You are getting ready for your big business trip. You are prepared – your presentation is in order and you are confident you will meet your objectives. The only problem that remains is fitting all your travel items into your suitcase. What can you do? Consider the following suggestions for traveling light on your next business trip.
- Bring only the essentials. While you may feel compelled to pack extra clothing or necessities “just in case” you need them, this is usually not necessary. Even if the unthinkable were to happen – perhaps your lunch lands on your freshly pressed business suit – you can take advantage of the hotel’s laundry service to remedy the situation. Pack only the items you know you are likely to use. If you aren’t going to use your workout attire, tux, or evening gown, leave those at home.
- For an extended trip, pack items to reuse. If you plan on a stay longer than three days, packing a different set of clothing for each day may not be a reasonable option. In this case, choose classically styled items that are versatile, do not wrinkle easily, and can easily be dry cleaned or laundered. Wear the items on a rotational basis. Alternately, pack one suit that can be worn with a variety of shirts and accessories for a less repetitive look.
- Bring travel sized toiletries or none at all. Instead of packing full sized containers of toothpaste, cologne, or shaving cream, invest in a trial or travel sized versions of these items. If a travel size is not available, use TSA approved containers and clearly label these according to their contents. Almost every hotel provides complimentary bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, or lotion, so do not pack these items.
- Purchase foodstuffs upon arrival. Rather than packing a cooler full of food items, bring with you only small snack items that you may desire en route. Plan on purchasing any necessary food after arriving at your destination. Keep in mind that most travelers prefer to dine conveniently in restaurants while traveling rather than preparing their own meals.
- Pack your smartphone or tablet instead of a laptop or papers. Full sized computers and stacks of files can be heavy and cumbersome. If possible, use your tablet or smartphone instead. Today, many tablets can even run complicated programs, and with expandable memory, they can store all the information you may desire to have on hand.
- Keep your mind lightly packed, too. Traveling in itself can be stressful, so do all you can in advance to limit the worries you must carry with you. For example, book your hotel in advance and use a mapping service to locate your accommodations as well as nearby restaurants and amenities. Rather than renting a car, entrust navigating unfamiliar roads to an experienced chauffeur. During your stay in Chicago, booking an airport transfer or limo service in Chicago will allow you to relax and enjoy your business trip as if you were on vacation.
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