I hate checking bags, though a checked bag maybe a large garment bag would probably be the best way to pack suits and avoid wrinkles. If I had to wait around half an hour on each end of a trip, did just two trips a month, then I’m literally wasting more than a month of my life at baggage claim. And that’s if the bag is delivered each time instead of lost.
A large carryon is ideal, most airlines allow 22″ (Alaska Airlines actually allows 24″). But I prefer to go smaller, I really don’t need to travel with that much stuff on a trip that’s four days or less, and I prefer to be as flexible as possible fitting my bag into an overhead bin, whether sitting on the left had side of an MD80 with a smaller bin or just not boarding the plane at the very front of the line. Since I hate checking bags, I also hate gate checking them.
I also don’t iron.
My go to solution for suits has always been steam from the shower — put the suit on a hanger inside the bathroom, usually on the back of the bathroom door (when there’s a hook), turn the shower on full blast, as hot as it goes, and shut the bathroom door. The steam will release most of the wrinkles. Of course, the suit is a bit damp but it dries quickly. And it takes care of most of the wrinkles in shirts.
I used to ask my dry cleaner to box my dress shirts instead of returning them to me on hangers, I probably should do that still, it always seemed like I was hassling them when I asked.
I do try to pack my suits to minimize wrinkles. There are a few methods to do it. Here are some illustrations:
This method is a little simpler, I don’t find it’s quite as good but it’s easy to do and the goal really is just to minimize wrinkles (so a quick steam does the trick) rather than eliminating them entirely.
Something I’ve been using lately is Downey wrinkle releaser, a 3 ounce bottle is running $2.89 at Drugstore.com (free shipping on $25+ orders, miles through shopping portals). It works, it fits in my freedom baggie, I hold the bottle about six inches away and spray on the suit, I tug at the frabric to pull out the wrongles and smooth over the fabric. It gets the suit a bit wet but dries quickly. Though I hate adding anything to my freedom baggie…
How do you minimize wrinkles during business travel?