Working in tourism, Holidays for Humanity, CEO, Aaron Smith is a very frequent flyer, he has traveled to over 60 countries and all but one continent. His business travel lifestyle has taught him the best ways to pack for work and the unexpected.
1. Accept a clean laundry routine
“Look at your itinerary and make sure you’re bunking down at least three nights in a row in the same place, within every 7 days,” he says. “Even though it’s pricey, hotel laundry will get you through. You can then get by on ‘5 of Each’ (5 pairs of socks, 5 shirts, 5 pairs of underwear, etc.) if you buy into a clean laundry routine.”
2. Pack Black
“Black is your friend,” he writes. “It matches everything. Johnny Cash had it figured out. I’ve yet to hear the compelling logic for any business sock colour other than black. One pair of black jeans, two black t-shirts, and business attire will get you through any long trip.”
3. Just use carry-ons
“I never check my bags, even if I’m going to Central America for a month,” Smith says. “I travel with a Kosan pack with front attaching laptop case, it fits in the overhead and my arms are free to hold a coffee and show my travel documents at the same time. 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, has made me a believer. A suit is a suit: one is enough, but bring another sport coat. Wear the sport coat on the plane with a t-shirt or casual shirt, and pack the suit. Also, find a pair of workout shoes which can be casual walking or gym-ready.”
4. Charge up your batteries
“Know the capacity of your batteries in your rechargeables (shavers, cameras, iPods, etc.),” he writes. “You may be surprised by how long of a trip you can make without bringing the charger if you leave home with a full charge, but do make sure you have the right electrical ports for the countries you are visiting.”
5. Don’t bother with zip-lock bags, store liquids in tiny containers
“There is no need to pack home-size packages of toothpaste, shampoo, or pain-killers. Buy small containers, reuse past hotel products, or plan to pick up what you need in the destination. It’s bulk that’s easy to pick up anywhere, and next to no cost.”
6. Push your light limit
“Once every 3-4 months, remove the entire contents out of your briefcase. Challenge everything. When was the last time you touched it or used it on a trip? Throw it away or leave it at home if you will not need it overseas,” he says.
7. Pack duplicates
“Have a high-resolution scan of your driver’s license, your visa, passport, and credit cards on the SD card of your smartphone or on your computer HD,” Smith advises. “It’s a lifesaver if you ever lose anything.”