I'm just back from my monthly trip to Raleigh, NC. I go there for only a few days - so I have never check baggage - until now.
Checking one bag with my toothpaste and shaving cream added about 90 minutes to my trip to RDU from ALB .. which was rotten .. so on the way home - I put it all in an envelope and mailed it to myself so I could carry-on.
Next time, I'll bring a USPS flat-rate envelope so I don't have to go buy stamps, a larve envelope, etc.
This way - even if the trip THERE is a bit longer, I will always be able to carry-on for the trip home.