Carry All in your Carry-On: Packing Tips for Efficient Travel

  1. Plug it in (your purse). Neatly organize all chargers and power cords, along with all tablets, phones, cameras and other electronics in your purse. If one charger can be used for two devices then leave the extra cord at home. You can carry your purse onboard along with a carry-on, so this is a great way to carry your essential technology. It frees up space in your overhead luggage while keeping it safely with you. If you find it a tight squeeze, a backpack is a great option as long as it fits under the seat in front of you.
  2. Back in black. Black and neutral clothing can be magic in small numbers. A black skirt can be worn day and night, with a different scarf, jacket or blouse. The little black dress can be paired with a blazer during day and be transformed into evening all by itself or with some fun accessories. Though you may love all your multi coloured clothing during the week, it’s not necessary for business trips. Not only can black go with everything, but it hides all the bad stuff that gets thrown at us during the day (coffee anyone?). One pair of pants and one skirt can go a long way in saving room in your luggage and can reduce prep time in the mornings by not having to figure out what to wear.
  3. Hit the showers. If you don’t care about what shampoo, soap and body wash you use for a few days, this is a great opportunity to reduce the weight in your luggage. Hotels most often offer shampoo, soap, and body wash during your stay. It’s even a great chance to try a new brand you may actually enjoy. Most hotels also offer hair dryers, so if you’re not too attached to yours, leave it home. If you really want to streamline your luggage, you could find out beforehand what other complimentary toiletries the hotel may offer, such as toothpaste and toothbrushes.
  4. Paper, paper everywhere. Paper weighs a ton, and is a drag to drag around. If you are heading on a trip with a lot of documents, see where you could pare down. Maybe scanned copies on your tablet would suffice? Save anything that may need to be printed for meetings in your email and take advantage of the hotel’s business rooms. Have a lot of things to bring back? Mail them back to your office or home, or scan them and save in your email. It’s the digital age after all.
  5. Raindrops keep falling on my head. Travelling during winter? Rainy spring? Monsoon season? This can cause a hitch in your packing plans. A winter coat can take up an entire suitcase. Rain boots are heavy and cumbersome, and match nothing. The best way to beat this is preparation. Check weather advisories. For rainy seasons, compact ponchos can be found at the dollar store in a pinch, and so can shoe covers. Wintery weather? Don’t bother to pack the boots and coat, wear them on the plane. Umbrellas can often be found in hotel stores or dollar stores if you don’t mind abandoning them or giving them away when you leave. Altering your clothing pattern from skirts and blouses to tights and sweater dresses can offer weather-appropriate options without extra bulk.

When packing for a business trip, minimalism is key. Think outside the box, there is a way around everything.


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