In Style + Design

Business Travel Pros On The Packing Rules They Always Follow

If you’ve seen the movie ‘In The Air’ with George Clooney, you’d know that there’s an art to packing for business travel. More specifically, there’s an art to doing so… with only a carry-on.

Clooney’s character shared a major secret to work trip packing, and that was to never check a bag. By doing so, you not only avoid the risk of it getting lost, but also save time not having to wait for it at the conveyer belt.

It’s a smart tip, and one of many that frequent travellers know that we don’t. We tapped into some of the country’s most savvy, seasoned and stylish jetsetters to uncover a few more. Here’s what they shared.

Have a packing list

Afternoons with Albert travel roll Photo: Facebook

As a Qantas pilot and founder of accessories e-tailer Afternoons with Albert, Shane Thompson knows a thing or two about packing. His advice?

“Have a packing list. I use an app called Wunderlist so, much like the checklists we use in the aeroplane, I don’t forget things when I am under pressure to get out the door.”

If you aren’t keen on downloading an app, Roger Sciberras, co-founder of menswear site Gallantoro, says a good old-fashioned handwritten one should do the job. However, he has a specific way of going about it.

“Make the list of everything you think you’ll need, then work backwards from that eliminating what you realise you don’t need.”

Pack on the day

With your packing list then at-the-ready, do yourself a favour and wait to pack, advises Alister Punton, co-founder of cruise ship start-up Storylines.

“Pack on the day of the flight or the day before. This will save you pulling everything out and re-packing again, trying to find something or remember if it was packed in the first place.”


Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane

Think about the weight of your shoes Photo: Sperry Footwear

One strong advocate of Clooney’s tip to never check a bag is Richard Blanch, whose job as a spokesperson for Sperry footwear sees him in the air often.

His advice for packing it is to be conscientious of every article you’re putting in.

“Shoes can easily eat into your carry-on allowance so take one pair of business shoes to wear on the plane and one casual pair. “

For the latter, he suggests the brand’s boat shoes as they’re both easy to pack and versatile enough to be worn day and night.

Pick up a power board

For overseas travel, one item in particular, Punton says, shouldn’t be overlooked.

“Never underestimate a four-point power board with a local adaptor. It’ll mean you can charge everything at once.”

Bring bathers if you want to exercise

Old Clare Hotel Photo: Supplied

If you’re looking to keep up your fitness while away, Amcal Senior Pharmacist and frequent interstate traveller James Nevile, has a hack that you’ll most definitely want to adopt.

“Running gear takes up more space than swimming gear so bring the latter if the hotel has a pool.”

Skip the cotton and linen suits

Andrew Taylor sporting a silk-wool blend Photo: Mr A Taylor

As far as packed suits go, don’t bother bringing ones that wrinkle easily, says Andrew Taylor, founder of tailoring company Mr A Taylor.

“Gents, please leave your cotton and linen suits at home as this will crush too easily during travel,” he says.

Instead, he proposes bringing – and purchasing, if you don’t have one yet – a light canvas suit that’s made out of wool. Its jacket should easily be worn with a pair of Chinos.

Use shower steam in the absence of an iron

In saying that, however, no matter how carefully you pack, any kind of suit or shirt you bring will unfortunately get crumpled, says Scott Purcell, founder of lifestyle site Man of Many. For that, he has a trick.

“If an iron isn’t on hand, hang your suit and shirt in the hotel bathroom while shower. It’s an easy way to bring your fineries back to life, wrinkle-free.”

Don’t underestimate the power of accessories

Andrew Taylor dresses down a light weight Italian wool Wil Valor blazer Photo: Mr A Taylor

However, if you take a page from Taylor’s book, you shouldn’t actually need to hang too many clothes in the bathroom. He only ever brings one suit. Not that you’d ever know looking at him throughout the trip though.

“I always take a combination of business and casual shirts for each day I’m away, with also the same number of pocket hankerchiefs. This keeps each look fresh, even though I’ve only travelled with one suit.”

…Nor the one of a quality shoeshine kit

In addition to pocket hanks, a good shoeshine kit is another must-bring. In fact, Purcell says it’s non-negotiable.

“Being on the road is no excuse for scuff-marks, and even well-packed shoes always need refreshing at the other end of a long flight.”

Published 13 March, 2018