Introduction: 3 Day Business Trip = 1 Carry on Bag

Picture of 3 Day Business Trip = 1 Carry on Bag

Even with todays travel restrictions, it is possible to go on a business trip for one to three days bringing nothing with you but your carry-on bag. Save money on checked baggage and avoid extra hassle at the airport following these simple packing steps.

Step 1: Liquid Items

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Airline restrictions require all liquid items to follow the 3-1-1 rule: 3.4 ounces of liquid or less, 1 quart-sized clear plastic, zip-top bag, and 1 bag per person. This bag will have to go through security separate from your full carry-on bag. Look for travel-sized items such as toothpaste, hair gel, deodorant, etc. Also keep in mind that many hotels offer some of these items for free.
 
Not all items in the plastic bag have to be liquid. It is also convenient to put other travel-sized objects in this bag to stay organized, including a travel toothbrush and other necessities.

Step 2: Medication

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Keep all medication, prescription and non-prescription, in its original packaging.

Step 3: Plastic Bag

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Put all of these aforementioned necessities in the plastic bag. When packing this bag, it should be placed at the top of your carry-on for easy access through security (refer to step 15).

Step 4:

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Don’t forget folders, a cell phone and charger, computer with all necessary cords, planner, etc. Since these are the documents that are necessary to perform your tasks, make sure they are placed I quality folders to prevent bending or tears. 
 
Headphones can be particularly nice for long trips to drown out exterior noises. Even if you choose not to listen to music, certain headphones specifically are noise-reducing to allow for a more peaceful flight.

Step 5: Clothing

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This is the key to successful carry-on packing. For a short business trip, wear your work jacket/blazer, belt, shirt, and shoes on the flight. The jacket and shoes are the biggest space-takers.

The rest of the clothing will use a rolling technique. The first example is underwear. Fold in half once. Then roll tightly. The rolling saves space and reduces wrinkles.

Step 6: Clothing Continued

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The same rolling technique applies to all shirts and trousers as well. Make sure to follow natural fold lines and to hang out your clothing as soon as you can once you arrive.

Step 7: Final Check

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Remember to double check all of the clothing and make sure you have enough to cover your entire trip. For this example, all of the articles mentioned will fit into a bag that is slightly larger than a basic backpack. Regulations allow for a larger carry-on than this, so find a suitable bag. 
 
When searching for a proper carry-on bag, remember to keep aspects such as a computer compartment in mind when searching for proper carry-on luggage. Separate, zipped, compartments can also be useful. However, be sure to place valuable items inside the main area in order to keep them safe. Consider keeping cash and important documents on your person, including all travel documentation (tickets, passport, other forms of identification, etc.)

Step 8: Packing: Step 1

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An organized carry-on keeps your possessions more protected and your trip through security faster and easier. This is the first step in packing:

- Folders
- Underwear
- Undershirts

Step 9: Packing: Step 2

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This is probably the easiest step since socks can be folded in several ways and be placed almost anywhere. They can be rolled or folded, whichever is preferred.
 
-          Socks

Step 10: Packing: Step 3

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Since shirts are generally the articles of clothing that are most likely to wrinkle, try to keep the rolls tight and lay them as flat and orderly as possible.
 
-          Shirts

Step 11: Packing: Step 4

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Similar to shirts, trousers should also be laid neatly within the carry-on. Trousers tend to stay in place better than shirts, so putting these on top of the shirts will help keep all things in their proper place.
 
-          Trousers

Step 12: Packing: Step 5

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Depending on the location of the computer compartment, this step can occur whenever it is best suited. Keep in mind that you will have to remove your computer in order to get through security, so make sure that it is easily accessible. There are some computer sleeves available that do not need to be removed through security. These often can fit within the carry-on and offer protection to the computer on the conveyor belt. 
 
Other large electronics also must be removed, but small electronics (cell phones, iPods, etc.) do not need to be.   
 
-          Computer

Step 13: Packing: Step 6

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Cords can easily be packed within separate zipped pockets in order to keep them from getting tangled. They are also not very useful without the device they go to, so the threat of theft is low, making them good candidates for outside pockets. It is best to try and protect them from being crushed at the bottom of the bag.
 
-          Phone Cord/ Charger
-          Computer Cords

Step 14: Packing: Step 7

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Depending on how much you will need to access this during the flight or general travel, it could possibly go in with your folders or on the outside.
 
-          Planner

Step 15: Packing: Step 8

Picture of Packing: Step 8

These items need to be easily accessible. The headphones will be used while in flight and the plastic bag will need to be taken out in order to go through security. Also, being put on the top of the bag prevents crushing for both items. Do not forget to make sure the plastic bag is firmly closed when placed in your carry-on in order to avoid messes. Many liquid containers are susceptible to spills due to the pressure changes in the airplane.
 
-          Headphones
-          Plastic Bag

Step 16: Final

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As was mentioned before, this carry-on bag is a small one. With a slightly larger bag (but still small enough to follow airport guidelines and to be an easily manageable size) you can add other items to make your trip more comfortable. Consider hand-sanitizer, hand/face wipes, free reading book(s), earplugs, gum, light snacks, etc.
 
Good luck with your travels and enjoy your trip!

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