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The Art of Packing

We've all been there--you're standing in front of a pile of clothes, endless cords and tiny liquid bottles while wondering how on earth you're going to fit it all inside one suitcase. You certainly want to travel light for a business trip since typical trips last only a few days and you want to be able to move quickly from the plane to your hotel to that first important meeting.

We may not have perfected the art of packing but we've certainly traveled enough to offer some helpful tips that may raise packing skills to expert level.

Fast Packing Tips
  • Invest in a durable carry-on. For starters, high-quality durable carry-on luggage is a must. Investing in a sturdy carry-on bag may cost a little more now but it will help you avoid the headache later when a cheap bag breaks as you run to catch a connecting flight.
  • Purchase "ugly" luggage. Okay, so maybe not "ugly", but definitely finding unique luggage is the way to go. Most of us who own black, gray or brown luggage have to tie ribbon or some other sort of identifier to the handle in order to distinguish it from the rest on the conveyor belt. However, investing in an orange or lime green suitcase solves that problem in an instant. No one will mistake your luggage for theirs and you'll be on your way quickly.
  • Pack light. Remember a suit can be dressed up or down with different accessories or it can be broken down and worn with different items. Suit pants work with a button down or other dress shirt and a suit coat can be worn with jeans.
  • Purchase toiletries at your destination. You can usually find a nearby drug store that has all the items you need and you won't have to worry about getting liquids through the security line.
  • Store similar items in the same place. For example, put all your cords in the same pocket so you'll know exactly where to go for your laptop cord when you arrive to start your first meeting.
  • Prepare for extended stay trips. If you're on a particularly lengthy business venture you might come home on the weekends but return to the same hotel every week. Pack a duffle bag to hold any non-essentials that you may not need at home on the weekend - toiletries, gym shoes, etc. Your hotel concierge will be more than happy to check your duffle bag every Friday so you don't have to transport those items back and forth each week.
  • Research if gate-checking your bag is an option. Find out ahead of time if your flight is eligible for gate check. This means you check your bag at the gate right before you board and you pick up your bag immediately after you deboard. You won't have to fight for overhead bin space on the plane and when you land you'll have the luxury of skipping the baggage claim area entirely.