How to Combine Business and Leisure in One Carry-On


One bag and one bag only – is it possible? Avoiding the baggage carousel by taking one carry-on bag for a business/leisure trip doesn’t mean you have to stock up on those questionable zip-off-leg pants or an origami-like, multitasking dress/top/scarf contrivance. A tightly edited carry-on not only saves you time at the airport, it also means no wardrobe indecisions once you reach your destination. Consider the last suitcase you packed: how many of the items actually made it out of the bag? Consider this the Marie Kondo approach to packing. What you don’t pack is as important as what you do – so if you find something in there that doesn’t quite cut it, firmly explain to it (ahem, yourself) that you’ll see it upon your return. Follow these tips when you’re packing for a business and leisure scenario and see how far one bag can take you.

Start with the bag 

Make sure your bag meets the size requirements before you even think about what to pack. Something with wheels is handy but make sure it’s svelte enough to fit easily into the overhead compartment.

Lay your clothes out and critically assess your choices

Have you selected any clothes that you rarely wear? If you’re never tempted to don that sparkly dress at home, you’re unlikely to do so in another city. Pack tried-and-tested items – things that are part of your weekly outfit line-up.

Have you packed two items when one would suffice?  

A pair of business trousers and a pair of jeans might seem necessary but how about packing just one pair of pants that could cover your bases for both work and play? Likewise, one warm layer – a jumper or jacket – should be enough, as long as you’ve got enough fresh tops to wear underneath it.

Think about outfits, not individual pieces

Packing your favourite items willy-nilly won’t result in a well thought-out selection of ensembles. Rather, it means you may end up having to pair polka dots with florals and pretending that’s what you intended. You need to be strategic. Turn your bedroom floor into one of those fashion spreads in which one item is styled in three different ways (try to include more items if possible). Nothing in your bag should be intended for single use. Space is at a premium.

Plan a colour theme

Stick to a colour palette – say, all black or navy and white. This gives you a far greater chance of being able to mix and match your outfits.

Pick a team: fold or roll

To make the best use of the limited space, consider not just what you pack but how you pack it. Those on the rolling team swear it’s a space-saver – and it helps to prevent crumpling, too. Maximise space by putting balled socks and coiled power cords into your shoes.

Forgo full-sized toiletries 

That huge bottle of shampoo or industrial-sized moisturiser are going to take up valuable space and weight. Many toiletry items are unnecessary: hotels will provide shampoo and conditioner, while other products can be bought once you get there. If you have favourites that you want to take with you, consider decanting them into smaller containers or asking for samples next time you make a purchase.

Wear your coat

Any bulky items such as boots or thick coats should be worn on the plane. Sure, it might be sunny and warm in Perth but, if you’re going to Hobart, you’re going to need them when you arrive.

SEE ALSO: 13 Tips for Surviving a Long-Haul Flight

Consider the laundry 

If you’re travelling for an extended period, there’s no way you can pack different clothes for each day of your trip. The solution: wash and re-wear – most hotels have a laundry service but a little soap and a scrub in the sink will do the job most of the time.

You can’t bring all your shoes

Sorry. You just can’t. Limit yourself to two pairs and wear the heavier pair on the plane.

What not to pack

Your entire beauty routine

If your evening cleansing ritual involves an arsenal of toners, serums, oils and creams, consider paring it down for the trip. The same goes for hair-care products – volumising spray, dry shampoo, argan oil leave-in treatment – you won’t need them all.

Too many gadgets

An iPad, laptop, smartphone, DSLR camera, e-reader, GPS device and portable DVD player is probably overkill. Choose a couple and do the rest with your smartphone (after all, it’s a camera, e-reader, torch, GPS and streaming device in one).


Leave the hardcover at home and use a reading app such as Google Play Books, Kindle or an audio book app such as Audible and download a good read for your trip.

SEE ALSO: How to earn Qantas Points Without Even Trying



You may also like