1. Carry-on only
Sticking to just a carry-on bag will change your life when you fly. You'll quickly run through security, have access to your belongings at all times, and don't have to wait at baggage claim, let alone risk losing your luggage. You'll also be happy to be less of a target to thieves searching for their next disheveled and distracted tourist once you touch down.
2. Avoid a hold up at security
If your going to take your carry-on make sure you do it right. Way too many people on the security line get their bag held up and double checked because they haven't properly packed the suspicious-looking items.
If you're packing anything sharp or a large quantity of unusual objects, even if innocent, pack it in a Ziploc bag and place it in a bin when going through security. That way when that one TSA dude who's never seen a bikini razor before (or a box of 500 badge chains ...don't ask) decides he wants to further inspect your life-threatening contraband, he won't need to take out your undies in search of the "weapon".
3. Embrace your hair and face
Skip the dramatic makeup and hair products and learn to accept your natural mug! I pack a quart-size bag with the essentials: 3 oz. bottles of Clinique face lotion, St. Ives apricot exfoliate, Aussie 3-minute miracle deep conditioner, and leave-in conditioner for my wild curls. Oh, and waterproof eyeliner is always a travel-friendly addition for the special nights.
4. Bring a collapsible water bag
Not a water bottle, but an anti-bottle. It's my latest obsession: a water bottle constructed as flat plastic that you can empty and fold, allowing you to pass through security (and LIFE) with ease. Keep it rolled up when you're not using it and fill your "bottle" at the water fountain when needed. Here's my favorite anti-bottle made by Vapur ...because we are all tired of getting our liquid beverages thrown away at security and having to buy the overpriced bottle of water at the terminal shop.
5. Shower with your laundry
Avoid bringing extra clothing or wasting money on laundry and wash your undergarments by hand. To make this task less daunting, I do it each time I shower, using my favorite Dr. Bronner's all purpose castile soap (I love the lavender one!).