Less is More: Packing Efficiently for Business Trips
Packing can be a real chore. Sometimes it even requires a lot of mental power to tackle. Why? Because we start off with a goal of packing only the essentials in order to be more efficient. But, we also don’t want to forget anything. And, we certainly want to look stylish and smart for each day of the trip. So we keep adding and adding to the so-called essentials until we have 20 different outfits squeezed into an extra-large suitcase for a 3-day trip.
Let’s face it; we have all been guilty of over-packing for business trips. Although planning ahead is the most logical solution, it can oftentimes be overwhelming. So, here’s a brief planning guide to assist in keeping you on track and ensuring your 3-day trip fits nicely into a carry-on bag.
1. Check the Weather
Are you traveling into a different climate than home base? Checking the weather forecast before packing can alleviate a lot of stress.
2. Compose a Packing List
Being organized is the key to efficiency. Prioritize your list based on number of days and outfits required. Also take into consideration any evening attire needed as well as needs for extracurricular activities (i.e. exercising, walking, tourist attractions, etc.)
3. Design Your Travel Wardrobe
Begin by selecting your favorite and most comfortable clothes. Comfortable clothes exude confidence; and feeling confident away from home is important to a healthy mental well-being. Your wardrobe should consist of a combination on neutral, solid colors. The ability to mix-and-match will cut back on the number of items you’ll have to take. Also, consider layering to turn one outfit into another without the need to change clothes mid-day. You’d be surprised how an accessory, like a scarf, can transform the exact same outfit into another!
4. Minimize the Liquids & Toiletries
If you can’t fit all your liquids and toiletries in an airline-approved, quart-size Ziploc bag, you’re taking too much stuff. Hotels offer complimentary toiletries; take advantage! And, if your needs are very specific, consider purchasing small sizes of your particular products from a pharmacy near your hotel.
5. Lay It All Out; Purge if Required
So, if you have followed the steps above, by now you know what you WANT to take on your trip. The final step is to pull out your handy dandy airline approved carry-on suitcase and see if it will all fit. Many articles have been written on the best way to pack a suitcase, so we won’t dig that deep here. But, if after rolling and stuffing everything you want to take into your bag and it doesn’t all fit, consider purging a few items.
Don’t worry about running out of clothes. If you had to purge a few things to get everything into your suitcase, the world will not come to an end. Most hotels offer laundering services. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can hand wash clothes and let them hang on the shower bar overnight to dry.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Packing light means feeling light. The stress of checking a bag is gone. The stress of lugging multiple bags from airport to hotel and back is gone. And, most business trips are located in cities with STORES where you can easily purchase any items you may have forgotten. Being away from all the comforts of home can be stressful and challenging, but with proper planning you can make it work!