Five ways to lighten your load when traveling on business and pleasure

traveling on businessIf you’ve gone on a long business trip, there’s a good chance you’ve tacked a vacation onto the front or back of it. Why not? You’re already on the road. If business takes you (or close to) an interesting place, it makes sense to get the most out of your experience – and the plane ticket you’ve already purchased. Unfortunately, this can be a pain sometimes. You wind up with a lot of luggage to drag around, which can be uncomfortable at best.

Don’t let this problem get in your way!

There are a number of ways you can change how you pack to make your business-and-pleasure combo easier to manage. Let’s take a look at five of them:

1. Get real about shoes: do you need footwear for casual, office and formal occasions? Try to consolidate. Getting down to one pair may be tough, but you should be able to find a pair of shoes that at least works from business casual through formal. It won’t be the best pair of shoes for any of these occasions, but it might be just good enough for all of them.

2. Recycle your wardrobe: use clothing form your business trip for nights out when you’re on vacation. It’s close enough. Maybe mix up the shirts and paints so you feel like you’re wearing something a little different from what you put on for the job.

3. Find a local laundry service: the hotels will gouge you, so don’t even think about using them. Try to find a dry cleaner with wash/dry/fold service at your destination. It isn’t as cheap as doing the laundry yourself, but it will be faster and easier. And you won’t have to pack as much.

4. Enlist your travel partner’s help: is your wife (or husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, etc.) going to meet you for the vacation portion of your trip? See if you can have him or her carry your vacation clothing for you. At least it cuts your load for the outbound side of your trip. Maybe the two of you could each carry half of what you need for the vacation part.

5. Stick to the essentials: wear the same suit twice. Skip the extra pair of jeans. You could probably get by on a lot less than you think!