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Business Travel Musts - Page 2

post #16 of 28
Originally Posted by Master-Classter View Post

My best tip is for anything that won't wrinkle, like underwear+socks, pyjamas, sweaters, etc that are also a bit bulky, put them in large ziplocks and sit on 'em and flatten them out. Saves a ton of space and makes the items easy to move around in your bag. I also use one of those for my laundry pile.

I started using Eagle Creek compression bags for this. They came in a multiple size three pack. They are super lightweight and they really work at compressing socks, underwear, etc., and make finding things that much easier in your case. It is one of those little things that make living out of a suitcase that much easier. I'm a huge fan.

post #17 of 28
Originally Posted by AlexE View Post

I have been traveling for years heavily for business and managed to get away with carry-on only when staying out Mon-Thu or Mon-Fri

If there is a weekend in between for private reasons or because intercontinental travel would make it a hazzle to go back and forth, I started opting for carry-on plus finding a dry cleaner close by and getting things (underwear, shirts) cleaned over the weekend. As long as you do not use hotel laundry it is not so expensive ... also the companies I worked for actually reimbursed me for the laundry cost up to a certain level.

So Spark's post was insanely comprehensive and not too much to add; however, a couple points:

Also a FF for mostly mid to long-haul 3-5 days trips. It may be that my destinations are typically better for this type of service than others (i.e. developing/emerging more so than developed countries) but i have found hotel laundry service for shirts to be generally affordable and extremely convenient. often the express service will be expensive, but if you plan well you can do with 1-2 fewer shirts than if you were not doing any laundry, and this is actually a not inconsiderable amount of space in an inflexible trolly like mine (i have a rimowa topas cabin that I would probably not buy again).

Connected to this: i have a suit carrier and this cabin trolley. I can't use both as carry-on, so sometimes I check the trolley (if you go often to the same destinations you learn which connections/airports to avoid in terms of checked baggage), and sometimes i just use the trolley. if you're packing a suit, there are ways to reduce wrinkling but not eliminate in packing. there is some system of putting paper in the sleeves and turning inside-out. this is not too difficult, but they never look as good as from the suit carrier.

Also at some point you sort of realize what you're not getting full use out of and leave off. for instance, unless i am 100% positive i will have time and motivation to use the gym, i do not bring gym stuff. this up being quite rarely given the schedules of most trips. also, i've pretty much stopped bringing any other clothing but what i wear during the day. Removing tie and maybe replacing jacket with cardigan is as far as i go for dinner/after hours.

For headphones, I've had some pretty inexpensive shure earphones (the kind that are almost like earplugs) for several years, and still find them incredibly effective in removing background noise, even if they're not really noise-cancelling. I can listen to music or tv (i never bring an ipad unless traveling with child - airplane systems are so good these days there's no need to have a third device) and then leave them in as earplugs (or just switch to earplugs if it's a long flight).
post #18 of 28
Originally Posted by freedom_fries View Post

(i have a rimowa topas cabin that I would probably not buy again)..

Why wouldn't you buy this again? Is it due to space efficiency? The hard shell? Too flashy?

I've looked at these many many that my wife keeps saying, "Please get one!" Love the looks of them, they are very cool, but I can squeeze more into my ballistic nylon roll-on from Briggs & Reilly. That makes a huge difference, to me, especially in winter with more bulk.

I have also made it a personal rule to never check anything on an airline, in a hotel or convention luggage check other than non-descript black nylon luggage. I feel that nice luggage is such an easy target for theft.
post #19 of 28
Originally Posted by GusW View Post

Why wouldn't you buy this again? Is it due to space efficiency? The hard shell? Too flashy?

I've looked at these many many that my wife keeps saying, "Please get one!" Love the looks of them, they are very cool, but I can squeeze more into my ballistic nylon roll-on from Briggs & Reilly. That makes a huge difference, to me, especially in winter with more bulk.

I have also made it a personal rule to never check anything on an airline, in a hotel or convention luggage check other than non-descript black nylon luggage. I feel that nice luggage is such an easy target for theft.

so first off, one of the locks has malfunctioned such that it technically "locks" inasmuch as the button doesn't depress fully, but the latch flips open at the slightest insistence. this to me is a significant fault in a 6 month-old cabin bag that costs 600 euro.

second, there is really zero give. there is no "sitting it to make it fit" flexibility. i have heard the plastic rimowas are easier here, but then again why would you pay so much for plastic? i think if i would do it over i would get a ballistic nylon of the sort you have - not so familiar with brands, but briggs and reilly sounds legit.

the looks are nice i admit. i don't bring it if i have to do a lot of local travel around africa or asia due to the inherent flashiness of an aluminum case, but if it's just airport-hotel-airport i don't see it as a big risk.

i actually got the version with two rollerblade-like wheels instead of four rollers, just so that it would survive being checked longer. my previous suitcase had four rollers and didn't end well. no complaints on that end, though my wife finds it slightly idiotic that it doesn't have four wheels.
post #20 of 28
Four wheeled roll-on bags give up space that I could use for packing compared to a two wheel roll on. However, for a full size heavy checked bag, I love the ease of rolling and sliding a four wheel suitcase.
post #21 of 28
yes, i also considered the additional room.

as an update, i just contacted the local rimowa store and they told me to bring the case by whenever to have it repaired within 24 hours. we'll see if this pans out.
post #22 of 28
Informative post! I'm curious what brand merino shirts you have found best for this purpose.
Originally Posted by Spark View Post

I am a senior exec, travel constantly - blew through the 100K mark in the first week of June this year - and actually keep my rollie underneath my bedside table when am at home, so this topic is close to my heart whether I like it or not.

My thoughts:

- TripIt App.Sheer and utter genius. Just forward all the reservations to Tripit and it builds a step x step itinerary for you that is updated in real time. You will find that the airline has changed gates or cancelled the flight at least 10 minutes before the gate agent tells you; get in the rental, open the app, hit the hotel or meeting address and you are in maps and in your way...a game changer.

- Carry on only. Full stop. For me this means a rollie and a briefcase. Do not cheap out on either. I can go about 10 days. Recent long run was 9 days - home/Chicago/ Dublin/London/Paris/home - with this setup.

- One small bag for toiletries; one bag for the pile of charging accessories, both the same size. I use a hard case rollie from Halliburton, so when flying domestic I throw chargers in brief; toiletries in rollie because I have TSAPre. Overseas I just swap them when I have to deal with security.

Whenever you get home, just top up the kit bag with toothpaste etc. Less to think of when you are outbound next time.

- Merino wool tee shirts. Warm when they need to be, breathable when they need to be. Don't smell. Wool tee and a pair of smart wool socks and a pair of shorts covers the gym needs

- Earphones. Bose noise cancelers for the plane - this is a mandatory! The ambient hum of the road will really wear you out, to say nothing of screaming kids. I also carry a pair of B&O A8s for gym use. Yes the Bose rigs seem spendy at the store; 6 flights later they seem like the cheapest thing you've ever bought. Trust me here.

- Electronics: Macbook, iPhone 6+ (for reading the 100+ emails that hit me when I land), iPhone bayonet case with extra battery, iPad with books, movies, etc., small iPod for inflight and gym. Chargers and cables for everything, plus a power block and some international adaptors. Also get one of those adjustable phone clips that attaches to the dash vents - key for navigating while driving. Make sure you have at least two wall plugs, preferably with multiple USBs, and I even have a small multi-socket wall plug that has three outlets - charging is an ongoing battle and when you whip out that socket in an airport and let two other folks plug in, you'll know what a hero feel like...

Special callout is a Plantronics Traveler bluetooth headset with charging carrying case - - this thing lasts forever on a single charge and has noise canceling..instant boardroom hush!

I also got a nice leather envelope/sleeve for my Mac. It serves as extra padding in the brief while traveling, but if I have a meeting where I don't need the whole rig, I can carry it like a portfolio.

- Stretch jeans. I have a bunch made by Alberto of Germany - they look like wool but stretch like sweats - and are key for flying long hauls. Get em in grey (light and dark) and they can rock a sports coat or a polo for either biz casual or off duty bar action. I have also gotten off planes and rocked right into a meeting with them and no one even notices - just look like gray slacks with the SC and the loafers. I crease em when I get them cleaned so they present as a bit more formal, but they simply cannot be wrinkled and have a big temperature range for comfort.

- Wool OTC socks. Again, don't smell, can deal with lots of temps, OTC doesn't cut off blood flow in calves leading to DVTs when flying.

- Biz dress: I have worked out a system where it is usually one suit, an SC, 1 pair of slacks and above jeans. Shirts are the toughest as they are space takers, but this format lets you swap from day to day without looking the same. Wear the SC on the plane, suit the next day, then SC etc. Pack suit and shirts in thin laundry plastic sheets from the cleaners and you rarely have to bother with ironing.

- Off Duty: you can usually go with what you were wearing sans the tie these days, but I always throw in a black or navy polo just in case. If you have room, a pair of dark suede drivers are nice to have. I also use Kent Wang's long sleeve rugby's quite a bit as the collar and button cuff work well alone or with the SC.

- Shoes: Wear loafers; carry lace ups or monks, get a pair of thin-soled Nike or whatever trainers that collapse down to nothing. Light cedar trees with metal flex shafts for whatever is not in use. I almost always wear suede shoes - no polishing! - and can be brushed out quickly at the end of the day.

- Light cashmere sweater or cheap-o down vest. Both roll up into nothing and provide an extra measure on a plane (esp overnight flights) or underneath your jacket when it gets chilly.

- Eyeshade and inflatable pillow. The fold down to nothing and stay in the briefcase. Put em on, pop on those Boses and you can actually sleep! Get a pillow that has a self-sealing valve or they will leak.

- Those little mesh pockets in the rollie: Spare Central! Collar stays, cufflinks, suede brush, pocket square, handi wipes, plastic shoe horn, aspirin, bandaids, needle and thread, etc. - the stuff you will eventually be looking for at some point when everything is closed and you only pack it once.

- AMEX Platinum card. Yes initial cost looks steep, but within 20 minutes on the phone with their concierge, you can zero out the expense if you are smart. TSAPre or Global entry fee? They'll pay for that. Better boarding if linked to an airline. Upgrades all around but the real key is Club access - you are going to be dealing with "dwell time" (i.e. being trapped in airports) and the quiet of a club alone is worth it, to say nothing of the free drinks and the dedicated agents in case you need help. Bring a colleague and the day charge gets wiped clean. It also includes a "Priority Pass" membership that gets you into every airline club around the globe for free as well (except UAL, but if you are flying United, that is the least of your problems).

- ID and cash: I carry my passports, security credentials, and about $200 across 3-4 local currencies where we have offices in an old Rolex document case in my brief. Keeps it central and you don'l have to sweat it on small charges when you land somewhere at 11Pm on a Sunday night and the forex kiosk is closed.

- Early boarding access:This is key. Every - and I repeat - every flight is oversold by about 20 seats these days. That means overhead space is premium real estate. I have painfully elite status so not an issue, but get an airline card until you do so you can get on with or ahead of Group One.

- Wherever possible, reduce your "drag coefficient." I cannot stress this enough. This means that you need to smooth out all the "little things" like faster security (TSA/Global Access/etc.), no checked baggage, status with a car company so you just walk out and drive away, airline club access, priority boarding, sitting front on the plane, etc. etc. This may not sound like much but it makes a HUGE difference over time if this is your life as those are minutes and aggravations you cannot get back or avoid. If you are a road warrior, that all add up..quickly.

And.. the first time you come back from overseas and walk past the hundreds in line for immigration, roll up to that kiosk, and get waived through in less than 5 minutes from end to end, the pain in the ass navigation of the government website that it took to get that Global Pass seems like a gift.

- Finally, dress up a bit and be nice to the help. The amount of abuse airline and security folks take is staggering, so when a well-presented soul arrives, smiles, is pleasant, and thanks them for their help several times, it can be a game changer. Remember, policies abound, but the Gate Agent has all the power in the world when it comes between wherever you are and wherever it is you are trying to get!

Hope this helps...
post #23 of 28

Next month I will have a business trip to Berlin, have already booked tickets  . I often have business trips so here are my tips:
- Convenient bag. A good business bag should be dark, somber, and simple.
- Clothes. A weekend can usually be done with one jacket, two pairs of pants, and two shirts, plus sundries. That gives you enough variety that you’re not in the same outfit all week + get a plain, dark jacket in medium-weight worsted wool.

Wear on the Plane:
· Comfortable slacks or dark, stylish jeans
· Casual blazer or sports jacket
· Lightly-patterned or light-colored dress shirt
· Brown leather shoes (business-appropriate)
· Socks, underwear, undershirt, etc.
· Dress watch

Edited by MacJack - 11/3/16 at 4:52am
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Dark bags? I tend to prefer louder colors to help my bags stick out - particularly if I get suckered into checking in the bag.
post #25 of 28
I choose black ballistic nylon bags to be as generic and stealth as possible for checked bags. I don't want anything to give undo attention to my bags. I do use a bright colored luggage tag however.
post #26 of 28
Hi there. Thanks to all, very useful advice. I do also roll my clothes in my suitcase to saves space.
post #27 of 28
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I picked up the 100,000 mile signup bonus with Chase Sapphire Reserve thanks to him.

Every month he ranks all of the leading credit card benefits, costs so you can select the best for your needs.

He also has good information on flash sales, new routes, new planes and club benefits and access.

And for those looking for Cyber Monday deals here is a link for some great deals
post #28 of 28
I see that Briggs & Riley has free shipping and $50 off each $350 you spend.

As much as I love Rimowa...B&R is so much more functional, practical and stealth. Their newly updated compression packing system is very impressive. We just ordered two of the two wheel expandable domestic roll-ons. The two wheel gives a bit more room than the 4 wheel, enough to tuck in a few more bits and sneakers for gym workouts on multiple day trips. The two wheel is almost a pound lighter than the 4 wheel which is a nice bonus as well.

I really like a 4 wheel for my larger checked suitcase. It doesn't matter a lot, to me anyway, having 4 wheels on the roll on. Although some like to roll a case sideways down the aisle and 4 wheels would have that advantage.
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