Assuming current upward trends hold true, plenty of entrepreneurs will get back to packing their bags for air travel.
As we all know, the airline industry suffered huge losses during the pandemic. However, according to Deloitte analysts, by the end of 2022, U.S. corporate travel may get to near its “new normal.” The Deloitte survey was conducted among 150 travel managers and executives. They predict that by the end of the year U.S. corporate travel could reach 80% of 2019 levels, which averaged $123 million.
That means business travel will be on the rise in the upcoming months. Many companies will have to decide how their executives will travel.
Private Jet Charter vs. Commercial?
When it comes to private jet vs. commercial travel, the former offers numerous benefits. These include unrivaled comfort, speed, privacy, ease of travel, and the luxury of avoiding crowded airports. Private flights also appeal to busy CEOs as it helps them save precious time.
One thing that can also save time is efficient packing for business trips. Below, you will find tips for how to pack for a last-minute business meeting or several meetings in a day held across varying time zones.
1. Avoid overpacking.
Packing can be somewhat overwhelming, but you can avoid some of the stress related to this activity.
Start by packing all your gear in the appropriate compartments.
Next, consider rolling your clothes instead of folding them. If using a carry-on, rolling prevents creases while allowing you to fit more clothing as rolled clothes are more compact.
For best results, fold the clothes along the seams first.
Use packing cubes for maximum organization.
A small packing cube can hold underwear while a larger one will keep your dresses or shirts wrinkle-free.
Plastic compression bags are also perfect for optimal use of space. Put your clothes inside the bag, then deflate it to remove all the air, leaving the bag flat and compact.
Upon arrival at your hotel, unpack and hang all your clothes to prevent wrinkling.
Here are some tips for packing light.
- To reduce your load, wear whatever you can during transit, e.g., a bulky coat or heavy shoes.
- Limit yourself to a single pair of light, comfy, and versatile shoes.
- Carry proper travel attire, i.e., wrinkle-free items such as polyester.
- Go for light, neutral-colored, comfortable clothing items or dress in layers during cold weather.
- Stuff small accessories such as socks or ties inside shoes as this help them retain their shape.
- Pack double-duty items you can dress up or down, e.g., a black dress or white shirt.
- This is especially useful if you have a series of different meetings or cocktails afterward.
- Dispense your favorite products, e.g., conditioner, in travel-sized containers placed inside a clear zipped bag.
- This ensures speedy security checks.
Here’s how to pack certain items.
- Dresses: Roll them up.
- Suits: To help your suit keep its shape, fold it.
- Shirts: Fold your dress shirt to prevent wrinkles.
- Shoes: Pack shoes with heels facing down on the floor of your bag and support their shape with socks.
2. Use a packing list.
Packing for your business meeting shouldn’t come at the expense of touching up on your presentation or organizing vital details.
That said, you also don’t want to find yourself hurriedly tossing stuff into your luggage pack at the last minute. Also, the last thing you want to do is carry stuff you won’t use.
Using a packing list is the best way to ensure you don’t pack unnecessary things or forget to pack something important. List down all your essential gear. This may include:
- printed handouts such as your meeting notes, agenda, or presentation;
- work attire, e.g. outfits that adhere to your company’s business attire;
- travel documents such as your passport and boarding pass (required even when using a private jet rental) plus your hotel reservation and car rental details;
- electronics such as your phone, power bank, charger, laptop, and adapter;
- other key items such as a book/Kindle, business cards, Wi-Fi card, earplugs, and notebook;
- miscellaneous items such as your favorite playlist and eye masks; and
- some healthy snacks to keep your energy level on max.
Consider having a pre-packed bag. This allows you to travel at short notice and gives you more time to prepare for your meeting.
The bag should contain travel essentials such as a toilet kit, basic clothing items, and an electronics bag with a USB charger, adapter, and battery charger.
Remember to replenish your toiletries after every trip. Also, check whether electronics need replacement.
3. Opt for a carry-on and an extra bag for personal items.
A carry-on bag is probably the most practical business travel companion. Most carry-ons feature conveniences like several compartments to help separate your items, a built-in USB port for device charging, and spinner wheels for easier maneuvering around busy terminals.
Also, they fit easily in most overhead bins or underneath the seats, allowing you easy access to your stuff during your flight. Some even come with hanger brackets that prevent formal wear from wrinkling. Simply put, they’re efficient.
Some carry-ons are laptop-friendly. Designed with a dedicated pocket for storing your laptop, they make it easy to retrieve it for security screening. Still, if your carry-on is full, carry an extra bag such as a briefcase or backpack with a laptop sleeve for additional protection. This way, you can also pack whatever else you need for work alongside the laptop – especially if you plan to work during the flight.
It’s not advisable to place your laptop in a checked bag as the bag can get lost, stolen, or broken into during transit. On the same note, go for a carry-on bag with lockable zippers as additional security for your valuables.
4. Don’t forget to maintain your healthy habits.
Don’t use your time away from home as an excuse to forgo your health habits. Instead, plan to exercise by including your workout gear. Additionally:
- Consider packing some healthy snacks.
- Pack your vitamins, supplements, and any prescription meds.
- Carry a first aid kit for emergencies or pack essential oils to treat common travel ailments such as headaches.
5. Here’s how to pack for a long business trip.
For longer trips (5 days – 2 weeks), pack extra clothing, particularly underclothes, socks, a pair of pants or two, shoes, and 2-3 shirts/dresses. Add a few casual clothes to wear when off duty.
- An ideal rule of thumb is to carry a week’s worth of clothes.
You may also need to clean your clothes mid-trip. Check if your hotel offers laundry service and if not, pack a portable steamer, easy-to-wash clothes, and air-dried or quick-dry options.
Traveling for business can be a positive experience. In most cases, you operate on a strict schedule where a slight delay could cause you to miss your flight…and your meeting.
Fortunately, you don’t have to add a poorly-packed bag or missing documents to this list of potential problems.
Keeping everything simple and well-organized will allow you to focus on the important things and ease the pressure of business travel.
Follow these tips to pack faster, more efficiently, and ensure stress-free travel.