JetBlue Tour: Packing?

August 21, 2009 at 10:38 am 3 comments

I’m torn about how to pack for this JetBlue Tour I’m going to be taking soon.  Obviously I want to travel light – who wants to schlep a big suitcase around for 23 days?  Certainly not me!  Here’s what I’m pakcing:

  1. Camera – This is a DSLR and pricey (to me anyway), so I want to make sure it’s protected.  I presently have three carrying options for it – (1) a backpack with a special compartment for the camera, extra lens, and accessories; (2) a shoulder tote (looks like a regular ladies’ tote); and (3) a standard camera case with a shoulder strap.
  2. Laptop – Yes, I could probably skip this since I have an iPhone to entertain me in airports and could upload photos from my friends’ computers, but… I can foresee wanting access to Photoshop just about every day.  And I imagine I might like to spend some time hanging out at cafes to blog instead of using my friends’ computers and possibly ending up stuck at their homes all day instead of being out and about.  For packing it, I have (1) a protective sleeve (so I could put it in there and then stick it in a carry-on sized rolling bag), (2) a laptop backpack, and (3) a rolling briefcase.
  3. Clothes – I’m thinking I’m going to have to just pack a few things and re-wear/do laundry.  I should be able to get by with one pair of jeans, a pair of black pants, 4 tops, a travel tolerant blazer than can go with jeans or black pants, a dress, a bikini, and a dress that can be a swimsuit coverup or worn out to dinner/around town.  I’m thinking I’ll want the dressy option of black pants + blazer just in case Amazon decides they want to interview me while I’m in Seattle or something like that.
  4. Toiletries – I think I can get away with packing pretty light on this since I’ll be staying with folks who hopefully won’t mind if I bum some body wash from them.

Here are my best packing options:

  1. Camera bookbag + rolling bag (with laptop and clothes).
  2. Camera bookbag + rolling briefcase (with laptop and clothes).  This briefcase is higher quality than our rolling bags and looks great, but it’s a little wide and can be annoying to roll down airplane aisles.
  3. Camera case + laptop bookbag.  This would be great for mobility – I could strap the case to the bag and be completely hands free.  But getting in even the clothing listed above may be tough.
  4. Camera tote + laptop bookbag.  The tote looks sooo much better than the case and can double as a purse.  It would also look nice in the event that I ended up interviewing while on the road.  That said, I’m not sure I want to commit to carrying that tote on my shoulder every day.  I have back issues, and this might be what pushes me over the edge.

What do you think?


Entry filed under: JetBlue Tour, Planes, trains, autos, boats.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Wandering Aramean  |  August 22, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Can you fit the camera and laptop in the same bag? That’s how I roll. I can then use a regular bag for clothes as necessary. But the key is having the laptop and camera in a bag that I can always keep on the plane, even if the overheads fill up and I have to gate-check my clothes bag. No way my camera or laptop are going to be out of my possession.

    I love my Tamrac Adventure 9 and also will use my Velocity 7 for lighter travel days. It is a stretch to get both the laptop and the camera in the Velocity, but with my tiny NetBook I can make it work.

    As for clothes, no more than fit in a carry-on bag. Do laundry if necessary rather than checking a bag. Even with jetBlue not charging for the first checked bag it isn’t worth the time that you’ll spend waiting to check it and pick it up. I’ll be packing a pair of shorts, a pair of pants and a few shirts. But I also have no intention of doing anything more formal than drinking beer or sitting on a beach during my trips. The potential interview bit definitely throws a spanner in your plans.

    Good luck!

  • 2. b1-66er  |  August 25, 2009 at 3:01 am

    i’m a disciple of the rick steves school of less-is-better school in travel packing, so all these comments are skewed with that in mind (and something like 1.5M miles under my shoes) …

    i’m going to hit your list in random order …

    your clothes list is absolutely right on. once you’ve decided you’ll do laundry, *everything* gets much simpler … my only suggestion here is you might want to bring a different pair of slacks than jeans only because jeans take longer to dry (and are a tad more bulky) … i do a fair amount of my laundry by hand in the sink/tub when i go extended distance or for extended amounts of time, and that’s why i don’t travel with them.

    i’m not sure how hardcore of a photographer you are (and i realize that you’re currently out of work), but there are several great subcompact cameras on the market that are great value for the money. i bought this panasonic ( and have been over-joyed with its sophistication, range of capability and ease of use. the advantage of a camera of this type is not only the size, but it’s also far more solid state … the thing i learned when i rode my bicycle across the US a decade ago is that anything that is even the least bit fragile will eventually break after prolonged movement.

    the aramean mentioned his netbook — here too would be another possible option if you wanted to tack on a few more bucks.

    i’d be a big big proponent of really reconsidering taking that notebook of yours … remember that not only do you have your friends computers, but all american cities have desktops that can be used readily at colleges an libraries (and those are always hooked to printers as well). leaving the laptop behind early on makes your luggage as a whole more robust, drops your carrying weight by a lot, and reduces the horror/expense of a damaged, lost or stolen bag.

    in your toiletries you might want to consider adding laundry soap. i carry backpacking soap that i can use both on my clothes and on my face/hands in a pinch.

    the hardcore traveling women i know all take a sarong with them. light, small, it makes a nice clothing accessory, a good picnik gound cover, or an extra cover-up.

    another item i consider to be a “must” is a bandana … it can act as an emergency hair tie back, napkin, bag for loose objects, wash cloth, bag identifier or tie down.

    your packing options look like they’re completely on the mark.

    good luck, hope to see you in the skies,

  • 3. feistync  |  August 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Wandering Aramean – A friend has offered to loan me a backpack that’ll hold both a laptop and DSLR… I think that’ll probably be too heavy for me though. I am leaning towards taking the camera in my camera backpack and putting the laptop in its sleeve within a rolling carry on. JetBlue only has 2 types of planes; I checked the carry on size and should be fine to keep my bag with me all the time.

    b1-66er – If I could afford a new camera and new laptop, I think I’d rather have more than a $400 budget for my trip! It’s going to be really tight some days – like in NYC where it’ll cost me my whole daily allowance just to get to where I can meet my host. Hope to run into you at some point; happy contrails! 😉


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