As a corporate “Downsizer,” his life revolves around airport terminals and hotel suites as he criss-crosses the country firing people and giving motivational speeches on how to rid yourself of relationships and possessions that are holding you down. In other words, how to pack light.
For business travelers who spend one-third to two-thirds of the year on the road, knowing how to pack efficiently and effectively for trips is an essential skill. As a Clooney’s character, who travels 270 days a year, says, the difference between having to check luggage and fitting everything into a carry-on is a week’s worth of time spent waiting in line.
While he hasn’t quite reached the 10 million miler club, a Quora user is also a frequent flier whose regular trips abroad as a Senior VP and General Manager at Evonik have taught him the best ways to pack for any business trip.
Davis outlined a number of business travel packing hacks on a recent Quora thread, and we’ve picked out some of our favorites, lightly edited for clarity and reprinted here with Davis’ permission:
1. Ditch the colors. “Black is your friend,” he writes. “It matches everything. Johnny Cash was a visionary. I’ve yet to hear the compelling logic for any sock color other than black. One pair of black jeans, two black t-shirts, and business attire will get you through a long trip.”
2. Never check your bag ever. “I NEVER check my bags, even if I’m going to China for four weeks,” says Davis. “I travel with a Hartmann roll-aboard that fits in the overhead. The reduced hassle of never having to wait for bags, being the first guy through customs, and never dealing with the nightmare of lost luggage will make you a believer. A suit is a suit: two is enough. Wear one on the plane with a t-shirt or casual shirt, and pack the other. Also find a pair of workout shoes which can be casual walking and touring attire.”
3. Don’t bother with Ziploc bags. Store your liquids in tiny containers. “Transfer contact solution into an old Visine bottle or a 2 oz. sampler contact solution bottle,” Davis writes. “Unless you are a chronic alcoholic or have some kind of medical condition, question the need to take any liquid that can’t make it through the x-ray unannounced. Save space and snag the mini toothpastes they put in your room every night.”
4. Splurge on laundry. “Look at your travel agenda and make sure you are staying at least two nights in a row in the same hotel at least once in every seven-day window,” he says. “Even though it’s expensive, hotel laundry will get you through. You can get by on ‘Five of Each’ (five pairs of socks, five undershirts, five pairs of underwear, etc.) almost indefinitely if you buy into the Hotel Laundry doctrine.”
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