On a jet plane... (haha, I crack myself up)
I've been traveling since I was just a few weeks old. I love it. I love flying on airplanes, walking around the airport, seeing all the people. I'm a people watcher and being at an airport is like Disneyland for that sort of thing.
But flying so much for so long has given me expert abilities for traveling. And traveling light at that. 25 years have given me pretty much expert packing status. Because I've spent quite a bit of time doing it, I'm also able to do it efficiently without giving up anything I want to bring.
So, here's my How To: Pack It Up
I don't take my purse on. I empty my full-size wallet into a clutch to throw in my bag. I've got my meds (and panties!) in my hidden compartment. I've also packed two books and a crossword puzzle book in for some entertainment. My make-up bag is also in there (though it's been downsized to pass through TSA). I'll also be stashing my phone charger and headphones in there as well.
And most importantly, I pack snacks. Protein bars, pretzels, and an empty water bottle to fill up after passing security. I'll be at the airport for breakfast and lunch so I'll have to buy those. But snacks for the plane and the shuttle ride to my final destination are a must for me. I get very hangry (angry when hungry) very quickly if I don't eat regularly. And buying snack food at the airport is very expensive. So I pack what I can in my carry-on so I don't have to worry about it as much.
The Big Kahuna - Suitcase
First thing if first, you have to get all your clothes together. Lay everything out so you can see what you are packing. I'm packing for three days, but I always pack an extra outfit just in case I need it. I'll also be packing a "going out" outfit just in case (since I don't know if we are going anywhere that will require a dress). Also make sure to pack a "lazy" outfit for just hanging out. Make sure you include shoes and accessories if needed.
Also, call ahead to your hotel (if applicable) and you can ask if they have a hairdryer in the room as well. If they do, there is some more room saved! That room I'm saving though, is going to presents I am bringing with me on my trip.
Best way to remember stuff you need to pack at the last minute is sticky notes! Put them on your bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, on the items themselves, anywhere you are SURE to see them. Otherwise you are just wasting sticky notes (and that should be a crime).