The majority of people pack too much for short work trips. In the last few years, I’ve learnt that in order to be able to hit the ground running when you arrive at your destination, especially if you’re going straight into meetings, you don’t want to have to firstly, wait to collect your baggage from the carousel, and secondly, have to push back your meeting as you won’t make it on time. This will throw out your whole day, especially if you have booked back-to-back meetings. You need to be able to pack light and pack smart. Remember, depending on the airline, they might weigh your bag before you board, ensure you check the weight limits for the airline you are flying with.
My top three tips on how to avoid checked baggage:
- Purchase a carry on bag that is big enough to fit your essentials for maximum 4-5 days. My luggage of choice is Antler.
You do not want to have a carry on bag that is too bulky, or too small. The bag should also be able to fit your laptop and any other items you will need for work.
- Check the weather and pre-plan your outfits.
This is essential to ensuring you don’t pack too much. Know what activities you’ll be doing each day. If you’re only going for an overnight stay, in reality, you only need 1-2 tops, not 5, and one pair of pants or skirt. This ensures that if you spill something on one shirt, you have a backup. It also means that you can go out to dinner/networking events without wearing the same top you’ve worn all day. I highly recommend packing items which don’t require ironing as some places you stay might not have an iron.
Finally, you do not need to pack three pairs of shoes, just take one spare pair, unless the ones you wear on the plane are shoes which you can comfortably wear for more than one day and can cope with the activities you will be doing.
- Only take the essential toiletries.
You do not need to take a full bottle of shampoo/conditioner! Buy travel size refillable bottles and tubs to take your toiletries in, and bring travel size toothpaste (if you’ve visited the dentist recently they usually give you sample tubes, so store these for travel purposes). You can purchase these refillable bottles and tubs in combo packs from pharmacies and other retail stores.
Finally, if you are travelling in a group, and there’s more than one person who uses a hair straightener/hair dryer, agree to share to save space – one person can pack the hair dryer, the other can pack the hair straightener!
I hope these tips help you to pack smarter and lighter!