How to Pack Like a Pro on Your Next Business Trip

Business travel is never easy, and there's definitely a reason why they call it work. But one of the easiest ways to make your load a little lighter is to pack well. Whether you are a full time road warrior or just the occasional business traveller, these expert tips for packing for a business trip will make life on the road less troublesome.

1) Always Carry On

If there is one practice that is 100% guaranteed to improve your life on the road, it's foregoing checking your bag. You will save an inordinate amount of time by simply keeping your bag with you--up to 45 minutes or more per journey. Plus, you will never have to deal with lost luggage. Whether you are going away for two days or two weeks, the benefits of packing light enough to get by with only carry-on luggage are worth it.  How is that done?  Glad you asked.

2) Go Dark

One of the best ways to pack less is to get dirty less. And that is done by wearing dark colors. Black, navy, or charcoal gray suits or separates--two per trip--are a good start. For shirts/tops you can go with lighter colors, but dark, particularly black, wears well and always looks good. Socks/stockings should be dark as well.

3) Invest in a Good Roll Aboard Suitcase

Get a suitcase that is designed for business travel and has wheels. It should have a hook on the handle or some way to attach your briefcase or purse/computer bag to the suitcase so that nothing is slung over your shoulder. This is particularly helpful for reducing aching shoulders and backs, and it will also speed your travel from one terminal to another. If the roll aboard is designed for business travel, it should accommodate business wear storage needs. Certain models come equipped with handy features like built-in hangers.

4) Dress Well

When traveling, dress to reduce the load in your luggage. Pack one suit or separates set and the bottom half of the other. Wear the second jacket over a casual shirt/top, pair it with jeans and a good pair of walking shoes. With a few tops/shirts and a pair of dress shoes added, you have enough looks for several days of outfits.

5) Plan Your Packing

A good organizational effort can set the packing template for all your trips. Lay out everything on the bed before you put it in the suitcase. Discard anything extraneous (such as needless chargers) and stick to the two suits or separates set formula. Add the shirts/tops, underwear, and socks/stockings. Take one pair of dress shoes and one casual pair for walking. Any more shoes than that will add too much extra weight. Shoes are the heaviest items to tote for travel. To keep your suit jackets from rumpling, turn them inside out, including the sleeves, and then fold.

6) Go Light on the Toiletries

Edit your shaving or cosmetic travel kit carefully so that you are taking only the bare necessities. Avoid liquids and make sure that your toiletries are TSA-compliant. Consider leaving at home anything you can easily pick up at the hotel, such as toothpaste, deodorant, or shaving cream. If you call ahead to the hotel, you can confirm what personal items they carry, including the brand. Some hotels will even stock your room with your preferred toiletries, on request.

7) Use the Hotel Laundry

For longer trips, you can make use of the hotel laundry and get by with just five days worth of tops/shirts, underwear, and socks/stockings. Just be sure you will be at one hotel for two consecutive days at least once per week of travel. The expense will be far outweighed by the reduction of weight in your luggage.

For more great tips on business travel, visit the Smart Voyager website.