September 23, 2019

How to Combine Business with Pleasure and Still Pack Light

Mixing museum tours with mountain trails, and beach time with business gatherings takes planning, especially when youíre traveling independently. While heading out for an extreme sporting vacation with no checked luggage might not be achievable, it is possible to travel with less luggage while working from the road on a soft adventure getaway.† Here are my favorite backpack-to-briefcase packing strategies.

Footwear: If you want to look your best when traveling to moderate climates, plan to get by with two sets of footwear. One should be suitable for business, while the other stands ready for adventure activities. For me, this means a pair of high-heeled knee boots and sturdy hiking sandals. Every dressy outfit I pack works with the boots, while the hiking sandals function on trails, cobblestone streets and rocky beaches. If by chance I need something more pedicure-friendly, flip-flops are always available for a song at the nearest street-side stall.

Clothing: Since Iím usually not climbing Kilimanjaro, I can get by with one exercise top and a couple of thin dressy T-shirts suitable for dressing up a pair of jeans or wearing under a pantsuit. Aside from one heavy pair to deal with unexpected weather shifts, I keep it thin on the sock scene as well. Target has an affordable selection of quick-drying black dress socks by Merona that includes a variety of styles to suit your shoe preferences.

Storage: Iíve found that carrying a small, expandable clutch gives me access to everything I need for an evening out with clients or a day of shopping and exploration. Itís just slightly larger than a regular womenís wallet and moves easily between business totes, rolling duffels or whatever I happen to be using at the time. It also has a tabbed section for receipts, which helps me stay organized for things like expense reports and tax records. Many men prefer messenger bags when functioning on the road as a digital nomad. Theyíre more discreet than an expensive briefcase, and the extra space allows for the transport of files, gear and clothing.

Streamlining: Whether Iím combining business and adventure travel into a single excursion, or tackling back-to-back to back trips with different agendas, Iíve found success by maintaining similar routines and packing procedures for both. Certain categories of things such as tech cords, cosmetics and accessories always get packed in the same small pouches. Also, while varying climates and gear requirements have been known to get in the way, I try to use the same pieces of luggage for both types of trips whenever possible. This helps me handle unexpected travel stress related to logistical snags on autopilot, as opposed to digging around in an unfamiliar bag for critical items.

Photo Credit: o5com


  1. What really attracted me to your website was your name. You have the same last name as I do and it’s not that often
    that we see that name on the web. I know, you will say, “but yours has two rr ” that’s because when my father-in-law who
    came from Canada to the USA, became an american citizen it got changed by mistake and he never had it corrected.
    All my husband’s relatives in Canada spell it with just the one r and it should be that way for us here too. My children wish
    that it would have stayed as it was THERIAULT I bet that we are related somewhere up the line.

    I also enjoyed reading your informative hints on travels. Thank you.

    Helene Therriault

  2. webmaster says:

    Hi Helene,

    Yes, it’s very likely we’re related, especially if that’s where your husband’s family’s from. Thanks for touching base. Glad you liked the piece!