Five Ways to Pare Down Your Briefcase

September 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Some business travelers might as well call themselves pack mules with the amount of weight they lug through airports in their briefcases. I’ve seen people carry briefcases that weigh as much as their carry-ons. The bags are filled with binders, folders, and loose papers. It’s enough to make an organizational expert run screaming from the room.

The problem is that a cluttered workplace clutters your mind. Not only is it hard to find anything, but it creates a sense of stress as well as its own inefficiencies.

But with some simple planning and strategizing, your briefcase doesn’t have to create additional strain on your body. We’ve come up with five ways business travelers can streamline the contents of their briefcase for travel. You may end up with so little in it, you might be able to leave it at home!

Crew Executive Choice 2 Briefcase with phone charger. Ideal for business travelers

Crew Executive Choice 2 Briefcase with phone charger

1. Unload everything from your briefcase and eliminate all non-essential clutter. Extra cables, extra equipment (could get by with a tablet instead of a laptop), and extra paper. How many pens and pencils do you need? If you have more than two, that’s too many. Put your loose cables into a small bag or cord organizer. Rather than treating your briefcase as a repository of “just in case” materials, try to plan ahead better so you’re not carrying a lot of extra stuff.

2. Get Evernote. This isn’t a sponsored post — the app simply is the best way to clip and save online content for reading later. You can also upload reports to it, save articles from the web to read on the plane, scan receipts and documents, and even scan business cards and save them to your phone’s contact list. While Evernote is primarily a cloud-based app, you can save certain notes and notebooks directly to your device. This way, even if you don’t have wifi access, you still have access to your most important documents.

3. Keep all your documents in the cloud. Price lists, special reports, contracts, and so on. I’ve known business travelers who would print several copies of each of these, and jam them in their briefcase in case they ever needed them. Instead, if someone wants a price list or report, open it up on your laptop or phone to show it, and then email it to them. Finally, use apps like DocuSign for people to sign contracts and agreements electronically, which lets you save and share the copies online.

4. Prioritize your work and delay your printing.
If you must carry paperwork, prioritize what you have to do over what you might do. The best-laid plans are usually just that, so be realistic about what you will accomplish. (Now, if you packed all your work onto Evernote and/or a cloud-storage service, you can load as much as you want.) Can you put off printing and carrying certain documents? If you’re going to give handouts during a presentation, can you have them printed once you arrive, rather than hauling them with you?

5. Is there an app for that?
Why pack a handheld calculator when you can use the one that came with your phone’s operating system? Why carry a book when you could read it on an e-reader? (For that matter, why carry a Kindle when your tablet has the Kindle reader?) Don’t bother printing out directions; use a travel app that offers offline mapping.

The biggest problem a lot of business travelers have is they can hoard documents like they’re doomsday preppers. But in this day and age of cloud-based storage and broadband wifi, you’re only a Starbucks or cell phone away from your important information. There’s no need to pack everything you might need “just in case.” Shed those unwanted paperwork pounds and see how much easier your next business travel trip is.

Business travelers, how do you travel light? What do you do to keep your briefcase or backpack pared down to just the essentials? Share your ideas in the comments below,on our Facebook page, orin our Twitter stream.

Business Travelers Need Smaller Carry-On Luggage on Regional Jets

August 10, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Not all business travelers jet off to major cities or other countries. Many business travelers have clients in smaller cities, and that means that if you travel by air, it’ll most likely be via a regional jet.

There’s nothing wrong with regional jets, except when it comes to overhead and under seat storage space for carry-on luggage. You can determine if your plane will be a regional jet simply by entering your flight number on SeatGuru. The overhead bin size will be specified in the data about the plane. Most will accommodate bags up to 18″x14″x7″.

If you normally fly via these types of aircraft, your more traditional carry-on luggage gets gate-checked for plane side retrieval. While setup doesn’t require you to trek to the baggage claim, you may end up waiting several minutes for your luggage to re-emerge. Nothing wrong with that, unless you need to make a tight connection. In that case, you might consider investigating smaller carry-on luggage instead.

Travelpro has a wide variety of bags that will increase your chances of avoiding gate check and still provide you with many options for traveling with your business and personal essentials.

Let’s start with the Crew™ 11 Rolling Tote. Don’t be deceived by its size: this bag has been designed to do double duty and features a built-in business organizer with pockets for cables and smartphones, separate padded tablet and laptop sleeves, as well as a generous compartment for a change of clothes.

Tpro Bold 2 Backpacks are ideal for business travelers on regional jets.

Tpro Bold 2 Backpacks are ideal for business travelers on regional jets.

The Crew™ 11 Spinner Tote has the same features as the aforementioned model, but steps things up a notch with Travelpro’s patented 360-degree MagnaTrac® self-aligning wheels. The Platinum® Magna™ 2 Spinner Tote is crafted with premium fabrics, leather accents, and high-performance MagnaTrac® self-aligning wheels, and has a dedicated business organizer compartment as well as a Worry Free Warranty backing.

The Platinum® Magna™ 2 Backpack is checkpoint friendly, allowing you to pass through security without removing your laptop. The Crew™ Executive Choice™ 2 Wheeled Brief sports a full business organizer, complete with an external USB port with dedicated Power Bank storage pocket for keeping your electronics charged on the go (Power Bank not included). Its clothing compartment is more than adequate for one to two days change of clothes and has hold down straps to keep contents secure.

The T-pro® Bold™ 2.0 Backpack streamlines your travel experience without compromising on features. Dedicated pockets organize your business essentials, and a generous interior cavity provides space for the efficient packer to accommodate not only a laptop, but a set of clothes and toiletries.

Finally, if you’re looking for a non-rolling, soft tote style answer to overhead bin limitations, the MaxLite® 4 Soft Tote weighs in at just under 2 pounds, but will accommodate a change of clothes and select business essentials. It also fits under the seat in front of you, leaving the overhead bin available for others. (Or in the overhead bin, leaving you a little more foot room.)

How do you manage your carry-on luggage when you’re flying on regional jets? Do you have a favorite bag or even a technique to get your bag on board? Share your thoughts in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

Shopping for Luggage: Backpacks vs Business Briefs

December 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

When you’re in the market for a backpack or a classic business brief, there’s no one “best” choice for you. The best choice for you will be determined through your own personal preference.

Backpacks are still fairly popular, especially among Millennials. Many business users enjoy the hands-free flexibility the shoulder straps provide. However, there are still some industries — finance, banking and law for example — where a briefcase is perceived to have more seriousness and gravitas than a backpack.

Crew Executive Choice 2 Backpack

Crew Executive Choice 2 Backpack

Once you’ve determined what you want, and how you’re going to use your new portable office, there are a few important features you should consider when making a selection.

Backpacks

  • Comfort: Examine the shoulder straps for cushion and adjustability, and make sure your handles are comfortable. The Crew™ Executive Choice™ 2 backpack and Platinum® Magna™ 2 features padded shoulder straps, as well as leather carry handles.
  • Breathability: Look for backing material that allows airflow so heat won’t build up on your back. The contour of the design should maximize airflow as well.
  • Storage: With its large internal cavity, a backpack can also function as an overnight bag, eliminating an extra carry-on. Make sure to get a backpack that has both a padded sleeve for your laptop, and a larger compartment for clothes. Read more

Shopping for a Business Backpack: Features That Make Travel a Breeze

December 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s the one thing that unites every airport traveler, regardless of destination, purpose of your trip, or which class we fly. We all want to get through security quickly.

We take off our belts, remove our jackets and our shoes, put our change and keys in the little dishes, and pull our laptops from our bags. All of this wastes time, and we’re at risk of forgetting something and leaving it behind. (It’s also one of the compelling reasons for signing up for TSA Pre-Check.)

Travelpro Crew Executive Choice 2 Business Backpack - open

This checkpoint friendly backpack can get you through airport security with a minimum of fuss.

If you had a checkpoint-friendly backpack from our Crew™ Executive Choice™ 2 or Platinum® Magna™ 2 collections, you could be efficient with your time and protect your valuables simultaneously. Our checkpoint-friendly backpacks can be opened up and laid flat, leaving the laptop in one half and your loose items in the other, ready to be checked by security. No chance of leaving things behind or having them stolen. Just re-zip the bag shut, and you’re on your way.

Protecting yourself from identity theft is also a concern. This is where our Crew Executive Choice 2 and Platinum Magna 2 backpacks can help. Both pieces include an RFID protected pocket, which protects its contents by blocking scanners used by identity thieves, making it ideal for storing your wallet or passport.
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