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The main characteristic of a business trip is that it’s usually short. That means you won’t normally need to take much when packing for this sort of trip. 

Many business travellers do, however, make at least one of two common mistakes. The first is bringing a lot of unnecessary business paraphernalia with them, and the second is overdoing it with pre-flight duty free purchases. Have no fear though as these mistakes, and some helpful advice, will be covered in the following list of tips to make light work of packing for your business trip.

1. Think “light”

Even though many airlines have generous luggage allowances for business travellers; the more you carry, the less convenient it is.

If you’re using chauffeurs to get to and from the airport, you’ll have assistance with carrying your luggage. However, there are plenty of other situations where having too much is just going to get in your way.

Most airlines allow you to bring directly into the passenger cabin one laptop bag or handbag, and one cabin bag with a maximum filled weight of 7kg. If you can keep your packing to within these limits, it means you won’t have to wait on the arrival side for your luggage to be unloaded, and you won’t have to worry about the airline losing your things.

The Sub-Zero-G travel case is an excellent choice. It is strong and weighs only 1.59kg, with generous interior space, and dimensions that fit quite precisely within the carry-on size limits of most airlines.

2. Understand the difference between “legal” and “sensible”

Everyone by now ought to know there are certain things not permitted to be carried on a flight. Some items should only be carried as carry-on items, and others should only be packed in checked luggage. If you’re uncertain about the status of a particular item you want to take, you should consult your chosen airline’s terms and conditions, or contact customer support at the airline.

Also, you’ll probably be aware that all countries have certain duty-free limits specifying how much of a particular thing you’re permitted to bring without paying an import tax on the item. Obviously you should not exceed these limits, but it’s better in most cases to avoid the hassle of duty-free altogether. Declaring duty-free items often means you’ll spend more time in customs, delaying you due to things you don’t really need.

It doesn’t really make any sense to bring tobacco products with you because you can’t legally smoke on any flight. In terms of alcohol, in some countries it may be permitted to import a litre or two of alcoholic beverages for your personal consumption, but that does not mean it is legal to consume it indiscreetly. You can bring a bottle of your favourite wine into Brunei or Saudi Arabia, but don’t expect to be able to take it along to a restaurant to enjoy with your meal.

3. Avoid taking items that can be obtained locally

It’s absolutely amazing how many people pack things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, socks, etc. You don’t need to take any of these things. They’re all going to be available cheaply at your destination, and some of them are likely to be provided as complementary items by your hotel.

Only those items that would be too expensive or difficult to source locally should be considered as essential items to pack in your case.

4. You may be able to hire electronic items locally

Electronic gadgets often fall into the “too expensive to be bought locally” category. If you’re just going for a short trip, hiring might be a possibility. If this is the case, then doing some research before you go won’t do anyone any harm. 

One caution, however, is that if you’re hiring a computer (the most commonly hired stand-alone electronic product) you should always replace the HDD with your own (encrypted) HDD or boot from a USB flash drive. Never trust someone else’s computer, especially in an unfamiliar country.

To help prevent “evil maid attacks”, take your drives with you whenever you leave your hotel room. It’s recommended to always boot from USB whenever possible. Most attacks of this nature target Windows, so unless you reallyKeeping your data on a cloud server can eliminate the need to bring a bulky hard drive with you. Then you’ll just need a bootable USB drive and a secure VPN for a fair chance your data and communications won’t be intercepted.

5. Weight limits only apply to what you carry externally

There is no weight limit applied to items you carry upon your person, so if you have a jacket with pockets you can actually put small items in your pockets so they won’t add to the weight of your bag.

Having said this; you will have to take those items out at every security check point, which can be a bit annoying, but still more convenient than having to deposit your luggage at the check-in counter. Just don’t do this if your business associates will be meeting you at the airport, as it may not give off an impressive appearance. 

6. Don’t forget to pack your wallet

You’ll need cash, plus multiple ATM cards capable of working on different networks (Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Maestro, etc). If the only ATM in town isn’t compatible with your bank’s network, you’d have a problem. Also, choose a shielded wallet to prevent PayWave scanning.

If you follow these top tips, you’re ready for a more productive and efficient business trip – just remember to only pack what you need and don’t over-pack.