Along with your successful career comes the potential for travel. Savvy professionals traveling to domestic locations for two to five days do not want to wait for their bags to come off the carousel or risk their luggage getting lost. It is possible to pack everything you will need into a carry-on for maximum efficiency in travel. Use these tips to learn how to pack your executive wardrobe so you are always ready to grab your carry-on and go.
It Is in the Bag
When you begin packing for your trip, make sure that your bag is large enough to fit all of the items you need to bring, as well as fitting in the overhead bin of the airplane. Most airlines allow you to have a carry-on that is 45-to-50 linear inches – meaning the dimensions of the width, length, and height cannot total more than that when added together. I use the same carry-on trip after trip because I know it won’t let me down. Stick to your favorite bag too.
Create a List
Make a master list of everything you may need for your trip, and refer to the list as you pack. I make two handy packing lists: one for everyday items (no matter the destination) which is filed in my suitcase and another specific to the trip I’m taking. Only take with you what you will need – nothing more. Remember this mantra as you pack: “Less is more.” Also keep a folder of your travel documents: your airline itinerary, your boarding pass, hotel and rental car information, etc.
Roll with the Punches
Rolling your clothes will take up much less space and will also help minimize wrinkling. Consider the fabrics you are packing as well. Typically synthetics are less likely to wrinkle when packed, and will not need ironing when you arrive at your destination.
Build your wardrobe around one versatile neutral and one other color from your palette. You can mix and match everything else around these colors. Do not over pack on shoes. One statistic suggests that the average female carries five pairs of shoes when she travels. To save space, opt for two pairs of shoes: one pair of flats and a pair of heels, both coordinating with your color scheme. If you want to bring your workout shoes, consider purchasing a compact pair just for travel.
Layer Your Bag
Start with the heaviest items, such as shoes, on the bottom of the bag and lighter items, such as shirts and toiletries, on top. Fill in the nooks and crannies with your socks, accessories, and underwear. Do not forget to use yourself to pack. Wear a jacket on the plane so it does not take up critical space in your bag. Your jackets will be the biggest space consumers. See if you have any untailored jackets in your executive wardrobe – those take up less space.
Do Your Laundry
Traveling light will mean recycling the outfits you have packed. Check out the hotel’s laundry facilities and use the clothesline in your room to dry delicate items. Do spring for hotel laundry service when you are on the road if you need it. Always pack a couple of extra large Ziploc bags for any soiled clothing you need to take home.
Your next executive trip will be a breeze with these tips. Remember to make a list when you start and only pack what you need – nothing more. Keep your wardrobe simple and ladies: pack only two pairs of shoes. You will soon find packing everything into a carry-on will happen with ease.
Tiffany Nielsen is an advocate for civility. She is a speaker, trainer and co-author of the book, Incredible Business. Tiffany is President of Premier Etiquette and is a trained etiquette and image consultant who specializes in business etiquette, children’s etiquette and workplace readiness for college graduates. To book Tiffany for a seminar, as a speaker for your upcoming event, or for private coaching, contact her at (559)280-9859 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be her friend on Facebook at Premier Etiquette Training and Consulting. Visit her website at www.tiffanynielsen.com for additional resources.
Copyright 2010 Tiffany Nielsen. All Rights Reserved. To reprint, please contact Tiffany Nielsen at email@example.com for permission.