Living on the road can be tough, but business travelers often have traveling down to a science. From scoring upgrades to the best way to pack a suitcase, anything that can make the hassle of jet-setting a little easier can be a lifesaver. So, make life on the road a little less complicated by reading the business travel style tips from experts.
- Have one go-to piece of luggage that always works, no matter what kind of trip you’re taking.
Always opt for a suitcase or luggage that will be functional enough whether you’re going on a long trip or short one. “It doesn’t depend on the length of the trip — I’ve even been to Europe and Africa for 35 days straight and I only take a roller bag,” says investor and former Luxury Link CEO Scott Morrow. “I never check luggage, ever. It forces me to be efficient with what I pack,” he added.
- Pack less than you think you need.
If you tend to overpack, think about what you want to bring and then paring that list down by a lot. “I think about the stuff I want to bring, and then I only bring half. You’re still not going to wear a good two-thirds of it,” says Fathom Way To Go founder Pavia Rosati.
- Pack only versatile pieces of clothing, preferably dark colored ones.
It might be tempting to want to pack your favorite standout pieces from your closet, but if you’re looking to pack lighter, bring pieces of clothing that go with everything and that you can layer. “I am probably the least stylish traveler on the face of the planet. To me it’s not about how I look, it’s about how the world looks. And if I’m worrying too much about how I look, then I’m missing out on my trip. I wear dark colors that hide stains,” says Pauline Frommer, editorial director of the Frommer Guide Books. Like fashion blogger Kristina Bazan, you may even think of an all-black outfit and a classic camel coat that will make your style polished yet effortless.
- Consider packing a digital luggage scale for your travels.
Over-packing can end up costing you some hefty fees. According to BBC deputy travel editor Anne Banas, a digital luggage scale is great as it can be functional when you travel a lot. “It’s about the size of a corkscrew and with baggage fees and everything — especially when you’re traveling abroad, sometimes the international carriers have different rules for their domestic carriers within a different country, so I always travel with it,” Banas said. “And the one I have you can switch from pounds to kilos, and I always weigh it when I leave home, making sure it’s under, and then once I’m traveling, in case I pick up souvenirs, so I know I’m not going over that baggage limit because that can cost you a lot of money,” she added.
- Minimize wrinkles by packing dress shirts in dry cleaner bags.
Keep your business clothes looking presentable by keeping them in the dry cleaner plastic that will minimize wrinkles. When you arrive, immediately take them out of the bag, put them into the shower, turn the hot shower on, and it’s like a steam press to get the wrinkles out.
- But don’t mistake “direct” flights for “non-stop” flights when booking.
If you’re on business and going to and from meetings, it’s such a waste of time to take a day to get there and a day to get back because of layovers. “A direct flight might still stop, but you would just stay on the plane instead of having to switch planes. I would say always choose a ‘non-stop’ flight instead of direct,” says Banas.
- Dress nicely to give yourself an edge.
“When flights are oversold, sometimes gate agents will pick people to upgrade based on whether they’re dressed well, or if they were nice to someone when they checked in,” says George Hobica, founder of a discount airfare site. So, get ahead of the game by dressing your part. By heeding these tricks from the experts, you’ll be able to travel in style while keeping everything effortless.