, aim to pack everything you need into your carry-on bag. This will save time when checking in, save you waiting for bags at the other end, and ensure you’re first through customs, so can save you a wait there too.
That means you’re going to need to find yourself a roller-case with dimensions of around 55cm x 40cm x 20cm or less (depending on your carrier – do check with your airline before you pack!).
And become an expert at packing light.
It also means that if you are thinking about travelling with a laptop, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with your airline’s policy on taking electronic devices into the cabin too, especially if you are planning to travel between the Middle East and the USA.
#2. Choose the right bag
Wheels are good. When you’re tired from a long flight and navigating your way through an unfamiliar airport, not having to carry your luggage seems like a luxury.
Make sure its sturdy, lockable, and (if you are going to check it) easily recognisable.
#3. If you do check your bags, prepare to survive without them
Have at least two days of toiletries (in small bottles, in a clear zip-lock bag), and at least one change of clothes in your carry on, even if you do check the bulk of your luggage.
That way, if your bag does go missing, you know you can make your meetings and appointments until you and your bag are reunited or you are able to buy supplies.
#4. Get your documents in order
Know what visas and other documentation you need to sort in advance. If in doubt, your Travel Counsellor will be able to help you with this.
Scan all important documentation and have a copy stored on your phone and in the cloud. This should include your passport, visas, driving licence, credit cards, travel insurance, travel details, etc.
Of course, if you have booked with Travel Counsellors much of this information will be available in your MyTC app. Check with your Travel Counsellor for more details.
#5. Pack light
Packing light is an art form. It’s also highly addictive. Paring things back to what you really need and eliminating all the rest can be rewarding (less queues, less hassle, less to carry) and liberating.
Pack clothes that all coordinate and can be layered
If you’re not confident coordinating, then stick to all one colour e.g. black, or navy
Consider the events your attending and don’t pack for more than that
If possible, wear your bulkiest items on the plane (layered for comfort!) e.g. your gym shoes
On longer trips, plan to make use of the hotel laundry services
#6. Be prepared
With a little bit of preparation, you can avoid the minor niggles that take some of the joy out of travelling.
Invest in a lightweight mini umbrella (and, if you plan on doing some sightseeing while away, a lightweight packable raincoat can be a good investment too).
Pack a small first aid kit (plasters, bite cream, pain killers, sore throat lozenges, anything else you use regularly).
Make sure your devices have a full charge before you depart, take your charger, and a spare, and (if necessary) spare batteries or a charging pack for those devices that are heavy consumers.
Download the maps and guides of the local area before you go, when you know you have a reliable (and free) Wi-Fi connection – don’t wait ‘til you’re there. Do this with all the work documents and presentations you’ll need while you’re there too – the cloud might be great but, when travelling, the local copy is your friend!
#7. Make the most of hotel facilities
Do you really need to pack your own hairdryer if the hotel provides one? Chances are yours will be the wrong power anyway.
Can your hair survive for a couple of days without your favourite shampoo, in favour of the one the hotel provides?
Wouldn’t it be better to pay the extra for the hotel laundry service than have to check a bag?
Hotel facilities are there for a reason: so make the most of them.
If you need something specific, speak with your Travel Counsellor when you make your booking and we can ensure the hotel we book for you does provide the little luxuries you need to make your business trip go smoothly.
Give us a call on +44 (0) 161 464 5350 or fill in the form below and let us call you back.