How to Pack the Essentials Without Checking a Bag


Accomplish more even before you step on the plane with these great packing tips!: Photo Credit: HalfPoint/iStock/Getty Images Plus collection/Getty Images

Even if you tend to over-pack for a business trip, you can learn to master the art of the carry-on bag.

Here’s a guide to fitting everything you’ll need from morning workout to afternoon business meetings to dinner and drinks in a single rolling bag.

Remember, you can leave your workout mat at home, because EVEN Hotels provides an in-room yoga mat, as well as a balance ball and workout videos, as part of your personalized fitness experience.

Get Organized

Before anything, stock up on Ziploc bags in several sizes, including gallon and quart. These resealable bags are invaluable when it comes to stowing, accessing — and protecting — nutritional supplements, electronic accessories, liquids, creams and gels.

As for the roller bag itself, a lightweight soft-shelled model with zipper for expansion is a good idea. It will offer some yield if you need to deal with those annoying “see if your suitcase fits” used by some airlines, and it can later stretch to accommodate things you buy on the road.

Be Well-Suited

You’ll need a garment bag that fits inside your suitcase. Think function over form: It just needs to fold up and hang loose. Pockets, bells and whistles are a waste of space. A garment bag is the last item you’re going to put in the suitcase, and the first you’ll want to take out when unpacking so it can hang on a rack or hook. Wrinkles are the enemy!

If the Shoe Fits…Pack It

Footwear can eat up significant suitcase space — and cut into your precious weight allowance — if your airline imposes restrictions. Look for shoes that are flexible, lightweight and malleable. If they flatten, that’s inches saved. If you must bring leather loafers or dress shoes, make the most of their interior by filling them with socks.

Rolling Rules

If you’ve got a knack for folding clothes flat, go with it. But rolling offers an ideal combination of saving space and fighting wrinkles. Towards the latter goal, cotton and synthetic blends are going to serve you best. Fortunately, that’s usually the case with your workout wardrobe, which you’ll absolutely want to use in EVEN Hotel’s best-in-class Athletic Studio.

Think versatility when selecting your clothes. A single pair of neutral or dark pants can go with several days’ worth of colorful shirts, both dress and casual. Grey jeans can sometimes work with a jacket and tie, yet be comfortable in a casual restaurant or bar after hours.

Don’t Bulk Up Your Bag

Heading somewhere literally cool, or downright freezing? Don’t waste luggage space on bulky, space-sucking winter jackets and sweaters: Wear these while in transit. You can also layer with lightweight, athleisure wear, like UNIQLO’s HEATTECH line, which is comfortable, sporty and ultra-warm.

Now you’re ready to roll — oh, and if you forget the toothbrush, your EVEN Hotel has one waiting for you.

About the Author

Lawrence Ferber is a New York City-based journalist who writes about his favorite obsessions: cities, food and the arts.