20 Packing Tips for Smooth Business Travel
When you’re on the road visiting clients, presenting at conferences or negotiating contracts, the last thing you want to worry about is what you didn’t pack. Maximize your travel and get the most out of your business trips with these expert packing tips.
If you visit the same destination often, consider using a dry-cleaning service as your personal wardrobe storage. Leave your suits or shirts at the end of a trip (pre-paid, for anytime pick-up) and grab clean, pressed items the next time you’re in town. Better yet, pick a dry cleaner who offers delivery service.
To become a carry-on-only packing wizard, look at suitcase space in three dimensions. For instance, tuck a coiled belt into the collar of a dress shirt (bonus: the collar stays crisp) or slip a delicate cashmere or silk scarf inside a purse to keep it like new.
The fabric linings of roll-aboard suitcases often unzip, revealing the housing for your suitcase handle, a secret spot for packing small or flat items securely.
Waterproof “wet bags” take up almost no space and come in handy, whether to hold a damp swimsuit, just-polished or dirty shoes or potentially leaky liquids. Brands like Wander look as chic and cool as any pool or beach accessory.
Home Sweet Home
Luggage holds, car trunks or other confined spaces can be damp or musty. Spritz a tissue with your favourite home fragrance, or tuck a fresh dryer sheet in your luggage to keep everything fresh and reminiscent of home.
Weigh Your Options
A happy traveler is a traveler who doesn’t pack anything they’re not prepared to carry. Suitcase wheels, escalators, elevators and moving sidewalks all break down occasionally, so don’t pack a bag you can’t comfortably carry.
Fit for the Occasion
Conventional packing wisdom groups same-with-same items: t-shirts with t-shirts, socks with socks. If you organize your packed bag by day or occasion, you can locate items at a moment’s notice when the occasion presents. For instance, pack complete outfits for several days into separate layers or groupings. Or group nighttime or beach items together in easily accessible bundles.
Instead of culling your medicine cabinet or combing your closet for travel-friendly items each trip, keep a separate set of travel-size personal care products always packed, and reserve travel-specific wardrobe basics that pack and wear beautifully.
Occasional wardrobe malfunctions are a reality, and, unfortunately, they don’t all happen when your Fairmont Gold manager is within reach! Prepare by assembling a small wardrobe kit. A mini lint remover, stain-remover pen and wrinkle-release spray come in handy for small emergencies that are beyond the rescue of a hotel sewing kit.
Pack a small item from home, from an aromatherapy oil to a beloved wrap or throw. It can provide the comfort needed to relax or fall asleep in a new place.
Compact and convenient, pre-moistened wipes now function as everything from deodorant and face cleaner to blotter, hand sanitizer, sunscreen and soap. Browse online stores like Sephora or your favourite beauty brand for luxe options.
Delicate chains and necklaces don’t tangle if looped through a straw (choose sturdy paper, soft silicone or stainless steel for an eco-friendly option) and placed into a toiletry bag or small suitcase compartment.
Be the Heavy
Wear your bulkiest shoes, outerwear or other apparel as your travel gear, versus having them take up much of your suitcase space. A thick coat or pullover can be a comforting a seat cushion or impromptu travel pillow, too.
When filling your suitcase, pack heavier items near the wheels to keep your rolling bag more stable and balanced once it’s upright.
Travel pros swear by rolling clothes for compact packing (although the nesting-fold technique of inter-stacking big items like pants and jackets leaves them less wrinkled). The packing hall of fame technique is to roll up delicate or easily wrinkled items, like silk blouses, scarves or pocket squares and ties, in dry-cleaning plastic to ensure they remain safe and smooth until unrolled.
Turn light-coloured or easily wrinkled jackets, skirts or pants inside-out before packing to minimize suitcase hazards en route to your destination.
If you wear contact lenses, the plastic cases they come in can become travel-friendly containers for short-trip amounts of your favourite creams and lotions.
Don’t be a Pill
Multi-compartment daily or weekly pill boxes from the drugstore can become travel-friendly containers for organizing earrings, cufflinks, rings or other small items.
Pack items that put the latest in fabric technology to work. Clothes with silver ions offer antibacterial properties and odor protection, while bamboo viscose blends provide UV protection. Smart wool serves up thermoregulation and warmth without the sweat factor.
In the Bag
High-quality leather goods typically come with a chic fabric outer sack, tailored particularly for storage. Take this protection on every trip to ensure your handbag, belt or shoes stay pristine.
Charlene Rooke is travel, food and drinks writer based in Vancouver, Canada, and a former editor of Fairmont magazine. She has written two travel guidebooks (about Calgary and Vancouver) and has visited more than 55 countries and 25 Fairmont Hotels & Resorts worldwide.
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