As I myself prepare for a trip to the southwest, I thought I would share a packing list that makes the traveling part of the trip easier.
I believe in one bag per person, preferably a carry on bag. Anything to take the "lug" out of luggage, works for me.
Go to your closet. Using one hand scrunch your clothes with a fist holding about 15 seconds, unscrunch. Whatever clothes don't look totally wrinkled are worthy contenders for your trip.
If you are going to be in NYC less than five days you can make do without going to the laundromat. Wear a smart pair of jeans and comfortable shirt for your plane ride. Those jeans can be the mainstay of your travel wardrobe.
Bring another pair of pants, in a neutral color like black. In hot weather bring a pair of shorts.
Bring three tops and vow to buy a new top or tee shirt on your trip.
Leave the flannel nightgown at home, shorts and a top can serve double duty as good bedtime wear
Don't skimp on underwear and socks...bring about eight pairs for a four-day trip.
For men, bring a lightweight scrunchable jacket that can do double duty for a nice restaurant or to wear on cool days.
Wear a pair of comfy shoes on the flight, bring an extra pair, and also a pair of flip flops for your hotel.
A small foldable umbrella and ultraleightweight plastic rain ponchos aren't a bad idea.
In winter--coats, scarves, hats, mittens, gloves.
Take a toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, contact lens equipment and spare glasses, a minimal amount of makeup (it must all fit in a small ziplock baggie or don't pack it), a disposable razor (or men grow a beard), a few q tips, one comb/brush, tweezers.
Don't bring: Large bottles of shampoo, soap, hair dryers. Most hotels have these, so unless you are staying somewhere that doesn't skip these.
Pack all toiletries (including your little ziplock bag of make up) in a heavy duty (freezer style) ziplock plastic bag. If anything spills it will keep it from ruining your clothing.) Also, don't pack pens in your suitcase...they are notorious for leaking.
Pack several ziplock bags, various sizes, (take them out of the box). You can use small ones to pack sandwiches, large ones can serve to hold ice to keep drinks cold. When you get take out food or leftovers from a meal, pack the container in a ziplock bag to keep the food from spilling.
I like to take a small nightlight with me to use in the bathroom of my hotel so someone getting up in the middle of the night can see.
Earplugs have a lot of uses - If you are traveling with a snorer, your hotel is loud, or you are attending a loud concert and want to dim the amp without losing the sound.
Medications: I take two sudafed (decongestant) a half hour before I fly. My ears are prone to plugging and it keeps them unstopped. So I also bring a pack of chewing gum on the flight. Bring pepto bismol tablets (not a whole bottle), aspirin/tylenol, feminine products if needed.
Bring a list of places where you are going, inlcuding addresses and telephone numbers. Also put your credit card numbers and telephone number on it in case yours gets lost. Carry this list with you at all times in case your plans change.
On my keychain there is a small flashlight, it comes in handy.
Watch with an alarm.
Moneybelt for some men, they prefer this.
On the plane:
I carry a leather tote bag which is stylish...but also can hold some bottles of water, a magazine, a laminated map, my makeup and meds, a pen, some crackers and a small lunch in case there are issues with a longer than expected flight. (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are my go to lunch).
I use that tote bag (it has a zipper pocket near the top where i put money and credit cards) throughout my trip in lieu of carrying a pocketbook. It's a handy way for me to carry my purchases.
My husband prefers a stylish backpack to store our lunch, waterbottles, etc...
Should I bring??:
Camera: Your choice. If you don't want the worry ther eare disposable cameras available for purchase in the U.S.
Map: If you haven't found a good one, get a plastic coated laminated one when you arrive.
Iron: Don't bring it. You shouldn't need it if you brought wrinkle free clothes...and if you need one your hotel likely has provided one in your room or has one available to you.
Bottles of water: YES. Carry them with you on your flight to prevent dehydration. Biy some when you get here and keep them in your hotel room and with you.
Food: Yes on the flight, but don't bring smelly or highly perishable stuff. Crackers, pb&j, buttered rolls, ham sandwiches, apples and pears, all travel well.
Soap/lotions/shampoo/conditioner: Most hotels provide these toiletries, so check. If you must, bring the smallest quantity necessary.
What am I missing????? What else is good to bring on a trip?