Whether you are embarking on your first business travel or a routine one, packing for the trip can be quite a burdensome task for some. Not only does it require careful planning, it also takes up precious time for business travellers. Therefore, packing smartly and efficiently should be cultivated as a habit so that the process can be streamlined for future business trips.
Here’s a step-by-step quick guide to help you to prepare your baggage while you focus on organising your schedule for the upcoming meetings and your business travel agenda.
Step 1: Carry-on travelling
First and foremost – can you manage with just hand luggage? If yes, you have already saved yourself a great deal of in-transit time. With just a carry-on, a business traveller can breeze in and out of airports without queueing for baggage claim. Moreover, you can use the web check-in option to save more on travel time. Make sure to invest in a sturdy strolley bag so you can slip on your laptop bag on the handle for easy portability. It is advisable to have a folder to stash any expense receipts that you may accumulate on the go. Similarly, you should store a hard copy of your itinerary in your travel folder. This is especially important if you do not have access to international roaming on your cell phone.
On the other hand, travellers can also turn to travel management apps to streamline their business travel. These apps offered by travel management companies anticipate the needs of business travellers by helping them check in and storing their upcoming itineraries in one location. Beyond that, travellers can remain in the loop with up-to-the minute traffic delay warnings and flight status updates as well as to edit their itineraries on the fly.
These apps help with the heavy lifting so that you can focus on having a carefree and lightweight travelling experience.
Step 2: Mix and match
Travel light doesn’t only mean fewer clothes; it also means taking colours and patterns that are versatile. Invest in a few wrinkle-free clothes that are low maintenance and don’t compromise your formal business attire. A few shirts, a couple of trousers and a jacket can be worn in different combinations to carry a new look. For women, it is easy to create variations with accessories like jewellery and scarves. Once you have reached your hotel, it is important to unpack and hang your clothes immediately to let any wrinkles fall out so that you can look sharp for your meetings.
Step 3: Must-have gadgets
Very often, business travellers tend to bring along multiple gadgets just to be prepared for all occasions. However, more often than not, your laptop, cell phone, noise cancelling headphones, and a power bank are the only things you end up using. After all, it is now much easier than before to integrate and sync all your applications across devices. An international adaptor is also an essential for business trips so you will not be left stranded if your devices are out of power.
Step 4: Travel non-essentials
It is equally important to note what not to pack for your business travel. Basic toiletries are usually provided in the hotels, so you can save space on items such as toothbrush, toothpaste and shampoo. It is also important to remember that you only have a carry-on baggage, therefore, take note of regulations such as the 100ml rule for liquids and make sure to avoid flammable items. You do not want to be spend more time at the immigration gates than necessary.
Step 5: The final five
Once your bag is packed, run through the most important checklist before you head out. 1) Passport; 2) Wallet; 3) Watch; 4) Laptop; 5) Cell phone. This is a good practice for all business trips, even if you are packing just before leaving for the airport.
Shaun Clear, FCM Operational Leader, SEA