Be More Productive on Business Trips with These 5 Packing Tips

The upwardly-mobile millennial generation is traveling in a different world than previous generations. When packing for a business trip, these up-and-comers must now wear easy-to-remove shoes and choose between being X-rayed or patted down to get past security.

For millennials climbing the corporate ladder, every minute counts. Breezing through security and packing in an organized manner can make the difference between arriving at a meeting on time or rushing from airport to hotel to the meeting, only to be late. Closing the deal depends on coordinating travel the same way a millennial handles every other aspects of his or her business day.

It all starts before you leave home. USA Today Road Warrior of the Year Joyce Gioia advises business travelers create a packing checklist that includes items they would take on a typical trip.

“Making a list will save you from having to make sure you remember everything each time,” Gioia says. “I made my first list when I got home from the trip on which my husband had to overnight my vitamins, supplements, and cellphone and blue tooth chargers

Once you’ve made your list, it’s time to put it in action. To avoid unexpected snags, here are a few other words of wisdom to help your business trips run more smoothly.

  • Make your laptop easy to remove. Standard-size laptops (12” X 14” or larger) must be removed from the bag and placed in a screening bin, according to the TSA. Tablets and smaller laptops can stay in the bag. If your laptop requires removal, make sure it’s easy to slip in and out of the bag without slowing you down.
  • Follow security rules. Airport snags can slow you down and nothing stops the line at security more than having an item in your carry-on that is against regulations. Read up on the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons, which means all liquids may not exceed 3.4 ounces per bottle. These liquids must be consolidated into one quart-size Ziploc bag and only one bag with these liquids can be placed in the screening bin per passenger.
  • Dress for success. Arriving at your location to find a suitcase full of wrinkled clothes can sabotage your entire trip. Attorney Shane Fischer recommends packing wrinkle-free dress shirts for meetings and poly-blend polos for traveling. If an item requires ironing after only an hour or two of wear, chances are it won’t travel well. In regard to dressing for success, I’ve been eying the ScotteVest which has an array of pockets (some big enough for an iPad) that lets you easily move about keeping your hands free or quickly go through security lines –
  • Roll clothes. One packing technique employed by flight attendants is the technique of rolling clothes rather than folding them before putting them in the suitcase, as detailed by USA Today. By rolling clothes, you not only help keep your clothing wrinkle-free, it frees up space in your suitcase for all your electronic gadgets.
  • Choose a travel wardrobe. Unless your trips involve seeing the same people each time, set aside a wrinkle-resistant, color-coordinated wardrobe for traveling. For multiple days, choose clothing that matches the same pair of shoes, allowing you to take only one or two pairs of shoes per trip.

As millennials gain valuable travel experience, they’ll likely find their own shortcuts that will make trips run more smoothly. Until they develop their own travel routines, these expert trips can help get them started.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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