Pack smart, don’t pack hard.
When you are going on a very long trip, or relocating to a new city, do what you can to avoid overweight bag fees and fees for additional checked bags. Instead of bringing your little messenger bag or backpack on the plane with you, invest in a tri-fold garment bag (I prefer the Tumi tri-fold Alpha collection), and a small duffel that can fit in the overhead compartment. Most airlines allow passengers to bring one personal item and one carry-on (aka two bags) aboard with them. You can take clothes out of your checked luggage and put them in these bags along with you laptop and other carry-on items. In effect, this allows you to add two luggage pieces without paying baggage fees, and to reduce the weight of your checked luggage and avoid overage fees.