Throughout my 3+ million miles of road warrior business travel, I’ve figured out a few things and developed a system that seems to work pretty well. This post relates to packing tips.
Whether or not the law requires a separate, plastic bag for liquid items, there are a few things to pack for contingency needs.
- Pharmaceutical items like Nyquil tablets, anti-diarrhea tablets, antacid tablets and band-aids
- A travel size portion of sun screen for times when you need to participate in a long, outdoor activity
- A stain removal stick such as Tide-to-Go, in case you get a stain on your clothes
- Travel-size sewing kit (needle and different colors of thread)
The type of luggage you use is mostly driven by personal preference. And although the roller boards are extremely popular and cause less strain on your shoulders while going through the airport, they have threekey downsides. They aren’t very pliable for times when overhead bin space on the airplane requires cramming to fit, they must regularly be picked up by the handle to get over curbs, get on/off shuttles, etc., and they always occupy one of your hands. For these reasons, I have always traveled with a duffle bag instead. I’ve shoved it into spaces where a roller board never would have fit and if I need an extra free hand, I latch on the shoulder strap. Plus, my shoulders and arms get a little extra workout, which I guess can also be a benefit.
Rolling Your Clothes
I suspect this works for both men and women’s clothes. To both optimize space in your luggage and help avoid wrinkles, roll many of your items before inserting.
Everything in One Carry-On Bag
I almost never check my luggage for three reasons.
- Saves time at both the departing and arriving airports
- Eliminates the risk of the airline losing your luggage
- Offers maximum flexibility if your flight is delayed or cancelled and you need to make a sudden change of plans
Mix and Match Clothes
It might not be the most fashionable approach and is possibly more acceptable for men than women, but try to pack clothes that can be mixed and matched to create different combinations. While doing this, try to limit to minimal pairs of shoes because of their weight and space taken in your luggage. You will have the ones you’ll wear on the plane, so either stick with that or compliment them with one additional pair to support the various clothing combinations you’ve packed for.
Packing for a Spill
What will you do if something spills on your clothes during the flight or at a meal and causes a stain? You’ll likely already have multiple shirts or sweaters but make sure you have at least one extra pair of pants of a color and style to match your other packed clothes. And as mentioned above in the Toiletries Kit section, pack a stain removal stick such as Tide-to-Go.
These items don’t take up any room at all but if you lose or break them, you’ve got a small panic on your hands.
- Extra shoe laces (one black and one brown)
- Shirt buttons (2 sizes for the front and the sleeve/collar)
- Prescription eye contacts or glasses
Check out the other blog posts related to road warrior travel here.