You’re off on a multi-city business trip, and you don’t want to be weighed down with excess baggage. However, you do want to make sure you have all of the materials you’ll need to maintain a professional image and give your customers what they want.
Here are four packing tips for striking the right balance:
- Stick with basic colors and styles of clothing. To avoid going overboard, stick with simple garments that you can easily mix and match to create a variety of outfits. If you’re flying and you need to bring a suit, consider wearing it on the plane to avoid getting it too rumpled; otherwise, carry it in a garment bag and ask a flight attendant to hang it up for you.
- When traveling by plane, carry toiletries in a plastic bag. If you’re traveling light enough to avoid checking any baggage, bring a one-quart zip-top bag filled with containers (of shampoo, lotion, etc.) that are no larger than 3.4 ounces each — here’s a TSA list of what’s allowed. Or, check a bag or consider purchasing toothpaste and other necessities upon arrival for single-destination trips.
- Put all your gadgets in one laptop bag. Stick with a lightweight laptop and a smartphone, which should give you all the functionality you need for presentations, communication, and entertainment. Instead of bringing or renting a separate GPS device, install GPS software on your smartphone. Rather than bringing guidebooks, you can also rely on mobile apps to help you find restaurants and attractions around the area. If you don’t have much writing to do, you may even be able to use a tablet instead of a laptop. Make sure to bring the necessary chargers, also — there’s nothing worse than realizing that a battery’s gone dead and having no way to revive it (or having to buy yet another charger).
- Take a water bottle and healthy snacks. Rather than paying for bottled water at every stop, invest in a refillable canteen. Whether you’re driving or flying, you can also pack nutritious treats, such as apples, bananas, and granola bars, to help you avoid fast food. Get more tips for eating healthy on the road here.