Tips for pack­ing smartly

Business Traveller (India) - - CONTENTS -

Busi­ness trav­ellers spend a good por­tion of their year on the road. The big­gest chal­lenge while pack­ing for trips is car­ry­ing the es­sen­tials ef­fort­lessly in one bag. The se­cret is to strike a bal­ance between com­fort and con­ve­nience. Luck­ily, there are “hacks” to fit ev­ery­thing you need and maybe a lit­tle more.

1. BAG

In­vest in a suit­case with wheels that glide smoothly across air­port floors (or any sur­face in case your ho­tel is on a no-car street). Most cor­po­rate trav­ellers on short trips pre­fer carry-on lug­gage to es­cape un­pre­dictable de­lays at the bag­gage carousel. In case you’re trav­el­ling with a lap­top bag, make sure it has a long satchel to hang over your shoul­der, an outer pocket to eas­ily slip the pass­port in and out, and isn’t stuffed with un­nec­es­sary items that would make it heavy to lug around.

2. TOILETRIES

Most ho­tels are gen­er­ous with toiletries; all de­cent ones have the ba­sic shower gel and sham­poo. If you’re par­tic­u­lar about the brand of beauty prod­ucts, carry them in 100ml bot­tles to save space. These are avail­able in plenty on Ama­zon. Ad­di­tion­ally, to save time, con­sider keep­ing a toi­let kit packed with the ba­sics, in­clud­ing a tooth­brush, tooth­paste, and comb.

3. JACKET

If you are trav­el­ling to a cold coun­try, it is ad­vis­able to carry just one heavy coat and build all your outfits around it. Black has proved to be the eas­i­est to pair with many op­tions. Hold the jacket in your hand be­cause it will oc­cupy pre­cious space in the bag. On board­ing, the cabin crew will take it from you, so you don’t have to worry about stow­ing it away.

4. SPACE

Stuff socks into your shoes, and en­sure the van­ity case is more long than bulky so you can flat­ten it out over your clothes. Roll ties and ac­ces­sories into the empty gaps af­ter you’ve filled the bag. Line leather belts along the in­ner pe­riph­ery of your bag. Carry no more than two pairs of shoes – wear one pair on the flight and when in the room, you’ll be pro­vided with room slip­pers any­way. Mix and match cloth­ing com­bi­na­tions, for ex­am­ple two shirt op­tions for one pair of trousers. If you’re stay­ing for three days or more at one lo­ca­tion, don’t hes­i­tate to avail of the ho­tel's laun­dry ser­vices. In In­dia, that’s about `390 for a shirt in a 5-star ho­tel. A cheaper op­tion would be one of the many laun­dries around.

5. GO DIG­I­TAL

In­stead of car­ry­ing a lot of printouts, email those files to your­self or load them on to a pen drive. An added ben­e­fit is hav­ing no fear of los­ing sheets or spilling cof­fee over them. In­stead of print­ing out ad­dresses, en­ter them into the map app on your phone and take screen­shots. A vis­ual aide is al­ways bet­ter than tex­tual in­struc­tions. Itin­er­ar­ies can be eas­ily synced into the phone’s cal­en­dar. Even board­ing passes are now emailed to us. In­stead of three dif­fer­ent charg­ers, carry a uni­ver­sal one with mul­ti­ple heads and one adapter.

6. GO CASH­LESS

Cash is re­quired in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, which you must be pre­pared for. So, stash a nom­i­nal amount in your wal­let or between cards in your money clip. For pay­ments, use credit, debit or travel cards. E-wal­lets are pretty handy too. Just make sure you choose to pay in the lo­cal cur­rency so you’re not charged ex­or­bi­tant ex­change rates. In case you must carry a lot of cash, make sure your travel in­surance cov­ers you for theft and loss of cash.

Stuff socks into your shoes, and en­sure the van­ity case is more long than bulky so you can flat­ten it out over your clothes

7. EMER­GENCY

Al­though the Air Travel Con­sumer Re­port is­sued by the U.S. Department of Trans­porta­tion as­sures that there is less than a one per cent chance of a “ma­jor air­line” mis­plac­ing your bag, one can never be too care­ful. Drag a small cabin bag when you travel. Fill it up with a pair of clothes, soap, tooth­brush and tooth­paste. You don’t want to be caught in a messy sit­u­a­tion should your bag be mis­placed. Throw in a medicine kit too – just the ba­sics again for flu and food poi­son­ing. There is no need to carry the en­tire strip, sim­ply empty a few pills into a small zi­plock or medicine or­gan­iser – be­cause these are very sim­ply, handy op­tions for un­likely, but men­ac­ing sit­u­a­tions.

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