Four Suggestions to Make Business Travel Light

Sometimes technology can be your frenemy (friend + enemy).  Upon returning home from ATA54, my iPad decided that it cannot connect to IAH’s wi-fi, even though my husband’s iPad less than a meter from me can connect.  Therefore, I have decided to document my experience with flying to and from a business conference.

1. Bring a light carry-on suitcase.  I’ve been successful at doing this since 2007.  Inevitably, you will bring back items, so save room for them.  If yours has an expandable zipper, do not unzip it until the return trip home.

departure loungeCreative Commons License Robert S. Donovan via Compfight

2. Ensure your travel companion packs light. This is difficult.  My husband has improved, but he had a garment bag, a toiletry bag, a computer briefcase, and a paper bag with a hat and shoes he purchased.  A rolling garment carry-on bag should eliminate the toiletry bag.  Convince your mate that anything worth bringing should be downloaded in a portable device app.  Any extras can be purchased and worn at the destination and on the return trip.

3. Plan the same color scheme.  Two days I dressed in warm colors, and two days I wore cool colors.  This necessitates an extra pair of shoes and extra color cosmetics.  I dare say that on a trip of less than seven days, one color scheme should suffice.  Next time, I will wear loafers on the flight (easier to remove during screening), and store my sneakers and two pairs of shoes.  A pair of jeans and trousers should be sufficient.  Three blouses for the ladies should provide enough variety for two trousers.  If you’re a dress lady, then bring two and rotate shawls, scarves, or jackets for versatility.

4. Pack your personal item light.  For the technophiles (and wannabes), there are smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers, and an appropriate bag in which to carry them while on board an airplane.  A smartphone easily replaces a compass, an alarm clock, a notepad, a watch, a flashlight, maps, guidebooks, a camera, and a calculator. Tablets and e-readers provide an ample supply of reading material in a thickness less than a few centimeters.  Business cards, medications, and identification should all be in your personal item along with the electronic devices. In fact, taking a picture of your business card solves the issue of running out of cards; you can simply e-mail the picture to your new contact.

My goal is to improve in areas 3 and 4.  As far as area 2, I will pray and make suggestions.

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