When life is a merger of airports, hotels and meetings, the business traveller has to adapt quickly to their ever-changing environments.
And usually, that means what they pack in their baggage depends on how quickly they can enter and depart to give themselves time and space and keep one step ahead of their schedules.
As frequent fliers ourselves, we have picked up some useful tips along the way to travelling as light as we can. So here are a few pack hacks to help business travellers keep on the go:
1. Challenge yourself: As much as you'd like to pack your favourite pillow, challenge what you need as against what you want to take for a business trip. You'll find that half the clothes you will take, you won't wear.
2. Pack and re-pack: Before leaving for the airport, I tend to pack my suitcase, then empty it and start again with a stricter policy. If it's only a two-day trip, why take more than you should?
3. Luggage: A great start is assessing what other travellers take as baggage. If you have to wait for your luggage to appear on a conveyor belt, while other business travellers head for the exits, then you need to re-think your strategy. Aim for a roll-aboard case or even a small backpack to make you mobile and the first out the blocks.
4. Clothes: Pack smart. So keep clothes to a bare minimum. Three outfits max: one to wear, one to change, one to travel in. Whether it's suits or casuals, keep the number down and the load light.
5. Shoes: Bulky items need to be handled cleverly. So pack two pairs and why not wear trainers for the airport, as you can re-use them in the hotel gym or for walkabout if you get downtime?
6. Save on personal items: Rather than pack toothpaste, toothbrush, razor etc., remember you'll be able to get these in the freebies that hotels will leave for their guests.
7. Use hotel services: Whether it's an ironing service, dry cleaning, or laundry service, utilise them and save yourself the hassle of having to worry about creased clothes or smelling fresh when you head to a business meeting.
8. Take copies of ID: Guarding against losing important paperwork or ID, scan or photocopy your passport, driving licence, address, visas and credit cards so that you have vital back-ups when emergency calls.
9. Pack an emergency kit: Whether it's a sewing kit, tablets or vitamins, they should always be one of the first things to pack in cases of emergencies—and to guard against being ripped off and paying extortionate amounts at airports.
10. Chargers: This is a flip of a coin: if you charge all your batteries—laptops, smartphones etc. —before you go, then is there a real need to take any, as they'll survive the trip? Conversely, you may need chargers as backups if the batteries drain away and you're left searching for alternatives.
11. Challenge the packing routine: A week before you head out on your next trip, do a dummy run of packing and see what you add. Then strip out what you haven't used on the last two trip to make room to snag something else. Being efficient is being smart.
While all these tips are fairly common sense, it is still good to travel light as it means less time to be standing in a queue wasting time, when you could be in and out of the airport and on your way in no time at all.
Andy Probert left the British rat race after a 25 year as a journalist and PR specialist to live in Turkey and now Cyprus, a compulsive traveller his favourite places include Vietnam and India among many. Among the travel Andy continues to write freelance and still maintains a PR client base.