Its one thing to show up at your business meeting prepared mentally for the meeting and with all of your business needs at your fingertips. If that was all business travel entailed, that would be challenge enough. But to carry off a successful business trip, you have to think about your personal needs, medical needs and everything you might require. The ability to travel light on a business trip is truly a refined skill that takes into account the ordeal you might go through at the airport, the potential for lost baggage and what you really do need once you get to your destination.
Many travelers have a firm ethic about not checking bags. The result is you see almost a comical effort by travelers to drag huge bags onboard and jam them into overhead bins. As a business traveler, your ability to relax and pass through the airport system with little fuss is paramount. When you take bulky bags on board on an airplane, you exchange the time at baggage claim for a huge hassle in getting your bags on and off that airplane.
It’s best to balance what you really need at your destination with the problems of taking too much on board. To reduce your anxiety about baggage claim, leave plenty of time between your travel plans and your business appointments at your destination. If you have several hours or a day before you must make your business contacts, you can relax and go through the baggage claim process without anxiety.
The other problem with baggage claim is lost luggage. So to assure you will have the basics when you get to your hotel, lost luggage or not, pack a very small bag to take on board. In that bag, only take your basic requirements. Include your medications, contact lens supplies, sample sizes of toiletries, underwear and one change of clothes. Then you have what you need for one night and the next days meetings while your baggage catches up with you.
To pack light, do a good inventory of what you really do need. There are some economies you can utilize to greatly reduce the bulk of what you are going to take without sacrificing your needs and ability to look good when you make your business contacts.
* Wear a basic outfit. If you have a suit or other garment you know will be your anchor piece, wear it on the plane. You can also wear a coat or jacket that you might need there and then fold it and use it for a pillow on the plane thus keeping it out of your bag. That coat is not considered part of your carry on but it helps you reduce your baggage bulk.
* Economy of space in your bag. Compress what you pack and use every empty space. Pack socks into shoes and roll your clothing rather than lay them flat to squeeze the empty air filled space out of them. You can always iron and get pressed any outfits that get wrinkled in route once you are at your destination.
* Mix and Match. Take outfits that can be used over again with a different pant or shirt combinations.
* You can get it there. Don’t take anything that won’t get guaranteed and frequent use. If there is something you might need, remember, you can buy it there in a drugstore or nearby store. So don’t let anxiety make you over pack.
These steps can reduce your packing problems and result in a workable travel system that will reflect that you are well organized and ready for the road. And there is no better feeling than to come home and realize you used everything you took and needing nothing else while you are on that important business trip for your company.