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A Practical Guide To Packing for Travelling Salesman


This post should make for an interesting read for a travelling salesman

I have travelled as a tourist. More on my choice of hotels here. Recently, for more than 100 days I lived out of my suitcase. Literally. I was on the road for 70+ days. The first time I travelled, I carried my backpack. Thinking it was cool to travel light.

Soon I discovered that I am running short of a truck load of things that you are used to when at home. This is further aggravated as you in Tier 3 city in a not-so-great hotel. 


Here is all discovered along the way. 

Firstly, I needed to move away from the backpack. I shifted to a compact overnighter strolley + sling laptop bag. More space. I started carrying enough underclothes and clothes. This is also convenient to carry in a Sleeper Bus. The Sling Laptop Bag can also be accommodated in the same bag. Plus, you can leave the strolley in the Hotel and move around in a sling bag.

Dry fruits were next to come in the kitty. A carry of a set of 6 small plastic cases. They are used to carry dry fruits. Touch wood – I haven’t had a breakdown in the last 100 days. No flu, cough, cold etc. 

Except one episode, when I bit into a super hot vada pav in Pune. I had blisters. Couldn’t speak for 2 days. I have Almonds, Seedless Dates, Black Currant, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Common Fig (Anjeer). With multiple scares in the air it is very important to stay fit (rather illness free). 

Another distinctive benefit of Dry Fruits is that it helps you get more out of the breakfast that you have. In institutional business, you need to meet the HoDs, Principals, Trustees in a fixed set of hours. Typically, 10 AM to 4 PM. Hence, NO LUNCH for the BD team. Given this – the breakfast becomes super critical. 

You need to have breakfast like a king. In my personal experience I have found consuming Dry Fruits makes the same breakfast support you longer. 

I am a 5 times a week gym goer. Just like many I am prone to buy Gym membership only to go for the first month. I started 2019 with the objective to go to Gym 80 times. I surpassed it in a spectacular fashion. 

I believe HealtifyMe had something to do with it. I am a user and believe that the product team at HealthifyMe needs a pat on the back. They have nailed the pain of a “struggling to lose weight” population well. Back to the main narrative – You cannot carry the whole gym with you. 

The best thing that you do is get into a hotel with Gym. Gyms, fitness rooms are not a common thing to find in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. In Kolhapur, Hotel Vrishali Executive and Sayaji are the only 2 places with Gyms. Sayaji is not something that falls into our designated budget for travelling BD personnel and Vrishali is subject to surge pricing given the season. 

So we end up getting into Hotels that are not all that awesome (without Gyms). The thing that got into my bag next was a Reebok Stretch Band. This no where comes closer to weights but helps. Combining bodyweight based exercises and resistance bands does help. 

Next is a Medical Kit – This itself can consume a whole blog. Let me start. 

  • Paracetamol – Always helps
  • Cetirizine – 
  • Cheston Cold/ D-Cold/ Sumo Cold
  • Ambrolite 
  • Cough Syrups / Cofsil
  • Kanthil – For Sore throat
  • Bandaid 
  • Soap 
  • Shaving Kit 
  • Nail Cutter 
  • Toothpaste
  • Brush
  • Kailas Jeevan 
  • Axe Pocket Ticket Spray 
  • Eye Buds 
  • Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

I started with a zippable pouch. The range of things that I need to carry slowly grew from just Toothbrush, Shaving Kit to whole wellness kit. This is like a saviour. 

On days when you don’t feel 100% you have the mental comfort that you have a solid backup kit. I self medicate a lot (which is not a very smart thing). But I am also good at escalating to a Doctor when my body is giving signals. Not Falling sick is a priority when you are away from your family. 

I remember the scene from movie ‘Andhadhun’ – Ayushmann when genuinely blinded is rescued by Auto Rick Driver and Lady Cleaner and escorted to a Doctor who intends to steal vital organs and throw the body on the railway track. I don’t want to faint in a strange city. Maybe I am exaggerating – But being on the road for prolonged duration gets to you. You start valuing people around you. 

Next comes my Mobile Gym Kit. My Gym kit typically consists of: 

  • Hand Gloves
  • Sweat Shirts
  • Track Pants
  • Cap
  • Bluetooth
  • Napkin 
  • Water Bottle 
  • Shoes + Socks
  • All of the above in a Duffel Bag


It’s difficult to carry all of this everywhere. Even though I am in my car – The Car gets full pretty fast. Need to shift things to the overhead carrier. Typically the gloves, cap and headphones always make it to my main bag.

The gloves are more functional in nature. Headphones help you on tough days. Esp. when you have trouble sleeping. Cap is just to cover my bald head. I also use the cap during day time. Depending on where you are – things do get hot. 

The main bag is a American Tourister Now – The overnighter is good for upto 2 nights travel.The Tourister Cabin Bag can accommodate stuff for upto 5 – 7 nights. 

For the clothes – We are GreyAtom pride ourselves in wearing T-Shirts. It’s a simple black T-Shirt with GreyAtom written in white. I also wear the same in few other shocking colours. 

Typically, 5 T-shirts + 2 Jeans is all that you need. I also started including Towel and Bedsheet in my bag. Simple reason – sometimes you are not able to trust the Towel or bedsheet in the hotels.

Undergarments are a given and carry an excess quantity of the same (Added this line after peer review). Slippers are a constant companion. I keep 1 pair handy in the bag.

There is a dedicated blog on the GreyAtom goodies that I need to pack – Here is the list:

  • Sippers 
  • Post it Cubes 
  • Paper Bags
  • Brochures
  • Proposals
  • Po-Sockets
  • T-Shirts  


Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

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Mayuresh S. Shilotri writes on Product, EdTech, UX, Customer Development & Early Stage Growth. 2,000-Word posts only. You can discover more about me here

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