I once gave this advice to a former associate, who had just taken a job that required a lot of travel. She wrote me years later and said it saved her miles of anxiety and hours of extra sleep.
Question: What did you do that made your business travel easier?
Reply: My first plane flight was when i was 9 mos. old. My parents trained us to be ready to run for a plane in an hour and pack light. (My mother can still travel for a couple weeks with just a backpack). I developed a system, partly from laziness, partly to compensate for my forgetfulness and mostly with my dad's "always be prepared" attitude in my head. These (mostly work for both men and women.
1. I wore all black. ALL THE TIME. Really- no mixing or matching. When you've been running for 3 days straight and need to do a presentation on day 3? Matching black with black? I can do that! My recommendation, pick a color theme, stay within it and accessorize like crazy.
2. I bought multiples of the same thing. There was a recent article I read about a woman who created a work uniform. I guess this is the same thing. I had 4 pairs of the same jeans, shirts, and yup underwear as well. It's boring as all get out but when you're traveling
Monday-Friday for several years, you don't want to be spending your time truffling around for outfits when you get home.
3. I never un-packed. Yup. Oh, and even though I don't fly as much, I still have a carry-on sitting packed in my office. After doing a midnight run in downtown Manhattan looking for contact solution ... AT MIDNIGHT 3 times. I finally decided to get smart.
My suitcase has a set of all the amenities I need to travel. It never gets unpacked. It just gets replenished. I also vastly simplified my regime. And use a single product for hair, skin and face (but you don't have to go to those extremes)!
4. Those cube thingies. Genius. I can squeeze so much in and i just zip them down. I sometimes feel like Mary Poppins pulling out a mass of items when I unzip the cube.
5. Patagonia. I love them. And their long down jacket that squishes down to smaller than a football kept me warm in 50 below weather. (I'm talking to you, Sioux Falls!).
Finally, hydrate like crazy and enjoying the ride. Travel is never perfect, so expecting everything to be on time is setting you up for disappointment. I didn't always follow this last bit, but I should of- it would have helped me arrive much more relaxed and saved me lots of wrinkle cream.