Best Carry On Luggage

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on

If you still use old, worn out carry on luggage without all the bells and whistles of carry on luggage meant for road warriors, you could be missing out. Having a job in management consulting is not easy, but having the best carry on luggage can make your life just a little bit easier. Breezing through the TSA line like George Clooney in Up in the Air is a great, great feeling and requires the best carry on luggage.

My personal favorite

Travelpro MaxLite 21″ Spinner

If you’ve been to an airport recently, you may have noticed several business travelers and flight attendants with either Travelpro or Tumi suitcases. In my opinion, both are great brands, but my personal favorite is the the Travelpro MaxLite spinner. Travelpro has some of the best carry on luggage at a very reasonable price. This specific carry on is lightweight, moves around easily, and is expandable. For the price, you really can’t beat this suitcase.

If you want to splurge a bit (and maybe turn some heads, too!)

Tumi Tegra Lite Carry On

This Tumi bag is not only stunning, but one of the most sturdy pieces of carry on luggage you can buy. Tumi is known for making beautiful luggage that lasts, so you definitely can’t go wrong here. The only con here is the price tag, but if you’re willing to splurge for one of the best pieces of carry on luggage that can last a lifetime, this is a great option.

For the more budget conscious

AmazonBasics Premium Spinner with TSA Lock

The AmazonBasics carry on luggage is a great option for the budget-conscious. For the price, this piece of carry on luggage is surprisingly well-built. Additionally, this piece of luggage has a built-in TSA lock, which should give you some peace of mind about the safety and security of your belongings. As an added bonus, there are 5+ color options to choose from!

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Airline Miles and Hotel Points

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Airline Miles and Hotel Points

Airline miles, hotel points and status are some of the biggest perks in consulting. First class travel, suite upgrades, and free international vacations (through airline miles and points) are all things you can achieve after spending some time on travel projects. Want to maximize your earnings potential and reach top-tier status as quickly as possible? Check out these 3 tips:

Take advantage of Status Challenges and Status Matches

Almost all airline and hotel loyalty programs offer status challenges and status matches to members of most consulting firms. A status challenge can allow you to reach top-tier status in fractions of the time. For example, Delta’s status match challenge allows you to get their Medallion status if you have status with another airline! On Delta and other airlines, the higher status you have, the quicker you earn airline miles. As soon as you join the world of consulting, be sure to check with your firm to see what status challenges and matches they offer.

Transfer points from your Corporate Card to Airline Miles and Hotel Points

Most consultants rack up thousands of dollars of expenses each month in travel and food costs alone. Transferring points earned through your corporate credit card (typically American Express) will allow you to rake in airline miles and hotel points really quickly — most point transfers are 1:1.

Pro Tip: For most AMEX Corporate Cards, you are not automatically enrolled in the Membership Rewards program. This costs $90 out-of-pocket and is a worthwhile investment if you spend over $750 in expenses each month.

Airline miles and hotel points are (and should be) worth more than 1 cent each

People typically consider miles and points to be worth about 1 cent each, but if you’re smart about how you use them, you can easily get 2 cents or more out of each point. When planning personal travel, be sure to compare both the cash price as well as the number of points needed to redeem.

For example, the JW Marriott in Cabo San Lucas costs ~$300/night. If you’re trying to redeem points, you’ll be set back 50K points/night. This gives you a half-cent value on each of your points and is not worth it — book this reservation with cash! I recently stayed in a all-suite resort property that cost over $2,000/night by redeeming 60,000 points, giving me a value of 3 cents per point.

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Starting a Job in Management Consulting

Starting a job in management consulting can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. If you will be traveling — as most consultants do — your lifestyle will change dramatically. From the glamor of airline & hotel status, free vacations, and reimbursed steak dinners to the peril of delayed flights, long working hours, and living out of a suitcase, a job in management consulting can be a a bumpy (but rewarding) ride.

So how do you prepare?

Understand what kind of management consulting job you have

Management consulting is an umbrella term often used to describe several different types of jobs in consulting. The main types of management consulting jobs are those offered by some of the larger, well-known firms:

MBB Consulting Firms: McKinsey, Bain, and BCG

“Big 4” Consulting Firms: Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG

Other Consulting Firms: Accenture, ZS Associates, Oliver Wyman, etc.

These firms offer a wide variety of management consulting jobs, including: advisory, cyber security, risk management, strategy, technology, and human capital. Additionally, some firms offer these services to all industries while others specialize in just 1 or 2 industries. Understanding what work your firm does, where you fit in, and what industries your clients will be in is a great first step to succeeding in a management consulting job.

Prepare to be a road warrior

For the most part, a job in management consulting means that you will travel. It sounds fun — and it is — but also comes with several downsides you may not recognize at first. It is critical to prepare for traveling in management consulting.

Get your travel essentials

Investing in the right travel essentials (bags, headphones, toiletries) will help you have an enjoyable experience on the road. These are some of the key items you should invest in, along with some of my favorites:

Pick a hotel and airline – and stick with it

Accumulating airline miles and hotel points is one of the best perks of a job in management consulting – make sure you pick one brand and stick with it for as long as you can. Top airlines include Delta, American Airlines, and United. My personal favorite is Delta, as they offer unlimited complimentary upgrades (upon availability) and have the best service from my perspective. After the Marriott / SPG merger, choosing Marriott as your hotel of choice is probably your best bet.

Pro Tip: Be sure to check with your firm to see if they offer any status challenges to help you get to top-tier status way quicker than anyone else!

Network, Network, Network

Your network will be your largest asset in consulting — be sure to go to company events and talk to your peers about topics you are interested in. This will help drive your success and career path in a management consulting job.

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