Pack It Up, Pack It In


Anyone involved in the meetings industry knows that packing for a trip can be one of the most tedious, frustrating and, frankly, annoying parts of travel. After stowing various electronic devices, toiletries and business attire, there never seems to be enough room for an extra getup for team-building activities or a sharp-looking suit for a black-tie gala.  To help with the inevitable packing headaches this causes, there’s Portavi Company, a packing consulting firm based in New York City.

“Packing is such a last-minute activity that people often stress about the process,” says Hitha Palepu, founder of Portavi Company. “Our guides are great for procrastinating packers, as they offer immediate packing and travel advice.”

The company, which Palepu created based on experiences helping her husband pack weekly for business trips, offers travelers a reprieve from the madness of packing. After a brief Skype session, during which clients typically go through their closet exhibiting different items, Palepu creates a custom packing and outfit list based on a given itinerary. For meeting planners, Portavi offers a service that provides packing lists for attendees. These include recommendations on outfits for specific parts of an event and useful information about destinations, such as transportation services, must-see sites and most-talked-about restaurants. Ultimately, Palepu strives to have every attendee bring only what is needed without checking a single bag.

Along with her enlightened packing advice, Palepu provides her clients with useful travel tips. For instance, if a traveler needs to bring along a small amount of liquid, she suggests placing it into a pre-marked contact lens container to eliminate confusion and conserve space. She also recommends that frequent travelers invest in light, sturdy carry-on bags such as those made by Lo & Sons, which offer a multitude of pockets and spaces for increased storage capacity. Palepu’s most important tip? Never bring more than three pairs of shoes. You read that right: Leave that awesome pair of attention-grabbing pumps or Oxfords at home.

For those who can never seem to get their act together before a trip, Portavi offers an easy, less stressful way. “We’ve refined the process to be quick, easy and, most important, enjoyable,” Palepu says. “Portavi removes the agony and time spent deciding what to pack and wear, allowing clients to better enjoy their trips.”