Packing light is critical to my comfort and pleasure. The trick is to achieve maximum wardrobe flexibility with minimum weight.
The clothes and auxiliary items I bring are based on two factors – what’s the least amount I can take and and what’s the most efficient way to pack it. Before that can happen, I have to decide on the luggage; what kind, what size and how many.
For any trip over a week, I use one medium carry-on suitcase and one small carry-on. Both cases are wheeled and they stack – the handle of the large case fits through a strap of the smaller case – so they’ll maneuver as a single unit. If I check the larger suitcase, I add my trusty small daypack Longchamp’s ‘Le Pliage’ as my personal item and take the smaller case on as my carry-on. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/longchamp-le-pliage-backpack-small/3023122?cm_em=&cm_mmc=email_tran-_-011214-_-order_confirm-_-proddescr1
Sometimes I use a tote I picked up at the Getty Museum that weighs an ounce, will carry up to 25 lbs, and stuffs into a sack the size of a mini-yogurt container. http://shop.getty.edu/collections/exclusives-apparel-jewelry/products/museum-entrance-reusable-tote-bag
For my personal amusement, and the ability to identify my luggage on a crowded baggage claim carousel at a distance, I paint my standard black Travelpro luggage. It’s acrylic paint and it wears like iron. No one has ever mistaken my suitcase for theirs.
If I’m bringing both pieces on board, the daypack and tote are stowed in the main luggage. The smaller suitcase contains one complete change of clothes, all my electronics, and meds. If my main suitcase fails to arrive, or I spill a Venti latte down my front, I’ve got something to change into. Usually a sketchbook, magazine, snacks, and a bottled water, purchased post TSA frisk, are in the mix. Any spare space after that handles overflow from the main case or is reserved for souvenirs.