Business Travel: Packing Lighter
For many businesses, travel is a necessary part of doing business. But it also costs money when employees are on the road – for transportation, hotels and meals. And for airline passengers especially, those costs have been climbing recently in the form of new fees.
Paying a fee to check a bag on an airplane was once unheard of, but it’s become the norm for domestic flights in the United States. Now, some airlines are proposing to charge passengers to check a bag on certain transatlantic flights. Some airlines even restrict the use of overhead bin space for passengers who purchase bare-bones fares. While those changes may not yet affect travelers who fly regular economy or business class, it’s another reminder that business passengers can save some money by packing as lightly and efficiently as possible when they’re on the go.
To save their company some money, not checking luggage is one tried and true tip that many business travelers follow. You won’t have to worry about whether or not your bag makes it to your destination and you’ll save time by avoiding the check-in line and baggage claim -- important considerations if you’re on a tight schedule. Just make sure you choose a durable carry-on that you can easily maneuver around the airport, as well as a laptop bag that slips easily over the handle of your luggage. And, of course, check the regulations of the airlines that you fly to ensure the bag meets their size restrictions for carry-ons.
Reducing the amount of paper you bring with you can save valuable luggage space. Most of the time, you can access everything you need on your laptop. But if there are specially prepared documents that you have to bring with you, consider shipping them ahead to your destination. The cost of shipping might be cheaper than paying a baggage fee.
When it comes to packing, it helps to have a plan.
Look at what you brought on your last business trip versus what you really used when you were on the road, and leave the nonessential items at home. This is especially important when it comes to clothes, if you want to fit everything in a carry-on. Consider fewer outfits – a couple of suits for men, and two blazers that can be worn with a matching pair of pants or a skirt for women. Just switching a tie or blouse can make a difference. Also, pick colors that are easy to mix and match a number of different ways.
To save space when it comes to personal-care items, don’t pack the ones that you know will be in your hotel room, like shampoo and a hair dryer. If you pack an extra pair of shoes, fill them with items like socks, underwear or toiletries.
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