January 4th, 2013

Pack Your Carry-On Bags Perfectly for Business Travel

Pack Your Carry-On Bags Perfectly for Business Travel


Any frequent business traveler will tell you that checking a bag can be a dangerous operation these days. When travel keeps you hopping from city to city, there is little room for error if an airline misplaces your luggage.

Wheeled rollaboards are so commonplace these days that almost every road warrior is armed with one that gets them through security and past airline gate agents without hassle. But how can you fit business suits, dress and workout shoes, casual clothes, paperwork, toiletries, laptops, and other electronic gear in one bag without looking like a slob at your final destination?

Simple! It begins with smart packing.

The first step is insuring that clothes will stay wrinkle-free. Use a Pack-It Garment Sleeve or Pack-It Folderto separate suits before folding them in order to keep the suits from creasing in the wrong places. Roll casual wear, like t-shirts, underwear, or polo shirts, into Cubes. Use Quarter Cubes and Tube Cubes around the handle system for smaller items like socks (for example, some bags have humps inside where the handle descends into it.), as well as the corners of the bag. These areas can be wasted space, so it’s more efficient to place smaller rolled clothes here.

Stuff socks, belts, phone chargers, and other small items into your shoes, and place them into separate shoe sacs to keep from dirtying the rest of your clothes. Fold other shirts and pants (jeans, for example) and place them into a Folder 18. Then compress them while pressing down and folding in the sides. This system of packing takes up significantly less room, while also preventing wrinkles.

Keep magazines, newspapers, and paperwork in outer pockets so that you can reach them easily without having to open your bag too often, thus rummaging and rearranging its contents. Bring reading material that you can discard along the way to make more room for things you may acquire on the road.

If overweight carry-ons are a concern (as they are with many airlines in Europe that insist on weighing bags at check-in or the gate), place heavy items like keys, cameras, or battery chargers into your coat pocket to reduce the weight at that critical moment and then repack them into your carry-on later.

Adding a durable laptop bag, messenger bag, or backpack in addition to your rollaboard is the best way to keep business work separated, and all airlines allow a small briefcase or backpack that fits under the seat in addition to a carry-on.

Even if you plan on not checking a bag, it’s always smart to place a business card on the outside and inside of your bag. You never know when a bag may go missing when gate checked on a regional jet or checked against your will to a final destination if all of the overhead space is taken. Adding a Luggage ID Tag with your information on it helps to increase the odds that your bag will get back to you.

Don’t forget this final step: After you finish packing everything you think you will need for a trip, go through and remove ten percent of it. Almost always, travelers return home with a piece of clothing that they never needed or that extra book they never read.

Packing lightly for business may seem like a daunting task, but traveling with just a carry-on can be so liberating that you will never look back to those big, bulky bags again!

Related Links: 

Packing Light for a Cold-Weather Getaway

Top Packing Tips and Advice for Women

How to Get Through the Airport Faster

by Ramsey Qubein