Now that airlines charge you for the number of bags that you check it is way past time to reconsider the amount of things that you pack when you are flying. First you should make a list of what you will need.
I just went on a business trip and should have done a little more research on the climate and the types of events I would be attending after our workshops. By making a list you can pack sensibly and check off items as you pack them; no need to keep thinking did I remember my toothbrush and my favorite flat iron? I also find that when you do last minute packing you take more things with you because you are afraid that you just might need it so you stuff everything you think you might need into the suitcase. There is so much you don’t need to carry with you now. Remember the days when you took a travel iron with you and a blow dryer? Now hotel rooms are equipped with full size irons and in most cases a blow dryer.
If you are in the market for new luggage buy something that is easy to spot. If you go for the basic black try to find one that has something different about it or add a tag that makes yours stand out. I just bought a tag that says “this bag is not yours,” and a pair of baggage tags embellished with rhinestones. I hope they will hold up. Recently when I checked my bag into Southwest it weighed in at 48 pounds, 2 pounds under the limit. When my trip was over I realized that I packed two extra pairs of shoes and a dress that I did not need and forgot my work out shoes.