It was my first week on the job and I wanted everything to be perfect. I packed two of my best suits, my favorite ties, my favorite dress shirts, four pairs of shoes, and of course, workout clothes. The first week was orientation in Dallas with all the other new hires. I wanted to make a good impression to my superiors but I also wanted to stand out from all the other new hires. Like many of the other new hires, I arrived on-site with this big oversized bag that I had to check-in at the airport. Checking the bag gave me a little bit of anxiety. I had this fear that the airline was going to lose my luggage. Thankfully disasters were avoided on this trip.
Over the course of the week I have a chance to talk to a coworker that has been with the company for years. Over the course of the conversation, he laughed at all the big suitcases he saw. The more he laughed the more embarrassed I became. He gave me some really good tips for traveling that I follow until this day and have made my life so much easier.
1. Only Travel With a Carry-On Suitecase
Checking a bag adds so much extra time to the whole travel experience. I have to make sure that I arrive extra early when checking in a bag. You never know how long the lines will be. There's always the chance that the bag will go missing. It also take so long for the bags to arrive at baggage claim. Some airports are better than others. Sometimes it can take 30-40 minutes for the baggage belt to start moving.
2. Bring the Bare Minimum
If I am traveling with a carry-on bag that means that I have to be selective in what I bring. All the clothes I mentioned earlier would never fit into a carry-on bag. Instead of bringing two suits, I only bring one suit. I bring the exact amount of dress shirts I need for the week which is typically two or three. I only bring two pairs of shoes, one pair for the office and one pair for the gym. I also typically bring two work-out outfits. Work-out clothes don't take up that much space.
3. Roll Your Clothes
Rolling your clothes saves so much space. Clothes are less likely to get wrinkled when folded as well.
4. Use Packing Cubes
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine gave me a set of packing cubes and it has been a game changer. I pack all of my shirts in one cube, pants in another. There is even a cube for undergarments as well. Not only do I feel organized but this also saves spaces as well. Ebags is a great place to get packing cubes!
Know TSA Policies and Procedures
This is so important! Please stay up-to-date on TSA policies and procedures. The most important rule is that all liquids must be under 3.4 ounces. Anything above this weight could be confiscated. Trust me, there is nothing worse than having your belongings tested for explosive materials.
Never Pack Valuables
This rule applies to larger bags that need to be checked. I once had a coworkers that packed her work laptop in a bag she was checking in. What if the airline would have lost the bag? I'm sure HR would not have been pleased. Always keep anything important with you. It's just not worth the risk.
These are my suggestions for business travel packing. Let me know what you think. Feel free to comment below!