Whether your business trip is taking you away for just the weekend or out of the country for weeks at a time, it's essential to pack only the necessities. So how do you know what you can leave behind without getting a case of separation anxiety? Eliminate worries with these simple tips.

1. Always bet on black. From your suit to your shoes, all the way down to your socks, pack black. It's slimming. It matches everything. It transitions easily from day to night.

If you aren't into all black everything, mix and match with solid neutrals. All neutrals go together, even brown and black, and black and navy. You can fake a solid neutral with an interesting neutral print.

2. Suit roll up. Rolling your clothes will help prevent them from wrinkling. You'll also be surprised how much space you save by rolling, rather than folding your clothes. Just don't fill the extra space with heavy stuff. Less is more; your back and shoulders will thank you.

3. Multi-task. Find things that double as containers for other items that are difficult to pack. Pill boxes become easy storage for rings and earrings. Contact cases become travel size portions of foundation and eye cream. Sunglasses cases become organizers for wires and cords. You get the deal.

4. When in doubt, leave it out. Every few weeks, take a look at everything in your laptop bag. Is there anything you haven't touch in the past 30 days? Do you really need to take everything in your bag to China with you? Cut the cord.

5. Never, ever check your bags. For those who travel often, waiting on checked luggage can add hours to the whole travel process over weeks, months and years. If you take advantage of hotel laundry and stick to neutral pieces that can mix and match, you never need to pack for more than a few days. Wear your heaviest pair of shoes and your suit jacket on the plane to save space and aches and pains.

6. Double down. Use a two-sided suitcase. This is especially helpful if your trip is doubling as both business and pleasure. You can use each side for different purposes (business on the left, party on the right). On meeting day, unpack and then repack the business side; on sightseeing day, only unpack what is necessary for that day.

7. Protect the jewels. When packing accessories and jewelry, set them between two sheets of plastic wrap. This will prevent them from tangling during travel, and keep delicate necklaces from turning into a giant chain knot.

8. Easy Peesy. Use a roller bag on four spinner wheels. This is the easiest for steering through a crowded airport and it requires the least amount of effort on your part. This is especially helpful for preventing shoulder, neck and back pain from lugging around heavy bags. Carryon wheel bags that allow you to attach a laptop bag or purse also make your life easier at the airport.

9. That's a wrap. Get crafty to prevent liquids from spilling. Cut plastic wrap for each of your liquid bottles. Unscrew the caps, and place the plastic wrap over the bottle opening. Replace the cap and even if it pops opens during travel, nothing will spill and ruin your clothes (or your day).

10. BYOH (Bring Your Own Hotspot). Airports charge an arm and a leg, stopping just short of taking your first born to use their Wi-Fi. Avoid the hidden cost of staying connected by bringing your own hotspot.

11. Portable filtration. Staying hydrated doesn't have to be as expensive as the bottles of water found on the shelves at the airport or at convenience stores at your final destination. Get a water filtration bottle. They remove up to 99.99% of contaminants, and can save up to 600 plastic bottles over a lifetime. Save your wallet and the planet.

12. In case of emergency. Prepare a survival kit with often used survival items like medicines, band aids and a snack. Never, ever pack your medications in your checked bag, if you absolutely need one. Keep them close by, just in case, in your carry on luggage.

Food and drinks at the airport are crazy high. And daily per diems are not. To keep your stomach satisfied, pack filling snacks like almonds, power bars or dried fruit to stay fueled.

A really simple rule to pack by is reduce, reuse, recycle. Reduce all items to only what you need for a couple of days. Choose items that can be repurposed and reused. Take advantage of hotel laundry to recycle items that need to be refreshed before wearing again. Pack light, travel happy!

Published on: Jul 6, 2017