You may be surprised to learn that when you're trying to avoid long luggage-retrieval lines at the airport, the best way is to take only a carry on. Yes, you can survive with what can be stuffed into a carry on. The standard size carry-on is 9 x 14 x 22 inches. Most airports will allow you to also take another bag with you on the plane.
This is my standard packing list, for a 4 day, a 14 day, or even a long trip:
Keep in mind that this is for winter, springtime, or fall travel - and men probably wouldn't be packing Cudl Duds. :-) Obviously, the list would be adjusted for summertime travel.
To wear on the plane:
Wear comfortable black plants (Columbia makes Columbia Falls jersey pants that are really comfortable and double for pants to wear on the street, so that it's not essential that you change once you get to your destination), short-sleeved t-shirt, polar fleece jacket and lined rain coat, sturdy walking shoes.
In Purse, to have easily accessible:
Toothbrush, gum mints, pen, dental floss, book, crossword book, Sharpie, extra pen, vitamins, Carmex, hairbrush, soap box with baby washcloth (takes up very little room), small mirror, lipstick, journal, color pencils, map
In Carry-on bag (suitcase - the 9 x 14 x 22):
In Quart Ziploc Bag (Keep this in the front pocket of your carry on and be ready to hand it over at the airport for inspection):
Small amounts of shampoo, gel, creme rinse,
toothpaste, deodorant, makeup, glue stick (what?? Yes, the glue stick that I use for my journal would scan as a liquid), Bar soap (Yes, it also scans as a liquid), 6 small packets of Tide, lotion
Camera and batteries, camera SD card, mobile phone, hair dryer and converter, clothesline, sink plug, extra Ziploc baggies, opera glasses, small flashlight, guidebooks and maps, all tickets and labels and important phone numbers; alarm clock, extra glasses or sunglasses.
My Carry-on has a strap under which I can stash a small pillow and fleece blanket which don't take up much space, but which are useful on an 8 hour flight.
Clothes in Carry-on:
2 pr. black dress pants, gloves, hat, earmuffs (okay, they look dorky, but in March on the Yorkshire moors, you may be sorry you didn't have them. Okay, fine. I would be sorry I didn't have them), 3 short-sleeved shirts, 3 long-sleeved shirts, 2 Cudl Duds shirts, 1 Cudl Duds long johns, 1 sweater, black polar fleece vest, 4 pr comfy wool sox, undies, 1 pr. dress shoes, 1 pr. slippers (something to wear down the hall to the bathroom, lightweight and sandal-like)
As far as shirts, pants, and skirts, make sure that everything goes with everything else, so you can mix and match. Black is good for just about everything, and looks dressier for going into Westminster Abbey and other churches.
In waist pouch:
Airline e-tickets receipts, boarding passes, drivers license, passport, credit cards or debit cards, British cash (if going to Britain)
If you plan to stay in a B&B for at least 3 nights, you'll have the opportunity to hand wash any clothes you need to in the sink, with time to hang them up and allow them to dry. Plus, you usually get a price break on a three-night stay.
Everyone ready to travel? Hm. Airfare has about doubled since we last went to England in '08. :-( And until the TSA gets over this annoying obsession with patting down paying guests, I may not fly even if I had the time and the money.
The Littlest Traveler
Have a great weekend, everyone!