Corporate Traveller

Packing light equals packing right

In the 2009 film Up in the Air, George Clooney's character calculates the time spent checking in luggage at the airport equates to 35 minutes per flight.

His character explains that, as someone who travels 270 days per year, this time equates to roughly seven full days of standing in line.

Who wants to be standing in line?

Effectively packing the right amount for a short business trip can be a balancing act, especially if there's a possibility of an extended stay.

So how much gear do you actually need in your bag? A change of clothes? Phone and tablet chargers? Maybe some workout gear? 

A recent article in Forbes quotes blogger Doug Dyment saying, "There are only two types of luggage. Carry-on luggage and lost luggage."

Dyment contends that making a commitment to packing light doesn't just reduce the number of items in your bag, it increases your mobility in transit and saves you valuable time. 

Experienced travellers often use their own tried and true system for packing but for those who don't, here's some simple tips you can take advantage of to travel lighter. suggests a packing list. With a bit of experimentation, you can create a list that's adaptable for any kind of business trip. A packing list gives you:

• A set contract with yourself not to over pack

• Something tangible to measure and adapt to your trip requirements

• A checklist to ensure you don't accidently leave something important behind

Next, choose the right bag.

Carry-on is king. If you're in a hurry, do you really want to be waiting in a check in queue? A bag that meets all the requirements for your business trips can be difficult to find but look for one that combines quality, capacity and portability. Carry-on allowances differ depending on the airline but as a rough guide, weight restrictions are generally capped at less than 10kg with total linear dimensions of less than 105cm.

Switch to travel size liquids.

You don't want to be on an overnight trip without some deodorant but liquid and gel restrictions might put your bottle of Rexona in the bin before you even set foot on the plane. Allowances can vary internationally but generally, restrictions are set at containers of no more than 100ml or approximately 100g. Containers larger than 100ml, even if only partially full, are likely to be confiscated. What's the solution? If your preferred brands don't come in mini-bottles,'s solution is to repackage your liquids into refillable squeeze tubes. As for aerosol deodorants, roll-ons aren't as bad as you might think. 

Choose the right clothes.

Compatible outfits are the best bet to minimise your luggage level. Selecting mutually compatible clothes ensures you won't be short of an outfit but also that you won't be carrying your whole wardrobe in your bag.

For more tips and tricks on making travelling lighter, visit

To read Forbes contributor Meghan Casserly's article Pack Like a Professional, visit

Stay informed with our latest offers and exclusive industry news direct to your inbox each month

Subscribe today!