You can gain a lot of ground with one hard-and-fast rule: Take one carry-on or checked bag only, plus a day bag or laptop bag if you need it. It may sound strict, but carrying less stuff is a huge plus just about everywhere you go. At the airport, you won't have to pay for extra checked baggage, and you'll breeze through security much faster than people who are lugging multiple bags. Once you arrive, you might be able to get by without a taxi, and you can enjoy a leisurely stroll from the airport or train station to your hotel. You won't need to pay a bellhop to get your bags up to your room, and you'll have less to worry about in terms of theft for your whole stay.
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