Top Expert Travel Tips - Part 2: Packing
There's an art to avoiding checking baggage
We've asked seasoned business travellers to share their hard-earned packing tips.
• Never check baggage – unless you can afford a stressful wait at the carousel, which can range from a few minutes to an hour. Having no checked baggage will not only save you worrying that it might be lost, but will also increase the number of options you have when you need to standby for an earlier flight, or switch airline carriers due to a cancelled flight. You'll also never have to worry about your luggage not making a tight connection.
• Check the weather at your destination - pack accordingly.
• Lay out all your items on a bed and then take half the stuff and double the money. You can almost always buy items at your destination.
• Pack a pair of running shoes and two pairs of shorts, two pairs of socks and two singlets. Use them. Wash your gear in the sink immediately after a workout and they should be ready for the next day.
• Black is your friend – it matches everything. One pair of black jeans, two black t-shirts, black socks and business attire will get your through a long trip.
• One set of toiletries – have it packed and ready to go.
• Always place the items that airport security wants to see in one of the outside pockets of your hand baggage.
• Light pyjamas (or as Virgin calls it, a "flight suit") can make a big difference to how much sleep you get and how you feel on arrival. These will keep you warm in the middle of the flight and have you feeling much fresher.
• Bundle wrapping is one way to minimise creases ...
• Take photos of valuables (including your bags) for insurance purposes.
• Business cards - budget approximately 5 cards per meeting if travelling to Asia. It's also important to learn the exchange etiquette in your destination country.
• Charge all your electronics before you get on the plane – best done the night before.
• Include all the video cables you might need if presenting.
• Minimise adapters by charging through the USB on your laptop.
• US power plugs are the smallest and most used internationally (on planes, in hotel bathrooms, etc). Buy a US plug cable and then find the smallest adapter to the local standard – this will keep space needs to a minimum.
• Clean house – once every three months, take everything out of your bags.
• Challenge everything. When was the last time you touched it or used it on a trip? Throw it away or leave it at home if you will not need it overseas.