Here are my notes on this topic, from a woman's perspective.
- Keep a second, separate bag of travel-sized personal care items. I've found that it is easier to have a second set of care items (facial care regimen, hand lotion, tweezers, antiperspirant, toothbrush and toothpaste) set aside specifically for travel, ready to go in a travel bag. That way, I'm not doing a last-minute packing frenzy after getting ready for my 7 a.m. flight, only to forget something. Fortunately, most companies seem to offer travel-sized options (even my facial care regimen company), and that helps immensely.
- Keep all electrical cord accessories (including iPod headphones) wrapped up and kept together in a semi-transparent zipped bag. The Sumajin Smartwraps help manage the unruly cords and the bag helps make sure I have everything ready to go. Then, if I need to pull something out when I'm on the go, I pull out the bag and fish out the appropriate cord. Plus, if I get pulled for a security check, it makes it easy for the inspector to look at the cords all at once.
- Bring disposable reading materials (such as magazines or mass market paperbacks) that you can throw away as you go. While books are nice, they are heavy and have to be carried back with you. Magazines are ideal because I can tear out pages that I want to refer to later and throw away the bulk as I go. If I carry a book with me, I try to limit it to one and then I usually pack it in my checked luggage.
- This reflects another key tip for me -- the need to travel as lightly as possible. As a petite woman, carrying unnecessary weight makes travel burdensome and wearying. One of the reasons I won't travel with a wireless router any time soon is that it only adds weight and bulk to my luggage -- definitely something I try to avoid!
- Digitize your notes and combine electronic tools as much as possible. This is one of the reasons why I like using a Windows Media PDA/phone combo, such as my beloved Treo 700w. The Windows version includes all of the key software that I use, including OneNote and Excel for any notes or lists that I want to jot down. Pocket Outlook ensures that I have my calendar, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail and other contact information available. And, having the phone/PDA combo helps lighten the load -- fewer electronics = good!