Packing is pivotal. Forget an essential item and you're left disappointed and scrambling to find the nearest store in your destination. Pack too much and you end up disorganized, burdened with heavy bags, and hemorrhaging money to pay for pricey airline baggage fees. So we thought it best to revisit the most basic—and most useful—packing rules. Here are 10 fundamental packing strategies that every traveler should learn.
Step 1: Gather all the garments you anticipate needing. Then put half of them back. Select clothes in the same color family, packing more tops than bottoms. For a five-day trip, you’ll likely need five shirts, two pairs of slacks or jeans, and one skirt, says Kathleen Ameche, author of The Woman Road Warrior ($15, amazon.com). The average 22-inch check-in bag fits roughly two pairs of jeans, three sweaters, two dresses, and five shirts.
If you disregard all other advice about carrying money when traveling, take this tip to heart: Whenever possible, divvy up your travel cash and even credit cards into multiple safe spots. If you've got all your money in one place, it only takes one time for a thief to totally wipe you out. You can even apply this idea when you're out and about by keeping some money attached to your person and some in a bag you carry. That way, if your bag gets lost or snatched, you'll still have enough to get to a police station or back to your hotel.
Among the best business travel tips around, there are those that suggest how to pack. Indeed, packing for a business trip is not the same thing as packing for a holiday. There is an unspoken rule that one should dress smartly on business meetings. I always make sure to carry a pair of smart pants and a skirt, a couple of dressy tops and nice shoes that I can wear at meetings, and a dress and heels to wear at events and parties. Packing cubes help keeping things in order inside the suitcase, and minimize the risk of creasing.
Perfecting the art of beating jet lag is a feat achieved by few, but there are a few important tips to at least get the amateur business traveler started. It’s always best to leave home well-rested so you avoid starting off on the wrong foot. From there, it is best to try to get as much sleep as you would in a 24-hour period at home. Your time in the air can either help or hinder you, as a plane is a great place to sleep, but often a difficult place to stay awake, if that’s what you need to do to settle into a new time zone. Either way, it is key to stay up until the local bedtime at your destination and not sleep in the following morning. Depending on which way you travel, the pros either recommend short naps and good coffee or short-acting insomnia medications like temazepam.

Space-saving compression bags like Space Bag let you pack up to double the amount of gear—no jumping, sitting or lying on suitcase required! Available at The Container Store and Walmart, these oversize plastic bags are equipped with one-way pressure valves along one edge that release excess air and keep it out. Compression bags work best for bulky items, such as sweaters, coats, down jackets, pillows, beach towels and even wet garments.
Spice up a basic outfit with compact accessories, such as belts,jewelry and scarves. These suitcase space-savers add instant color and can easily take an outfit from day to night. Kelly Vrtis, an organizational travel spokeswoman for The Container Store relies on a lightweight Pashmina shawl as her go-to accessory while traveling. "You can use it over the shoulder, around your elbows or even wear it as a scarf."
Hmm. Believe Doug Ford, a politician with a high school degree, or George Akerlof  Nobel Laureate EconomistRobert Aumann   Nobel Laureate EconomistMartin Baily   Former Chair, CEABen Bernanke   Former Chair, Federal Reserve, Former Chair, CEAMichael Boskin  Former Chair, CEAAngus Deaton   Nobel Laureate EconomistPeter Diamond   Nobel Laureate EconomistRobert Engle   Nobel Laureate EconomistEugene Fama    Nobel Laureate EconomistMartin Feldstein Former Chair, CEAJason Furman   Former Chair, CEAAustan Goolsbee  Former Chair, CEAAlan Greenspan  Former Chair, Federal Reserve,Former Chair, CEALars Peter Hansen Nobel Laureate EconomistOliver Hart    Nobel Laureate EconomistBengt Holmström  Nobel Laureate EconomistGlenn Hubbard   Former Chair, CEADaniel Kahneman  Nobel Laureate EconomistAlan Krueger   Former Chair, CEAFinn Kydland   Nobel Laureate EconomistEdward Lazear   Former Chair, CEARobert Lucas   Nobel Laureate EconomistN. Gregory Mankiw Former Chair, CEAEric Maskin    Nobel Laureate EconomistDaniel McFadden  Nobel Laureate EconomistRobert Merton   Nobel Laureate EconomistRoger Myerson   Nobel Laureate EconomistEdmund Phelps   Nobel Laureate EconomistChristina Romer  Former Chair, CEAHarvey Rosen   Former Chair, CEAAlvin Roth    Nobel Laureate EconomistThomas Sargent  Nobel Laureate EconomistMyron Scholes   Nobel Laureate EconomistAmartya Sen    Nobel Laureate EconomistWilliam Sharpe  Nobel Laureate EconomistRobert Shiller  Nobel Laureate
Go in them to get some insight into the local culture and cuisine by comparing their menus to the ones back home. Check what types of chocolate bars McDonald’s uses in their McFlurrys. (In Geneva they had Toblerone and in South Africa there’s a neon green lime flavor.) See what unusual spices Starbucks adds to their coffee. And compare the prices to the ones back home and other countries you’ve been, just like the Economist does so with their Big Mac index.
All these tips are great, but I truly appreciate the perspective about Sunrise is better than Sunset. I know I am probably in the minority here, but the freshness of morning is a rebirth for me. And a dazzling sunrise does more for lifting my spirits than almost anything else. Whatever problems I had yesterday, now, with this new sunrise, I have a chance at a fresh start. (Don’t get me wrong…I love a romantic sunset too!)
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