Flying Right

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Pack like a pro for your next business trip

For many professional women, stress is a part of the job. But business travel can make it decidedly worse: more than one-third of business travelers say traveling for work makes them more stressed than usual, according to a 2017 study by travel risk management company On Call International.

Sarah Howell was traveling nearly 50 percent of the time in her job as a software training program manager when she launched her blog Road Warriorette to share what she learned about making business travel easier. Howell offers these tips for bringing those stress levels down.

Build a capsule wardrobe.

Worried that you don’t have enough outfits for the trip? Gather 10 pieces that can be mixed and matched. “Generally, I start with two or three pairs of pants or skirts, a dress, four tops, and maybe two cardigans or blazers, depending on how formal I need to be. You can make upward of 40 combinations with those clothes,” Howell says.

Use packing cubes.

Avoid dragging multiple bags through the airport by using packing cubes to fit more into your luggage. That way, you can also avoid checking your bags. “If you don’t have to check your bag, that can save anywhere from five minutes—if you’re in a small, empty airport—to an hour,” Howell says.
Pack healthy snacks.

The high stress of business travel can make comfort foods enticing. Ward off unhealthy binging by packing granola bars (buy those without added sugar), almonds, and other nutritious snacks. “When you eat better, you feel better,” Howell says. “When you’re on the road for work, you don’t have time to not feel good.”

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