The Minimalist Guide To Packing Light

Nov 20, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by Ashley Wetmore

Packing can be a pain, but with these helpful tips maybe you can cut down on space, time, and all those other troubles associated with traveling with luggage. We've broken our packing process down into four easy steps for you: the check-in, the bag, what to bring, and the techniques that have worked for us. If you have tips of your own, please feel free to share them! 

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The Check-in

To carry on or to not carry on, that is the question. So, let’s weigh the pros and cons!


Pros: Carry On

  • Eliminate the concern of lost luggage.
  • No crowds to fight at the end of your journey.
  • No fees.
  • Access to belongings throughout the trip.

Cons: Carry On

  • Size constraints.
  • Carry throughout travel.
  • Limited wardrobe options.

Pros: Checked Luggage

  • More space to pack.
  • Leave your bag at check-in, so you don't have to carry it with you.
  • Bring a small wardrobe with you for options.

Cons: Checked Luggage

  • Long lines to check bags.
  • Mishandled bags as a risk.
  • Possibility of lost luggage.
  • No access after check-in.


The Bag

There are many pieces of luggage on the market from which to choose. Depending upon how your work environment is structured, you may be required to wear suits and ties; in this case, a garment bag would be your best option. These bags come in many styles, but our consultants recommend garment bags with wheels built in.

If you work in a more relaxed environment, any small carry-on will most likely do. You’ll have plenty of room to fit slacks, button-downs, and up to two pairs of shoes comfortably.

What To Bring

Our consultants travel an average of four days per week, which makes reduced packing a breeze. Here’s a shortlist of what they typically pack.

  • 1-2 pairs of black dress shoes.
  • 2 pairs of slacks/skirts
  • 4 dress shirts (cotton is recommended for ease of ironing)
  • 4 sets of undergarments 
  • 1 belt
  • If you usually wear a suit, wool is preferable to linen in order to avoid the hassle of wrinkles.

If you dress for the flight with a sport coat/blazer and slacks, you can free up space within your bag and not have to worry about packing them. 

The Techniques

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we’ve found to be useful.

  1. Pack shoes first and fill with small items, like belts and socks. Place these items in a dust bag to protect your clothing.
  2. Fold shirts, jackets, and pants vertically and roll them so that you can avoid any serious wrinkles and save space.
  3. Keep your toiletries in a separate small bag to avoid spills and loose containers in your bag.
  4. Try to leave some room in your bag. You never know if something might catch your eye or if you’ll find a souvenir for a loved one.
  5. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there as well that can show you different ways to store more in your bag. 

These are some basic guidelines for the frequent traveler. If you feel like we’ve missed something, or if you have some tips of your own, leave them for us and your fellow consultants in the comments section below.

Happy and safe travels from Healthcare IS! 

You may also like: 4 Apps Every Traveling Consultant Should Consider

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