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Learn How to Travel Without Checking Your Luggage

7 day business trips with only a carry-on

Traveling for business is part of my daily life and I’m often scheduled to speak or attend a meeting shortly after stepping off the plane. Waiting for checked luggage chews up precious travel time that I just don’t have to spare.

The endless battle between a girl and her suitcase. If you want to win the war, start thinking strategy. Succumbing to checked luggage is for amateurs…

7 stealable packing tips

  • use small sample containersSave sample containers from cosmetic purchases (and hotel visits) and reuse them for your liquids: moisturizers, foundation, shampoo and conditioner. By taking only a little of your daily products you’ll be able to comply easily with the 3-1-1 rule.
  • Pick a neutral foundation color for your pants or skirts and build your tops, blazers and sweaters around that. People won’t realize you’ve worn the same pants twice if you pair it with a different top or blazer the second time around. Everything in your suitcase should be pairable with at least two different separates.
  • rollable jersey knitsHunt out wrinkle-free knits. I love to wear a colorful jersey dress on travel days for the sheer comfort of no waist band – but they’re great to pack too. They don’t wrinkle and you’re meeting-ready the moment you arrive.
  • Become best friends with the Weather Network. Watch changing weather patterns at your destination so you’re prepared for sudden dips or spikes in temperature. You can’t be prepared for every weather fluctuation but an extra sweater (or sleeveless top and shorts) is often enough.
  • Add color with scarves and jewelry. A little black dress is always appropriate for day or night. Keep is businessy but chic with a fuchsia blazer by day and glam it up with a bright silk scarf or glitzy jewelry at night.
  • Trim the fat. Before you start packing, make sure that everything you take earns it’s keep. It’s okay to take a spare outfit, just in case – taking 5 extra tops is a waste of space.
  • roll everything to save spaceRoll everything. My uncle, an army veteran, taught me to roll everything to save space. Roll 3 or 4 dresses or slacks tightly and then stack them side by side in your luggage. You’ll have space to tuck flip-flops or undergarments in the cracks between them.

Bonus tip

  • Pack a scrunchable duffle inside your bag in case you go crazy shopping. There’s no shame in checking luggage when you need to but remember that your luggage must weigh less than 50lbs or you’ll pay by the pound to ship it home. By the way, your carry-on luggage shouldn’t weigh more than 25lbs – technically. As long as you don’t grunt when you heave into the overhead bin, it’ll be our little secret.

How do you pack for success? Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook – and let’s continue the conversation!

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