CFR Traveller Tips vol. VI – Packing for Carry-on

2015-09-18 12.17.24

As you have been able to see – or, rather, not see – I have not been publishing the last few Mondays. Two times a full week of travelling sort of got in the way.

I have a small, real-life story from my endeavours to get this post to take off: Week before last, I had a flight out of CPH Monday at 15:40. We live about half an hour’s drive from the airport and my son kindly drove me. So I started packing when? Well, about 13:00 I decided that maybe it was about time. I was done about ten to two – but then, I had also ironed a shirt and had had both a shave and a shower. For the trip in  the past week, as I had done all the those niceties in advance, packing took something like 15 minutes. Packing is all about routine, really.

And I wanted to write up some tips on this essential topic 🙂

On 4-5 day business trips like these – typically with an all business casual dresscode agenda plus, for the conference last week, one evening with dresscode “cocktail” (had to look that up and am still peeved that I didn’t get to bring my black tie 😉 ) – there really is no reason at all for checking in luggage. Not that I can think of many reasons ever to do that on business trips – unless the job requires carrying stuff that has to go in the hold. My personal record is a 10-day business trip to the other side of the world, hand-luggage only…

Here is a small description with photos on my preferred packing routine. Not that I am not religious about this (either) – there are three, four or maybe more good packing methods and for different purposes or temperaments, any other may work better for you. Here’s  a comparison of 4 different options for you – worth having a look at.

My preferred way is bundle wrapping. What is it good for? Efficiently and compactly storing those 4-5-6 days’ worth of business clothes with a minimum of wrinkling. What, then, isn’t it good for? If you have several stops on your trip and not too much time at each of them, it’s too much of a hassle as there’ll be stuff in the middle of the bundle that you can’t easily get to.

The idea with bundle wrapping is that you make … you won’t guess this … a bundle. The wrinkle-resistant stuff like T-shirts, socks, what have you, form the core and the rest is carefully wrapped around it in order from least to most wrinkle prone. Trousers first, then shirts, finally your suit jacket(s). This is always easier to see in drawings and pictures – so as a companion to the photos here, you’ll find Red Oxx’ chart of bundle wrapping here.

The stuff that went into my carry-on on the NZ/AUS trip in the spring, which is when I did the photos:

2015-03-10 11.08.14

(well, no – not the ironing board 😉 )

Eveything laid out for bundling – in the video above, Erin bundles straight into the bag but I prefer to do the bundle on a flat surface. Less kinks and wrinkles that way, at least for me:

2015-03-18 11.15.23

The red thing is an Eagle Creek packing cube – it holds the whatevers (undies, socks, ties, Tshirts) and makes it a nice core to bundle around.

You’ll end up with this sort-of box-shaped clothes thingumyjig that you can lift and neatly place in your carry-on bag, cinch tight and carry to your destination.

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The wee red string there is actually from a shoe bag – yes, there was a pair of shoes there, too. Once you unpack it, if you’ve gotten things done well – to be honest, I needed a bit of practice – things will unpack in a rather ship-shape  state. And there’s always the “hang the shirt in the bathroom while you take a steamy shower” trick to get it to lose any eventual wrinkles.

By the way, no toiletry bag? Yes, but it routinely goes into my computer bag – that way, I only have to open one bag through security as I have to get PC and iPad out there anyway.

As always: Happy flying – take care out there!

Photos by me
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