It isn’t often that I have to travel for work. When I do, I find myself in a prep frenzy in the weeks prior; since it isn’t routine for me, I get a little neurotic about it. I’m attending a conference in Texas … so I need to survive Texas, which is contrary to my mid-Atlantic nature.
I’ll only be gone for a few days, so I’m not checking luggage. My colleague is, but I can’t fathom checking a bag for a day to, two days at, and a day from. I’m fortunate to work for a company who will reimburse for checked baggage fees, but I don’t care for the hassle. You have to get to the airport earlier, you have to wait at the baggage claim, and there’s risk of loss when you have connecting flights (I do).
My last trip was the same duration and I got by with just my SwissGear laptop backpack and my purse. Granted, I had the backpack packed to the gills (laptop, tablet, surprisingly heavy tablet keyboard, clothing, shoes, toiletries, note binder, etc etc etc.) and it was a bit much to carry on my back for extended periods of time – but I did it. I knew this bag wouldn’t let me down; I carry this bag every day for work (with a lighter load, of course!). It has held up to almost eight years of abuse wonderfully, and I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to repurchase when I wear this one out.
This time, I’ll be bringing a small carry-on suitcase (this one is similar) and that same backpack. For a purse, I’ll throw this inexpensive Giani Bernini packable tote (I have a burgundy one) in the suitcase and pop it out for use between the to-and-from travel. The tote is big enough to carry my laptop if I don’t want to bring the backpack to the conference (jury is still out on that).
Disclaimer: None of this is “cute.” I work in a technical field and am utilitarian to (nearly) a fault. When it comes to bags (in general but especially for travel) if it isn’t practical, I don’t want it in my life. If you’re here for chic luggage advice, regrettably you’ve come to the wrong place.
Quart Bag Packing Plans
Last time I traveled for work, I traveled to Santa Ana, California. It was beautiful but it was also miserably dry in comparison to what I am accustomed to at home. Having learned from this, my quart-sized TSA-approved carry-on will be dominated by things I can quench my parched skin.
Beyond moisture-starved skin, I also have a different mouth situation to contend with. My oral hygiene demands are much higher with my Invisalign treatment.
My TSA-approved quart bag packing plans are currently as follows:
- Tiny bottle of argan oil. I have a deluxe sample of Josie Maran, which is convenient. Its dropper bottle is smaller than anything else I own and it will be plenty for this trip. When I’m out, I’ll refill the bottle with my Mountain Rose Herbs argan oil!
- Shampoo and conditioner packet duo. I have a billion of these from when I signed up for nearly every sample under the sun. I don’t really care what I pick.
- A small pot of my favorite sunscreen from Biore Japan.
- Travel-sized dry shampoo. I got Batiste Tropical because it is the best ever. (Regular size here, I Think I Have a Problem size here.)
- Small bottle of Germ-X because the public is gross.
- Toothpaste – I carry Colgate Total in my oral hygiene kit.
- TWO 2 oz Nalgene bottles of Listerine Naturals.
- A tiny bottle of unscented Method soap to clean my trays.
Up in the Air
I still have some space in my quart bag, so from there I need to figure out what to include. The options are:
- Product for my hair. Contenders are a travel size can of mousse or Super Skinny serum decanted into a small travel pot.
- Clinique Dramatically Different gel travel tube.
- Skinfix hand cream.
- Urban Decay All Nighter.
In an effort to preserve as much precious quart bag real estate as possible, I am bringing:
- Bar soap carried in a simple soap case. I use Dove bar soap at home already – no need to buy body wash for the trip.
- Simple Micellar Wipes to remove makeup and wash my face.
What about Makeup?
Aside from (perhaps) concealer, none of my makeup should need to go in a quart bag. I’m keeping it simple – not bringing BB Cream or other liquids. If it is too much of a hassle for day-to-day, why on earth would I bother for a brief business trip.
–that’s it for makeup! I’m going to a conference, not somewhere to be glamorous.
If you travel for work, what are your usual packing plans?