Packing for Travel: Tips from a Business Traveler

Most people do not travel that often; when packing for personal travel it is easy to forget important items. When one arrives at the destination and begins unpacking inevitably there is that moment when you realize something is missing. When I started traveling for work this happened to me all the time and I had to get a system in place so that I was not constantly buying duplicate items. My solution was to build my travel kit and never take certain items out of my bag. Well for the most part, read on and I will tattle on myself with some of my travel mistakes.

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Last week I was staying with family right before a business trip. I had all the things I needed in my kit and was enjoying some time at home before going on a short 3-day trip. The trouble came when it was time to leave for my trip complacency got the best of me. Instead of double checking to make sure I repacked all my items, I just threw stuff in a bag and went on my merry way.

When I get to my hotel and start unpacking, I realize I do not have a toothbrush, toothpaste, or hairbrush. Thank goodness there was a store a short distance from the hotel so I could replace the items quickly.

This mishap got me to thinking about the things that I regularly take with me. The items I forgot this trip are a no brainer for most people. Some of the basic items one should always keep in their suitcase when you travel often is your toiletries, you know like the brush I forgot 😊. I actually go so far as to keep shampoo, conditioner, body soap, and lotion in my bag. This way I don’t have to rely on the items the hotel offers. If you are like the guys in my life you might be wondering what’s the difference, hotel brands are free. However, most of the women I know get it when I say, not all products are equal. When you have long hair like I do, the quality of the conditioner is important.

Now for some of the unusual items I pack that other people don’t often think of. A must have for my go bag is a travel steamer. There are many types but I use the Joy Little Steamer. It is inexpensive, works very well, and easily fits into my bag.

If you have been following my travel series, you will know that metal straws have made it on my must have list. Putting the straws on the list made my friend comment on the fact that she did not want something that she drinks from just floating around in her bag. So, we looked and found a there are some great carry case options. The one I decided to purchase was Ecotribe Straws with Bamboo Carry Case. I love the bamboo case and the straw is tall enough for most drinks. The only exception I have found is my taller 44oz cup. For that I still have my other straws.

The last item that I cannot do without is my bag scale. This may seem strange to those who do not travel a lot but follow my thinking on this one. Airlines charge huge fees if your bag is even the slightest bit overweight. My coworker had to pay $100 for a heavy bag fee. Again, there are many types, but they range from $10 to $25. This one-time fee can save you a lot of money in the long run. Especially if you do any shopping for while out an about on your adventure.

These are just a few of the key items that I keep in my bag at all times. They make my life on the road a lot easier. Just remember, when you take something out of your bag at home or you run out of a consumable product, replace the items as quickly as possible. Otherwise you will end up like me, in the hotel with not toothbrush, running to the closest open store late at night.

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