How to Pack Like a Pro (For Your Next Business Trip)
Seasoned business travellers and veteran flight attendants will tell you the same thing: suitcase packing is an art form. The goal is to whittle down one’s gear to only the most crucial items, and then to arrange them in a logical fashion in a suitcase. Easier said than done!
Here are a few simple tips that have helped us become savvier business travellers.
Choose your team: Rolling versus folding clothes
People will argue that one technique is better than another. Both have their advantages. For instance, folding clothes might lead to less wrinkles. But many suitcases have that awkward space at the bottom where the bars create a crevice. In this case, rolling works much better. Our tip: try both ways and see what makes most sense for you.
Segment your stuff
Divide your smaller items — such as undergarments, socks, athletic wear, cables/chargers — in groups. Then place each group into lightweight mesh sacks or zip lock bags (which are helpful to squeeze out air). Put the biggest groups into your suitcase first. This makes it easier to manoeuvre through the suitcase while you’re on the road, especially if airport security wants to root through your stuff.
Tone down on the toiletries
You’re going to want to bring your own toothbrush and paste. But if you’re staying at a hotel, they’ll provide many of the toiletries you need: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion. (Yes, you can go without your favourite rosemary mint shampoo for the weekend!) If you forget anything, most hotels have all basic amenities you might need: razors, ear swabs, etc. This goes for hair driers too. Leave them behind!
Choose your shoes wisely
Shoes are awkward and they take up a surprising amount of luggage space. Taking a pair of hybrid loafers (that work in both the boardroom and the bar) is a safe bet. If you want to sneak in a workout, many hotels — such as Montréal’s Westin — offer a gear lending service, so travellers don’t have to pack running shoes. Research what your hotel offers in advance.
This seems obvious, but how many times are we in a taxi or an airport security lineup and suddenly realize that we haven’t eaten in a few hours and our blood sugar levels have baselined? A bag of dry-toasted almonds or dehydrated fruit offers the perfect snack to keep the hangries at bay.
Block out the world
We’re not advocating for anyone to be antisocial. But sometimes you have work to do and — let’s be honest — flying in coach can be a symphony of sounds. That’s when ear plugs come in handy. (An extra pair also makes a nice offering to win points with the person sitting next to you on airplanes or trains.)
Never pack your suitcase to the fullest. Ensure you have extra room for locally-made items for yourself and tasty treats for loved ones. We recommend the 80:20 rule. Leave your bag 20% empty!
Read this next: Where to find Wi-Fi in Montréal…