As I write this, I’m at the end of a full week of traveling for work (with a day and a half of AZ sunshine by myself on the back end), and this week is in the early part of 9 weeks of travel. To say that it puts my training at risk by traveling this much while trying to reach a big goal in a race at the end of all of it is an understatement. But this is the life I chose to lead, so here I am. For the next few weeks, I’m going to share different parts of how I keep my schedule even when I’m on the road.
How do you pack for all that? You must check your bag
I will do almost anything to avoid checking a bag. I just hate wasting time waiting for it on the other side, I’d rather be partway to my destination than stand with the other hawks waiting for their similar looking bag to come out from the mouth of the beast. So I get creative:
- Choose one color scheme so you only need 1 pair of shoes/bag/1-2 sets of jewelry. And try to stick with basics – unless you regularly mix patterns and colors a lot, choose items that you can mix and match with basically anything. Having something with you that you’ll only wear once, or never, takes up valuable space.
That single color scheme also enables you to have one blazer or sweater that can be mixed and matched with other pieces.
- Outfit choices are not a thing when you travel. Stop pretending you need choices. 1 pair of jeans will get you through 2 weeks, easily. No, you will not wear that floral top, put it back. (Unless it’s this one, and then pack it, because you will wear it, multiple times.)
- Don’t pack dresses, unless you don’t mind it being obvious you wore the same thing twice. I tend to choose pants or skirts because the mix and match combos means you don’t ever have to wear the same outfit twice, although the individual pieces will get worn more than once.
- Wear your biggest pieces of clothing and shoes on the plane. I almost always bring a big sweater because I’m always freezing in conference rooms, so you can usually find me wearing it with jeans or running tights on the plane. I’m also a big fan of booties, so they are usually my plane shoes because they are too bulky to pack along with my running shoes. If it’s a long flight, the booties/jeans combo allows me to wear compression socks without them showing. Win, win.
- Invest in workout gear that is unstinkable (Oiselle’s Flyout tops are incredible at staying stink free, although they are not technically unstinkable), and/or carry on a small amount of active wear detergent. This week, I’ll be in three different hotels, in 3 different cities, so I’ve got to be extra creative with when I workout, and how I rinse out my gear so that it’s dry before I need to re-pack it. But you’re not trying to truly clean it in most cases, just making sure it doesn’t smell terribly.
- Don’t be afraid to mail it in. I’ve absolutely sent stuff to myself at hotels (or offices I’m visiting) and then drop stuff off before I head to the airport to send it back. This is especially helpful if you’re mixing business and pleasure. I don’t typically wear work pants to hike or go to the beach, so sending that stuff back before the play time starts is always an easy decision. This was a savior this weekend, because Nordstrom’s extra points weekend ends today, so of course I stopped by last evening.
Finally, make sure you’ve got good travel bags that will go the long haul with you. For years I’ve used Samsonite bags of different sizes for my trip length, and they’ve been good, but on a recent trip, one end got eaten after it had to be checked (I was returning from Mexico and had to check it with my tequila stash). After several friends said they loved their Away bags, I decided to get the Bigger Carry-On and their Everywhere bag. I am so impressed with both of them – they fit so much stuff – and the Navy is a nice departure from my typical black. Check them out and save $20!
What Travel Tips do you want to hear? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my list!