If you're planning a business trip, it's important to ensure you keep to the airline's luggage weight limit or if it's only a short trip, your carry-on bag fits specifications.
Remember though, when it comes to budget airlines or for trips to Europe, the luggage limits are lower than if you're taking a transatlantic or long-haul trip, so it's important to ensure you cram everything in that you'll need for your trip, however long the duration.
Buy the right bag
Getting the balance right between space, weight and how easy a bag is to carry is easier said than done. It will also very much depend on where you're going, which airline you're using and whether you have carry-on luggage or hold allowances. If you can, purchase a modular case that allows you to add or remove parts, or one that is expandable, so at its smallest, it'll fit in the overhead locker, but expanded, it'll be fine for the hold.
Only take the essentials
Lay everything you plan to take with you on the floor when packing and cut this down by half.
Most hotels offer a laundry service, so limit yourself to two of everything in terms of outerwear - two formal outfits (only one suit), two casual outfits and enough underwear to last your trip.
Also, only take two pairs of shoes, or one if you can get away with it because these take up a lot of space. Multiple layers are smaller than bulky items like a big coat, so leave these at home, or be prepared to wear them on the flight.
Don't squash your clothes
Whether you fold, roll or lay your clothes out flat will determine how they come out of your case when you reach your destination.
Roll items that won't crease and lay these at the bottom of the bag. If you have enough space, rolling creasable fabrics sandwiched between towels or other items will minimise creases.
If the surface area of your case is big enough, lay the remainder of your clothes on top, or fold if you don't have enough space. If the hotel doesn't have an iron, hanging them up in the bathroom while you're having a shower will help the creases drop out of fabrics.
A number of different vacuum-pack bags and modular systems are available to help you make the most of space in your bag or case. Use these to collate smaller items such as underwear and toiletries and pack these first, along with shoes stacked on top of each other to create a base for clothing, packed in vacuum bags.
Just remember to save enough space to take the pump if you're planning on fitting everything in for the way back.
Use a packing service
If all else fails, there are number of services available that will pack for you. But these come at a cost. Also, remember that these services may not be at your disposal for the return journey.
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Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.
Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.
As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.