For those who frequently travel, you probably have your system in place of how to pack your small carry-on suitcase, the toiletries that you take, and what you have in your laptop bag. For those who don’t travel frequently, you might look at that system in awe, “How is it possible to fit 2 weeks worth of clothes in your carry-on? What do you mean you pack shortly before your flight?” There is no secret or magic twist to it, it’s simply plain, old fashioned repetition: the more you travel the more refined is your system of doing so.
Here are some of the tips from my system.
1. Sign up for rewards miles. If you know you’ll be traveling via American Airlines, maybe switch your business credit card to one that will also accumulate miles.
2. Go to your local drugstore and get small bottles of your toiletries, or small bottles that you can fill with your shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc. Also get a compact bag in which to store these things.
3. Get a carry-on suitcase. After much research, I ended up getting a 24″ Delsey carry-on. It’s not the ‘top of the line’ but it works for me. It has enough space and security that I feel comfortable traveling with it. Some smaller planes cannot fit this in the overhead compartment. When I take a smaller plane, I gate check the bag so I don’t have to go to the luggage carousel.
4. Get a small hairdryer (if needed). Some hotels come equipped, some do not. I’m picky about my hairdryer, so I travel with mine.
5. Make sure you have enough suit attire. If you need to purchase additional shirts or suits, Ann Taylor and the Elie Tahari outlet are affordable stores to get good quality women’s business clothes.
6. Download airlines apps to your smartphone. You might use this to check in or show to security when you’re at the airport, in lieu of printing your ticket.
Now that you’re prepped to go on a trip of any length, you need to know what to pack. Keep in mind that you can wear to the airport some of what’s listed below, freeing up space in your carry-on.
1. Shoes: one pair of business shoes and one comfortable pair to walk around in or go to the gym.
2. Business attire: 1 or 2 suits, depending on your length of stay and 1 shirt for each day.
3. Enough undergarments to change and be clean daily.
4. 1 set of pajamas.
5. Gym clothes, if necessary.
6. 1 casual outfit.
7. Don’t forget the toiletries you prepared! Also bring with you any other misc items you use every day: your toothbrush, hair brush, etc. DON’T pack the huge rollers, even if you use them every day. That’s taking up space unnecessarily in your carry-on.
With your suitcase packed, laptop bag ready to go, and ticket on your phone you’re ready to become a frequent flier! Feel free to post about your frequent (or not-so-frequent) travel experiences below.