Most people experience business travel as a hectic marathon. They race from one destination to the next, lugging too much luggage and wondering whether something has been left behind. Believe it or not, it actually is possible to make traveling for business a pleasure. The first step toward making this miraculous transformation is learning to pack everything in one suitcase.
Many business travelers are probably aghast at the idea of traveling with just one suitcase, but in reality it’s possible to make business trips carrying just one carry-on bag. Imagine the freedom, convenience and flexibility inherent in being able to complete a successful business trip with just one suitcase – especially one that can be carried on board the flight.
Travelers who have only carry-on luggage do not have to arrive for their flight as early as those who will be checking a bag. When they arrive at their destination they are free to leave the airport with just their light bag – no waiting at the baggage carousel and no chance of finding that an important suitcase missed a connection.
That makes a good argument for traveling with one bag. Now the question is – how can everything fit?
Start with the right bag. A quality bag made from a durable fabric will last a long time and stand up to rough travel. It might cost more, but its longevity and usefulness will more than make up for the initial cost. It should be lightweight and sized precisely to airline carry-on specifications. When choosing the shape of the bag it’s best to go with rectangles. Bags with curved ends tend to cheat users out of valuable interior volume. Plus, rectangles offer better protection for documents. It’s a good idea to get a bag that has pockets on the exterior that can securely stow things like tickets, boarding passes, and passports. This makes traveling through airport security a breeze.
With the proper bag chosen the next step is to make a packing list. Next to getting the right bag this is probably the most important step to being able to pack everything in one suitcase. Before a business trip sit down at the computer and make a list of essential items. This is not a list of things that “might” be needed or items that should be included “just in case.” This is a list of absolute necessities without which the trip would fail. Everything else should be excised. Once refined this list can probably be used for most future business trips, making packing for each one easier. Stick to the list. Never give in to the last minute temptation to pack “just one” extra item.
Clothing is an essential part of any business trip. Build around a neutral palette using a color like black, tan or brown. Choose accessories and other items that will easily mix and match with the central pieces. In most cases individually rolling each piece of clothing is the best way to pack the most into a bag while still ensuring that it arrives virtually wrinkle free. If it’s absolutely necessary, pack an extra pair of shoes. Place them on the bottom of the bag as they weigh more than clothing.
A fragile item like a laptop should be packed standing upright in between clothing. This will cushion the traveler’s hip while walking with the strap of the bag on their shoulder, yet still leave the laptop accessible during the flight.
Business travelers should make the most out of available technology. Don’t lug around several copies of a presentation or other paperwork. Ship items ahead if necessary or carry important documents on a laptop or a flash drive. After arrival such documents can be printed by a local printshop in time for the meeting. Carrying paperwork just means excess weight and stress.
When going on a business trip with just one bag it’s possible to let go of much of the hassle that usually goes along with traveling for work. By having the right bag, keeping to a list of packing essentials, rolling clothing and making the best use of technology all business travelers can begin to enjoy the friendly skies.
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