Business travellers spend a good portion of their year on the road. The biggest challenge while packing for trips is carrying the essentials effortlessly in one bag. The secret is to strike a balance between comfort and convenience. Luckily, there are “hacks” to fit everything you need and maybe a little more.

1. Bag

Invest in a suitcase with wheels that glide smoothly across airport floors (or any surface in case your hotel is on a no-car street). Most corporate travellers on short trips prefer carry-on luggage to escape unpredictable delays at the baggage carousel. In case you’re travelling with a laptop bag, make sure it has a long satchel to hang over your shoulder, an outer pocket to easily slip the passport in and out, and isn’t stuffed with unnecessary items that would make it heavy to lug around.

2. Toiletries

Most hotels are generous with toiletries; all decent ones have the basic shower gel and shampoo. If you’re particular about the brand of beauty products, carry them in 100ml bottles to save space. These are available in plenty on Amazon. Additionally, to save time, consider keeping a toilet kit packed with the basics, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, and comb.

3. Jacket

If you are travelling to a cold country, it is advisable to carry just one heavy coat and build all your outfits around it. Black has proved to be the easiest to pair with many options. Hold the jacket in your hand because it will occupy precious space in the bag. On boarding, the cabin crew will take it from you, so you don’t have to worry about stowing it away.

4. Space

Stuff socks into your shoes, and ensure the vanity case is more long than bulky so you can flatten it out over your clothes. Roll ties and accessories into the empty gaps after you’ve filled the bag. Line leather belts along the inner periphery of your bag. Carry no more than two pairs of shoes wear one pair on the flight and when in the room, you’ll be provided with room slippers anyway. Mix and match clothing combinations, for example two shirt options for one pair of trousers. If you’re staying for three days or more at one location, don’t hesitate to avail of the hotel’s laundry services. In India, that’s about ₹390 for a shirt in a 5-star hotel. A cheaper option would be one of the many laundries around.

5. Go digital

Instead of carrying a lot of printouts, email those files to yourself or load them on to a pen drive. An added benefit is having no fear of losing sheets or spilling coffee over them. Instead of printing out addresses, enter them into the map app on your phone and take screenshots. A visual aide is always better than textual instructions. Itineraries can be easily synced into the phone’s calendar. Even boarding passes are now emailed to us. Instead of three different chargers, carry a universal one with multiple heads and one adapter.

6. Go cashless

Cash is required in emergency situations, which you must be prepared for. So, stash a nominal amount in your wallet or between cards in your money clip. For payments, use credit, debit or travel cards. E-wallets are pretty handy too. Just make sure you choose to pay in the local currency so you’re not charged exorbitant exchange rates. In case you must carry a lot of cash, make sure your travel insurance covers you for theft and loss of cash.

7. Emergency

Although the Air Travel Consumer Report issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation assures that there is less than a one per cent chance of a “major airline” misplacing your bag, one can never be too careful. Drag a small cabin bag when you travel. Fill it up with a pair of clothes, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste. You don’t want to be caught in a messy situation should your bag be misplaced. Throw in a medicine kit too just the basics again for flu and food poisoning. There is no need to carry the entire strip, simply empty a few pills into a small ziplock or medicine organiser because these are very simply, handy options for unlikely, but menacing situations.