Fly easily without checking a bag and have everything you need for a city trip with these tips from Town and Country Magazine:
I never check a bag. As a result, my luggage is never lost and it always arrives at my destination at the same instant I do. Over the years I've saved hundreds of hours by avoiding the baggage carousel.
Rolling suitcases are easy to manage and, in fact, make very nice ottomans during airport waits. I've done seven days on the dressy Orient-Express and seventeen days adventuring in Costa Rica with just carry-ons, and I can promise that if you pack wisely, you will have all you need and want for a five-day city trip that involves business and pleasure.
The strategy for a carry-on-only trip also includes a tote bag with a zipper. It absorbs all my personal items for the flight, from iPod to paperbacks to pashmina. I take a couple of envelope purses (one is tucked in my suitcase; the other is in my tote), which take up minimal space and serve for dressier occasions. The other key rules are a simple color palette -- neutrals, few prints -- and clothes that do dual duty.
What to Bring
IN YOUR CARRY-ON
· 3 pairs of pants (two for business, one pair of jeans)
· 2 skirts
· 2 jackets (a lightweight blazer and a suit jacket that can be dressed up or down)
· 5 tops (three business, two casual, one of which is a white iron-free blouse)
· 1 white T-shirt, which can be worn under a jacket or at the gym
· 3 cashmere cardigans (one black, one cream, one in a bolder color)
· 1 dress for evening, business or pleasure (a simple shift works best)
· 2 or 3 scarves (they're light and easy to pack)
· 3 pairs of shoes (pack two pairs -- one comfortable pair for business, one for pleasure -- and wear a pair of flats on the plane)
· 5 sets of underwear
· 5 pairs of socks, panty hose or tights
· A few pieces of distinctive (mostly inexpensive) jewelry, plus a small jewelry holder
· 1 or 2 envelope purses or clutches
· 1 mini umbrella
· Lightweight sleepwear
· Gym clothing (including yoga pants and packable athletic shoes)
· Lightweight stretch cord for easy exercises
· First-aid/medical supplies
IN YOUR TOTE BAG
· Cosmetics kit, including liquids in a quart-sized plastic bag
· Comb and brush
· Personal electronics: laptop (optional, though one of the thinnest on the market is the Apple MacBook Air), BlackBerry, iPod, camera or iPhone
· Paperbacks and magazines
· Travel wallet able to hold driver's license, passport, credit cards, itinerary and airline tickets
· Glasses, sunglasses, contact case
WHAT TO WEAR ON THE PLANE
· Pair of black pants (microfiber is good because it doesn't wrinkle)
· Cotton or cashmere top
· Suit jacket or cardigan
· Pair of flats
· Pashmina or cashmere stole
· Trench coat or lightweight parka
How to Pack
LAYER YOUR CLOTHES: First, pack the heaviest, most wrinkle-free items (pants, sweaters, jackets), then add the tops and lingerie.
FOLD CAREFULLY: Turn one jacket sleeve inside out. Tuck shoes into sides of bag. (For a packing demonstration, watch the video on modernbutlers.com.)
PACK LIQUIDS (no more than 3 oz each) in a one-quart ziplock plastic bag. Stow in your tote or an outside pocket of your carry-on to grab easily for security screening.
PROTECT ELECTRONICS that aren't in your handbag or tote by putting them into socks nestled inside packed pairs of shoes. Put jewelry into a pouch, and if it's good, further insulate it by placing the pouch amid socks or T-shirts in the center of your case. You could also carry jewelry in your tote or wear it.
IDENTIFY YOURSELF: Make sure there's a brightly colored nametag on your luggage, even if it's carry-on.
IDENTIFY YOUR BAG: If it's basic black, add a jaunty decal (I love reproductions of 1930s travel posters) in case you have to check it.
MEASURE YOUR BAG: The carry-on rule is no more than 45 linear inches, a combination of height, width and depth. Most 18- or 20-inch-high suitcases that aren't overstuffed will comply. The combined weight of your carry-on and personal items may be no more than 40 pounds. If you're worried your luggage might weigh too much (the surcharge is $50 and up), a digital bathroom scale will tell you. The best strategy is to start underweight so that you can shop at your destination.
DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT TAKING
· Linen or pleated clothes -- wrinkle city.
· A robe, a hair dryer or other items your hotel will have.
· Hardcover books. Instead, bring paperbacks and magazines.