When I travel, I try to travel lightly. Why? Partly cause I lack the stamina to haul an enormous suitcase twice my weight around train stations and airports.
But also cause of the mess unpacking leaves, and the bigger mess trying to get it all (plus one or two "tiny" extras) back into the suitcase on the return journey.
I have pretty much mastered tiny-luggage hauling. I have a limited-space ickle suitcase on wheels with a proper pull handle, and limited-space rucksack, with the added limitation of what I should put on my back.
Coming home for Christmas was simples. One formal outfit, three or four casual tops, boots to wear on the way, a pair of shoes in the suitcase, and a pair of shoes in the rucksack. I also managed to bring my straighteners, external harddrive (one of those chunky ones, unfortunately) and an extra pair of jeans. Wahey.
On packing today, to return to Lancaster tomorrow, I have managed to end up with more clothes. I only bought two strap tops, so I'm not entirely sure how this happened. I've had to transfer my shampoo into the ruck sack, and I've got my brother's hat (now mine, woot) in my rucksack. I almost forgot to pack the straighteners and screamed when I realised.
And on loading the 'New Blog Post' page, I realised that the shoes that go in my rucksack aren't in the rucksack, either. So I need to go downstairs, bring those up, and repack my "just right" stack of things in there.
So long as I don't forget to pack my hair brush tomorrow or leave my umbrella behind, I should be ok. [Mentally of course - I can always buy a new one, eventually, but the strain of realising you've left the two things you really didn't want to behind could burst a blood vessel or two in the brain as you curse yourself to death and even picture where you last saw it - on your windowsill, or on the desk.]
I really hate this part of the holidays - it's cold, you've just got used to being home, and whilst you crave the routine you had 4 weeks ago at university (lectures, seminars, getting up at x time, going out on x day etc) I personally am reluctant to go. Part of it is the horrendous journey that can ensue - I've got to drive to Peterboro, get on a train, change at Leeds (if the snow lets me) and then get off at Lancaster and either spend a lot on a taxi, wait ages for a bus at the station, or get a bus from town, which involves walking in what will most likely be a blizzard or at the very least almost-frozen rain. I kid you not.
I don't overly mind long journeys (got an 8 hour flight at Easter, and I've done that one 3 times before) but I do mind having to change at stations, or when they're late, stressful, or just over crowded. Nothing better than an 8 hour flight next to a particularly large person that uses both yours and her arm rest, snores, and seems to elbow you in the face when she eats or turns the page of her book.
At least on a plane though, there's room to walk if you want to. I mean, the aisle is bigger than that on a standard train. Good lord. The worst of it is deciding whether to claim your booked seat or not - you know where it is: you've seen it. But that would mean asking that person to move, and she has all her bags, and you have all your bags and it could all lead to that other person on the other side of the aisle getting a suitcase knocked about his head or your bottom in his face.
...I think I'll stand for this stretch of the journey, and keep my luggage on this over-filled suitcase rack.