Packing for a Road Trip on Another Continent

When you’re planning a road trip for over a month in a small sedan that’s likely to break down you have to pack carefully. We have fragile camera equipment, tools and of course clothes to worry about. We think we have a pretty solid strategy so far. Here’s what we’ve come up with:

The Bags

1. Duffel Bags (4)

We don’t really have a lot of money in our budget for luggage, so I was pretty excited when I found these duffel bags from REI. They were on clearance for about $20 each, we bought 2 large (black) and 2 medium (blue). Duffel bags are a good choice for us because they’re easy to carry up stairs, they don’t add much weight, and they have less wasted space than a rolling suitcase. These bags come with their own carrying cases that can double as toiletry bags. We already have toiletry bags, but I’m sure we can think of something to use them for.


2. Tool Backpack

I was browsing lightning deals on Amazon and I found this cool backpack: Custom Leathercraft Tool Backpack. Our car is old and the chances are very high that we will break down at least once. Bird is pretty handy, so bringing the right tools can help us avoid having the car towed to a shop for many problems. (Bird’s Note: If you bring all the tools you could possibly need, it decreases the risk of needing them.)



IMG_1644IMG_16403. Backpacks and Camera Bags

Bird’s camera bag and backpack are the same bag. Most of his bag will carry camera gear and I’ll be carrying any extra stuff like jackets. I’ve already posted about my backpack, but now I’ve got some ways to organize the inside including a camera bag.

How we’re going to get it all there

I’m sure you’re thinking 4 duffel bags, 2 backpacks and a tool bag is way too much stuff. All that stuff will never fit in the car and will cost a fortune in baggage fees! Not to worry, we have a plan.

Our backpacks will be our carry on bags. This takes care of all our valuables that we don’t want to check (or leave in the car). Our checked luggage will be the two large duffel bags.

Large Duffel 1

  • Tool backpack
  • Some tools
  • Clothes
  • Medium duffel bag 1

Large Duffel 2

  • Extra camera gear – a tripod and some other rigging stuff
  • Some tools
  • Clothes
  • Medium duffel bag 2

When we get there we’ll put our clothes in the medium duffel bags and pack away the larger ones until the return trip. This way we can make the best use of our checked bags without having to carry giant duffel bags into each hotel.

So, what do you think? Let us know if you have any packing tips or tricks we should try.

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