Travel Advice for Business Professionals Part 2
(If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.)
Last week we introduced you to some of the basics for travelling as a business person – things to consider, what you should be checking and confirming prior to travelling, how you should manage your finances and what you should do to avoid awkward language or culture barriers when dealing with international clients or colleagues.
In part two of the Travel series, we’re going to delve further into what to pack when travelling for business. Packing, regardless of whether it’s for business or pleasure, tends to be one of the most arduous processes when planning a trip – lists are written, clothes or toiletries are specifically purchased or obtained, and more often than not we pack far more than is necessary – the old saying goes, “take half of the clothes you were planning to bring and twice the money”, but it’s rare that people follow such an idea. So what should you pack, and what should you avoid? It’s a very individual process, packing – but here are just a few ideas to consider implementing, or items to add to your ‘must pack’ list before you travel.
Many business people choose to pack extraordinarily lightly when on business trips, to avoid extended waits at baggage carousels or check-in desks – so this article will focus on how to fit everything you need into your carry-on allowance.
For some, a business trip is an opportunity to purchase and pack a new outfit for every day – but this generally isn’t practical for the small carry-on allowances offered by airlines. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure that you pack enough, without breaking the weight limit.
Mix and Match:
If you bring neutral clothing pieces, say three tops and three ‘bottoms’, you are able to create 9 different outfits. Take clothing pieces that are versatile and will easily match with others, to avoid the stress of taking multitudes of outfits. Pick your colours strategically too – for example, everything matches with black.
Be Weather Aware:
Taking bulky clothing is not practical when you’re travelling with carry-on luggage, but sometimes the weather in your destination will not allow you to pack light! Instead of trying to juggle all of your best snow gear into a small space, wear several layers to keep warm. Your carry-on will thank you for it.
The temptation when travelling is to bring several pairs of shoes, and clothing accessories such as belts, jewellery, hats and scarves, “just in case”. Aim to keep these to a minimum, the items add up quickly, and they are often the most bulky items in your luggage. If you absolutely must bring more than one pair of shoes, use them as a storage opportunity – jewellery, accessories and other small items can be placed inside your shoes for safe-keeping and space-saving.
Again, the temptation here is to bring everything “just in case” – but that also isn’t particularly practical. In most cases, the hotel you’re staying in as a business traveller will provide many of the raw essentials that you will need for a short trip. That being said, some people have personal preferences for toiletries – so invest in travel size bottles which you can fill with your preferred products. Re-packaging bulky products, such as toiletries or medication, can also save you a surprising amount of space.
As a gadget-using generation, we typically try bring every piece of technology we may find useful on a business trip – but that’s not likely to be practical with small luggage allowances. Pick your technology carefully – and ensure that you pick what items will be most necessary while travelling for business. Many businesspeople will need to bring laptops and/or tablets, for the purpose of work – so ensure you have the appropriate chargers. Look at investing in an adapter that can charge multiple USB devices at once – this will save some space if you have to take several different pieces of equipment.
Always bring a back-up of your most crucial travel documents and identification items. Whether it’s of a printed or digital variety, it is always a good idea to keep a high quality scan of your passport, visa, identification, bookings and itinerary on hand, in case anything of importance is lost or stolen.
If you’re someone who needs more than just the in-flight entertainment to keep them occupied, then it may be worth in loading some books or digital magazines onto a tablet device or eReader to help you pass the time.
Also, if you’re travelling and you need to bring brochures or supplies for customers, look into sending them via courier to your hotel, as opposed to checking them in as baggage. It’ll be less of a burden on your travel, and it’ll reduce your airport time also.
These are just a few ideas which may help you when preparing for your next business trip. Do you travel for work? What are your absolute must-haves, and what have you learnt to live without? Let us know in the comments!
This article was written by Simone Ball on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: Australian Business Traveller, Business Insider, About Travel and National Geographic.