24/05/2016 16:20 BST | Updated 16/08/2018 14:42 BST

Packing Hacks For Last-Minute Business Trips

Ensuring productivity in work- and down-time.

Hands up if this routine sounds familiar. Run around the house, throw whatever’s at hand into a case and stuff it all in, then turn up to the destination to find you’ve packed pretty much nothing you need.

Business trips aren’t like standard holidays, where if you forget something there’s plenty of time to replace them. Not to mention the spontaneity and speed that’s often so integral to those who travel regularly for work.

To make sure you’re never left with plenty for the seaside but nothing for the actual city you’re in, follow our expert tips on packing smart, light and ready for maximum productivity (while leaving space for those essentials to make the most of your much-needed downtime).
DRAWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Travel drawer. Haven’t got one? Get one. Here’s where your passport lives. Where all the necessary documents go as soon as you print them out. Do not use this drawer to chuck in loose coins, scrap pieces of paper, or any number of other junk that clutter up your other drawers. Its sole purpose for existence is to store your travel essentials (otherwise known as capsule packing, rather than a literal time capsule).
THINK COMPACT
Business trips tend to be short and swift. Even if work pay for extra baggage allowance, standing around baggage reclaim is a needless chore. Invest in an expandable size carry-on with extra compartments, including dedicated laptop protection, full-zip interior with cross-straps and divider for organisation, and inner and outer pockets. If you feel like treating yourself, get one like the Bluesmart One with a full suite of tech features, including GPS tracking and built-in charging ports.
DOUBLE UP ON CABLES
Business trips tend to be short and swift. Even if work pay for extra baggage allowance, standing around baggage reclaim is a needless chore. Invest in an expandable size carry-on with extra compartments, including dedicated laptop protection, full-zip interior with cross-straps and divider for organisation, and inner and outer pockets. If you feel like treating yourself, get one like the Bluesmart One with a full suite of tech features, including GPS tracking and built-in charging ports.
HIT THE BOTTLE
Go online and type in ‘custom travel bottle set’, find one that catches your eye, order it. When it arrives, fill them with your favourite toiletries, then add a toothbrush and toothpaste and pop it all in a TSA-approved see-through toiletry bag. You remember where to store it, right? Come travel day, make it the last thing you pack, so it’s among the first thing you take out during check-in.
TREAT YOURSELF
'Bare necessities’ doesn’t mean no luxuries. The difference between an enjoyable stay and feeling out of sorts is to pack a few things that make you feel at home. An AeroPress to ensure you have your favourite coffee in the morning, for example. And it needs to be said because so many forget – pack all your entertainment devices. It’s better to have Netflix and not need it, then to need Netflix and not have it.
GET IT SENT
If you’re lucky enough to have a fair amount of time for leisure during a business trip, you can have bulky items such as golf clubs and skis sent to your hotel through companies such as Luggage Free. The same applies to anything else you might need but don’t have the time or space to take with you. Depending on where you are in the world of course, most hotels will be happy to sign for a next-day delivery package on your behalf.
DOUBLE UP
Pack an outfit you can wear to a meeting that will work just as well for dinner. Gym wear that won’t look out of place by the pool. Invest in a multi-season jacket. You’ll check the weather, of course, but it pays to take a shawl or a scarf in case you’re expecting heat but get cold, and something summery in case of vice versa.
DON'T CARRY IT, WEAR IT
You could rush to the dry-cleaners, wait to collect, then annoy whoever is sat next to you on the plane by hanging your garment bag in their space. Or you can save space and time by simply wearing it. Sure, you don’t want to risk crumpling it, but that’s what the hotel dry cleaning service is there for. When you arrive, change into something comfortable and hand it in, so it’ll be pressed and pristine for when you need it.
CHECK THIS OUT
The checklist is an obvious one, but do you actually have one? Keep a list of your favourite things on your phone or pinned where you can see it. Come packing time, tick them off as you pack them. For essential items such as contact lenses and sanitary pads, pre-pack a little pouch and store it... you guessed it. In the Travel drawer.
Hands up if this routine sounds familiar. Run around the house, throw whatever’s at hand into a case and stuff it all in, then turn up to the destination to find you’ve packed pretty much nothing you need.

Business trips aren’t like standard holidays, where if you forget something there’s plenty of time to replace them. Not to mention the spontaneity and speed that’s often so integral to those who travel regularly for work.

To make sure you’re never left with plenty for the seaside but nothing for the actual city you’re in, follow our expert tips on packing smart, light and ready for maximum productivity (while leaving space for those essentials to make the most of your much-needed downtime).
DRAWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Travel drawer. Haven’t got one? Get one. Here’s where your passport lives. Where all the necessary documents go as soon as you print them out. Do not use this drawer to chuck in loose coins, scrap pieces of paper, or any number of other junk that clutter up your other drawers. Its sole purpose for existence is to store your travel essentials (otherwise known as capsule packing, rather than a literal time capsule).
THINK COMPACT
Business trips tend to be short and swift. Even if work pay for extra baggage allowance, standing around baggage reclaim is a needless chore. Invest in an expandable size carry-on with extra compartments, including dedicated laptop protection, full-zip interior with cross-straps and divider for organisation, and inner and outer pockets. If you feel like treating yourself, get one like the Bluesmart One with a full suite of tech features, including GPS tracking and built-in charging ports.
DOUBLE UP ON CABLES
Every wire and cable you need (other than perhaps your costly laptop charger), buy an extra set. Place them in a see-through bag and place in the Travel Drawer. When your sister borrows your phone charger and it disappears forever, don’t replace it from the drawer – get a new one. Come travel day, you don’t want to scrambling behind computers or under the telly collecting wires.
HIT THE BOTTLE
Business trips tend to be short and swift. Even if work pay for extra baggage allowance, standing around baggage reclaim is a needless chore. Invest in an expandable size carry-on with extra compartments, including dedicated laptop protection, full-zip interior with cross-straps and divider for organisation, and inner and outer pockets. If you feel like treating yourself, get one like the Bluesmart One with a full suite of tech features, including GPS tracking and built-in charging ports.
TREAT YOURSELF
‘Bare necessities’ doesn’t mean no luxuries. The difference between an enjoyable stay and feeling out of sorts is to pack a few things that make you feel at home. An AeroPress to ensure you have your favourite coffee in the morning, for example. And it needs to be said because so many forget – pack all your entertainment devices. It’s better to have Netflix and not need it, then to need Netflix and not have it.
GET IT SENT
If you’re lucky enough to have a fair amount of time for leisure during a business trip, you can have bulky items such as golf clubs and skis sent to your hotel through companies such as Luggage Free. The same applies to anything else you might need but don’t have the time or space to take with you. Depending on where you are in the world of course, most hotels will be happy to sign for a next-day delivery package on your behalf.
DOUBLE UP
Pack an outfit you can wear to a meeting that will work just as well for dinner. Gym wear that won’t look out of place by the pool. Invest in a multi-season jacket. You’ll check the weather, of course, but it pays to take a shawl or a scarf in case you’re expecting heat but get cold, and something summery in case of vice versa.
DON'T CARRY IT, WEAR IT
You could rush to the dry-cleaners, wait to collect, then annoy whoever is sat next to you on the plane by hanging your garment bag in their space. Or you can save space and time by simply wearing it. Sure, you don’t want to risk crumpling it, but that’s what the hotel dry cleaning service is there for. When you arrive, change into something comfortable and hand it in, so it’ll be pressed and pristine for when you need it.
CHECK THIS OUT
The checklist is an obvious one, but do you actually have one? Keep a list of your favourite things on your phone or pinned where you can see it. Come packing time, tick them off as you pack them. For essential items such as contact lenses and sanitary pads, pre-pack a little pouch and store it... you guessed it. In the Travel drawer.